Content marketing is a set of marketing techniques for gaining customer trust. This method is based on the familiarization method: the consumer is informed about the properties of the goods, works or services, convincing them to make a purchase in the future.
In this article, we will introduce you to content marketing. You will understand why this method is effective and how to apply it in business processes.
Content marketing – what is it and why does a business need it
The company distributes useful information through social networks, blogs and websites. The content consists of articles and posts, step-by-step instructions and guides, answers to questions.
Consumers get acquainted with these materials, see the solution to the problems at hand and purchase the product, work or service. This is content marketing.
Content marketing is the production and distribution of content of any kind in order to gain the trust of the audience and attract potential customers. The content marketing algorithm is simple.
It is necessary to identify the pressing problems of the audience and offer their solution through the purchase of your company's product.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase direct sales. To get a multiple increase in revenue, you need to be able to use this tool and imagine what tasks it was created to solve.
Content Marketing Tasks:
- Building a brand position. Relevant content forms consumer loyalty to a company, brand or specialist. Content marketing helps create a unique selling proposition.
- Raising awareness. High-quality expert information increases brand awareness. Through the acquaintance of consumers with content on various resources, the brand penetrates into consciousness.
- The manifestation of expertise. Relevant content contributes to the presentation of professional skills and abilities. Consumers get the impression that they are professionals who have knowledge and experience in a particular area and are ready to share it.
- Increasing loyalty. When getting acquainted with the content, its value is fixed in the mind of the consumer. A person finds ways to solve their problems by reading articles, watching videos and downloading step-by-step instructions and manuals. And, accordingly, more often makes purchases of a product of a certain brand.
- Reduced price competition. Valuable content about a product increases its value to the consumer.
Using this method allows the company to move competition from the price range to the value one. And a prepared, loyal client who shares these values is ready to pay for them. By solving these tasks, the direction of development is set and conditions are created for developing a strategy.
The strategic foundation of content marketing is the content plan. It is a graph that reflects the thematic, format and time components of the distributed materials.
Methodological foundations of content marketing
You can promote your product using different content formats. The use of their maximum number will cover different categories of consumers. So, some people prefer the conciseness of infographics, while others prefer detailed instructions and manuals.
Articles and posts
Description of the product and the scope of its use is not the best option. It is more effective to advertise it through related topics. The main thing is to show how to solve the problems of consumers using the product.
So, for example, a men's clothing store should focus the consumer's attention on choosing a style and show examples using their assortment.
Comprehensive instructions and manuals in PDF format will satisfy the interest of consumers. This format is a step-by-step instruction for solving a problem, gradually leading to the purchase of a product.
These instructions and guides are used as lead magnets: access to the material is opened only after the consumer shares relevant data.
Used for visual presentation of information. Designed to visualize facts, figures, statistics and analytics, as well as to work with complex processes.
So, the LPgenerator service gives an idea of landing pages, their types and types in infographic format.
Some consumers find it easier to perceive information through video. This format will be optimal for instructions and thematic reviews.
Companies working in the field of online education can present teasers of training programs, hold open master classes and creative marathons.
The Photoshop Master project posts videos on its blog to teach professionals who use Photoshop.
This is another content format – audio materials are intended for those who better perceive information by ear and who have no time to watch or read. Podcasts are convenient for companies providing educational services.
It is better to post audio content on your blog or use third-party resources for promotion.
Content Marketing in Internet Marketing: Platforms and Channels
Distinguish between internal and external content marketing. Internal is the placement of content on the company’s own resources. The external one involves industry media or segmented thematic groups in social networks.
Internal content marketing
A blog for a company is a part of a corporate website that hosts expertise, case studies, guides, articles, newsletters, and announcements of various events.
For example, the blog of the accenture company. This resource contains content on how to manage money, how to save smartly, how to invest correctly. Some of the publications use feedback (UGC): users can send articles, leave comments or ask questions to the author of the material.
The goal of the accenture blog is to increase user loyalty to the bank by demonstrating professional skills. This is better than direct advertising of banking services.
The YouTube channel hosts video content in the form of training videos or expert reviews. In order to expand your customer base, you need to promote your video on YouTube to the very top of the ranking of key queries.
