Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell.
A content marketing strategy establishes your brand as a thought leader, boosting trust among your audience by creating and distributing content in various ways. Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing that attracts customers and builds loyalty, making it effective for customer retention.
Content marketing definition:
Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant, useful content—blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos, and the like—to current and potential customers. When it’s done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values the people to whom it sells.
The consistent use of content marketing establishes and nurtures relationships with your prospective and existing customers. When your audience thinks of your company as a partner interested in their success and a valuable source of advice and guidance, they’re more likely to choose you when it’s time to buy.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is a go-to tactic that’s proven to work. Also, it provides a competitive advantage. Take a look at what the data says about content marketing:
- Businesses with blogs get 67% more leads than other companies.
- 72% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers say content marketing increases engagement and the number of leads they generate.
- 88% of people credit branded videos for convincing them to purchase a product or service.
Content marketing benefits businesses in many ways. When done right, an effective content marketing strategy can:
- Increase online visibility. A content strategy can help you attract more customers and website visitors, especially when people are constantly looking for solutions to their pain points. Offering educational and informative content about a topic they’re interested in can help you increase visibility online through your website or social media accounts.
- Generate more leads. You can increase leads when content marketing is used to drive traffic. Since educating customers builds trust and helps them feel more comfortable purchasing from your business, you can generate more leads and start to develop relationships with potential shoppers.
- Boost loyalty. Loyalty is essential in marketing and business because the more loyal your customers are, the more repeat purchases they’ll make. Offering content that informs consumers can help them begin to build trust with your brand and see you as a thought leader.
- Improve authority. Developing content is ideal for improving authority and becoming a thought leader in your industry. Not only does content help you build trust, but it can position your brand as the most authoritative on a particular topic.
How content marketing works
Your business can use content marketing to attract leads, make a case for your product or service when someone is researching what to buy, and close sales.
To use it effectively, you’ll need to deliver the right content at each stage of the sales cycle—from awareness through consideration to purchase. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry: Approaching content this way actually simplifies the process.
Here’s how companies use content marketing in each stage of the sales cycle to engage and sell.
At the first stage of the sales process, your content should focus on the top concerns of your audience. Writing about their pain points, challenges, and questions gives you the best chance of engaging with them. Content at the awareness stage should be educational, how-to advice. Save your selling for the consideration and closing phases.
The best content for this stage includes articles, blog posts, e-books, videos, and newsletters.
- A restaurant writes a blog post about how to plan a menu for a graduation party in the spring.
- A bike touring company creates a short video on the topic “3 Ways to Choose the Right Bike Trip.”
- An architecture firm creates an e-book called “Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Architect.”
In the consideration stage, content should offer a hybrid of helpful information and marketing. It should educate the reader about what features or functions to look for and how various features address their needs. Of course, your content should lean toward what your business offers.
The best content for this stage includes case studies, how-to articles, how-to videos, and checklists or worksheets.
- A cloud-based phone system company creates a checklist entitled “8 Ways to Improve Your Phone Customer Service” that details the features and functions that make great customer service possible.
- A landscaping company creates case studies about “The Biggest Mistakes Most People Make When They Hire a Landscaper.”
- A catering company features case studies of successful events with a focus on the benefits they offer, such as “How to Accommodate Food Allergies at Your Next Event,” or “How to Ensure Your Caterer Uses Sustainable Practices.”
Content marketing plays an important role when a prospect is close to buying. At this stage, you can focus on sales, as long as you continue to drive home why you’re the best choice rather than just how great your services or products are.
Your central message here should be your expertise, knowledge, and the differentiating benefits of what you sell.
The best content for this stage: case studies, user-generated content, buyer’s guide, product video, the research report
- A consulting firm creates a research report proving that businesses that engage in strategic planning, assessments by outsiders, and other services—shaped by what services it offers—experience higher growth.
- A design agency creates short videos showcasing the variety of its work across different industries to demonstrate its diverse expertise.
