In recent years, digital marketing has found itself at the forefront of the marketing game. While there seem to be countless digital marketing strategies, one has proven to be particularly effective: content marketing. In fact, 92% of marketers and businesses perceive content marketing as a valuable asset to their business.
However, newcomers often have many questions about content marketing. These include what the marketing technique encompasses, its benefits, and how to get started. Fortunately, the guide will answer these common marketing questions and others. Additionally, you'll learn how to craft a content marketing strategy that impacts your customers.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and publishing useful and relevant content for your audience. Through this content, you establish your brand voice and authority in your industry. As a result, potential and current customers will view your brand as helpful and credible. You will experience greater customer awareness and engagement, which often then leads to higher conversions.
Your Questions About Content Marketing Answered
Below are some of the most common questions marketers ask about content marketing.
1. Why Is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing pulls away from the disconnect of traditional marketing methods. Instead, it connects with your customers, personalized to their needs, wants, and interests. In doing so, you can build more meaningful and impactful customer relations.
2. What Businesses Benefit From Content Marketing?
Large global corporations and small local businesses alike can receive the same benefits from content marketing. Moreover, the kind of industry you are in is also irrelevant. Consumers are looking for value whenever they shop, and not just in terms of money. They're also seeking value from their experience with your brand.
3. Is Content Marketing Cost-Effective?
One of the biggest questions about content marketing is whether it's cost-effective. In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing. Content marketing does not require a big budget upfront and is much easier to begin. In addition, your content can lead to more sales over time as you instill trust in your customers and prove your value.
4. Is Content Marketing the Same as Social Media Marketing?
Content marketing focuses on distributing content across various channels, while social media marketing focuses on sharing content purely on social media channels. Moreover, social media marketing aims to start a channel of communication between brands and consumers. With content marketing, communication is second to providing helpful and applicable content.
5. What Are the Different Kinds of Content?
The type of content you craft will often depend on your audience's interests. However, some of the most popular options include:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Press Releases
6. What Is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is a blueprint of your content marketing initiatives. Your strategy will let your marketing team know what type of content to post, when to share it, and what platform it should be published. Having a plan also helps you and your team set goals, pinpoint priorities, and organize tasks.
7. What Are Common Content Marketing Goals?
Your content marketing goals structures the outline of your content marketing strategy. The key to identifying your goals is auditing your current marketing strategies to see if anything is lacking. For instance, perhaps your website gains a lot of monthly traffic, but you receive few conversions.
Some common examples of achievable content marketing goals are:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build a brand community
- Boost customer engagement
- Nurture leads
- Deepen customer loyalty
8. How Do I Figure Out My Target Audience?
Understanding your target audience helps you tailor your content to meet customers' interests and needs. To find your target audience, you can build a buyer persona, also known as a user persona. A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. This includes your ideal buyer's demographics, motivations, and challenges.
The first step to crafting a buyer persona is to gather the demographics of your customers. For example, document your customers' ages, genders, and locations. You can collect this data using analytics programs, such as Google Analytics. Alternatively, you can send an email survey to your customers directly asking for this information.
To determine your buyers' motivations and pain points, you can observe customer interaction with your brand. You can see what customers say about your brand on social media or check buyer reviews. Look for any commonalities with what your customers say and act accordingly.
9. How Do I Establish My Brand Voice?
Your brand voice is the unique personality your brand showcases in its writing. To find your brand voice, take another look at your buyer persona. What kind of writing would appeal to this person? Think in terms of vocabulary, language flow, and tone. A teenager and a middle-aged consumer speak and think in very different ways. Ensure your writing will communicate in a way that your audience can understand and appreciate.
10. Are Keywords Important in Content Marketing?
Keywords have become one of the most fundamental elements of content marketing strategy. Incorporating keywords can help you achieve higher rankings on search engines like Google. As a result, customers searching for keywords are more likely to come across your website.
However, keyword research is time-intensive. You should begin your content marketing journey by first focusing on providing useful content. Once you find a rhythm with your content marketing, you can start to focus on keyword use. Fortunately, there are online tools that can assist you in finding trending keywords, such as Google Keyword Planner.
11. How Do I Schedule My Content Distribution?
Having a content marketing calendar helps you stay organized with your posts and ensures you won't miss a publication. You can either create a content marketing calendar yourself or use online calendar tools like Trello or Asana. Your content marketing calendar should consist of the date, time, and place where you will make each post. You can also include details like keywords or links that you'd like to incorporate with each post.
