A Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

It’s fair to say that, in recent years, content marketing has really come to the fore when it comes to a business’ digital marketing efforts. With Google putting more restrictions around the gaining of backlinks to your website and more importance on the development of fantastic, valuable and engaging content, businesses across all sectors have had to change their tactics.

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing is essentially content that you provide on behalf of your business with the aim of gaining someone’s attention.

It differs from traditional marketing tactics in that you’re not interrupting them to push your business in front of them. Instead, you attempt to earn their attention and get them wanting to find out more by delivering an insightful piece of content that they actively seek to engage with.

As a result, you can subtly marketing your product or service to them, without being over the top or frustrating them with adverts that they don’t want to be seeing.

What can content marketing look like?

The great thing about developing content is that it can come in numerous different shapes, sizes and forms. Some of the most popular content types include:

Blog posts

Any business website should have a blog that is populated with interesting and engaging content alongside company and industry news. 

By regularly updating your blog, you can add value to your website, improve your rankings in the search engines, build awareness around your brand and also generate traffic, through the likes of social shares and people linking into your blog and the content within it from their own sites.

Whitepapers and guides

In order to write a whitepaper or guide, you need to have in-depth knowledge around the subject area, however if done well, you could find your whitepaper or guide gets shared wide and far.

You can make these papers downloadable from your own site to pull in traffic whilst also providing an easy location for others to link in to when they share your content through their chosen platform.

Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of interesting facts, figures and statistics which are incredibly easy to share via social media and on external websites through the additional of a simple embed code that includes a link back to your website.

Alongside visual infographics that showcase stats of interest, there are now a number of tools available to make infographics interactive, so users can scroll through to different sections and take quizzes within the graphic. All of this helps to stimulate the user and increase the chances of them taking the time to share this great piece of content they have come across with their peers.

Presentations

Something as simple as a presentation that you make easily shareable through a platform such as SlideShare can be classed as a form of content marketing.

If you have just presented an industry conference for example, there’s a good chance that those in attendance would like to be able to look back over your slides, so why not make it easy for them? Provide them with a link to your presentation that they can then go on and share with others when they get back to the office.

Video content

Video content is huge right now, and serves our increasing desire to access information in a simple to take in format and do so at a time that suits us.

Video for content marketing purposes can come in all manner of forms, from how-to guides to behind the scenes footage, question and answer sessions and so much more.

What can content marketing achieve?

With the likes of Youtube being so easy to upload and house video content on, and then subsequently share directly from there or embed on your own website, it’s easy to see why an increasing number of businesses are turning to video as part of their content marketing efforts.

The answer to what content marketing can achieve very much depends what your end goals are. High quality, well researched content marketing can:

  • Increase conversions in the form of sales on your website, sign-ups to your newsletter, telephone calls, contact form submissions. No matter what your end conversion goal is, providing viewers with a call to action at the end has the power to enhance activity and impact conversions.
  • Build high quality links back to your website. In a time where Google frowns upon many link building tactics to improve SEO performance, content marketing can help you acquire organic links due to the quality of the end product. Over time, and with the frequent production of high quality content, others will start to recognise you as a leader in the field, and be looking to share what you produce with others.
  • Increase social sharing and activity on your chosen platforms. If you produce interesting content that catches a social media user’s eye, they will engage with it in the form of comments, likes and those all-important shares that help it get in front of even more eyes.
  • More traffic through to your website. At the end of the day, you’ll want more people to become aware of you and what you have to offer, which they will be able to do by visiting your website. If your content is good enough, the likelihood is that the viewer will want to find out more about who it has come from, hence increasing traffic to your site.
  • Increased brand awareness. Great content can do much of the hard work when it comes to marketing your business to others. You can reach huge audiences through fantastic content that has your brand message behind it, increasing the number of people who know about you and are becoming aware of what you have to offer.

From assisting your SEO efforts to building brand awareness, developing an active following on social media and establishing your business as a thought leader within the industry, plus so much more, content marketing has the potential to be hugely beneficial to your company and your digital marketing efforts moving forward.