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Looking to get started with content marketing to help grow your business? Read on to discover tips, metrics, strategies and more to help get you started creating a killer content marketing strategy.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing used to increase brand awareness and engagement, attract website traffic, generate sales and build brand loyalty. It involves planning, creating and sharing relevant, interesting and useful writing, audio, video or imagery to reach your target audience.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is one of the most popular ways to promote a business online because it’s cheaper than a lot of traditional marketing methods and offers long-lasting results. (Once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever).
For this reason, content marketing is an especially important marketing tactic for small businesses that don’t have the generous marketing budgets of larger companies. Executed correctly, content marketing can achieve a strong return on investment and deliver value for your business for a long time after it’s published.
Some of the best benefits of content marketing are:
- Content marketing can be very inexpensive. Content marketing can range from very premium, professionally produced videos and graphic elements to a quick unscripted Facebook Live that takes two minutes and very little budget to create. Consumers are increasingly looking to engage with genuine brands that provide real-time communication opportunities, so don’t feel that your content always needs to be polished, particularly on social channels.
- Content marketing can help build brand awareness. When your content is everywhere your audience is, they’ll start to recognise your brand and develop a positive association with your business. By creating content that’s focused on the topics your customers are interested in, you’re establishing your brand as a leading company within your market.
- Content marketing can generate leads. Someone who’s seen your content is more likely to buy from you in the future. Similarly, you can use calls-to-action (CTA) in your content marketing to send viewers to a landing page where they can subscribe for a discount or download a whitepaper that’s of interest to them. Once they’ve visited your website, you can also retarget them using paid advertising.
- Content marketing can boost your SEO (search engine optimisation). The more quality content you create, the better it is for your SEO. Regularly sharing blogs, videos, and other content that focuses on the keywords and topics relevant to your business and target audience will ensure your website climbs the search engine rankings.
What are the different types of content marketing?
There are many kinds of content marketing. Some of the most popular in 2021 are:
Social media marketing
Australians spend more than 40% of their waking hours online, with most of us on social media for almost two hours each day%20and%20WhatsApp%20(38.8%25). “social media marketing”). Social media can be used to share photos, live and pre-recorded videos, and other content marketing assets you’ve created. Good social media marketing will be shareable across several social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Pinterest.
Blog content marketing
Blogs are more labour-intensive than many other forms of content marketing, but they’re an effective way to build an audience, market your product or service, and grow your business. Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, and well-executed blogs posted to your website will give your SEO a boost.
Video content marketing
86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 93% say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy. Consumers love the ease of watching a video to learn more about a product or service, and the ability to create live videos on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook means you can easily share content in this way without spending hours on scripting and production.
Podcasting is the audio world of content marketing and is a relatively small market compared to other content marketing formats. Unlike blogs and video content, users can listen to a podcast while they’re doing something else – such as driving, catching public transport, or even cleaning the house.
Paid content marketing
Paid content marketing lets you reach your audience wherever they are – but at a cost. From pay-per-click (PPC) advertising via Google AdWords to paid social media promotion and influencer marketing, paid content marketing can ensure your brand is in front of your target audience wherever they’re online.
What metrics should you use for content marketing?
You should absolutely be tracking the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Some common content marketing measures are:
Content marketing is ultimately about driving traffic to your website, so you must measure and analyse your web traffic to understand if it’s working for you. Tools like Google Analytics let you track website metrics including the number of users that have visited your website, the pages they’ve viewed, and their time on your site. You can also see how they’re arriving at your website (organically, via social media or using a link on your newsletter) and track their journey from page to page.
Social shares and backlinks
Content marketing aims to share helpful content, so the number of users sharing or linking to your blog, video or social post is a good indication of its usefulness. When your audience shares your content with their social or business networks, your reach is expanded exponentially.
Ranking well for the keywords your potential customers are using is the holy grail for small businesses. Make sure you’re targeting these keywords in your content marketing and tracking key keywords monthly. Google Search Console will show you the most popular keywords people are using to find your content and how you’re performing against these keywords over time.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Your CTR is a measure of whether the keywords your content is ranking for translate to clicks from organic search results. If your blog post is ranking well, but few users are clicking through to your website, you might need to adjust your area of focus.
How to build a content marketing strategy
1. Set clear goals
The objective of your content marketing strategy should be clear, measurable, and support your broader marketing strategy. Common goals are to:
- Improve brand awareness
- Expand your audience
- Boost conversions
- Build brand loyalty
- Increase customer engagement
2. Decide how you’ll measure your performance
Say you’re looking to expand your audience. Website traffic, social media followers, subscribers, social shares and backlinks are all helpful metrics to track.
3. Choose the type of content you’ll create
What type of content marketing will you focus on? Think about your target audience – do they need detailed product information or are they just looking to buy from a fun, playful brand? Look at other successful businesses in your space for inspiration.
4. Select your content marketing channels
Where will you share the content you’ve created? If you’re a consumer business, Facebook and Instagram are the go-to channels; if your content marketing is B2B focused, consider channels like LinkedIn.
5. Set a budget
Set – and stick to – a defined budget for your content marketing strategy. If you’re just starting out, consider do-it-yourself content creation using affordable tools like Canva. If you have more money to spend, you could outsource to professional designers or copywriters.
6. Measure your results
Track and analyse your content marketing results regularly so you can tweak your strategy and ensure you’re getting maximum bang for buck. Consider your results by content type and channel, and use this information to refine your approach for future content marketing efforts.
With these foundations, you’ll get your content marketing strategy up and running in no time!