Videos, blogs, articles, advertisements, social media posts and the list goes on. What are these? All that we consume through the web is content. One of the most important strategies of marketing is content marketing. If put the other way, content is the soul of marketing.
With the onset of digital marketing trends, we use the word ‘content’ more often. But content marketing is not a thing of trends. For decades and centuries, thousands of brands believed in content marketing. Astonished, right? The first content marketing strategy dates back to 1895. John Deere launched the customer magazine called ‘The Furrow’ for his brand.
These were no freebies. Rather, a well-planned content marketing strategy. Wondering what content marketing is?
Content marketing is a strategy that aims at incorporating loyal relationships with the audience. The provision of high-quality content consistently is the key factor. In today’s world, you got to hit the bull’s eye to grab attention. And content marketing is about grabbing the attention of the target audience.
It isn’t about pitching the products. Rather, it is about pitching the content that solves the customer’s issues. This marketing strategy successfully drives a profitable audience. Set yourself apart from the traffic on the web. It is about how well the audience relates to the content. And how well the brand can fulfill the customer’s expectations. Attention is all that the brand should seek.
Some relevant points for content marketing strategy include:
- Strengthening customer relationships
- Earning the trust of the audience
- Become a credible and informative resource
The gist of content marketing is the strategies you apply, the better results you will achieve.
How fascinated are we by the stories told by our elders! But guess what? Elders love stories as much as kids do. Content marketers use this trick of storytelling for content marketing. Sounds inquisitive, right? Storytelling forms a major part of content marketing, either through videos, blogs, and sponsored ads.
In fact, major brands earn the trust of their customers by connecting to them on a personal level. We call this brand storytelling. With tons of content out there, storytelling remains constant. But the pattern has surely changed over the years. Earlier, the marketers used print media like magazines to deliver content and storytelling for brands.
Nowadays, everything is digital. They make use of videos and blogs to share their stories. Still, wondering how is it done?
Major brands like Google, Airbnb, etc., use this strategy to influence and impact the audience by providing credible information. For this, first, you need to understand the target audience, their emotions, and how to address them.
Airbnb shares its customers and landowners’ experience and stories. This allows the readers to relate with the brand on a personal level. Similarly, many times, Google also shares their experiences, interaction, dealing with the customer’s requirements. This method of brand storytelling helps to outline the business.
The attention of the audience is like currency. Once you get it, all you need to do is retain it, and use it the right way. Before applying any strategy, you must follow these points to streamline the path of content marketing. These include:
- Understanding the pain points and desires of the customers
- Map and plan the content for the problem
- Integrate the content with the buying cycle
As easy as marketing seems, if not carried out the right way, it becomes complicated. You need to put in persistent efforts to get the desired results. For all the customers who are looking for the products and services you offer, content marketing is the best strategy. But the strategy varies according to B2B and B2C companies. The main challenges that content marketers pose are:
- Creation of engaging content: If the content does not engage the audience, you lose the chance of selling your products and services. You need to create content according to the expectations of the target audience. Over 70% of the marketers prioritize content creation over other strategies.
- Content effectiveness: The role of the content marketer does not end at the content creation. The content should be effective. One needs to track the analysis and growth of the brand gained through content marketing.
- Consistency in content creation: Posting just one or two blogs or videos are not sufficient. Whether it be gaining followers on Instagram or bringing traffic to the website, everything comes in handy. You need to put in consistent efforts. Posting regularly allows the customers and audience to be in constant touch with the brand.
- Low budget: Mostly content marketers don’t have the required budget for brand marketing. This can cause issues of not being able to publicize the brand according to the requirement of clients and the audience.
- Variation in content: You cannot post the same content or same genre every day. The audience always expects something out-of-the-box. Innovation and uniqueness is the key to successful content marketing. Content marketers need to offer varied content to attract the target audience.
One needs to carry out a list of procedures for content marketing. There are basically three stages involved, which include:
- Brand awareness: The foremost thing is to make the consumers aware of brand presence. The content marketers do this through blogs, social media posts, and other strategies. This is the base of attracting the audience. While creating brand awareness, it is important to keep track of the metrics. These include:
- Engagement rate
- On-site time
- CTR (Click Through Rate)
- Product/service consideration: The consideration phase is about clearing and building up your brand image. The marketers do this through newsletter sign-ups, free trials and other strategies. Even ebooks act as a great source, increasing brand reputation.
- Decision and buying: It is the phase of conversion optimization. This is the last phase of the strategy. The goal of content marketing is to make the customer buy the product and build up their trust in the brand. A great way to do this is by adding CTA’s (Call To Action) throughout the content. This directs the audience towards the brand.
One important thing while developing the product is to consider an ideal customer. Consider that your target audience is the ideal customer. You must summarize their details, which include:
- Sources of information
- Roles in purchase
- Other required details according to the brand
Marketing results from sources. The marketers use the following sources for content marketing:
- Infographic marketing
- Video marketing
- Websites and blogs
- Books (offline and online)
- Paid advertisements
- Other sources
Content marketing is about shaping the story of the brand the right way. Adapting the best content strategy becomes easier if it attracts the audience. Among all the noise content marketing is the leading choice of marketers. In the end, the ultimate goal of content marketing is to build a brand impact. Further, the brand impact leads to an increase in sales of the products and services. After all, content marketing is all about the audience and attention.
Tanmayi is a creative content writer at NotifyVisitors. She believes in the saying, “ Writing is not just putting out facts, it is the catharsis of emotions”. She blends imagination with logical facts and pours it out in words. Writing has many facets, she lives every bit of it.