What Is Content Marketing and 5 Ways It Will Help Your Business

Content marketing

One of the current buzzwords in marketing is ‘content marketing’. However just what exactly is it?

In this article, we will talk about content marketing and explain just how it will help your business as well as giving you a guide to planning out your content strategy for the next year.

What Is Content Marketing?

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The above image is taken from Google trends and shows the change in interest regarding the search phrase ‘content marketing’. But what is this subject all about and why is it becoming so popular?

In the UK alone an amazing 39.3 Million Adults access the internet daily and even more impressively in 2015  76% of adults purchased goods or services from the web.

Now as if this wasn’t enough for you to take the internet and content seriously, consider this: A whopping  409 million people view more than 22.8 billion blog pages each month.

Now ask yourself this question…..how does your company blog look in this vast arena? Is it something you farm out to your interns to take care of or do you have a dedicated content manager?

Don’t worry, in this article, we will explain exactly what you need to know and need to do to take your content to a new level.

How To Define Content Marketing From Blogging

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One of the core things we get asked is ‘what is the difference between content marketing and blogging?’

It is a good question but one of the best definitions I have seen come from the leading content website  Convince and Convert.com

“Content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers or prospects by creating attention or causing behaviour that results in leads, sales or advocacy.”

Ok, so what is blogging then? Well one good definition of blogging I have seen is:

“A blog (short for weblog) is a online personal journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.”

So perhaps now is a good time to ask yourself if your business or organisation is doing any content marketing or are you simply producing a diary of the various activities of your organisation?

How To Use Your Blog For Content Marketing

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Now you might be getting a little confused at this point as to how you engage in content marketing and what vehicle you use to achieve it.

The first part is understanding that most companies have a system already on their website that allows you to engage in content marketing. This is either called a ‘News’  section or a ‘blog’, and the navigation is often displayed in the header or footer of the site.

In simple terms, this is what is known as a Content Management System, and it is your way to creating content for the world and convey the story or message of your business

Now this is the important thing to remember, the real difference between blogging and content marketing is not the technology that you use but the way you use that technology and what you do with your content afterwards.

This is huge shift in thinking can lead your business to new heights, yet it is important to recognise that many people use the term blogging and content marketing interchangeably, even though the two activities are very different.

5 Ways Content Marketing Will Help You

Now that we have a clear understanding that blogging and content marketing are two very different  activities that often share the same name, it is now time for us to look at how content marketing is going to benefit you as a business

1. Businesses That Prioritise Content Will Experience a 13%ROI Year After Year

The nature of content marketing is all about ‘touches’. In other words, how many times a consumer has an experience with your business message before they become a customer. Many people refer to this in marketing as the rule of 7.

It is believed that a person has to see your company message at least 7 times before they will become a customer. However in truth, this could be anything from 6 to 16 depending on your business, your message and a whole bunch of other factors.

However, when you start to create content on a regular basis, we will start to see a change in the way that a consumer views you. Even now you are reading part of the Zoogly Media SEO and Content Marketing Strategy.

It is our hope that you will read this content and subscribe to get even more content like this and after some time learning about what we do and what our message is you will come to Zoogly for your content requirements.

Your company needs to do the same. Each piece of content then becomes useful and helpful to the reader, and this helps to develop a better relationship.

2.B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.

If you are wondering how your competition is outperforming your business, one of the major aspects is could be leads. After all, every business needs leads to survive.

Without leads, it is difficult to gain sales and without sales, you will soon go out of business.

B2B marketers that blog report a 67% increase in leads.

This makes sense, after all if you create content, and it gets seen by more people on-line then you will soon start to see an increase in interest of your services.

 

3.Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. 

Links are the currency of the internet. If a site links to you it speaks volumes about the information you have created, and as such this tells Google your information is useful to others, and it will respond by pushing you up the ranks.

There are in fact over 200 factors that go into the rankings of a website, and the quality of those backlinks is essential to your ranking.

As a result, if you produce great content, more and more people will link to your site, and this will help you to rise through the rankings. Now ask yourself if your current site and content is worthy of people linking to it?

 

 4. Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. 

Data suggests that people view blogs as the 5th most trusted source of information behind news sites, facebook, retail sites and of course, YouTube.

And again this makes perfect sense. It takes time to craft a blog post that is useful, and your company can change the opinion of a consumer through carefully chosen words. Yet not everyone has a dedicated content team, nor the time or resources to go out and create epic content every week or even every day in some cases.

The result is simple, people love content, people love stories, and they believe them. So isn’t it time you tell the story of your brand in the best possible way?

