What is content marketing?
Content marketing uses storytelling to engage, educate, and ultimately sell a product or service to a relevant audience. This comes in many forms, such as videos, podcasts, blogs, ebooks, and more. The goal of content marketing is to develop relevant and valuable content for your target audience to drive awareness and encourage engagement, ultimately leading to an increase in sales or leads.
Why is content marketing important?
Consumers are bombarded with multiple ads every day. Companies are constantly sending information and oftentimes, consumers don't find it relevant. Content marketing efforts allow you to build relationships with your customers, leading to increases in audience engagement and retention, brand awareness, organic search market share, and brand loyalty.
Some of the benefits of content marketing include:
Establishing thought leadership and expertise around your industry, product, or service
Educating your audience about your products and services
Building relationships with customers, leading to an increase in brand loyalty
Boosting conversion rates
Building a sense of community around your company
Demonstrating to your audience how your products or services work and how they can benefit from them
Types of content
The audience you are attempting to reach will determine the best type of content to create to cater to their needs. Content can be delivered in a variety of formats including videos, podcasts, and blogs. Many of these content types can be shared on multiple platforms, making it easy to reach a large audience. Some popular types of content to consider include:
Many consumers prefer to learn about a company’s services or products through video content, which can be more engaging and memorable than other forms of content. Video marketing can increase conversions and help you develop a relationship with your customers. Videos can be shared on websites, social media platforms, landing pages, and more, providing many ways to deliver your content to your audience.
Podcasts are sources of entertainment and education, and many consumers spend hours each week listening to their favorite ones. This has led to a lot of companies and media outlets creating their own podcasts. Podcasts can be about any topic, and therefore offer a lot of opportunities for creativity. Podcasts also give brands control, as they can pick the hosts and guests, the number of episodes and length, and where the podcast is advertised.
Blogs are a useful tool in content marketing because they can amplify your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, often improving your organic rankings in search results for keywords relevant to your business. Blog content also allows for creativity, as businesses can decide on their topic and purpose. Blogs can be used as educational tools to inform consumers about specific topics, and are also perfect opportunities to link to internal or external content.
The goal of ebooks is to educate your audience while also keeping the language and tone consistent with your brand. Ebooks give businesses the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with their target audience. They can help potential customers learn more about your brand, as well as how to use your products or services. Ebooks can also be useful to establish your brand’s expertise and credibility, as they showcase your knowledge and experience within your industry.
Because of the vast amount of information consumers are faced with on a daily basis, it can be difficult or draining to trudge through an abundance of text to find important information. Infographics can help consumers identify the key takeaways with images and charts rather than blocks of text. The colorful imagery of infographics makes them more visually appealing and eye-catching, and they are highly shareable, especially on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
How to create a content marketing strategy
A content marketing strategy is an organized plan to design and publish content for your target audience. Content marketing strategies are increasingly important for all businesses, and a data-driven approach should help you make important decisions about what content should be created, for who, and when it should be published, as well as measure the results. Here are the steps to develop a successful content marketing strategy:
1. Set goals
The first step of creating a content marketing strategy is to set goals specific to your brand and business. Some examples of goals include:
Building brand awareness
2. Set key performance indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are quantifiable measurements that show how well a business is reaching its set goals, and how much progress they are making toward those goals. You can use industry-related KPIs, but it is best to set KPIs that relate to your specific business goals. KPIs are often confused with metrics, but the key difference is that KPIs are the most important measures that have the biggest impact on achieving your goals. All KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs.
3. Decide what kind of content to create
To determine what kind of content to create, start thinking about your target audience and what content would most interest new customers. Think about what challenges they may be looking to overcome and how your products and services can help them do so. Consider where they spend their time and which forms of content would be most appealing to them.
4. Determine the best content channels
After choosing what kind of content to create, it’s time to decide the best channels you’ll use to deliver the content. Deciding where to post largely depends on where your target audience is most likely to see your content and interact with it. For example, if your target audience is likely to use Instagram over Twitter, focus on posting engaging content that is optimized and formatted for an Instagram audience.
5. Content creation
Now it’s time to create content and distribute it for your audience to consume. Consider who you’re targeting your products or services to and what kind of content they will find interesting and engaging. Make sure to keep your goals in mind as well and determine what kind of content will help you achieve them. Using a social media calendar can also help ensure content is consistently being produced and shared.
6. Measure the results
Measure your results to make note of any changes that are necessary to enhance your content and reach more consumers. Compare your results to your goals and KPIs to determine whether or not your content marketing strategy was successful.
