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A Quick Guide To Content Marketing

A Quick Guide To Content Marketing

According to HubSpot, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. That’s a big number, and it’s one that’s expected to increase in the years to come. As a marketing professional or business owner, it’s up to you to decide how content marketing fits into your future plans.

Why is Content Marketing Growing in Popularity?

There are many reasons for the rise in popularity of content marketing, including but not limited to:

  • A wide variety of content types to create, such as blog posts, social media content, and infographics
  • A great way to boost customer and prospect engagement
  • The ability to enhance your online presence, which helps with brand building

Does all this sound good to you? Of course, it does!

But there’s probably a question on your mind: what’s the best way to get started with content marketing. Though this varies from one business to the next, an understanding of the basics can go a long way in putting you on the right track.

What is Content Marketing?

Before we go any further, let’s start with the definition of content marketing:

Content marketing is the strategic creation, production, and distribution of content that is relative, relevant, and valuable, that effectively serves a purpose to a clearly defined targeted audience.

That alone should give you a clear, high-level overview of what content marketing is and the goals associated with it. Taking this one step further, you need to understand how content marketing works. It works by focusing on four important points in the buying cycle:

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Consideration
  • Purchase

With content marketing, you can harness the power of all four of these points.

Types of Effective Content Marketing

The one thing you’ll soon learn is that there is no shortage of ways to get involved with content marketing. Types you can — and should — experiment with include:

  • Blog content
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • User-generated content
  • Social media content
  • Memes
  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • How-to guides

It’s good practice to create all types of content, as doing so will help you better understand what does and doesn’t work for you, your team, and your brand.

However, don’t give up too soon on any one type, as a big part of content marketing success is based on trial and error.

How to Measure Success

It’s one thing to get involved with content marketing, but another thing entirely to have success. You want to do whatever it takes to reach both your short and long-term goals. There are many ways to tell if you’re succeeding with content marketing, with a focus on metrics such as:

  • Search volume
  • Website traffic
  • Keyword rankings
  • Social media engagement
  • Sales directly from your content marketing efforts
  • Backlinks
  • Blog shares
  • Lead generation

All of these metrics will help you understand where you’re winning and where you’re losing in regards to your content marketing strategy.

Make note of which blog posts generate the most backlinks and social media mentions. Both of these are a good indicator that your content is “hitting home” with your target audience.

When measuring success, the biggest mistake you can make is assuming that you know everything. The numbers don’t lie, so make sure you pay close attention to them.

Common Challenges and Pitfalls

With so many benefits of content marketing, it’s easy to go all-in with hopes of hitting it big. Even after you find yourself on the right track, you’re still likely to run into a number of challenges along the way. Here are some of the most common:

  • Finding enough time to create high-quality, unique, and relevant content.
  • Hiring individuals who can create content and manage other aspects of your content marketing strategy.
  • Producing content in a variety of forms (see above).
  • Effectively measuring performance.
  • Pinpointing your target audience and developing buyer personas.
  • Aligning your content with the wants and needs of your audience.

You can overcome all of these potential challenges and pitfalls with a comprehensive strategy guiding you and an experienced team leading the way.

Final thoughts on Content Marketing

Are you more excited than ever to create a content marketing strategy or carry out the one you already have in place? If nothing else, you should now have a solid foundation on which to build your strategy. From there, all you have to do is get started, track your results, and tweak your approach as necessary. Success is right around the corner!

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