The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing (2017)
How do you market a brand? Better yet, how do you market it effectively? This is perhaps the most aggravating issue faced by business owners and marketers. As the years advance, content marketing advances as well. However, some still get confused as to what it is and how to do it. Here’s The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing (2017). Understand its concept to bring out the best of what you offer!
Before anything else, it’s important to understand what content marketing means. A couple of people liken it to social media, while some are satisfied with the thought of using it to promote their products and services.
But, both ideas aren’t exactly true.
Content marketing is about providing engaging content through different channels. You provide content that can inform, entertain, motivate, or perform other purposes. And, there is no telling how many you can influence with an effective content marketing campaign.
There are basically 3 things you need to get started: content, medium, and mission.
Know the Forms of Content
First, you need to know the forms of content that are available. Consider the many things that enable you to give form to the ideas or unique offerings that you have.
Let’s boil it down to 4 major categories: text, photo, video, and audio formats.
Blogging typically comes into mind first when it comes to content marketing through text. Through it, you can share your thoughts casually about a specific topic that you know. What you need is time and the ability to relay a message well.
“You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald
Everyone has his own share of thoughts. Through blogs, you can take the time you have and use it to craft a message that others can benefit from.
You can start with few words just like what Seth Godin practices, but you can definitely write more than a thousand words if you want to reach more people through SEO and especially if you want to expound more on your thoughts.
Not only that…
Blogging also empowers you to showcase your brand’s personality. Did you know that more than half of the consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands? And, did you also know that 82% feel more positive about a company after reading custom content?
Publishing an eBook is another way to share textual content. Similar to blogs, you can take what you know and write them down for others to read. You can offer eBooks for free in your website or sell them on different platforms.
If both aren’t something that you can dive into…
You can choose to post medium articles on your social media accounts instead, and pair them with visuals. That way, people can access your content more conveniently by getting notified when a new post comes up. They wouldn’t have to go through a pile of subscription messages in their emails just to find you.
They can easily follow along through your social media account or page, and browse through your collection when they can. This also increases your chance of receiving more social engagement since lots of people have social media accounts.
Like they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. And if you can’t write for the life of you, you can share a photo instead.
There are a variety of ideas that you can use to market via photos. The most popular one being photos with notable sayings. You can easily create one through an online editing software like Canva.
The thing is…
People naturally gather information from what they see. Since infancy, we depend on what we see to know what it is and understand what that something is for. We use our sense of sight to create judgments on things that interest us.
Infographics are another content marketing ideas. Through them, you can showcase research or statistics without having to provide in-depth information. You can simply include the sources at the end as well as your brand’s name and logo. Creativity is key.
It is undeniable that the rise of technology has brought significant changes in how entrepreneurs view marketing. One of the most effective strategies marketers adhere to nowadays is marketing content through videos. It pulls potential customers and engage them to know more about the product.
“Any brand or company that isn’t using video in some way is missing out on a tremendous opportunity to bring its brand to life. Video adds a pulse to your content. It makes your story tangible and real.” -Ann Handley
According to YouTube statistics, there are billions of users from different parts of the world, which comprises one-third of the internet’s total population. Visitors spend hundreds of millions of hours watching YouTube videos everyday. The research further found that these videos reach more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds. And more than half comes from mobile devices.
In another research conducted by Marketing Profs, 79% of B2B marketers use video in their content marketing. So, if you still have not gravitated towards this marketing strategy, it’s about time you hop into the trend and skyrocket your sales.
You can do live videos, animations, webinars, or feature some GIFs. In the near future, you might also want to try Facebook’s virtual reality videos.
Another format you can use to keep the ball rolling is marketing through the use of audio such as podcasting, audio books, Facebook live audio, and the like. Many entrepreneurs include this in their marketing campaign because every listener is a potential customer of their product. Users are said to really pay attention to audio online for longer periods of time.
Podcasting has opened and continues to provide wide and various opportunities to entrepreneurs to market their brand. In a recent research done by Edison Research, this platform continues to rise. It is gaining new listeners monthly from 21%-24% every year, and is reaching a variety of audiences from ages 18-54.
“The medium of podcasting and the personal nature of it, the relationship you build with your listeners, and the relationship they have with you—they could be just sitting there, chuckling and listening…there’s nothing like that.” -Marc Maron
Creating a significant relationship with your listeners leads to traffic generation and increased conversions. The more you gain followers, the more likely your sales are going to increase as well. When you have an established brand in podcasting, people will always search for you on the internet. They will trust and do business with you because they know you.
In the fast-paced world we live today, it is seldom that people get to spend longer hours in reading. This change in lifestyle has led authors to reach their consumers by making things convenient for them. In 2015, sales audio books have greatly attracted consumers.
“Our goal is to connect readers to books in a meaningful and sustainable way.” -Andrew Weinstein
Audio books can help you tap markets which are more adaptive to listening and those who are visually impaired. No wonder lots of audio books are available in the market. You can record and edit your own audio, or hire a voice talent and audio editor instead.
Facebook Live Audio
With audio branding, you create an identity that people recognize. It’s how you form a significant bond with them. It is important, however, that you establish a name and signature that is solidly etched in people’s hearts.
Define a character that stands out among your competitors. Think of what sets you apart from the rest. One good way to do this is through Facebook Live Videos.
Watch out for this new amazing feature. Facebook is doing their best to help brands engage better with their audiences. They acknowledge that while some enjoy doing Live Videos, others still prefer Live Audios instead.
You might want to prepare for this new format of content marketing. Strengthen your brand and leverage what you have at present, so that you already have your listeners ready before you finally get to go live.
Determine Where You Can Reach More People
Now that you know the forms of content that you can use for content marketing, the next thing to do is identify where you can engage better with your market. Social media and other platforms have their own strengths that you can use for your brand. You might do well in one, but not so good in others.
But, keep heart. You can choose to focus on just one account until you already have a steady number of followers. Or, you can hit many targets with one stone instead by having two or more social media accounts. There are a number of social media managing software that you can use to manage your accounts conveniently.
The strengths, however, could vary from one country to another. Particular features, such as Live Audio, may not yet be available to some countries. Carefully consider what your target would want to spend their resources in.
Have an Editorial Mission
Regardless of the format and platform that you decide to do content marketing, what’s important is you have a steady voice that your market can easily identify. It will help them stay in step with your goals and desires for them.
“Brands create this kind of detail for their products and services, but almost never about the content they are using to attract and retain customers. And that is exactly why most branded content is just awful.” -Joe Pulizzi
To create your editorial mission, think about what your brand is about, your market, your winning strategy, and your goals. Content Marketing Institute provides more insights about this.
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