Read practically EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Content Marketing & creating a Killer Content Marketing Strategy.
If you have landed here, chances that you want to read on Content Marketing or get the hang of creating an exceptional Strategy, are pretty high.
So, let’s get straight to the point.
If you are a business owner or a marketing learner, you’re about to know practically everything you want to (or should) know about Content Marketing. Even if you are a Marketing veteran, brushing up a little doesn’t hurt.
Let’s get down to it.
This is how we’d define Content Marketing for beginners:
We manage the practices of providing your prospects with valuable Content consistently and strategically to attract, engage, and convert them under the umbrella term of Content Marketing.
Sounds easy, right?
It might be easy as well (OR NOT), but by no means is the process as simple as it sounds – REALITY CHECK!
The foremost challenge that the Content Marketers face is none other than developing a sound strategy, especially when you have to create it from scratch. However, the list of challenges does not end here.
What more do they have to face in the process of being called a *Sain Content Marketer*?
Actually, A LOT more.
Let’s cut to the chase and see why do we need to know everything about the Content Marketing in the first place:
Let us make it a little interesting now.
Here is what Google Trends tell us about the popularity of the topic of CONTENT MARKETING since 2004.
If the image has you wondering, the first peak appeared in August 2006. That peak has had no competition to date, but there was a long flat line – the like of which we have not seen ever since. If you would like it uttered in the simplest possible words, people showed literally no heed to the subject for a long, long time after the first peak.
The peaks after the flat zone have no match to the first one, but they do depict a continuous (slowing down and peaking up yet) non-stop interest in the subject.
The fact that the second prominent peak after Aug 2006 appears on July 19 might fascinate you! Well, guess what! The interest has only been on the rise!
Also, you might have seen the trend on the rise each time after the word *Note*. The first note shows improvement in Google’s Geographical assignment applied on January 1, 2011. The second note declares the improvement in Google’s data collection system applied on January 1 2016.
Hence established, we have a very good reason to dig deeper into everything – Content Marketing, religiously.
Let’s start with the basics. Shall we?
You might have a hard time believing that biting off more than they can chew is the demand for a Content Marketer’s profession. Right?
As you read on, you’d see how that’s true.
But worry not for there is the perky side too. The side that keeps them energized and going until the goals are met. (And, we shall see to that side too, so cheer up already!)
To begin with, this list might help you see the bigger picture that Content Marketers have to see. These are some of the factors either causing a decline in results or demanding more effort on Content Marketer’s part for success.
1- Ever-increasing Competition
2- Fast-changing trends
3- Lack of audience-understanding and inaccurate targeting
4- Content Marketing goals & Strategy mismatch
5- Lack of sufficient resources
6- Ambiguous goals
7- Inaccurate measuring and optimization of performance
8- Inconsistency in following the Content calendar
9- Curating Content that they want (or basing Content on assumptions) instead of focusing on what the audience wants
10- Trying to apply one businesses’ content strategy/theme on another
The list is long, and so it should be; after all, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
However, it is not to disappoint you, especially if you are a beginner.
And speaking of disappointment, bear in mind – Challenges are not all that content marketers face day in day out. They have happy days too, as already mentioned!
The days when they look at the challenges in the eyes and compete them. The days when they win the challenges. For those days, rewards are Content Marketing benefits.
Those benefits of Content Marketing are the point of another discussion, in detail. For the sake of this post, however (and the beginners whom we do not want to disappoint), let us get to a brief pep talk.
The benefits you draw out of content marketing are somewhat synonyms to achieving some of the goals you have set for the process. We have slightly covered the benefits of Content Marketing in this blog post. Here is another brief list:
1- Brand awareness
2- Brand positioning
3- Builds a relationship with prospects
4- Develops rapport
5- Brings high-quality traffic
6- Engages prospects
7- Nurtures leads
8- Gives a high conversion rate
9- High credibility and excellent receptions impact your Search Engine ranking
10- Variety of valuable Content on multiple channels results in multiple touchpoints and point of sales
11- Your efforts educate your audience
12- Content Marketing benefits each kind of business & industry irrespective of the size and other aspects
13- Social traffic & engagement further brings you Social Proof
And the list goes on…
Alright, now since we are talking about EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING, let’s switch gears. Here’s another exciting turn:
While we discussed the trends of the subject – Content Marketing – there is an interesting aspect that could use your attention.
