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What is Content Marketing? The Ultimate Guide to content marketing

What is Content Marketing? The Ultimate Guide to content marketing
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Content Marketing meaning

Content Marketing is one of the most important Digital Marketing skills. Let me tell you the meaning of Content Marketing through the definition given by the Content Marketing Institute,

“Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Thus, it is a set of events aimed at conveying information in an attractive way to people in order to either capture their attention or to retain them as customers.

The main objective of Content Marketing is to show people that they are cared for. The role of customer satisfaction has been gaining a lot of importance recently.

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Content Marketing Strategies

It is important to remember that Content Strategy and Content Marketing strategy are different. Content is the executive step of the Content Marketing strategy.

There exist thousands of methods for Content Marketing but the general outline of any effective strategy would look like the steps below. But remember that there is no step-by-step guide to Content Marketing.

  • Take up a problem that is intense enough to reach the emotional side of the audience.
  • Use the right type of content.
  • Use the content to point out the buying cycle of the audience.
  • Offer solutions through your product.

In the above example, you can see a well-implemented Content Marketing strategy pointing out the difficulty of the exam and the solution to that problem through the business, i.e, coaching or training for the same.

Why is this strategy important? The answer is, that this strategy redirects the attention of the viewer to the problem and then the solution rather than the marketer. It offers a solution through the marketer.

This would attract the right audience to have the right problems so that the strategy could solve the right problem. Only then, you would be able to reach the ultimate goal of increasing the return on investment.

Content Marketing Types

We have learned what is Content Marketing; so, now, let us take a look at the types of Content Marketing. Content is different from Content Marketing.

Content Marketing Strategies are implemented through different content in order to execute the objectives or goals of the businesses. So, what are all the different content types that could engage the audience? Let us take a look.

list of type of content

So, did the wide variety of options on the list surprise you?

It would be more surprising to know that there is more to add to this list. So, which one of these content formats should be used for an effective Content Marketing strategy, is a normal question that appears in the minds of everyone looking out for a Content Marketing strategy.

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There is no perfect answer for that question because you are intelligent, and in-depth knowledge about your audience should decide which option is better for your particular business.

For example, a combination of cartoons and videos will be the right content to attract your kid consumers. FAQs, Q&A sessions, and interviews might solve the problem of customers filled with doubts.

So, the way out of this overwhelming number of options in Content Marketing is to understand your audience and learn about each option and wisely blend the most appropriate options for your business.

Benefits of Content Marketing

One of the key importance of Content Marketing is an opportunity to complement SEO. Contents create a better customer experience. Studies show that because of an unpleasant interaction, 89 percent of customers cease doing business with a particular firm.

If, on the other hand, you assist your prospects, through the purchase process, with supportiveness, friendliness, and ease of access, then there is a higher probability of retaining them as lifetime customers.

There is a high chance that such customers will tell about the experience to their friends, creating word of mouth. Hence, the idea is that the customers desire a memorable experience, which you can provide with Content Marketing.

Does Content Marketing ensure definite desired results?

The direct answer to this question will be “not sure.” Even though today’s analytical tools allow us to capture the number of visitors and their details along with the action that they take on our website; it is really hard to understand the impact of the content that has been created in the minds of people through our content marketing strategy. Also, one content may not be the sole reason to convert a visitor to a customer.

And, today, all firms use a blend of content, so we cannot give a sure answer to the question, did they buy because of the commercial that they saw that day or because of the article that they read a week before?

But, today, the internet is cluttered because of an abundance of content. There is plenty of poor, mediocre, and great content available online. This proves that content can make a difference and impact the audience. This is believed by everyone, which is why everyone creates so much content.

We can also go for the end-of-the-sale survey to learn more about the impacts and the results created by these contents. But, it might not be accurate and we might also find personal bias.

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Content Mapping

Content mapping is the process of creating content according to the customer’s stage in their buying journey. A customer’s journey is unique. It is divided into different stages in the digital marketing funnel.

A customer first sees your product, thinks about it, takes action, and buys the product. The content that they should receive in each of these stages is different. So, the act of giving them content, according to the different stages, is known as content mapping.

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Content marketing strategies for content mapping

One of the most significant benefits of Content Marketing is the option to tailor information for diverse customers. On the journey from being a visitor to a customer, a person moves through various stages of the Digital Marketing funnel as given below

digital marketing funnel

So, let us take a look at the different Content Marketing strategies for the various stages of content mapping.

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Content strategy for the awareness stage

Awareness is the stage where people come to know about your business. You are grabbing their attention for the first time, so it is important to keep in mind that if you capture their attention and if they find it useless, then the chances of such people returning back to your page will be very less.

So, it is important to have quality content to grab people’s attention and make sure that you give them quality information about your product in an attractive manner.

The principal points to be kept in mind are

  • Be informative and solve problems.
  • Go for a simple language. Sales language and unnecessary branding are a strict no-no.
  • Keep it simple and authentic. But do not sacrifice the quantity of information that is being conveyed in your Content Marketing strategy. Have enough information to offer a solution to the initial problem.
  • Convey your value and the gains of your solution to them.

