Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that aims to attract the target audience and build trusting relationships. To achieve their goals, marketers create and distribute relevant content.
Content marketing helps you build long-term relationships with your target audience. With its help, they attract potential customers and retain existing ones. For example, companies that have a blog get 55% more visitors.
According to statistics from the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing generates three times more leads than paid search ads. And Demand Gen Report research found that 47% of shoppers view three to five posts before purchasing a product or service.
Here are a couple of measurements of successful content marketing – specialized magazines and other publications that companies publish to indirectly advertise their brand.
The Furrow is a magazine for farmers from the John Deer company, published since 1895 and today has become a classic example of content marketing: its content does not so much advertise the products of the publishing company as it helps farmers in solving their day-to-day issues. From the start of the magazine until 1914, the circulation has grown to 4 million copies, today the American and Canadian subscribers amount to 570,000 people, plus up to 2 million copies are sold worldwide. Characteristically, even with an online version, 80% of subscribers choose the printed version of the magazine, regardless of demographic indicators. Perhaps the very conservatism of the topic and the need to be in the field often in the literal sense of the word affect the popularity of the hard copy of the magazine. The Furrow’s content is also changing, from showcasing new ways of cultivating land in the early days of agricultural mechanization, to environmental issues, energy conservation and business practices today. Most American farmers have subscribed to a magazine for generations, and for them it is more than a bunch of printed pages.
Guide Michelin – A 400-page hotel and restaurant guide from the French tire manufacturer Michelin, published since 1900. Created to help the first motorists, the guide soon became a symbol of the quality of those HoReCa establishments that managed to get on its pages. At the same time, the original goal of the publishers was not to advertise restaurants at all: there were few cars in 1900, about 3000 in the whole of France, and they drove not far. In order to motivate customers to buy new cars, drive long distances and, accordingly, buy new tires, a guide to the “tasty places” all over France was invented. Then such guides began to be created for other European and North American countries. The growing popularity of the restaurant section of the guide led to the appearance in 1936 of anonymous experts from Michelin – and today there is a serious struggle for the Michelin star, although many do not even remember about tires.
Stages of content marketing implementation
Content creation or supervision of its creation. To start promoting, you need the actual content, in any form – digital or physical, depending on the needs of your business.
Content editing. You can lose potential customers through common mistakes, so don’t skimp at this stage.
Content distribution. In Internet marketing, these are social networks, blogs, email newsletters, in offline marketing, other, more traditional methods: publications in trade magazines, interviews, presentations and other public speeches, as well as flyers, brochures, catalogs and any other printed and souvenir products.
Analytics. At this stage, it is important to assess how successful the promotion campaign was, whether it succeeded in attracting the target audience, and what to do in the future to correct mistakes and improve the result. Any content promotion is a game of long duration, the most successful brands are more than a dozen years old. First, you work for a name, then a name works for you, but at each stage you need to “synchronize clocks”: data from web analytics, distribution, sales, brand awareness. The parameters for determining the success of a campaign depend on the specific goals of your business.
Expert opinion. The first person who can and should talk about the mission and philosophy of the brand, about all the benefits of the product, is the CEO of the company. In the second row are all the other involved experts, the main thing is that their opinion should be authoritative for this market segment, for your target audience.
High quality universal content – articles specially written to promote your brand. The content should also take into account the specifics of the market and the needs of the target audience, be useful, interesting, and memorable. The purpose of such content is to build trust in your brand, in your products.
SEO promotion. Content SEO – articles written by keywords, that is, by those words and phrases that your potential customers drive into a search engine to solve their urgent needs. The level of user confidence in sites that are issued on request is quite high, and the level of motivation to buy from those who go to the site through organic search is also high. There should be a lot of SEO articles, the quantity matters here, and they should also be unique and well-written. After all, communication is not with a search robot (although with him too), but with your potential buyer.
Differentiated content. Obviously, the content should be different – depending on the product vertical (expensive segment or mass market), geographic, demographic and cultural characteristics of the target audience. For example, the landing pages of the same taxi service will differ in a small town and in a metropolis. All these nuances should be taken into account both in design and in text communications.
Video content. The attention of the modern reader is more and more scattered – it is known that, on average, users spend 37 seconds on one page. At the same time, statistics show that users spend more time on the page of the site where the video is posted. How do you get the message across to readers who don’t read beyond the headline? Video presentations of a new product or service, instructions for use and other training videos, live streaming – all these forms of content generate a lot of traffic and help promote the brand. But it is important to remember that video content does not completely replace texts – they are still needed for SEO promotion and for those 20% of users who read everything from start to finish. The best content options are a video and its text transcript, or text and additional information in the video.
Create your own set of promotion channels
Every post you publish should receive the maximum seeding in various media and communication channels. It can be:
● Email newsletters
Additional promotion is provided by reposts in a few weeks with a new title and main image on a new platform, work with popular bloggers to promote your publications.
Content marketing is definitely an art that needs to be learned. But there is a huge plus in this – everyone can become a master in this activity, because it is enough to put more effort and apply all the knowledge gained in practice.