Most of the beginners in content marketing see it as numerous pieces of information, which should be just outstanding. They are deeply afraid because they feel unable to come up with a masterpiece.
However, as you become more mature in content marketing, you realize that the main premise of success is to approach it with the reason and wisdom, not with an exceptional talent. In this article, you will learn how to produce remarkable content without an artistic mind on your side.
In the previous article, we wrote about “How to optimize a website for effective SEO”. Today we invite you to continue the exploration of the topic with the new article. However, if you missed the previous one, we highly recommended you to start at the beginning.
On the other hand, some of us don’t pay enough attention to the content writing. I have come across hundreds of “copy-paste” information on different blogs and social networks, which was posted on the behalf of those who claim themselves, true experts. As the one who knows what it takes to create a great content, I’m not doubting their expertise but I know that most of their readers would.
You may think, why would anyone doubt the importance of content marketing? The reasons are numerous but the most common one is putting too much hope to other ways of promotion. Especially to paid advertising and SEO.
There’s no problem with using ads and SEO excepting few “but’s”: ads are not as efficient as they seem to be (people don’t click and if they even do it, it usually doesn’t involve any future purchases) and SEO is efficient only if your content is really great and other experts are ready to share it.
The way you understand how online content marketing functions matters a lot and influences all. Therefore, first, we will focus on the definition of content and expand it to the practical side of strategical planning. However, the time practice has already come for you.
Ask yourself right now: “What does content mean?” Try to fix this thought to be able to compare with what you will think about it in the end of the article
To create a great content marketing, usually, you need to leverage all of the following possibilities of becoming visible to the online society: search engine marketing, display ads, and great content itself. Nowadays, the main premise of being successful in marketing lies in the strategic and wise combination of the tools, techniques, and possibilities. In other words what I want to say: don’t put a lot of hope into a certain tool – think wider.
What does content mean?
What does content mean for you? No, really, answer this (if you haven’t done it before). This word is just everywhere so you might have never thought about it on your own. Definition of content is pretty simple but it involves more fundamental and complex things that one can clearly explain.
The content you produce is the reflection of your expertise, it’s how you look for thousands of people on the Internet, and the primary way of building awareness of your company (or your professional services).
I know the definition of content I proposed you above may sound pretty complicated but if you get to think about it a bit more, you will understand. If you are an expert and you want people to purchase from you any products or services, you need to convince them in your expertise. For this, you need to build awareness of your professionalism on the Internet. This is where content writing is the primary tool.
While content marketing is the message you transmit, SEO and advertising are the ways that can help you to do it. No matter how good you may become in the process of delivering the message – if the message itself is meaningless, you won’t get a positive response. This is why everything starts with the understanding of content marketing as the process of building an evidence of your professionalism.
By the way, we created a Guide to finding right keywords for SEO optimization. You can take a look at it below.
Content marketing in 4 steps
I hope you have answered at least the basic questions about online content marketing to yourself. Also, I hope you are already aware of how important it is to approach the process of creation business content in a reasonable, consistent, and wise way. To make it easier for you, I’ve prepared the step-by-step plan and practical definition of content marketing.
Don’t become confused if you feel that this step takes a lot of time, knowledge, and your efforts. It does. Sometimes, it takes even more than other steps do. At the same time, it’s an extremely important step you need to dedicate your full attention to because it defines your purposes, directions, and they you will succeed. Or not.
Of course, your content marketing strategy will be modified with the time but the fundamental basics should be set up on this exact stage. You can read how to create the marketing plan that people love here.
I advise you to start with the structure of the content. Earlier in the article, we were trying to find the definition of the content and came up with the underlying idea. Now it’s time to get to the practical side.
Any piece of content should possess an exact purpose, be of a particular format and a certain topic. Therefore, now, answering question “What does content mean?” you need to find the purpose of creating any content at all, the certain topic, which allows you to fully express your expertise, and the format that matches all the above in the best way.
