Content marketing is often described as the process of planning, creating and distributing different types of content to a brand’s target audience. It includes SEO, Social Media, Email, Blogging; among others. Content marketing helps organisations do three main things; create awareness, drive sales and ensure customers retention.
Content marketing has existed since the beginning of time. From prehistoric drawings on cave to share hunting memories to using VR to watch a movie, content marketing has evolved and with it, the channels. So, why is it important?
Imagine having a product or service that would crush your competitors but sadly no one knows about it. Well, that would happen when content marketing is not used. You would miss out on the profits.
Content marketing is the bridge between your brand and the external world. It helps you share , not only products or services, but also your culture.
As a good example from Mauritius, I would pick Lux Resorts which has a great presence on various offline and online channels. They also engage their customers in their content creation via User Generated Content.
Here are a few points you should consider for good brand awareness using content marketing.
If you are going to do sales, it's good to have a proper content marketing mapping which is adjacent to your buying journey.
What i mean here is to outline the different phases leading to a purchase for the channels you use. From there, you should be able to identify the bottlenecks and motivational factors that affect your audience. That’s where a good knowledge of psychographic (Click here to read more) comes into play.
The aim of your content marketing within your sales function is to help your audience move through your customer journey confidently.
Later, in this guide I’ll go much further writing about it.
Right now, we spoke about making customers know you (Brand Awareness), trigger a purchase intent (Sales), and now I’ll share why content marketing is important to retain your customers.
Imagine going with someone and soon after the rosy part is over, you don’t hear about them anymore; no message, no calls, not even a reaction to your Facebook post. It leaves an unpleasant experience, right?
That’s exactly why content marketing is important to retain your customers. Brand love is yet another concept that encourages brands to invest in creating and sustaining good relationships with their customers using content.
Whether you are retargeting campaigns or sponsored ads and email marketing, content marketing is an efficient way to keep your brand on top of your customers’ minds.
Content may vary in types and formats. With constant changes to how content is consumed and the attention span of customers, it is crucial to find a content type which captivates. While there are several declinations, content can be regrouped in broad types and specific formats.
Content can be categorised in 3 main broad types. These are owned, paid, and earned media. Let’s find what these are. While all these three content types are important, having them work together is beneficial for your overall brand presence, helps in your SEO strategy, and adds another layer to your credibility online.
These are content and channels that you control and on which you decide which content to appear. Owned media can include your website, your social media page, or a blog that you host. The more owned media, the better it is for your SEO strategy and online brand presence.
These are content and channels you are sponsoring or advertising using third party tools. These may include PPC or Facebook Ads. Paid media allows much better targeting with profiling and segmentation strategies.
These are when you get coverage from externals such as your influencers sharing your content (for free) or media relaying your content on their own channels. Tracking your earned media is important to maintain your brand presence.
This type of content is promising with the surge in voice search. Among the audio content, podcasts are the most used globally. Podcasts are mostly available on streaming platforms such as iTunes and Soundclouds. Even if in Mauritius it is still to peak up, here’s an example on Building trust with your clients.
Other audio formats: audio-books, recordings, and translations.
Written content is the most used one. It goes from blog posts, e-books, press-releases and digital ads. Digital content with proper Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has a higher chance to rank on the first page of search engines and hence drive more clicks. Getting your written content right requires copywriting and content architecture skills. To read more, head to my library or download 30 copywriting tips two-pager.
Other written formats: emails, presentations, case studies, product descriptions, Ad copy, and How-to guides.
From infography to posters, visuals are a great way to share information in a condensed format. For instance, infographies are an efficient way for marketers to convey important information in a one-pager. Other formats such as social media posts and illustrations are also used as a way to generate traffic to websites and create engagement.
Other visual formats: infographies, banners, and charts.
Videos are undoubtedly among the top most used content types by marketers. In fact, according to the State of Digital Marketing Report 2020, Video Production & Editing is in the Top 3 skills for marketers in 2020. Channels such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and recently TikTok continues to see an increase in video content from Mauritius.
Other video formats: Explainers, Corporate Videos, Social Ads, and demos.
No content marketing strategy can be fully successful if you are creating it without knowing your customers. That’s why this is the most important step in creating content.
There are many ways to get to know your customers and this is a continuous process. I would recommend these top ways to begin:
Mapping your customer journey can help you see the bottlenecks and high converting factors. While creating your content strategy, defining this journey will also help you understand where to share content of different types.
I believe there are two things that you need to look out in your customer journey:
Oh, btw what is psychographic data?
Psychographic data is similar to demographic data. However, these data goes a step further and tries to define the reason why people would buy your product. It takes into consideration interests, motivations, likes and dislikes, among others.
Psychographic data helps you create hyper-targeted content that speaks to your audience 5 senses.
If you want a concrete example, I urge you to watch The Great Hack on Netflix which depicts how Cambridge Analytica used psychographic data to influence voters.
Money, money, money! While organic could work out well and you now have a pleiade of tools to create content, having a budget can definitely help you to increase your distribution.
In my recent blog post, Marketing Budget – Getting it right in 2020, I shared 3 main tips on how to proceed to budget your marketing activities + I also shared a free template to help freelancers and startups manage their finance.
Briefly, here’s what you are going to learn when reading the blog post:
Goals and KPIs will help you keep track of your strategy performance. Without them, you’ll only assume that you are doing good when you might not be even on the average.
These are often closely linked to the company’s overall objectives as well as the marketing ones. Generally speaking you’d want your content to do one of the following:
While these are high level goals, let me break it down to some measurable figures that you’ll find on tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Ads Manager.
This is closely linked to defining your customer journey. There are several frameworks that you can use to align your channels to your customer journey such as:
These frameworks are mostly used to identify which channels to use and what type of content to include to push people towards the end goal, which is to make a purchase.
The channel choice depends majorly on where your customers are at and can include numerous ones based on where you are interacting in the customer journey. For example, social media is mostly used in the Awareness and Retention phases, respectively.
I’ve covered the type of content in the previous sections, but here where it gets strategic. Choosing which content to create is also linked to your customer funnel AND the psychographic data you gathered earlier.
The model is a simple content marketing funnel which is mostly used to attract people in the business i.e. new customers purchasing your products and services.
Now that you have your content ready and know where to share it’s time to promote it. Promotion can be organic or paid. There are few things that needs to be taken into consideration while promoting your content:
Facebook Ads Secrets uncovered
I really like this part of the content marketing strategy because that’s where you get to know whether your content is really king; the secret being in the data. The end goal is to assess whether the investment put in creating content is effectively bringing Return on Investment (ROI).
Optimisation of your content marketing strategy is broadly categorised under these four areas:
Concretely, what are the figures you have to look out for:
While writing this piece of content, I wanted to have one section to up the value of it. Here are my 10 best case practices which are applicable to any industry or channel. These cover different aspects of content marketing.
This is where I share my personal thoughts on the future of content. Well, it’s still going to be here, there’s no doubt about it. But, the way we know it today won’t exist in a few years. Not that we will stop reading or listening to it, but the channels will change. We are starting to see VR, AR and other new technologies creating immersive experiences for customers. This is the future!
I also urge content creators to go beyond sitting at the desk and do copywriting. They absolutely need to understand their customers. They need to dig deep in the data and become psychologists. That’s how you will start creating content that converts.
The future of content is bright. You need to get accustomed to terms like personalisation, omni-channel, user experience and more, as content marketers will be expected to fully make use of these terms in the near future.
So go ahead. Start creating!
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