- By: Ricky Hayes March 26, 2021
Content Marketing In 2021: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Content Marketing
Content marketing is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Online businesses are producing more content than ever. Customers have access to different devices, and they’re able to consume information from multiple channels.
Digital marketers, however, are struggling to create a comprehensive content marketing strategy that can benefit both businesses and consumers at the same time.
There are many benefits of implementing a content marketing strategy for your business. It helps spread brand awareness, create a loyal customer base, build authority, and attract leads and traffic.
Whether you’re starting to create a strategy or you want to refresh your existing plan, this beginner’s guide to content marketing in 2021 is all you need to get started.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing means promoting your business with the help of content. Yes, it sounds simple, but let us tell you it’s more challenging than you think.
Content marketing trends back in the ’90s were quite different from what we see today. It’s not just about text-based content only, as present-day businesses use written, audible, and visual forms of content to get their message across.
Research suggests that every online business, big or small, is leveraging content marketing to attract its target audience. Many prominent brands, including Microsoft and P&G, are implementing the best content marketing practices to attract clients.
The biggest advantage of using content marketing for your business is that it makes customers come to you rather than you approaching them to increase sales.
Content Marketing – Statistics
Many people use content marketing to reach their target audience. According to Statista, the digital audience around the world is more than 4-billion.
Out of those people, up to 75% use social media and different smart devices to look for their desired information online.
Content marketing allows businesses to reach customers who’re always active on their devices with content designed to address their pain points.
Statistics also suggest that more than 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers consider content marketing as a foundation of their overall marketing strategy.
Why do digital marketers give preference to content marketing over any other form of marketing? That’s because marketers believe that content marketing boosts customer engagement and assists in the lead generation process.
Content Marketing – Goals And Challenges
Although content marketing is such an essential element of your marketing plan, many businesses waste their money and time because they don’t know how to produce intuitive content that engages and drives conversions.
Here are some of the challenges present-day content marketers and business owners face today.
Creating Content That Converts
Creating content is easy but producing something that converts isn’t something every marketer can do with perfection. With marketers creating more or less similar content as yours, it can be daunting for you to produce value-driven, unique, and engaging content that will interest your readers.
Producing High-Quality Content Consistently
More than 60% of marketers find it challenging to create quality content consistently. The issue is that many businesses still do not hold a comprehensive content marketing strategy in place.
Having a well-defined content strategy will guarantee that your content will shine and be communicated to your internal and external stakeholders without any difficulty.
Understanding And Creating Different Types Of Buyer Personas
Not all buyers are created alike. Every customer has individual needs, preferences, budgets, and interests.
Ecommerce store owners looking to develop a targeted content marketing plan may want to invest their resources in understanding and creating buyer personas that can help them offer tailored content to their customers.
Measuring Content ROI
Today’s marketing efforts revolve around data-centric approaches and analytics. Sadly, many online sellers are still not familiar with ways of measuring content ROI for their websites.
Aligning Content With Customer Journey
Many B2B and B2C marketers create premium content but forget the needs of their target audience. Make sure the content you’re producing aligns well with your customer’s buying journey.
Content Delivery Using Different Channels
With so many marketing channels available these days, it can be challenging for marketers to choose platforms that best connect with their target audience.
You can take help from buyer personas to know about the channels your target audience is using the most.
Why Is Content Marketing Crucial For Your Online Business?
Hubspot reveals that marketers who focus on blogging are 13% more likely to notice a positive ROI than marketers who don’t take this aspect seriously.
Great content marketing drives engagement, leads, and, above all, conversions.
Here are some other benefits you can expect with a robust content marketing plan.
Boosts Your SEO And Traffic
Creating quality content is an integral part of your SEO strategy. When you create valuable and optimized content, you increase your chances of receiving quality traffic on your website that eventually turns into leads and paying customers.
Content marketing also enables you to establish authority and trust. When Google crawls over your pages and finds relevant and engaging content, it automatically ranks your website higher on SERPs. Better search engine rankings mean more traffic and conversions.
Brands that invest extensively in their content marketing plans create better awareness than businesses that don’t. People who love your content are more likely to share that on their social media pages.
Fuels Your Social Media Marketing
When a visitor lands on your website, skim through your content pages, and finds them interesting, they start following you on your social media pages.
We all know how people react when they like something on social media. They make it viral. So when you have powerful content marketing in place, you can expect it to fuel your SMM efforts as well.
All factors we have discussed above contribute to your CRO strategy in one way or the other. Whether you get traffic through search engines or receive visitors through your social media pages, you’ll witness a rise in conversion rate due to impeccable content.