SEO and content marketing
A useful tool in content marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the series of steps taken to make your website or a piece of content rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs.) The goal is to optimize your content so search engines will show it toward the top of the search page when someone searches certain keywords. Search engines decide which websites rank highest based on a number of signals and SEO can be used to boost these signals to receive higher rankings in the organic search results. The higher you rank within search results, the more likely users are to visit your website and engage with the content.
Content marketing and SEO often go hand-in-hand and it is difficult to use one without the other. Content marketing uses SEO principles to create high-quality content and SEO depends on high-quality content to rank well on SERPs. SEO is what gets people to your page while content is what makes them stay. Combining the two strategies helps you provide better content for users and increase your chances of website engagement.
Two ways to increase your likelihood of higher SERP rankings are researching keywords and optimizing your content.
Researching keywords and phrases that consumers are searching for and including them in your content will help you achieve higher rankings. Find words that are relevant to your industry and relate to your services or products. Analyzing your competition can help you further determine keywords that are being searched and provide higher rankings. The intent of keywords and what people are attempting to get out of their searches also has an effect. Whether they’re looking for a product/service to buy, searching for a solution to a problem, or using your content for research purposes, it’s important to determine the intended use of your content and how keywords can find the appropriate audience.
Optimize your content
While it’s important to find the keywords your audience is searching for, you also need to know where and how to place them within your content. Search engines attempt to find exactly what people search for and that’s why it’s important to place keywords in a way that provides solutions or answers to whatever has brought a person to your page. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in your content, they’re likely to click away from the page, which tells search engines your content isn’t relevant. Relevant, high-quality content will improve your chances for higher SERPs rankings.
Benefits of social media in content marketing strategies
Most consumers have at least one social media account, which easily makes social media one of the top channels for content marketing. Social media marketing makes it easy for companies to provide consumers with the type of content they’re looking for. Many people with social media accounts have apps on their phones that make them easily accessible, so it’s quicker and easier for them to see your content. Using social media platforms in your content marketing strategy can be beneficial for many reasons, including:
Building a community around your brand
Today, consumers are not only looking for companies who sell good products, but they’re also looking to purchase products from companies they love. Social media is a great way to tell your audience more about your company, what you value, what goes on behind the scenes, etc. This allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level, creating a brand that your audience can trust. The use of user-generated content (UGC) is also beneficial, as it provides opportunities to tell stories from multiple points of view and gives your audience the opportunity to see other consumers using your product or service.
Social media posts are great for generating customer engagement, which often increases the number of people who see your posts and may not know your company exists. Posting entertaining content and using giveaways, sweepstakes, etc., can encourage people to share your content and tag others on your posts, increasing the number of people engaging with your posts and learning more about your company.
Keeping your audience in the loop
Your followers can be notified of new products and sales through social media. You can also provide tutorials for your products or services and keep them up to date on news or changes to your company or your company’s offerings.
Social media platforms make it easy to customize your content for the appropriate audience. Whether it’s a long video that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business or a short video with a small tidbit of interesting or funny information, you get the freedom to decide what’s best for your audience. The type of content you create can depend on the social media channel you choose, as all are very different. For example, you could write a text-based post for a platform such as LinkedIn or Facebook, but create a photo or video for a platform like Instagram. The rise of ephemeral content in recent years has also led many companies to discover creative ways to deliver content through social media.
Create content that benefits your audience with Sprinklr Modern Marketing & Advertising
Your customers expect a unified brand experience and your content marketing strategy is an essential component. Reach, engage, and delight customers with consistent, timely, and relevant content experiences with Sprinklr’s Modern Marketing & Advertising. With Sprinklr, you’ll be able to:
Reduce content production costs by half: seamlessly publish across 30+ digital channels from one unified platform
Improve campaign performance by more than 30%: integrated briefs, performance reports, and a unified CX data set help you understand how your content is working
Prevent risks to your brand: automated workflows, global governance, and AI-powered alerts ensure that you strengthen and protect your brand at all times
Sprinklr’s Modern Marketing & Advertising supercharges your content marketing strategy with:
A single source of truth for calendars, briefs, assets, and production workflows
Collaboration tools that keep teams working together seamlessly
Campaign planning with integrated briefs, intake forms, task management, and more
Automated workflows and approvals for repeatable processes
Omnichannel campaign execution across 30+ channels
Unified data and analytics to reduce silos and break through bottlenecks
Performance metrics that help everyone understand what content is performing
AI-powered insights that gives you real-time feedback on trends and hot topics
Governance that protects your brand with approvals, automated workflows, and activity audits
Deliver the content experiences your customers deserve with Sprinklr’s Modern Marketing & Advertising. Unify your brand’s customer experience across customer care, social media, sales, and research with Sprinklr’s Unified-CXM platform.
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