What is content marketing? Why your brand needs content marketing?
Content marketing is the strategy of consistently creating and sharing relevant and engaging content to attract and retain an audience. The aim is to convert this audience into potential customers for the company or the brand. The key difference between content marketing and other forms of advertising is that the content created and shared should be of tangible value to the audience with whom it is shared. This element of value that the content brings to the audience makes content marketing unique and makes the audience want to consume the content. Content marketing is often considered to be the present and future of marketing and is necessary for all other forms of marketing. For example, strong content is often the basis for a successful SEO strategy, social media strategy, PPC strategy, PR strategy, and any other form of inbound marketing strategy. So why is content marketing growing in popularity worldwide, and what advantages can it bring to your brand?
Content marketing, when done right, can benefit a brand in a multitude of ways, such as,
- Helps build a strong brand image: In today's competitive market, where thousands of brands are vying for consumers' attention, establishing a strong brand identity is paramount.
- Helps retain an audience base: One of the biggest challenges nowadays is building a loyal audience base for your brand who keeps coming back to your brand. In an age where consumers switch loyalties at the drop of a hat, content marketing can help bring a loyal audience base to the brand.
- Helps capitalize on organic search: Any marketing strategy that capitalizes on organic search and advertising is beneficial over a strategy dependent on paid search. Content marketing, when done right, can be the most significant source of organic search and advertising for a brand.
- Cost-effective strategy: Apart from being one of the most cost-effective strategies because it capitalizes on organic and earned media over paid media, it also has a high ROI. Research has shown that content marketing is 62 percent cheaper than traditional marketing methods and 3x times more effective in generating leads.
Types of content marketing
To better understand content marketing and the implementation of content marketing in your business, let's take a look at the types of content marketing strategies.
- Blogs: Blogs are one of the most popular forms of content marketing as they serve as a direct and informal means of communication with the audience. Not only do they create awareness about the brand and help establish a strong brand image, but they also help increase engagement with the audience creating a loyal audience base.
- Infographics: The USP of infographics is that it can easily convey even the most complex and technical ideas to its target audience with the help of illustrations and pictures.
- Videos: Videos are one of the most popular and consumed forms of online content. According to statistics, adults in the US spent 3.5 hours per day watching videos online in 2020. Therefore, an aptly timed and captivating video can gain much traction and interest online, generating buzz for the brand.
- Webinars: Webinars are a potent content marketing tool because if the webinar is well structured and relevant, it can keep the audience engaged for an extended period. Achieving this can be challenging in today's fast-paced social media world, where the audience's attention span is rapidly decreasing.
- Case Studies: Case studies can help demonstrate your company’s expertise in your domain of service and also help showcase successful prior projects and client testimonials.
Thus, content marketing can take many forms, and the key to a successful strategy is to determine which form of content works best with your target audience.
What does a content marketing company do?
An experienced content marketing agency will help create and implement a well-rounded, streamlined marketing strategy for your business. The agency will have a team of professional content writers, editors, illustrators, graphic designers, videographers, and consultants who will help craft a strategy that best suits your business or brand. The services of a content marketing agency can be categorized into three phases,
- Creating a strategy: They will help craft a strategy that meets your needs and requirements and can help you attain your goals.
- Implementation of the strategy: The agencies will take care of the content creation aspect and will ensure content is shared on your social media platforms consistently.
- Monitoring: As the final step, the agency will also constantly monitor the strategy, make necessary modifications and report back to you with pre-determined metrics so that you can assess the performance of the campaign.
Successful Content Marketing: how does a content marketing expert do it correctly?
To maximize the benefits and get the best out of content marketing, there needs to be a well-defined plan of action and a strategy. Let’s take a look at how an experienced content marketing agency crafts and executes an effective content marketing strategy.
- Establishing the goals: The content marketing agency will work with the client closely to understand the needs and requirements of the clients and develop well-defined goals and metrics for the strategy. For example, the strategy's objectives could be establishing the brand's image, generating leads, increasing sales, etc.
- Identify the target audience: Before executing the strategy, the marketer must identify the target audience for the campaign. Targeting audience by segmenting the population and identifying the most profitable and attractive segments.
- Topic & Keyword research: Keyword research will help us better understand the target audience and how they search online for the products and services. Keyword research is essential to lay the foundation of a successful content marketing strategy.
- Analyze the existing strategy: By reviewing and analyzing the strategy already in place, you can gain valuable insights and data points about the target audience and their preferences. For example, reviews on content and keywords help you understand engagement and trends your user used while interacting.
- Create a strategy: The next step is to devise a well-rounded and coherent strategy based on all the analysis and research undertaken up until now. Factors such as which social media platform to use, what type of content to share, and the promotion methods should be determined.
- Establish the schedule: One of the key elements behind the success of any content marketing strategy is the consistency with which the content is shared online. Therefore, it is crucial to plan content posting on your platform wisely.
- Implement the strategy: The next step is to implement the planned strategy keeping in mind all the objectives that have been determined. The strategy should reflect the keyword research, the analysis of the previous strategy, and, most notably, the campaign's goals. Once the content is created and shared online, promoting it to increase its reach is also essential.
- Monitor the strategy: The final and most crucial step is to monitor the strategy regularly once it has been implemented. It can help the content marketing team fine-tune the strategy and make any necessary modifications or changes to make it more effective.
10 best content marketing tools used by expert digital content marketers
There are ample resources online that can help with content creation and make your overall strategy more efficient and streamlined. Let's look at a few of the best content marketing tools online that content marketing experts use.
- Google Trends: Google Trends, which is one of Google's free offerings, is a powerful tool that analyzes search queries in its search engine across regions and languages and shows how popular specific keywords are over time.
- Google Analytics: Another one of Google's free offerings, Google Analytics is a web analytics service that offers key insights about a site's visitors and their behavior.
- BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo is a cloud-based platform that provides valuable insights regarding content trends in every industry. It is an ideal platform for content creators and marketers to help them keep a pulse on the industry.
- Keywords Everywhere: A tool that can help with keyword research and SEO, Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on that shows monthly search volume, cost-per-click, etc.
- Statista: Statista collects and compiles data from government databases, scientific journals, and other research publications making it a one-stop destination for all statistical and data needs.
- Clearscope: Clearscope is a content optimization tool that grades written content on parameters such as keyword density, word count, header, etc., and gives it a readability score.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a powerful content measurement tool used by SEO and content creators for link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking, and site audits.
- StoryChief: This app is often considered an all-in-one app that allows users to publish articles, promote them on social media and measure the marketing campaign's success all from one platform.
- Canva: No content marketing list will be complete without it featuring Canva, one of the best content design and video tools available online. Its easy-to-use interface makes it ideal even for beginners and amateurs.
- Help a B2B Writer: A one-of-a-kind platform that allows content writers and strategists to reach out and collaborate with subject matter experts to help write quality and accurate content.
How much does a content marketing agency cost for its services?
The services offered by a professional content creation agency can vary anywhere from $ 8000 to $ 40,000 per month, depending on the size of your business and the complexity of the campaign. For example, for a small business, the services of a content marketing firm will cost around $ 8000 - $ 10,000, whereas for a medium-sized business, it will cost $ 15,000 - $ 40,000, and for an enterprise company, it will cost $ 40,000 +. The overall cost of hiring a content marketing agency for your business will be determined by several factors such as the campaign's duration, the movement's complexity, the tools and technology used, etc.