A blog is undoubtedly an important and the most prominent type of Content. The question of factors to impact it’s ranking, however, is a somewhat perplexing one.
So, we scanned through the internet to know what different experts & Content marketing experts say about the appropriate length of a blog post. Here’s what we came down to:
Because gone are the days of Black Hat SEO. Now, the cunning Google takes a whole list of more than 200 factors into account. That includes the usefulness of the Content and the extent of the depth a post covers for a topic.
4. That said, if your Content covers everything your reader wants to know about within 300 words, Google, by no means, intends to penalize you.
Take Seth Godin, for example. You’d definitely see him ranking high even with those short master-scripts he creates.
5. Similarly, say your industry suggests you stick between 2000-2500 words. However, your Content demands to be 4000 words long to meet your reader’s specific needs.
What would you do? Let’s look into it:
By the uniqueness of the Content Google needs, Google won’t be hard on you just for outgrowing your word count limit.
So, in a nutshell, the length is an important ranking factor ONLY because long-form Content tends to cover all the relevant important aspects of your topic. Therefore, satisfying the needs of your target audience, feel free to break out of the length-barriers conveniently.
We just talked about the length aspect of Content Marketing while briefly touching the connection with SEO.
Let’s now get down to the details:
As a digital marketer, knowing everything about Content Marketing also calls for understanding the link between the two.
While we have an in-depth post available on that topic too, the link is not difficult to understand in a bird’s eye view.
SEO is to Content Marketing as the day is to night, or the sun is to the moon.
You see, each part of the pair is indispensable to the other one’s existence; the dependence is mutual.
Put it another way:
SEO is needed for doing Content Marketing successfully. Without Content marketing, you don’t quite need SEO (much).
More explicitly, SEO prepares your Content to get to the top of SERPs. Without caring much about SEO, you shouldn’t expect to get there. However, without Content Marketing (or a variety of valuable content that meets the needs of your targets), your goals of SEO can’t be met either.
What are those goals again?
Increasing visibility and boosting traffic.
So, they are the two pieces of a jig-saw puzzle that can’t make do without each other. And without each one of them, the puzzle won’t be complete.
And this explanation should suffice unless you want to get down to the details of the link between SEO and Content Marketing.
Understanding the link between SEO and Content Marketing, we got really very serious about knowing EVERYTHING CONTENT MARKETING.
And this brought us to make a compilation of the SEO tips Content marketing Influences conveniently proclaim and manifest. Here’s what the key points are:
1- Joe Pulizzi advises to “view SEO and Content Marketing as partners, not either/or adversaries.”
2- Neil Patel endorses to “link other trustworthy sites to your’s.”
3- Brian Dean suggests “stealing your competitors Best Keywords.”
4- Michael Brenner proposes to “gain search authority with Volume, Value, and Variety.”
5- David Rowse recommends building your success on “Titles.”
Feel free to dive into the details, the reasons and the benefits of these tips of the influencers, here.
Seeing your continuous interest in Content Marketing (& everything about it) suggests something big.
What is that?
It suggests that Content Marketing is the future of Marketing. Therefore, it is high time we incorporate the process to our businesses (or those of our clients) if we do not want success to be just a pie in the sky.
So, you really want to apply content marketing to your business?
Good, we are on the same page now.
Let us begin with CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY – a foolproof Content Marketing Strategy that aligns with (and thus achieves) your business goals.
The term is self-explanatory, but for clarity’s sake, here is what a Content Marketing Strategy is:
“It is the plan that guides the transformation of your business goals from your mind or a piece of paper into reality.”
Look at it this way:
You want to convert the audience (want them to take a desirable step).
Would you follow your instincts? Market trends? What exactly?
If you are like us (and other practical Marketers you should look up to), Content Marketing strategy should be your guide.
Your Content Marketing strategy would tell the exact way to produce and share content with the audience to provide value, ultimately converting them to your paid clients.