12. How Much Content Should I Produce?
Another one of the most popular questions about content marketing is how much content to post. Often, it comes down to how much time you can dedicate to planning, producing, and publishing content. The most important factor is consistency. If you decide to share content five times a week, you must adhere to that schedule, as audiences will come to expect it.
13. How Long Should My Content Be?
Like how much content to create, there's no one set answer for how long your content should be. One key way to decide on content length is to test different content with your audience. For instance, you can publish a long-form, in-depth article and a short, listicle-style blog post. You can then see which type of post sees the most engagement.
14. Should I Post Evergreen or Topical Content?
Topical content covers recent happenings in your industry, such as blogs discussing the newest products or services. On the other hand, evergreen content contains content that users can refer back to it months or even years from now. Common evergreen pieces include answering frequently asked questions or providing how-to guides on broad topics.
There are benefits to posting both kinds of content. Topical content can quickly draw in heavy traffic, as people will be actively searching for the topic you quickly wrote about. However, topical content can just as quickly become outdated and irrelevant. By contrast, evergreen content can continue to benefit your users over time. Additionally, it can build steady consumer trust as consumers continue to look up to the topic. Yet only having evergreen content can make your site seem uninformed of recent developments. It's best to incorporate both kinds of content into your strategy.
15. Where Do I Get Content Ideas?
While you can formulate some content ideas through brainstorming sessions, there are plenty of other ways to find inspiration:
- Social media: Social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will tell you what hot topics people are interested in discussing.
- Google: The Google search engine bar has a useful auto-complete feature that shows you what topics people are searching for.
- Your customers: You can send email surveys or questionnaires to directly ask customers what they would like to see.
16. Do I Need to Constantly Post Fresh Content?
One big concern for those new to content marketing is whether they will have the time to consistently create new content. Fortunately, there's a way to streamline and save time on the content process: repurposing old content. Repurposing old content involves finding new ways to re-use your old content. This doesn't mean using the same content in a new medium or on a new channel. It means using information or elements of older content in a new, exciting way.
For example, you may have written a long-form article a few months ago that received high engagement. You can repurpose that article by creating a video series that explores the same information in the article. However, the video will use updated language that translates better to the video format.
17. How Do I Measure My Content Marketing Success?
To know whether your content marketing strategy is effective, you must measure your success over time. The best way to do this is by using key performance indicators, or KPIs. These measurable values will tell you whether you are making progress with content efforts. The KPIs you use depends on your overall marketing goals. For instance, let's say you want to measure success with customer engagement. You could look at your number of social media followers over a designated period to see if they've increased. If you don't see an increase, you can experiment with other engagement strategies.
18. What's the Most Common Content Marketing Mistake?
A common mistake that content marketers make is developing content that is too sales-oriented. Content marketing should first and foremost be focused on providing valuable information for customers. Otherwise, brands risk coming off as disingenuous, only interested in getting sales and not showing interest in their audience.
19. Should I Outsource My Content Writing?
Whether to outsource your content creation is one of the top content strategy questions. When outsourcing your content, you will hire either freelance writers or a writing agency to write your content for you. Doing so allows you to work with content experts knowledgeable about what content is most effective for your business. These writers are also well-versed in implementing brand voices for target audiences.
At the same time, finding the right freelance writer or agency isn't always an easy task. Without taking the time to research high-quality content agencies or writers, you can end up with less-than-favorable content. Moreover, quality agencies or writers often work at a higher budget, meaning there could be a higher investment on your part. In the end, you will have to consider your time, budget, and in-house writing talent.
20. What Is the Future of Content Marketing?
Content marketing continues to be highly influential today. Chances are, it will continue to be prevalent in the future, though its format may look different. For instance, the introduction of technology like Augmented Reality (AR) may change how users want to experience content. The key is to be at the forefront of the content marketing conversation and keep up with audience interests.
Content Marketing Questions and Answers for Your Business
The benefits that content marketing can bring your business are plentiful. You can greatly increase your brand awareness, consumer trust, and conversions. Your website will become the go-to source for consumers to find relevant, informative, and interesting content online.
Now that you've received answers to the top questions about content marketing, you're ready to get started. First, get together with your team and discuss what you'd like to see from your marketing efforts. Identify areas in your business that could use some improvement, whether it's more customer engagement, lead generation, or organic traffic. Once you've decided on your goas, you can begin to develop a content marketing strategy that works for you.
If you'd like the assistance of content writing experts, you can check out Compose.ly's content writing services. Our rigorously vetted writers include specialists across countless industries and topics.