Understanding Content Marketing: A Detailed Guide

Do you see brands posting reviews and testimonials of their customers’ success stories while you have failed to solve the digital marketing puzzle?

It’s not rocket science, and sometimes the solution is pretty simple – creating more relevant and valuable content. But will just having high-quality blog posts or videos help people choose your brand? Not exactly, because you must develop an effective strategy to make the content more appealing.

This is where content marketing helps generate leads for businesses and ensures that the audience gets value for spending time on your page. You can plan ahead by studying consumer behavior to promote the content accordingly while making alterations and changes along the way to improve your brand image.

Today’s guide provides an in-depth analysis of content marketing and why it’s a game changer on digital platforms.

What Is Content Marketing?

For any information related to the types of content marketing or what it entails, you can visit the webpage of the Content Marketing Institute. Here, we learned that content marketing strategy is a means of distributing content to engage with the audience. 

The catch is that the content, be it videos, blogs, or social media posts, should be relevant, valuable, and consistent with the target audience’s demands. Ultimately, the goal is to create high-quality content to generate leads and encourage user action for profit-making.

What Makes Content Marketing Unique?

From the above definition, you might think that content marketing is similar to advertising in many ways, but that’s not the case. You’re forgiven for assuming this because, like many people, you perhaps missed the key element – valuable. 

What makes content marketing unique is that it holds value for people who are often searching for something similar. They should want to consume the content and must get something worth their time for going through it. This will help increase traffic and encourage potential customers to purchase from a particular brand or contribute to a business.

Unlocking the 5 Secrets to Getting Your Business Found

David W

I’m the founder of WebCitz, LLC and have more than 20 years of experience developing and marketing websites.

What Are The Different Types Of Content Marketing?

To deliver more clarity on content marketing, we have shortlisted the most common content marketing formats to help you.

1.) Infographics

Infographics and eye-catching content go hand-in-hand because they consist of graphs, statistics, pictures, charts, etc., instead of only written content. The best thing is that if you can hit the sweet spot and design the perfect infographic, it will circulate on various social media platforms for years.

What grabs people’s attention are the bright colors and short write-ups to highlight the stats and figures. In other words, it isn’t boring and is a cost-effective digital marketing strategy.

It is an excellent way to present hard data and ensure that people can relate to it, which will increase brand value. Also, if it fails on one social media platform, you can keep publishing it on others without designing a new one.

2.) Blog posts

At times when people visit a webpage, they have no knowledge about the brand or the type of services/products available. Now, this is beneficial for two reasons. First, the potential consumer is in search of something that you can help with, which is why they stumbled across the site in the first place.

Secondly, a new customer is like a blank canvas, and you have a fantastic chance to make a good first impression. The trick to succeeding with blog content is to ensure it corresponds to your business and the products available to answer consumers’ queries.

You can generate more organic traffic and enhance SEO by writing blog posts, provided you keep these things in mind:

  • SEO is important, so hire professionals for SEO architecture
  • Eliminate irrelevant text
  • Organize the blog posts through cluster or pillar models

3.) Case studies

For your content marketing tactics to bear fruit, it’s crucial to have leads who want to learn about your business directly from the consumers. This is where case studies prove useful since they document customers’ journeys and help you convert leads into buyers.

One such social media marketing platform that top businesses often use is LinkedIn. Just the other day, we came across an Adobe-sponsored post that highlighted its success as a brand. Interestingly, Abode used data and statistics from LinkedIn and promoted them on the same platform to drive sales.

This is quite inspired and something other brands can take note of to improve their business model. Also, you can change the marketing strategy when needed and present content in unique ways, such as through video marketing.

4.) Video marketing

And while we are on the subject, video content is one of the best ways of consumer engagement. HubSpot found that 54% of people want to see videos from their favorite brands instead of other types, like long-form content. This is understandable because videos are more engaging, interesting, and, most importantly, a versatile medium.

It’s possible to create a variety of visual content and appeal to a broader audience. For instance, you can offer a tease of new products to leave customers wanting more. And with modern technology, like AR video marketing, shooting and editing videos with a smartphone to market your brand has become easier.

5.) Ebooks

Even if you’re a bit old school and like to buy hard copies of favorite authors, you can’t underestimate the impact of eBooks. In fact, for content marketing, eBooks sometimes hold the key to generating greater conversions by providing valuable information to people.

It’s similar to writing blog articles, whereby you can market your products and services better. The more people know about a brand, the more they will want to convert.

But make sure you don’t go on writing page after page – keep it short, crisp, use suitable fonts, and choose relevant keywords.

6.) Checklists

The great thing about checklists is that they are easy to use, as everyone maintains a to-do list for daily activities. You can grab consumers’ attention by providing a checklist of the possible solutions based on common queries.

Remember to tie it up with the businesses – for example, in the last step, you can ask customers to sign up with your brand. It’s an effective technique of lead generation for small and medium-scale businesses.

7.) User-generated content

What better way to build your business than getting customers involved? This is a great way to show that your brand is interested in acquiring consumers’ help and providing relevant services. It’s a unique content marketing strategy since it allows like-minded people to respond to each other. 