- An orthodontist practice encourages patients to contribute testimonials about its state-of-the-art equipment and top-notch service.
How to get started with content marketing
Content marketing can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. A successful content marketing campaign should be manageable and sustainable. Take these steps to get started:
Identify your audience
To create content for a particular reader, you need to have a clear idea of their priorities, challenges, and preferences. If you have detailed descriptions of your various segments, choose 1 or 2 to write for. Otherwise, craft profiles of your audience members and prospects before starting.
Determine the right formats
The right format corresponds with what stage of the sales cycle you’re creating content for. Another important consideration includes what formats will best help you showcase value. For some, this will be a video; for others, a checklist.
An audience will judge your content on its quality, and they should. Identify the right resource, internal or external, to create this work. Regardless of who creates it, hire a professional proofreader to review anything before it goes out the door.
Determine how you’ll distribute
Will you post content on your site, email it to people, or print it for an event? Start with “where” you know your audience is likely to be, and choose formats that make sense. For example, an article makes sense to send via email, a checklist or worksheet can be posted on social media, and a buyer’s guide is a good follow-up to a pitch.
Choose a sustainable schedule
Once you know who your target readers are and the best formats for every stage in the sales cycle, create a short-term (3-6 months) plan. It’s easy to develop a content marketing plan that’s overly ambitious. However, the plan you design should have content elements you can realistically make based on your budget and resources. Keep track of how long it takes you to create each piece of content so that you can build that time into your schedule.
Follow best practices
Compelling content is clearly written and doesn’t contain jargon that only you and your peers will know. It should also include detailed how-to advice. A short, relevant, actionable piece of content is best.
SEO and content marketing
Content marketing makes it easy for good prospects to find your business. However, you can boost your efforts with search engine optimization (SEO).
Here are a few important best practices:
Keywords are the foundation of your SEO effort. These all-important words and phrases are the terms a prospect types into a search engine when they’re looking for a company, product, or service.
When you include the right keywords in your content, you’ll attract more traffic. The best keywords are:
- Plain language: language your audience uses to describe their pain points and needs
- Relevant: keywords that match the expertise, products, and services you provide
- Specific: a combination of your focus, industry expertise, prospect pain points, and other relevant details
SEO has evolved so that search success depends in part on how well your content does what it says it’ll do. Search engines review content copy, assess its relevance, and determine whether it delivers what the headline promises.
Because of the importance search engines place on a copy, using keywords throughout your content is important. Use the following guidelines:
- Focus on 1 to 2 keywords. Avoid “keyword stuffing” by writing about what matters to your prospects with a focus on just a few keyword phrases.
- Use keywords in the title. Make what the article is about clear and explicit.
- Use keywords throughout. Find a way of naturally incorporating your keywords into your content.
- Stay on topic. Good-quality content that provides advice related to a headline will perform best.
Social media and content marketing
Once you have content, it’s time to get the word out about it. Social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Medium, Instagram, and others—is a proven and easy way to promote your content. You write a post and link to your content, and then voila! People are engaged.
You can do this through 3 steps:
- Focus on high-potential channels. The best social media outlets for you are the ones frequented by your audience. Consider the big, popular channels, as well as smaller, industry-focused ones that are likely to connect you with good prospects. Ask your audience what channels they favor and build a manageable list based on their preferences.
- Craft your copy to fit the channel. Each social media channel has a level of professionalism versus fun, an accepted voice, and other details all on its own. Before you write posts for a channel, spend some time reviewing posts to familiarize yourself with these details. Then, give your posts some of your own company spirits.
- Test and modify your approach. A winning social media promotion effort involves trial and error. Track responses from the various channels for quantity and quality. Fewer high-potential engagements may mean a channel is a good fit, as opposed to a slew of clicks that never turn into an audience.
To learn more about how Netwet can help with your social media strategy and how to create an effective social media calendar, check out the comparison of our free social media management tools versus others.