Builds Brand Affinity
The content on your website reflects your professional knowledge and expertise. If people are admiring content on your site, that means they appreciate your industry knowledge and experience.
As a result, they start considering your website as a useful resource where they can find legit information and solutions for their needs.
Types Of Content Marketing Explained
There are several ways you can create and share content online. We’re going to have a look at some of them down below.
Paid Ad Content Marketing
With paid ad content marketing, you can position your brand in all of the channels you want to be seen. This type is incredibly beneficial and helps businesses reach a broader audience.
Blog Content Marketing
Blog content marketing revolves around creating creative and conversational content that helps businesses connect with their prospects in a friendly manner.
Video Content Marketing
With the internet quickly becoming a visual place, businesses must leverage video content marketing to promote their products and services. Customers also prefer to engage with brands that include high-quality videos on their landing pages.
How To Create A Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy In 2021?
Set Your Goals/KPIs
The first step to creating an all-inclusive content marketing strategy is to set SMART goals and objectives. At this point, you must also decide on a mission and vision statement for your business.
This is a short statement containing information about your target audience, the type of content you’ll produce to reach those audiences, and the channels where you promote your content.
While every business set different goals, some common goal examples include:
- Increase traffic
- Boost conversions
- Create brand awareness
- Build loyalty
After setting SMART goals, the next step is to determine KPIs for your goals. These indicators will help you measure your real-time performance against those set objectives.
Know Your Audience
Content marketing is an expensive affair. Let’s suppose you run a kid’s apparel shop online. Now imagine creating dull and monotonous content for juniors who’d admire fun in every word written on your website or in your ads. Even if you sell the best products, chances are they won’t return to your site.
Knowing your target audience is the first step towards creating relevant and converting content. Create content that complements the demographics (age/location/gender) and buying preferences of your target customers.
Audit Your Content
You don’t really have to remove your existing content altogether from your website or social media pages. Conduct a content audit to see if it is matching with your goals and set KPIs.
There are many content auditing tools available online, such as SEMRush, that you can use to find content gaps and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Plan Your Process
Similar to anything else in the world, content marketing also requires creating a process that highlights your publishing schedule, details about the resources you need for content creation, content approval criterion, and more. Make sure you plan your process beforehand to avoid any future hurdles.
Start A Blog
Your blog is the heart and soul of your strategy. If you don’t have a blog, it’s high time you should create one, as it will help you keep all of your other efforts in order.
The process begins by resolving the type of content you want to produce for your blog section. It could be anything – how-to guides, long-form content, case studies, conversational pieces, and more.
If you think creating unique and valuable content is something beyond your capacity, you can consider hiring a professional writer to do this job for you.
Decide On The Type Of Content
The type of content you create depends on your target audience and buyer personas. Make sure you find answers to the below-listed questions to narrow down your choices.
- The expectations your target audience have from your brand?
- What specific problems do they want to overcome by investing in your products?
- What needs can your products fulfill?
- How can you help them achieve what they’re looking for?
- After getting answers to these questions, you can pick any format from the list we have given above.
Choose Your Content Channels
Once you have decided on the type of content, it’s time to choose your channels. Select channels where you want your content to be published and seen.
Fix Your Budget
This step is critical. Your budget depends on the type of content you’ll be producing, along with the marketing channels you’ll use to promote your content.
You must also count the tools and resources you’ll need to proceed further. For instance, businesses that hire professional content creators, designers, and marketers may have to invest more than businesses that don’t need to outsource their content creation and marketing tasks.
Conduct Keywords Research And Create Content
Keyword research is an essential part of your strategy. You want people to find your website on search engines. As a general rule, there are three types of keywords that you can use in your content, including short keywords, medium keywords, and long-tail keywords.
Short keywords aren’t that specific and cover a broad concept like t-shirts.
Medium keywords comprise 2 or 3 words and are more specific than short keywords like women’s t-shirts.
Long-tail keywords are longer and target a specific group of products like women’s cotton t-shirts.
The best places where you should include keywords include the title and content of your main page, meta descriptions, and throughout the body of your content.
Promote Your Content
The last step is to promote your content through suitable marketing channels to meet your goals. You can use different platforms for promoting your content, including social media channels, email, etc.
Make sure you track your progress from time to time to see if there are any voids. Also, adjust your strategy accordingly to make it in line with your business goals and objectives.
Content marketing has come a long way in recent years. The good thing about content marketing is that, if done right, it can significantly increase leads and conversions for your business