Isn’t that precisely what you want?
The main aims of a killer content marketing strategy should be:
until they ultimately buy from you.
Content Marketing is often confused with Content strategy. Despite many differences and mutual areas between them both, a straightforward point sets them apart (yet, together):
“Content Marketing Strategy is a part of Content Strategy.”
Here is a precise definition of Content Strategy by Hannah Smith at Distilled:
It is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver against a specific business objective.
Good job, Hannah, explaining the whole concept in just a sentence.
So, to briefly touch on the importance of a Content Marketing Strategy, here is what the Google trends are for the topic since 2004.
Comparing the trend of the Content Marketing Strategy with Content Marketing, you would see that the latter never the interest of Googlers since 2004 and is living its peak these days.
Such is the importance of this topic and hence, the importance of formulating a content marketing strategy.
However, before we dive into the topic of creating an effective content marketing strategy, there is one more important question left answered.
Let us go that way first!
The trends do show the importance of Content Marketing but do not explain why everyone is going bananas for a Content Marketing Strategy.
Here is why:
In a nutshell, a content marketing strategy ensures your actions align with your goals and leads the way to achieve your goals faster and smarter than you would do without a well-defined content strategy.
Now, this sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread? Doesn’t it?
If it does, welcome to the party of Marketers.
So, now that you are fully convinced that you need a Content Marketing Plan before you begin the process let us head straight from minor details to major milestone of the creation process.
There are various aspects of the process you need to be aware of to slide through like a pro.
The foremost challenge in the process of building killer content is how to create your Content?
Get it done from professionals, DIY it or build your own team?
Who creates your Content – an in-house team or an agency – depends on several factors we have discussed in our blog post. Outlined here are the top considerations for you to analyze your situation and decide the best appropriate option, accordingly:
While a content marketing agency would have built the required expertise and creativity over time (working with a huge number of clients), they can’t beat the in-house employees in the knowledge of your business ideology, vision, goals, and whatnot.
Following a multi-stepped protocol, communication with an agency becomes quite labored. On the other hand, the in-house team doesn’t have any such downside.
The limited exposure of an in-house team combined with their limited resources might render it a less feasible option for you. This is particularly true if you require a content marketing plan, using knowledge & experience with technology and tools to refine the results.
An in-house team dedicates all the time you hire them for, to your company. An agency has to deal with several clients all at the same time.
Having compared all the pros and cons of both the options and the services included in the package, you are at the right point to see which is a better, cost-effective option for you.
Why you pick a marketing agency is because you want an exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable team to work on your company’s progression. Here’s what why do you prefer a marketing agency:
Should you want to dig further into the subject, this post is your go-to option.
If you decide to build your Content marketing team, here are the important considerations to help you make the right choices:
Keeping an eye on the industry calls for looking up to influencers and their content marketing teams. Here’s what the teams of top 4 Content Marketing options look like:
Read the details here.
If you have to start small and wondering what the core roles your team must-have are, these roles can save you big time:
When you have a content marketing team in place, what comes next is not a hard-to-guess step.
You must be tired of hearing it now but, building Content follows this first critical step:
For building content, a content marketing strategy is in order. To create a killer content marketing strategy from scratch here’s all you need to do:
In case you haven’t noticed, strategy creation is an ongoing step. It doesn’t end at the first draft creation because you have to keep optimizing it according to your results.
Congratulations! Been there, so we know not congratulating won’t be fair, especially when you were born to focus on your business (or are only a beginner)!
If you are not new to content marketing, you need to revisit your Strategy at intervals. Here’s how to optimize your existing Content Marketing Strategy:
Get used to our abrupt gears already! Because well, we have set out on the journey to look at Content Marketing from every angle, possible.
Keyword research is a must in executing your content marketing strategy. While you start digging into keywords, you need to know the following types:
Here’s an account of how to do the keywords research:
Content Sprouting is another important factor that you plan while working on your Content Marketing Strategy. It is the process of creating a Seed content (the main Content) and repurposing and sharing it on different Digital Channels (sprouting).