Put content to work for your business
Let your expertise and unique value shine through by creating content that attracts, engages, and sells. With some planning and systematic content marketing, you can reach the right people and drive brand loyalty.
Netwet can help you take your online content marketing strategy to the next level by allowing you to create optimized content for social media, your website, and your email marketing campaigns. Use our tools to make branded content, including landing pages and paid ads, that can inform your customers about your offerings and business. With your own brand style guide, you can begin to build a brand identity and let your business show customers its remarkable personality.
Social Media Marketing
Using social media marketing service to advertise a brand, products, or services. Social media marketing company allows a brand to insert itself into ongoing conversations on channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Best practices for effective social media marketing include creating interesting content that links back to your website as well as publicly replying to questions and comments. Although you can rely on social media advertising, posts can be organic, meaning you don’t pay anything to “boost” them, or they can be promoted with media dollars. Learn the fundamentals of effective social media strategies in this social media marketing guide for small businesses for a positive return on investment and a successful social media presence.
What is social media marketing?
Social networking is an inescapable aspect of the lives of today’s consumers. The average internet user has over 5 social media accounts, which they check almost daily. Users also spend close to 2 hours a day across their social presence.
While these social platforms were founded on the idea of making it easier to connect and share life’s moments with friends, family members, and followers, they’ve quickly become an invaluable and necessary digital marketing tool for businesses looking to reach their target market.
As AdWeek reports, 91% of retail brands utilize at least 2 social media platforms to communicate and reach their customers, using social media as part of their online marketing strategies. To help you take full advantage of these powerful social media channels, this guide will outline how to run successful campaigns with tips for small businesses on major social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
We’ll take a look at:
- Why your business needs to be on social media
- Which social platforms make the most sense for you to use
- How to create social media goals
- When to post your social media content
Why social media marketing Service?
If the statistics above weren’t enough to persuade you that social media is right for your small business, here are a few other benefits to consider, that go beyond connecting with your community through social media followers and influencers.
A social media presence and campaign can help you to::
- Stimulate brand awareness and discovery
- Find new leads and customers and refer them to your website to improve sales and traffic with an advertising campaign.
- Build hype for upcoming events, product releases, sales, and more through influencer marketing.
- Collect reviews and give customers an accessible way to ask questions at any time
- Enhance your reputation and power in the market with valuable, helpful content
Besides these benefits of social media, it is also important to highlight how unique it is from other digital marketing channels because the value travels in both directions, meaning you and your customers will benefit from communicating and engaging with one another. Having these multiple touchpoints in a social media site can fuel a stronger, more loyal customer base.
What social media platforms are best for my business?
There are a lot of social media marketing service networks for you to choose from. Some businesses create accounts on as many platforms as possible in the hopes that they cover all bases.
But this can make it difficult to deliver great experiences on each platform, especially for smaller businesses with a limited marketing budget.
You need to think critically about how many social media accounts your business can properly manage and maintain, then choose the right networks where your target audiences and current customers are most active. It’s one thing to manage your resources, but you also need to make sure those resources are where your potential customers spend the most time, taking into consideration your business goals and types of content, as well as the potential for organic reach and budget for paid social.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common social media platforms that businesses use
Facebook is at the top of many business owners’ lists for the best social media network to use. Not only does it have a lot of users (over 2 billion), making it great to build brand awareness, but it’s also one of the most well-developed platforms for businesses.
Facebook has a number of features that allow businesses large and small to create engaging pages that share a lot of detailed information. It also offers retargeting options in advertising to boost engagement, the ability to link to a website within a post, and a messaging system that allows you to chat directly with customers.
When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) marketing, Twitter is really powerful. The platform can connect leads with resources, notify them of new products, and much more.
It’s also a great channel for consumers looking to ask questions, raise concerns, or communicate directly with their favorite brands.
If you’re looking to use the channel, being active and timely with responses is key. If you’re not able to maintain an active presence and speedily respond to customers’ tweets, it can actually be more damaging than rewarding.