IT training portals promotes video presentations. Corporate trainers inform about IT professions by conducting open programming coaching sessions.
The audience evaluates the value of the material and, at the end of the session, decides whether to purchase already paid courses.
Company social media pages
Creating pages on social networks helps to promote interactive content aimed at expanding the audience. The value of content increases the interest of users who like, repost and comment increase the reach of the post. The wider it is, the stronger the recognition of the company grows.
The LEGO company promotes situational content in its community that engages the audience to interact with the brand. There is a sentence in the text inviting users to go to the LEGO page and get acquainted with the assortment.
Email-mailing is variable in solving problems – it is either direct sales or loyalty expansion. The first option involves sending out a series of sales letters that “warm up” the recipients and lead them to a purchase. The second option is to send useful content that increases brand loyalty.
HeadHunter increases the credibility of job seekers and provides useful information on finding a job and continuing a career with the help of email newsletters.
External content marketing
An expert review in specialized media is a step towards reader loyalty. Such content covers the whole range of goals: increase awareness, increase loyalty, demonstrate expertise.
The online newspapers has a section “Consumer Guide”. Businesses widely use such tools for native advertising: they prepare content relevant to the audience, in which they inform about their product.
Thematic publics and channels
Communities of professionals in social networks are a kind of analogue of the media. The algorithm of interaction with such resources is clear. Specialists offer articles or cases. If the topic of the group coincides with the material and its value is obvious, the administration of the group publishes it.
The "Internet Marketing from A to Z" community periodically posts cases of its subscribers. This promotional option is suitable for self-employed and small businesses.
Development and implementation of a content marketing strategy
The structure of the content strategy is built on four stages: analysis of the current situation, creation of a road map, implementation of the plan and evaluation of performance. Let’s analyze each stage.
The first step is to create a list of content promotion channels. You need to use those online resources that are best suited for a particular brand.
It is also necessary to decide on the type of content on which the main bet will be made - articles and audio, video and infographics. Using all formats at once is a mistake.
The second step is to analyze the activities of competitors. The main goal is to find out their ways of interacting with the audience: on what resources and platforms they are placed, what format for presenting information is most interesting to users. Analysis of the information allows you to select more successful methods.
Step three – you need to find out which consumer the company is targeting. A collective image of the user is compiled based on the client base. Clients are segmented by gender, age, occupation, income level, marital status, hobbies and hobbies.
The collected material helps to determine the specific groups for which the content will be prepared. An attempt to cover all consumers without exception will not give the desired effect when promoting a product.
Creation of a roadmap
The purpose of the stage is to develop a style of communication with potential customers and determine the message that needs to be conveyed to the audience. Based on this, a content plan is made that takes into account the main points of the psychological portrait of the consumer and his interests.
To expand the subject matter of the content, a collective image of the audience is compiled by studying its Internet locations in social networks: forums, blogs, etc.
Execution of the plan
At the stage of formation of a content strategy, a group of specialists is formed to implement it. They are assigned tasks and are introduced to the criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of promotion.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of content marketing is based on the achievement of goals. They are: the level of sales, activity in visiting the site, changes in positions in search engines, the citation index in the media, the extent of content coverage in social networks and other criteria.
These reports make it possible to analyze indicators such as:
- Number of views;
- Number of visitors;
- Time spent on the material;
- The number of pre-scrolls and re-reads;
- Types of devices used;
- Page format;
- Referral sources;
- Gender and age characteristics of visitors;
- Recycling returns.
In email newsletters, you need to monitor the Open Rate and Click Rate. Using the first indicator, we set the number of people who opened the letter. With the help of the second – the number of users who clicked on the links.
In social networks, the main criteria for audience engagement are: the reach of the post, the number of likes, the number of reposts and comments.
External content marketing is evaluated using Google Analytics: their algorithms record which resource new users came to you from.
Content marketing can be effective in expanding a loyal, engaged target audience. People’s fatigue from the information noise is the main reason that many advertising campaigns do not resonate with the audience.
Content marketing is indispensable in promoting any product. Its main difference from direct advertising is the effect of scaling the advertising message through relevant content that is useful and valuable for the target audience.
By creating a unique selling proposition with the help of content marketing, you invest not only in promoting the product, but also in advertising the company itself.