Before you even dive into the affairs of content marketing, it’s important that you know, content creation is one of the uttermost skeletons that completes the online web presence. And if you’ve known jmexclusives for any length of time, you’ll know that content creation is one of our best characters.
A content creator is a person or someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most specifically to the digital media. Usually, they target a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts. Not to mention, a content creator can contribute to many if not just one of their favorite blog posts.
Content creators can also involve themselves with writing email newsletters, social media copywriting, video editing, eBook publication, graphics artwork design, and much more! They can also create offline content such as brochures, client packets, and so on.
Your guess is as good as mine — Google alone (the most preferred search engine), answers over four billion search queries every day. Particularly, when you enter a question or query into its search bar— those links that appear in your search results are content. So, how does content creation kick in?
Literally, you’ve just heard someone mention “Content Marketing” and you get the idea you should already know what it is, but you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. Congratulations, this post is for you. But first, what does content creation mean?
What is Content Creation?
Generally, at jmexclusives, we haven’t spent a dime on our own content marketing. Or even that much time — 95% of the success we’ve experienced can be traced to a collection of well-written articles. Adding up to perhaps 20 hours of work per blog.
Content Creation is the process of generating topic ideas that create an appeal to your buyer persona. While creating written or visual content around those ideas, and making that information accessible to your audience as a blog, video, infographic, or other formats.
And be that as it may, content is a large part of your everyday life. It’s hard to avoid, but why would you want to? Content keeps us informed, answers our questions, entertains us, makes us smile, guides our decisions, and more.
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Additionally, content helps you attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers, bring new visitors to your site, and ultimately, generate revenue for your company. In other words, if you’re not creating content, then you’re behind the curve.
Content creation is the ultimate inbound marketing practice. And when you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience. At the same time, you attract potential customers to your website and retain existing customers through quality engagement.
You’re also generating some major ROI for your company, as the content marketing guide in this article demonstrates.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a form marketing technique used to consistently create and distribute valuable and relevant web content. Especially, in order to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Useful content should be at the central core of any marketing plan. On that note, traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute. And as a forward-thinking marketer, you know there has to be a better way.
An annual research report by contentmarketinginstitute.com shows that a vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world. Including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere.
It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works. So, content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers. And more specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises that use content marketing.
Why is Content Marketing important?
As I mentioned above, the key reasons of marketing content include increased sales, cost savings, and better customers who have more loyalty. You can go back and read the content marketing definition one more time. But this time remove the relevant and valuable.
Only then will you see the difference between content marketing and other informational garbage — that you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Why so? Because companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable.
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Can you say spam? That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.
So, regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process — not something separate. Perhaps more important than understanding what content marketing is, is understanding why marketing is important to your business.
First, we need to understand the four steps of the buying cycle:
- Awareness: Prior to awareness, a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.
- Research: Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves.
- Consideration: At this point, the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors. Making sure they’re getting a high-quality product at a fair price.
- Buying: Lastly, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.
On the contrary, traditional advertising and marketing are great when it comes to the second two steps. But, content marketing taps into the first two stages of the buying process.
By raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before. Bearing in mind, the return on investment for content marketing can be phenomenal if executed correctly. Good content also provides support to other digital marketing channels.
It provides additional content for social media marketing and contributes to SEO efforts by generating natural inbound links. As well as building up good content on your website that gets found in search engines. In fact, for many companies, the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.
How is Content Marketing done?
As of today, there are many firms like our agency offering marketing services, often paired with SEO or PR. If you’re simply too busy to do it yourself and aren’t ready to manage it in-house, then hiring a firm maybe your best option. But, if you want to jump in and do your own content marketing the easiest way is to start blogging.
It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger, you’ll quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients.
But, while technically good writing and the right headlines can help, it’s not the key to creating great content that is the best form of content marketing. If you’ve ever slogged your way through reading a piece of marketing and only finished reading because you had to, then you’ve experienced bad content marketing.
When we speak to companies, we tell them that content is good if they genuinely want to read it. Content is great if they’re willing to pay to read it. If you want to see great examples of content, just look at what you’ve paid to read, watch, or listen to lately.
There’re No Shortcuts! Just Add value! That’s The Secret!
Of course, it’s not really a secret at all. We’ve already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value.
If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does look at the articles and photos. Or check out the Berrics website.
Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos. Simply because they’re getting the value they want—good skating. To skaters, I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago. But, I know they were only doing what came naturally.
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Selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step. It’s important to realize, there are as many types of content marketing channels as there are types of content—far too many to cover here.
My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. And sooner than later, you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content.
Here are five example channels to help your mind start percolating.
Those are just a few examples of marketing channels to utilize. I could also have mentioned white papers, books, apps, public speaking, presentations, and blogs. Entire books have been written on using each of these in content marketing efforts.
Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social Media Marketing: Strategy that comes before your social media strategy.
- Search Engine Optimization: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
- Pay Per Click: In this case, for PPC to work, you’ll need great and quality content behind it.
- Inbound Marketing: Whereby, in this type, content is the key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
In addition to the above key strategies, a good content strategy is part of the most powerful content marketing planners.
More so, to be effective at content marketing, it is essential to have a documented marketing strategy. Before we proceed, you can download the 16-page guide to learn what questions to ask and how to develop your strategy here.
The days of writing an impressive blog article, hitting publish and watching your page views skyrocket no longer exist. You could write the best article to ever grace the internet and still get less than 100 views. That in mind, you can see the right marketing tools of 2019 in this article.
If you’re not sure how you can add value, ask your existing customers what kind of content you can produce that would be helpful to them now or would have been helpful to them when they were looking for your product or service. They’ll tell you.
But, what if your customers looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, through print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it? What if they anticipated it and shared it with their peers? If you are intrigued and ready to learn more, I can greatly help.
Here are a few popular ways to dig in:
- New to this class? Check out the getting started guide to learn the definition of content marketing and basic planning steps.
- Need a working strategy? Read the CMI Content Marketing Framework. It outlines the essential building blocks for a successful content marketing program.
- Looking for some examples? Download the Ultimate eBook — entitled to 75 Content Marketing Examples.
Finally, do you need advice specific to your organization? You can Contact Us to get in touch with our consultancy team. In this case, to find out how they can help you meet your content marketing challenges.