To help with this, you can install the free Twitter app on your phone to receive notifications and respond right away no matter where you are.
This channel quickly emerged as a great gathering place for professionals and is a must for B2B companies.
LinkedIn users are employees and business owners interested in making new connections in their field and consuming content related to their industry. This makes it an optimal place to share blogs and other resources that offer solutions to industry-related issues.
This platform is ideal for businesses that create a lot of visual content, such as restaurants, boutiques, and retailers. It’s a compelling way to showcase exactly what your business offers through pictures and video content.
Plus, if you use Instagram stories, you can take viewers on all sorts of journeys, whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look or a store update.
An alternative (or addition) to Instagram is Pinterest, which also features visual content that you can “pin” to boards you create. Some of the most common industries you’ll find on this platform are beauty, fitness, home goods, food, and retailers.
Pinterest does have fewer users than larger channels like Instagram, so you might find that it’s less competitive. This can be beneficial to your business if you feel like your messaging gets lost in users’ feeds on other platforms.
Work smarter, not harder, with SMART goals
SMART goals are objectives that follow 5 key criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Creating these goals for your social media marketing company strategies can help keep your efforts focused and effective.
Here are some questions you can answer and additional information to get you started:
Specific: Why is your small business on social media marketing company ? You should have a direct and specific objective in mind for your strategies and find out which channel will help you accomplish them. Some business owners simply want a place to connect with customers, while others are more focused on increasing conversions or traffic to their website.
Measurable: What data point or metric is most valuable to your business? To tell how effective your strategies are, your goals need to be measurable. Each social media marketing company network has a number of metrics for businesses to measure their efforts. There are also tools that help track engagement and conversion metrics for you, such as Google Analytics, as well as specialized social media listening tools.
Attainable: Is your goal attainable? It’s difficult to go viral or become an overnight internet sensation, so you need goals that your business can reasonably obtain.
Relevant: Are your goals relevant to the overarching objectives of your company? Also, are your strategies pertinent to your customers? If your content isn’t relevant, users will scroll right past it.
Timely: How long will you expect to reach your goal? Choosing a timeframe for social media can be tricky because you might need time to see what tactics are working. To make sure you don’t commit to an ineffective strategy for too long, quarterly goals are a good starting point. That way you can evaluate what happened in the last quarter on a regular basis.
When should I post?
Some marketers choose to evaluate the “timely” aspect of their goals and focus on specific times of the day and week when posting on social media. This is a really important—and often forgotten—aspect of winning on social media.
Because your target audience checks social media intermittently throughout the day, timing your posts to match up with their activity can yield positive results, as well as align with your content marketing calendar.
Every channel is different when it comes to the best times to post social content. For example, Tuesday is one of the worst days for Facebook content, but it’s one of the best days for LinkedIn posts. If you want to know the best times for each platform, this is a helpful resource.
Your competitors may also post at these peak times, so your content needs to really stand out. You can also look for other periods throughout the day when your audience is active and there’s less competition.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to your social posting schedule, try posting 3 different times throughout the day for a month. At the end of the month, take note of which days and times received the most engagement to form your social media calendar.
Bring it all together to form your social media strategy
Now that you know what social platforms businesses use to attain their goals, you can start planning what social channels to use to set a social presence and what content to post to deliver an exceptional customer experience, building relationships with your audience while achieving your marketing goals.
It’s important to note that you should always be adapting to the latest information you’ve learned. Every time you post to social media, for instance, you learn more about your customers. These insights should be constantly shaping your tactics and pushing your efforts towards greater success.
For some businesses, success on social media takes months—even years! But if you’re committed to learning from your past experiences and applying those insights to future strategies, you’ll have no problem conquering social media marketing company.
To learn more about how Netwet can help with your social media strategy, check out the comparison of our free social media management tools versus others.
Written by Bhaskar Upadhyay for Netwet. Netwet is the best Social media marketing Service provider in India.