This is an in-depth guide on content marketing – one of the key strategies of online marketing. So, let’s take it from the very beginning.
What is Content Marketing?
According to 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.
Let me break it down..
Content marketing is a continuous activity that aims at building a strong relationship with your target audience, as you establish your expertise by providing top quality content consistently, relevant to your target audience.
It is a marketing strategy that serves a long term purpose. The underlined words above emphasizes the goals you want to achieve:
- Strong relationship with your target audience
- Establish your expertise
- Providing top quality content consistently
These elements above are vital as they’re based on giving your audience optimum value and satisfaction.
When you hear the name of some blogs (business insider, investopedia, etc.) You know when they release any content, you can possibly trust information in their contents to be value-adding, problem-solving and eye-opening.
Their content marketing strategy shows that they actually care about their target audience and their target audience will definitely feel more cared about.
So, Investing time and effort in content marketing boils down to 3 benefits for you:
- Increased sales
- Strong customer relationship
- Better and paying customers who have more loyalty
Marketing Is Impossible Without Quality Content
Content marketing forms a huge part of every other online marketing strategy (email marketing, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, etc).
Search Engine Optimization is one key marketing strategy where search engines reward you for publishing top quality contents.
Even before you employ social media marketing strategies, you’ll definitely need contents to promote.
Now you see.. your quality content is key to everything.
A common method for content marketing is to create an article on your website with the aim of then sharing the URL via other websites, Social Media networks and via email broadcast in order to draw traffic back into your website.
Your content will serve as the bait which pulls people into your conversion machine (blog). If your blog has been optimized for conversions (i.e to get your target audience to take some other actions, e.g subscribe to your email list), then your content has served it’s purpose.
For example, I wrote an article on “how to make money on fiverr – from signing up to getting paid” and I employed content marketing to make my target audience take another action – subscribing to my email list.
How I did it
It’s simple, I didn’t give everything in that one article, I got each reader asking for more in the very most important section.
After I’ve talked about certain steps in setting up a fiverr account, updating profiles and creating a gig, withdrawing their funds was held back.
Here’s a screenshot.
If I wanted to sell this ebook (which is another value-adding and problem solving content) that’s how I’ll simply make a sale, but I made it free.
I only wanted each interested reader to get the book, join oasdom’s email list and from there (via email) we build stronger relationship with our audience.
Content Marketing is About Your Audience
First, you should know that content marketing is more than just blogging. There’s more to it. You must have a bigger picture in mind.
Successful online income earners definitely put content marketing to use as a key strategy to:
- drive traffic to their blog
- to boost their search engine rankings organically
- to build trust and position themselves as an expert
They don’t overly promote their brand AND they don’t annoy their audience being intrusive, they let sales come naturally by product of their content marketing strategy.
They care more about their target audience and try as much as possible to always provide top quality content.
So, whatever you do in your content marketing strategy, don’t be too eager to sell. I’m going to give you an example.
I know a guy who just created his blog, he managed to have just 11 articles (all written) on his new blog. No videos, no ebooks, no infographics, etc. but he was so desperate to make money on his blog.
How would you feel when you land on a particular blog, hoping to find information that will truly help you, but you found little or nothing and the blog owner is screaming for the hard earned money in your pocket?
Will you be willing to buy from him? No! He hasn’t established a relationship with you, he hasn’t established his expertise in that area, he hasn’t provided value.
The long and short of it is, he doesn’t care about you. In other words, you don’t feel cared for. And that’s why I said that content marketing is about your audience.
That brings us to another thing..
Types of Contents
The word ‘content’ is not just about writing. There’s more to it. Wouldn’t you be so bored if all contents of oasdom.com are just texts? Definitely.
This article you’re reading right now wouldn’t have been so engaging if there are no pictures and more.
10 Types of Content
So here are 10 content types to use in your content marketing strategy.
Believe me when I say I struggle a lot on deciding which image to use for my blog posts and even the ones to use in a blog article. Images are a great way to give meaning and importance to your contents.
Research have shown that images are so crucial as they attract your target audience and more people, and it keeps them engaged.
Thankfully, I use Canva to design every of my social media posts and some of my blog post featured image. Here’s an example:
Pictures speak a lot and if your content marketing is going to be effective, you have to know how to use images in your contents.
Infographics are a visual representation of information or data. People love infographics as they give the information needed so quickly.
