What is content marketing, and does it really work?

Many trends come and go in the online marketing industry, but few have had the same significant impact and longevity that content marketing has.

Content marketing, put simply, is the process of creating and promoting content that is valuable to your target audience in order to convert them to customers. It can also be used to retain existing customers and build trust towards your brand.

It’s fast become a popular method for driving consumer engagement and action, thanks to its ability to nurture leads with a softer and warmer approach than cold, hard sales generation tactics.

Types of content marketing

Content comes in many forms. The most commonly known content marketing is probably blog posts, like this one. Blog posts allow businesses to share their expertise with their target audience in a way that is not only informative but also beneficial from an SEO perspective. By creating a regular stream of relevant blog content, you are telling Google that you are an authority on particular topics and stand a better chance of ranking for keywords.

Other types of content marketing include:

•           Video

•           Infographics

•           Whitepapers or eBooks

•           Webinars

•           Podcasts

•           Plus many more

Over recent years, the shift has changed towards the more visual forms of content such as video. In fact, according to Vidyard, 70% of marketers claim that video converts better than other forms of content.

However, there certainly is still demand for text based content, with whitepapers ranking above video in popularity according to a survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute last year.

Measuring success with content marketing

An important thing to remember with content marketing is that it is seen as a more long-term strategy than some other marketing methods. Done well, it will not only generate a healthy level of leads, but the leads will be good quality too as they have been cultivated appropriately. 

The results of your content marketing strategy can be measured in a number of ways; dependent on the types of content you are creating. As well as website traffic and conversions, you can also measure success by analysing reach on social media platforms.

The key to measuring results of your content output is two-fold. Firstly, you need to know your target demographic with each piece of content you create. This is crucial to determine the method of content creation as well as how you are going to promote it to reach the maximum amount of potential customers.

Secondly, you must also decide on the goal(s) of your content – this way, you can monitor and adapt your strategy accordingly. Perhaps you have created an eBook for your customers to download. You can set a goal of X amount of downloads, so you have something to work towards to discover if eBooks are a viable solution for lead generation.

How to increase the reach of your content

In order to get your blog post, whitepaper, video or other content type seen, it’s highly recommended to have a promotional plan in mind. If you have social media channels to promote output on, then all the better.

What’s more, you could also reach out to influential people in your industry to share it with them, or create paid ads pointing towards it. Creation is just half the process – you don’t want to pour all of your resources into creating something that doesn’t get seen.

To find out more about the value of utilising content marketing, get in touch with us today.