Did you know that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing? (HubSpot Academy, 2020). If you’re not already familiar with the basics - what it is, what channels it uses, and how it works - this is your moment to catch up.
Content marketing: What is it?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing tactic that businesses use in order to create and share valuable content that attracts a specific target audience. This content can range from blog posts, social media posts, emails, video, ebooks, podcasts, and more.
How does it work?
Content marketing plays an essential role in the Attract, Engage, and Delight stages of the customer lifecycle. By creating content that is helpful and meaningful, you can guide your target audience with this inbound methodology and drive them to develop a relationship with you, associate your business with the content they trust and, ultimately, make a purchase.
Why do you need it?
Our founder, Amy Winner, explains that “Most of our client’s marketing strategies are built with a content backbone. By aligning your content strategy to your personas and buyer journeys, you not only proactively provide the answers to the questions you know your target audience is asking – which makes your content relevant and timely, but you’re also positioning your company as an expert in the space. With a content calendar that’s constantly churning out something new, you always have a reason to reach out to your prospects with something valuable. Plus, content marketing is a great complement to your on-page SEO strategy.”
Brian Aylward, our account lead adds that, “Whether it’s a new prospect or a 10+ year client, content marketing allows you to speak directly to your community wherever they may be on the buyer’s journey. It helps you surface top-of-the-funnel content to capture attention and build credibility, while also delivering bottom-of-the-funnel content to drive a sale home. Building a content marketing engine is a foolproof way to bolster inbound and outbound lead generation programs.”
3 common channels for content marketing:
The 2021 Hubspot study ranked video as one of the top forms of media in content marketing (figure1). This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. If users had to pick between reading a 3-page document or watching a 5 minute video that explains the same information, which do you think they’d choose? I know I’d pick the video and others most likely would too. Visuals are entertaining and easy to consume compared to heavy text. With the rate at which online videos are used as a form of entertainment these days, your videos don’t even necessarily have to be about your product or service to get folks interested in working with you. Either way, it’s a medium that goes a long way; once you’ve created videos, it’s evergreen content that you can upload to your websites, social, and blog posts.
In figure 1, you’ll notice Hubspot highlighted the top forms of media being used in content strategy this year.
A study from the Content Marketing Institute claims that “89% of content marketers used blog posts in their content creation strategy in 2020”. Blogging is the perfect tool to drive new visitors to your website and convert leads. By regularly updating your blog with new posts related to your business and industry, you always have content to promote. Most importantly, writing educational posts about these topics will help you garner a reputation as an expert in the field - a credible source to go to for information. What’s even better - these blog posts can be repurposed into social media posts, infographics, and much more. Plus they help with your SEO long game, building page authority and longtail keyword rankings with rich on-page content.
Although Podcasts didn’t make the Hubspot list, I’d argue that the medium will be ranking in the near future as podcasts continue to rise as a popular content marketing tactic. In fact, an Edison Research study states that “Podcasts now reach over 100 million Americans every month.” With various podcast genres available through Spotify and Apple, you can easily find your niche target audience with relative ease. With high engagement rates and potential to gather a loyal audience, podcasts are a great way to generate content that captures attention. If you don’t have the bandwidth to start a podcast, consider speaking as a guest on other podcasts instead. Guest speaking is an effective way to become a subject matter expert in your field and even cross pollinate audiences with the person kind enough to host you.
With all the different forms of content marketing out there, you’ll need to determine what’s best for your audience and your business. Keep in mind this may look different depending on your industry. If you’re ready to get started but need some advice, we can help with that. Let’s chat.