Here are some benefits of Content sprouting:
Creating Content always has some objectives behind it. Sometimes, it is done with the hidden objective of driving sales. Other times, you are only interested in driving useful traffic.
When attracting traffic is your ultimate goal, it is a serious one. How many leads you to draw and how many of them convert depends on the quality of traffic. So, not only are you interested in more traffic but its quality is (should be, if it isn’t already) also your genuine concern.
Here are some steps you can take to increase your organic traffic, both qualitatively and quantitatively:
And now that you have your audience’s attention and have them on your page, you should want them to take your desired action too. That’s the word *Conversion* explained. But how do you know if they are taking the desired action? Here’s an (apparently) simple 3-step process that is worth all the efforts that the whole team of marketers puts in:
1. Well, first thing first, create (or optimize if already created) your Content, so it encourages them to convert.
2. Measure how successful your optimization efforts have been.
3. Based on your success rate, re-optimize to improve and convert better.
You might wonder what metrics are the most useful in your niche?
The choice of your KPIs might actually be baffling for you.
And you are not alone if that’s you.
Because as relevant as this selection is, it is often too difficult, especially if you are not really a Marketer (or a remote relative). Since you don’t usually get a template or guidance looking at different businesses (even if they are close to what you do), it actually is confusing.
What KPIs you track depends on your business type and your unique goals or conversion metrics suitable for you.
However, as a content marketer, there are a few KPI you must track to see where you stand:
For your unique objectives and strategy, you’d need different metrics to measure each of these KPIs.
If you are a content Marketer, either you use a considerable number of tools and resources on each step, or you are practically dead to your prospects.
Without such aids, you would be nowhere in the race with your competitors and thus nowhere to be found by your prospects.
If you are reading this, you most definitely don’t want that future. And we have gone all out because we don’t want that for you (or anyone for that matter).
So we created lists of highly useful tools and resources to help you through the process. The series aims at sharing the A-Z of the resources needed to win the race even if you are the new kid on the block.
The best literature guides for learning Content Marketing, including blog posts, case studies, guides, etc.– The footsteps in the digital word to follow (Influencers and big names) if you want to make the difference.
The fraud-proof platforms to hire freelancers from, for whatever tasks or projects, be it related to web development or designing or creating any sort of Content, etc.
Tools and platforms that can help with Content ideas generation or creating your Keywords lists.
The tools you need to collaborate and communicate with your team effectively.
Tools you need to organize your Content and keep memos.
When you are working professionally (but this is not your profession), your writings must need revisions. The list covers some tools that can help you remove language errors to make your Content more effective and professional.
Visuals speak louder and convert faster than words. The list covers some platforms to get help to create the right visual impact.
You don’t always need to design the right kind of visuals. Sometimes, you can make use of the visuals others have already created for you. This post covers a list of resources that offer free and paid visuals.
When you have created everything and posted it, the work doesn’t end here. The post covers the list of resources that you need to increase your reach and spread your message more effectively.
There’s also a list of the tools that can automate your Content spreading and posting.
Given the magnitude of results Email automation brings, this needs a special mention. So, read on the list of email automation tools.
No strategy is complete without your competitor’s research. Get a sneak-peak into the tools that help you spy on your competitors effectively.
And once everything is done, time to measure your success rate. Read on the list of tools that help measure your conversions and returns.
Choose a tool or two at each step to have your Content Marketing done right.
The best thing you can do as a marketer (that you are trying to be here, even if you are not already!) is learning from other’s experiences (because you don’t have your own yet, remember?).
The chances of not getting everything right when you follow tips and tricks throughout the whole process are close to none. So, read and make headway:
So, we dedicated our time and efforts to draw conclusions from our and other Content Marketer’s experiments. Here are 9 tried and tested tips for Content Marketers:
Also, here are some tips to help you create an incredible Content Market Plan:
Knowing common mistakes is the best practice to avoid them. Here are some common Content Marketing mistakes that often take you down:
While still in the learning stages, there are some common Content Marketing myths that you should be aware of (and look out for):
Now, with this plethora of information, how do you decide what to pick and what not to? Which tips to follow and which to ignore for your unique business?
Here’s what we recommend you do:
You are an eCommerce business.
