You've probably heard the saying 'content is king', but why is content marketing so important? Whether you're a creative agency or an internal marketing team in any industry, content marketing is arguably one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and drive more conversions. In this blog, we're going to be discussing some ways you can improve your content marketing strategy straight away as well as looking at examples of creative content marketing techniques! Let's get straight into it...
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is "a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services." (Oxford Dictionary)
To create a strong content marketing strategy, it's really important to understand the end goal first. It can be all too easy to believe that a leaflet or video that promotes your strongest selling points will simply convert customers if it's given to the right audience. Whilst this is true in some cases, it's vital to vary your content dependent on whereabouts your content is being offered in your marketing funnel. For example, the audience who are unaware your business exists won't need a 2 page brochure containing a successful case study whereas one that has been interacting with your website for some time might really need that final information to convert. Because of that, you'll need to make sure you clearly identify the goal each piece of content is working towards. Some main goals of a strong content marketing strategy include...
At this stage in the funnel, create tailored content that your prospects will love to interact with and that can in turn make them aware of the solution you offer to a problem they're currently experiencing.Example content types to drive awareness:
Whitepapers (gated or ungated)
Once the customer is aware that their problem has a solution, it's time to showcase your team's talent! What makes you a leader in your category? Content at this stage in the funnel educates your audience on the solution that they need. You can also use content with this goal to create a sense of urgency around your product or service - why is it so important that they solve that problem right now?Example content types to educate:
Once your prospective customer is educated on why they need a solution to the challenge they've been facing and they know you well, it's important to reach out to them with a stronger message to help them convert. Content at this stage will push the user to take action!Example content types to convert:
Your content marketing strategy should be built mainly around what will be valuable to your customer. By using your content to make your audience aware of a problem you can solve and then giving them content pieces they'll find genuinely interesting and valuable, you build your brand authority and become the customer's go-to provider.Keeping up-to-date with the latest content trends and forecasts can help you to create a strategy that will be successful in the long term. In 2021 we're seeing more and more businesses adopting a more creative take on content delivery from improved infographics, ebooks to podcasts and video.
Hubspot are known for their content, and so it's a great example to look at. The Shake Up podcast centres around thought-leaders and people making waves in their industry or changing the ways things were traditionally done. What can we learn from this content marketing example? Hubspot have spent time to truly understand the questions their audience are asking, and then continue to provide content in the most helpful format.
For business men and women going about a busy day, Hubspot have created a podcast that can be listened to whilst working to improve the levels of engagement they get. Instead of writing a series of blogs that their audience would need to take time out to read, here's a podcast that can be accessed with minimal effort on the go. It inspires both their existing customers and ideal clients alike and helps to position themselves as an authority in their field.
International market-research company, YouGov, utilise whitepapers as a part of their content marketing strategy in order to advertise their services. By providing useful data for people in a huge variety of sectors like agencies, leisure and entertainment and travel & tourism. Look below for an example of how they use their social media channels to distribute this valuable content:
What can we learn from this? Once again we can see how creating unique content that helps to solve a problem for your audience leads to greater engagement and creates more demand for your service. Great content¬† advertises your businesses USP's without you needing to say a word about them.
Blogs are a tried-and-true way of boosting traffic to your site and ultimately driving more engagement. However, 7.5 million blog posts are published every day in 2021 (source) so it's not getting any easier to help the right person see your blog. What can you do to help your blog posts go further? Focus on creating the most exclusive content you can by playing to your companies strengths. Moz give a great example of that here:Why is @Google rewriting titles & what can we learn from it?@dr_pete_ explored over 50,000 <title> tags to find out. Here's what he found.üëáhttps://t.co/CVkIAtugvz
By first of all positioning themselves as an authority in SEO and then producing blog posts that offer uncommon information their audience will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, Moz produce blogs that will genuinely boost revenue and rankings at the same time. Team this with a graphic that's hard to ignore, and you're on to a winning content marketing strategy.
The power of graphic design
It's clear how important selecting the right content marketing format and goal is in creating a successful strategy that draws new clients to your business, but what else is needed to create a piece of content that performs better than all the rest?If your targeting is right, your content is interesting and your distribution seems on point but it still isn't doing as well as you had hoped... review your graphic design.Graphic design is the secret sauce that makes your audience go wild for the content you produce. Even the very best ideas can be killed by unimaginative graphics that don't compliment your content. Free design templates online won't cut it if you want to create content that will perform better than all your competitors, because your audience will always react better to content that is unique and tailor-made.
Working hard to curate and produce content that is valuable to your client is made pointless when it is presented in a way that doesn't reflect your brand well. You risk missing out on massive amounts of engagement based purely on the fact that the design itself isn't as professional or eye-catching as it should be. Instead of leaving that crucial step in the hands of a non-designer using free design software online, always make sure to support your content marketing strategy with equally as strong graphic design.In this article we've taken a deeper dive into what truly makes a strong content marketing strategy and had a look at some of the techniques some of the biggest brands are using. From infographics to podcasts, the world of content marketing is vast and leaves so much room for creativity. We hope we've inspired you to take a look at the content you're planning, and if you'd like some help with the graphics make sure to get in touch today.