The type of content formats that could be used can be understood from the image below.

top of funnel content

The truth is that people look for information like crazy. If you are the first to appear on the SERP, then they will see your brand name repeatedly.

Not only capturing the initial attention of the people is important but keeping them engaged in your website is equally significant.

This is because your hard work and SEO optimization might gain a better SERP position, but if you do not offer quality content on your website, then the bounce rate might increase, and that will cost you to lose the hard-earned search engine position.

So, the high-level metrics that you have to pay attention to while creating content for people in the awareness stage, are

  • Readers
  • Pageviews
  • Top performing pages
  • Rate of engagement
  • Time spent on site
  • Articles Viewed

Investing time in these factors ensures that you do not waste your time and other resources on things that do not matter. You can always rely on SEO at this stage. SEO is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Content Marketing.

People on social media are searching for entertainment. So, if you make content that entertains them on various social media platforms, they are more likely to be your customers in the near future.

The potential of social media marketing is still not conquered, so use the incredible power of social media to entertain and engage people. A key role is played by the efforts that will persuade people that you care. Only this will guide your customers to the next stage of consideration.

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Content Strategy for the Consideration Stage

As a seller, we wish that consumers will see your product, and then they will take the decision to buy it, but it is not as simple as it seems.

At the consideration stage, it is important to guide the customers in improving their attitude toward the business. The matrices that have to be considered at this stage are

  • Source downloads
  • Form submissions
  • Number of returning visitors
  • Newsletter sign-ups

The attention of the consumers has been captured already in the awareness stage, now it is time to retain it.

Since it is the phase of guiding customers, e-books, how-to videos, case studies, etc., will do the job. It is important to work on building trust and increasing familiarity. People will get an idea about the tone of your business.

Consumers at this stage are not yet ready to buy your product, so keep in touch with these prospects through newsletters and in-depth guides. Take a look at the content required for this stage.

contents for middle of funnel

SEO for this stage should focus on long-tail keywords. People will be specific regarding the search at this stage. Cost, as well as the risk, associated with long-tail keywords is comparatively less and there is a higher chance of a conversion.

So, the ultimate objective and efforts at this stage should focus on building a friendly relationships and trust with people.

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Content strategy for the action stage

If a customer is at the action stage, they are about to buy. So, you do not want to spoil their interest at the final stage after putting in a lot of hard work.

The customers are already familiar with your product, and what they need right now is a little push. So, add a lot of CTA without making it tedious.

Your content can have details regarding pricing, working of the product comparison of the features, and general advantage of your product over the competitors.

Even if you work hard, sometimes, there is a chance of losing customers at this last stage due to unpredictable reasons. So, keeping a track of all the reasons can help you in the future to create customized content that will prevent such losses.

Content for the action stage is shown in the picture below.

Contents for bottom of funnel

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Powerful Content Marketing Strategies

There are plenty of Content Marketing strategies, so let us learn two important ones.

1. Social Media

The potential of social media as a Content Marketing platform is really huge. Customers can be engaged and all kinds of emotions can be addressed on this platform.

Instead of creating content for promoting your products, use social media to engage and educate your audience. Let us see some Content Marketing examples of creative social media content of popular brands.

Here Kitkat has used a famous dialogue from a popular TV Sitcom called F.R.I.E.N.D.S, where the statement, “We were on a break,” was sensational.

In all these Content Marketing examples, you can see that there is a simple 3E Rule—engage, entertain, and educate.

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2. Live Video

Live video is another option where you can connect directly with your customers. Modern-day social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow the option of live video, and it is much easier to use than before.

Video content has always been people’s favorite. It is observed that people remember video content trends more than any other type of content. Going live will increase transparency and is a great way to attract more customers.

Numerous options and video editing platforms are available today; so, emancipate the creativity of video content creators. It results in a lot of creative video content online.

But live videos are the most favorite online content because it always makes it possible to know more about the person on the other side. The true identity of people is revealed through live videos. This will also cater to building a strong relationship with the audience.

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Few tips for your Content Marketing campaign

  • Always make informed decisions and invest time on content based on your analytics.
  • Prioritize the consistency of the content.
  • Combine SEO and SEM, if possible.
  • Be creative and innovative.
  • Research about your audience before making content; your audience is your Content Marketing guide.
  • Keep in mind the difference between Content Marketing strategy and content strategy.

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So, Content Marketing is a tool that, when used wisely, can create an impact that is beyond our imagination. Today, the internet is clogged with a lot of content; so, it is very important to be unique and stand out from the rest. Content that imparts values will always win hearts.

So do you have any questions regarding Content Marketing? Discuss it with our expert Digital Marketing community!

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About the Author

Content Team Lead- Digital Marketing

As a professional Content Team Lead in Digital Marketing, Shailesh Bhagat brings over 8 years of dynamic experience in the Edtech sector. With 5 years of team leadership and 2 years of specialized SEO expertise, he excels at executing comprehensive Digital Marketing strategies. A proven track record showcases Shailesh’s adeptness at managing diverse content teams.