You have great products, and you are just starting out.
That also suggests that the bank side of your business is not very strong. For the same reason, you can’t really go to a marketing agency.
Does that mean you go without Content Marketing?
Ummm…Not if you are planning to grow your business.
And since we know you definitely are, that’s what we are trying to help you with.
So, ideally, you should not skip Content Marketing; Try skipping a Marketing agency, if you must.
Here’s how we suggest you start Content Marketing for eCommerce business:
What next? Know how to give it to them, so they take it the way it positively impacts them.
Give it to them in an interactive way; in a way, they are more likely to be involved and respond to. Go for Facebook live videos, surveys and quizzes, and social media contests with giveaways, so it reaches them, attracts, and ultimately converts them.
But first, do it on paper. Check; recheck; Re-evaluate.
Sounds good? Get the ball rolling!
And this goes for whatever business you are into. These are the basics principles to follow, especially if you are doing your Content marketing yourself or you are a beginner.
Take them for 3 fail-proof tips (because they are) and watch yourself rock.
Being a marketer, you should be as concerned about your future as about the present. Here are the most important considerations from future-perspective:
Everyone, including the top Content Marketers, is going crazy for AI, not just for the ease it offers but also because of profound results.
So if you are a futuristic Content Marketer, that you should be prepared to incorporate AI in your process. Because if you do, you’d see yourself flying higher than your fellow marketers for sure. To begin with, here’s how to make AI your Content Marketing Ally:
Nothing equals Marketing efforts that follow the golden principles of psychology. When you understand consumer psychology, you are in the right position to understand their needs and wants and know precisely how to initiate a relationship that ends with a conversion.
Therefore, Content Marketing also follows in the footsteps of Psychology. And when it does, the results are no less than breathtaking. Here are some psychological principles, understanding which can stand you on top of everyone else:
When you favor someone, they are psychologically indebted to you until they return the favor. Content Marketers give high value to prospects. In return, prospects psychologically find themselves bound to buy their products or services.
When you paint the shortage or make a deal time-bound, the fear of missing out (FOMO) gets them on their feet. Marketers use this technique to drive more sales in a short time.
You are psychologically more inclined towards something more people are endorsing. Creating Social proof of your product or service by getting reviews and engagement of your prospects, followers, or users tempts others to do the same.
Committing in public makes you responsible way more than committing in private. That because you wouldn’t want to explain to hundreds why you chickened out after committing. Apply this psychological principle to Content marketing to skyrocket the results. Leverage the power of Social media and get your followers to commit to a desirable action (a course completion in a decided duration and sharing their feedback, for instance).
You are more likely to be taken seriously as an established brand name compared to a down to earth service provider who is just as good. So, focus on your personal branding, establish yourself as an authority in your niche, position yourself as a reputable source to be looked up to when in need and see how quickly you can draw results.
You listen to, understand, and follow somebody you like, all so conveniently. Get your followers and potential clients to like you. This is how you’d quickly get your message across and win the game fast.
When it is about being futuristic, following in the influencers and expert’s footsteps is the best thing one can do. So, our interviews with 15 marketers reveal best-kept Content Marketing secrets all in one place and penned down tons of value in one roundup post.
We made sure to get the essence of years of their experience. So here’s what we asked them:
So, you should already anticipate VALUE OVERLOADED!
Each of their tips, tricks, and advice covers a different, unique angle, giving you so much to ponder and learn from.
Based on these psychological principles, the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and experiences of Marketing Experts in different niches, cook up a fantastic recipe of the most-wanted success.
However, dreaming of overnight results is living in a fool’s paradise. Impatiently altering strategy in the name of optimization and experimentation is delusive contentment that only leads to destruction and damage.
Content Marketers don’t do that because they know none of these experiments is worth their time or money.
So, now that you have know as much as it takes to get started, Let’s do this!
No time has ever been better for action than NOW.
On your way to getting the pen and paper, briefly stop by to share with us how and where you plan to begin.
Need more help with Marketing or Advertising? Let our experts be your guide to success.
Even if you don’t, we will cheer for you until you find yourself meeting your growth goals with Content Marketing.