I dedicated a tab to infographic posts on oasdom.com, though most are not created by our design team. Here’s an example:
Infographics are story tellers. You simply use graphics to tell your stories and present your information.
Your audience will engage with it, and it also offers potential for several platforms beyond your blog. They can be shared on Pinterest and uploaded to SlideShare – giving you more exposure.
I use screenshots for my blog contents. You know why? I provide detailed articles about how to go about stuffs.
Also, screenshots is one of the easiest ways to create visuals for your blog posts. When you explain concepts on your blog, you’ll need to back it up.
For example, my article on how to use the keyword planner tool for keyword research is filled with screenshot to help every reader get what they need quickly.
I use Fn + F11 on my windows PC to screen-grab and use Paint to finally edit and save as JPEG or PNG.
eBooks are longer pieces of content, dedicated to educating your audience more about a broad topic.
You can also self publish eBooks that gives more insight into a broad topic that interests your audience. But for what purpose?
This content type (eBooks) helps your target audience to see that you’ve dedicated your time, resources and effort to present value to them.
They see it as something you’re passionate about, they feel it that you care about them. At the same time, you can present more of your products and service and even make sales.
Another important way to build strong relationship with your audience is to take them by hand on huge topics through courses.
You can teach your audience through e-mail, videos etc.
It takes time to create courses. But the reward is worth it, so you’ve got to have a clear strategy to maximize your effort for profit.
Those are the 5 content types I’ve used on Oasdom.com to present value and engage our blog visitors, as we establish expertise at providing top quality information on leveraging the power of the internet for profit.
Many authority blogs also use Videos, Memes, Illustrations, Gifs and Gifographics to spice up their contents and engage more with their audience.
Still, it’s your call. You may decide to use visuals in your blog post or not. But if you use them, you can use any of the first 5 options above.
How long does content marketing takes to work?
Want the truth? It takes some time.
When you type keyword(s) into Google search engine, what do you see? A bunch of search results.
Written contents ranks better in Google but it takes some time before it comes up in Googles first page and first result.
Online marketing experts believe it takes around 1 to 2 years for your content marketing efforts to yield results, but when it does, it could mean thousands of traffic to your blog every month.
But, With my search engine optimization techniques and content distribution strategies, I’ve been able to rank my contents to Google’s first page between 4 days to about 5 months.
Now think about this, if you have evergreen contents on your blog, that truly satisfies the need of your target audience, then it’s like a set and forget strategy.
With those contents you’ll continue to get people to your website, and when the get value, they keep coming back for more and will even buy your products or services.
Your contents (in any format) is key to helping you make money online. When you optimize your contents for search engine, you can convert your blog visitors into buyers.
Since content marketing is important if other online marketing strategies will work, then you have to focus on creating and distributing your contents.
How to Promote and Distribute Your Contents Effectively
Always remember this:
Why is that?
You can’t possibly rely ONLY on traffic from search engines simply because competition for search terms is so high. So you need to use channels outside search traffic.
In other words, don’t think that your work is done after creating your content. Instead, go with the philosophy of the content marketing institute:
The very best content can only go as far as a great content amplification strategy will take it.
So what is content amplification and how do you amplify your contents?
What is Content Amplification?
Content amplification is a content promotion strategy to drive more traffic. It is the process of helping your content reach a significantly wider audience.
Content amplification is not just one strategy, it involves many tactics put in place to give your content huge exposure. It could be optimizing for organic search, using paid adverts on social media to boost your contents, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.
How to Amplify Your Contents
I found a resource from Word Stream on the tools and strategies you need to amplify your contents. Click the link and learn more..
Key Take Aways
Be Consistent: Top online content marketers are consistent and it has really contributed to their online earnings.
If you can’t publish content on a regular basis, it will be tough to get ROI. Make sure that you publish regularly.
Be Detailed: Search engines won’t perceive short content as valuable and also, you tend to get fewer links than if you have longer contents. Though you shouldn’t feel pressured, Just have a plan, and prioritize and be more concerned about quality.
Use Visuals in your content: Make your content more engaging with all visual content formats.
Write awesome headlines: Learn how to use converting headlines. If your headlines are boring, nobody will want to read your content.
You need to be compelling, and speak to your audience’s exact needs. Your headlines are the first chance to make a strong first impression.
PLEASE NOTE: This article is a part of the online marketing article series. More updates coming on other internet marketing strategies
It took some time to put this together, and I’ll really appreciate giving this post a like and share on your favorite social media platform. Any questions? please use the comment box below.