June 02 2020

What is Content Marketing?

What Is Content MarketingContent marketing includes the videos you watch on YouTube and the Instagram ads you see on your feed. It’s this very blog that you’re reading right now. Content marketing is everywhere, and its definition has shifted over time, just like the media and outlets that present it.

In short, content marketing is a tactic that involves the distribution of high quality, meaningful content in a variety of forms, like videos, social media posts, educational articles and blogs. The return on investment for content marketing can be huge when done correctly. Not only can it generate new leads and help you nurture existing relationships, content can be used across a multitude of platforms. This creates a scalable, efficient workstream while driving a cohesive message for a broader outcome. Here’s everything you need to know about content marketing and how to make it work for your business or organization.

Common Content Marketing Types

Believe it or not, almost every piece of content you consume has been analytically selected to appear in your search results or Spotify playlist using algorithms and ad placement technology. Types of content marketing go beyond the images and words you see on a computer screen. Here are a few common forms of content to help you strategize your own marketing plan.

  • Website Copy: Strategic use of copy can take a normal webpage to the next level. When it comes to copy, content marketing is all about brand positioning and search engine optimization. Use web copy to make your products or services relatable and enticing while conveying your unique brand voice. Incorporating SEO keyword research into your website copy will create an avenue of organic traffic to be fed from Google search results. This increases visibility to your website and helps you reach new audiences. Copywriting is one of the best ways to create meaningful content that can target exactly what a consumer is looking for.

  • Video: While sometimes underutilized, video is not as difficult or expensive to produce as you may think. Cost-effective, amateur video recordings from personalities like social media influencers, for instance, can make a big impact on a consumer. You can also use internal resources to produce quick-hit, high quality video clips that are engaging and attention-grabbing. It’s important to consider the benefits of video content and how it can impact your organization, such as boosting brand recognition and building trust with new or existing consumers.

  • Podcasts: Experiencing a consistent increase in popularity recently, podcasts can be a great form of content marketing. According to Forbes, there are currently well over 800,000 active podcast that exist and are being streamed daily. Invest in researching podcast topics that suit your brand’s needs, such as financial updates, customer education or relevant in-the-news happenings.

  • Email Marketing: Email marketing continues to be a valuable marketing tactic, because it can reach a broad audience in a variety of ways. Email can connect consumers directly to the products or services they’re looking for by providing personalized messaging and recommendations. It’s also an effective way to reengage existing consumers and reach those who may not use other platforms such as social media. Email is a tried-and-true method of nurturing relationships throughout the consumer journey and should be an integral part of your marketing plan.

  • Educational Content: Educational content, such as blogs or relevant financial literacy articles and infographics provides several benefits. Not only is it an opportunity to boost SEO and create sharable social content, educational content also builds consumer relationships guiding them through relevant life stages and important decisions. Blogs and articles can help answer commonly asked questions, keep consumers in-the-know and give them a reason to return to your website.Ideally this content should be your own vs. residing on a third-party platform, but starting with a mix of both is better than nothing.

Why Content Marketing is Important

Beyond knowing the types of content, it’s important to understand why content marketing matters.
Content marketing creates awareness and generates buzz among new and existing consumers. When consumers become aware of your business or product, they will begin to conduct their own research. Leveraging SEO, blog articles, strategic copywriting and video content, among other forms of content marketing, will help set your website apart and create brand favorability, while driving traffic. And, when it comes time for new or existing customers to make a purchase decision, your brand will have a leg up because of the established trust that is being built. When done right, content marketing can be incredibly meaningful and have a lasting impression.

Important key points to keep in mind for content marketing success are knowing your brand and your audiences. By understanding your brand inside and out, you will be able to distinguish exactly how to message and relate to your audiences. It’s important to have an accurate gauge on your customer base to ensure you reach them in the best way possible. For example, 72% of people ages 50-64 use Facebook to share articles and information rather than post personal updates. If your target audience is in this range, try working on a social media campaign that incorporates blog content on Facebook. Millennials, on the other hand, may be more inclined to use Instagram, while a B2B audience is more included to consume business-related content on LinkedIn.

Budgeting for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Budgeting for content creation can be overwhelming the first time you develop a content plan. A little goes a long way, however—remember, much of your content can be shared across platforms so long as the post strategies reflect each new platform. Content marketing is a long-term game, so take the time to prepare and carefully develop your strategy. Here are some tips and tricks to help you create the right budget:

  1. Set Your Goals: First, define your goals and identify what you’re looking to achieve. Are you hoping to increase brand awareness? Gain a broader social media following? Improve your SEO rankings? No matter your end goal, identify the necessary content types and platforms required to put you on the path to success.

  2. Choose Your Team: If you need support that goes beyond what your in-house team can provide, consider partnering with an agency that specializes in content marketing. Together, you can create effective campaigns, measure their success and optimize accordingly.

  3. Understand Your Timeline: Creating good content takes time. Your timeline will depend on your production team, the type of content you’re creating and the scope of your campaigns. It will also take time for your content to make an impact and begin influencing both new and returning consumers. Don’t expect to see immediate results, but keep an eye on performance so you can begin to gauge the success of your campaigns and develop an optimization plan.

  4. Measuring Success and Optimizing: If you haven’t already, it’s essential to ensure you have the right analytics tracking in place before running any campaign if you’re looking for quantitative results. While any analytics platform can measure visits to a page, most will require some customization to track actual conversions. After a campaign has finished running, or traffic to new content has been monitored over a given period of time, it’s important to measure the success of your efforts. Identify what worked and what didn’t. Did anything fall flat or confuse your audience? Now is the time to adjust and optimize your content to improve future performance. Even campaigns that are effective can be scaled to reach a wider audience and drive a broader impact.

Content marketing should be a key component of your digital strategy. It’s essential to building a brand personality that can set your business apart and help you reach new audiences. Not sure where to start? Reach out to one of our content marketing experts here at ZAG.

  • Content
  • Copywriting
  • SEO
  • Social Media

posted by
Sarah Viens
Sarah Viens

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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