To find the purpose of your content marketing, you need to know whom you’re targeting. In other words, you need to know your audience. This is where you need to create buyer persona (in case if you haven’t yet). In fact, a buyer persona is a structured representation of your average customer, with the help of which you will also be able to find an appropriate format of the content.
Check this article to learn more about it the way you can create it.
Always think about the most efficient way of helping your audience. To do your best, consider solving any problem in terms of certain structure. On the first stage, you start realizing the problem and defining its influence, on the next stage you become aware of the problem in whole, and, finally, you pick the ways of solving it. This path is also called buyer’s journey.
The idea of buyer’s journey is similar to buyer persona. To be able to offer your prospect what he really needs, you should know what he is and what he is doing. Therefore, on the first stage buyer is setting goals, on the second stage, he considers the ways of reaching the goals he has, and on the last stage, he makes the decision.
Depending on the buyer persona, for each stage of buyer’s journey, you need to create content that would lead the buyer to purchase from you. Learn more about the importance of buyer’s journey for your online content marketing and the questions you need to ask yourself in this Hubspot article.
After you created your buyer persona and buyer’s journey, use information about the goals and challenges of your buyers to find the right topic for your content. Moreover, you can look for the hottest topics on the professional forums, industry platforms, in the group discussions of different social networks. Also, don’t forget to research relevant keywords you would want to rank for.
Finally, to identify the format for the business content, take into consideration buyer persona, buyer’s journey, and the topic you’ve picked. Remember that the format should match the particular stage of buyer’s journey. Different stages require different formats.
The Hubspot template below will help you to visualize the process of planning content marketing.
When you get your hands on content writing, focus on the stage of buyer’s journey you want to address by means of your content. Creation of the business content may be difficult if you don’t want what kind of content you want to produce. To solve the latter, consider how perfect content should look like:
– as brief as possible
– seasoned with keywords
Don’t forget that we created for you a Guide to finding right keywords for SEO optimization. You can take a look at it below 🙂
Remember that promotion isn’t your main purpose – instead, you are aiming at creating the reputation of the expert. Therefore, you need your content to be educative and informative. Moreover, you wouldn’t want your readers to get bored after the first few paragraphs so keep it brief and pointful. Finally, insertion of keywords will help search engines to properly rank your content.
Planning and content writing are the most important but without a proper distribution, nobody would get to know your content. That’s why you need to bother about the ways you can efficiently deliver the message of your content. Consider the following ones:
– blogging platforms;
– social media;
– landing pages.
Those above are the most widespread channels of content distribution, which you need to leverage as much as you can. As you master the way you deliver your content to the prospects and customers, you will see more options and opportunities for your content marketing.
Check this article to find out more about channels of customer acquisition with the highest ROI.
Finally, when you’ve published your content, you would want to analyze its performance and learn your lessons. Probably, the most popular tool for examining how your content marketing behaves is Google Analytics. Now you can find tons of information about the way you can leverage its extensive functionality.
When analyzing how your content performs, pay attention to the number of visits, the reaction of the society to your content (likes, shares, comments), and leads you could generate with its help.
The stage of analysis serves to make your endeavors reasonable. Every time you modify content marketing strategy, you need to measure the impact. Creating successful content marketing strategy is totally about the flexibility, analysis, and improvements.
Now ask yourself: “What does content mean?”. Is your answer the same as it was at the beginning? I hope something has changed in the way you think about content. If you were looking for the right definition of content marketing, now, you can see that it’s not enough to get into the whole process.
Definition of content is rigid, while the whole process of content marketing is dynamic. It starts with the planning by means of buyer persona and buyer’s journey. Then, one creates educative, informative, and pointful information, seasoned with the keywords. Later on, this information is to be distributed, after which the whole process should be analyzed.
Finally, what you need to keep in mind is that content marketing is about permanent practice. The more you get into it – the better you become.