5.You Will Increase The Number of Visitors To Your Web Site

If you blog your business will see more traffic, in fact according to leading digital marketer Hubspot Businesses who blogged 16 to 20 times per month got over 2 times more traffic than those that blogged less than 4 times per month.

Now imagine the difference that going from zero blogging to regularly creating content will do for your traffic!

However, we also have to remember this isn’t just a content race. You need to be creating quality content that adds value. Brian Dean is a famous blogger who gets over 100,000 site visitors each month from just 34 posts on his site Backlinko. However to create great content you need to have a content marketing strategy.

Content Marketing Strategy: Crafting A Plan For Success

Where most companies fail in the content jungle it to have a ‘publish and prey approach’. This is a case of whacking out content every week and having no plan to how you are going to grow on-line.

In his excellent guide, Neil Patel lays out exactly how to craft a content marketing strategy however I tend to follow a faster route for clients so that they have a brief overview of their market and potential impact.

1.Start with Keyword Research

Head over to the free google keyword planner and start by finding out just what your industry is looking for.

Type in the search box your broad niche:

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Once you have done this, you will get a list of results that show the average amount of searches per month for your phrase (remember though you need to target your location before you click search)

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You will see the cost per click suggested bid for an AdWords campaign along with the search volume.

 

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The next step is to download this information but save to google drive, and you get an instant spreadsheet.

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From here you can have a really good look at search volume and plan your content around key phrases in your industry. Now although I use a lot of other hacks for keyword research, this is just my basic routine.

2. Look For Opportunity

Now I have a list of all my keywords I will start to go down the list and look for opportunities that I can use for any client. I am basically looking at content strategy areas.

Perhaps I have chosen to focus on content marketing tools which according to the planner only gets 70 searches in the UK per month, so I take that phrase and place it back into the keyword planner:

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I repeat the steps again, and I end up with a large list of potential keywords that my content can start to target.

3. Plan Out A Schedule

The next step is for your company to decide just how quickly you want to grow your traffic levels and how much content you want to create.

For example, if you run a  large company it is not unreasonable to create 3 articles a week that are between 1700 and 2700 words. However, that will require you to hire either a content marketing agency like Zoogly or a content team.

You can pay for content from writers however the quality is not likely to be great and the writer is not likely to understand your company well. One of the best things about hiring a content marketing agency is that they become really knowledgeable about your brand and industry.

So if it is 1 post per week, twice a week or even once a month, you still need to schedule when you are posting and keep to that schedule.

4. Flesh Out Content Ideas

Once you have started down this route, you need to flesh out your content ideas.

To do this, you need to research your area of focus and then make notes. I use a tool called Pocket to log any pages I find on the web that is of use.

I also go to Quora the question and answer site to see what problems my industry is facing:

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Once I have my ideas, I am ready for the next stage.

5. Picking A Content Type

There is a wide variety of ways that you can produce content on the web. How To Guides, List posts, Infographics and many more.

The key is finding what format works best for that type of content and then adding that to your strategy. Don’t worry we are still only planning at this stage but if you have an idea of what you like this is a very good time just to add it to your plan.

6.Formalise Your Strategy and Get Going

You now have a load of content ideas, an idea of how often you want to produce content, and it is now time to take all that information and plan out your strategy.

It is important that this is not set in stone as you will need to adapt as you go along however once this is mapped out you can then go out and hand this to your boss or client as a rough schedule for the year.

Once you do this you are ready to rock and roll and create great content.

7. Marketing The Content

After you publish you need to promote your content, and no this doesn’t mean that you can sit around and just pay to promote your post on Facebook

Instead, you need to start to build relationships with key people in your chosen field and show them your content.

This might mean you using a method we call ‘Social Hubs’ which will involve you spending time and contributing to key groups in your industry. However, you need to promote that content as well as create it.

8. Assess and Monitor

The final step is to monitor and assess your efforts on a  daily basis. You need to monitor your google analytics account and check every day how your content is doing. Luckily this is easy to do.

Log into your analytics account and scroll down the left-hand side until you see behaviour, click on that and then click on site content

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Once you have done this click on content drill down and you will be able to see how your content marketing is doing:

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Once you have access to this data, you will get to know what is working and what is not for your audience, and then you can adapt!

Conclusion

The aim of this post was to help you to understand exactly what content marketing is and to help you see how it would help your business. We added a brief looking at crafting a great content marketing strategy so you can quickly see how to craft a better attempt at your content marketing.

Are you considering a content marketing strategy and if so has this article helped you? Let us know by commenting below.

Thanks for reading

Andrew Holland

 

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