Suppose, after dining at a restaurant, a customer loves the food – like most people, they post that on social media. In some cases, this triggers an avalanche of retweets and comments that bodes well for the food outlet.

You can try to create something similar by writing shareable content to ensure it strikes a chord with the target audience and has the maximum impact. More people talking about your brand will lead to greater conversions.

8.) Memes

We bet you’re surprised to find memes on this list, but it’s as important as the other points. With people spending more time on social media, consuming content through memes and sharing posts with friends has become almost a routine.

This is where you can cash in and create memes with culturally relevant text for greater engagement with the target audience. If it strikes the right chord with consumers, they will share the post online and increase website traffic.

Two things are vital for a meme to deliver positive results:

  • Timing 
  • Aligning it with your marketing goals

You will need to hire marketing teams to study the latest social media trends and determine where or how your company fits into the scheme of things. It’s called social listening and helps create relevant content that guarantees value to customers.

9.) Whitepapers

Whitepapers are similar to eBooks and feature long-form articles, although they are densely packed with statistics and data. The Demand Gen Survey Report found that 71% of buyers referred to whitepapers for research, thanks to their detailed information.

Its primary purpose is to break the data into bite-sized chunks while providing in-depth analysis through graphs and charts, which makes the documents more visually appealing. Ask the content marketing team to format the page and alter the layout to make it easily readable.

10.) Testimonials/customer reviews

Another type of content that comes directly from the audience is customer reviews. When your business operations take place in a niche market, you can get an idea about the company’s reputation by reading the reviews on a content marketing platform. 

Other content marketing efforts include testimonials from celebrities or athletes to promote a brand’s products. But if you don’t have the budget to strike a deal with Rafael Nadal, you can publish customer reviews on your website or use email marketing to attract customers.

People can also use search engines to find the latest reviews about a business before converting.

11.) Influencer marketing

One of the best ways to build brand awareness and create interactive content is through social media influencers. When struggling to attract the target audience, influencers can bridge the gap or even attract a new group of consumers.

It’s a highly successful content marketing strategy whereby the influencer promotes the services of a brand through their page, which leads to more views for them and the business. You can contact the manager or company looking after an influencer’s deals or send an email with a press release of your organization.

12.) How-to guides

In content marketing, how-to guides are especially important when you design software like CRM. Thanks to training programs, you can interact with new or existing customers as they test the product to determine its worth. That’s why Google Ads, HubSpot, and Skillshare all have training courses as part of their content marketing tactics.

There’s also a feature called Instagram carousels for smaller businesses, whereby you can put out video content or multiple photos to explain a particular subject. Keep the video clips short to hold customers’ attention and push them along in the buying process.

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

The above quote is apt for content marketing; just like in life, you need a clear plan of action to distribute and implement a brand’s content. But how badly will your brand fair without a strategy because there are companies without any strategy, right?  

Yes, 40% of companies have no strategy, but this is no reason to get your hopes up. 78% of organizations felt their marketing efforts were successful, thanks to their content plan, while 81% who didn’t have any strategy produced mostly irrelevant content.

Not feeling so good now about being among the 40%, are you? You can organize the content based on success metrics and the company’s goals while making improvements and alterations depending on audience interaction.

To develop your content strategy, you can take inspiration from the five methods mentioned below:

1.) Know your audience

We often hear filmmakers saying that their films are for a particular audience, and if you didn’t give any importance to their words, then do now. Apply the same strategy to content marketing by determining who the content is for. For this, you will need to –

  • Stay updated about industry trends
  • Eliminate everyone other than prospective customers
  • Survey your target audience 
  • Keep one eye on your competitors

After that, use Personas Tool (or something similar) to explain how you created the audience list to stakeholders and the brand messaging team.

2.) Positioning the brand and stories

Be it blog content marketing, creating videos, or social media posts, it’s essential to position the brand and products strategically across the page. This helps build brand image and sets the right tone for maximum conversions.

For this purpose, some of the questions you can brainstorm with your team include:

  • Who are your potential and existing customers?
  • What are your consumers’ goals?
  • What’s your brand value?
  • Why should customers choose your company over others?
  • What value does the product/service hold for customers?
  • How are your competitors performing, and what are their marketing strategies?

Answers to these questions will help shape the brand image and promote your company’s history, values, mission, and purpose. It’s an effective technique to shortlist the best topics and provide relevant content to consumers.

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind before content creation –

  • The hero of your story is the customer
  • Customers’ requirements and the challenges they face
  • Brand values and purpose
  • Company’s image
  • Impact of the product/service to improve people’s lives

The bottom line is you have to promote the brand’s uniqueness for customers to share their success stories about you.

3.) Mission statement and value proposition

A common strategy for a brand to stand out and be considered reputable by customers is through owned media value propositions. Those who don’t know – owned media tries to cash in on demand for products, known as the pull marketing strategy. 

It’s different from push media marketing because you deliver valuable content at the outset and wait for consumers to act whenever they want. The beauty of this strategy is that you can race ahead of the competition if you have the answers to the following questions:

  • Is the content unique, and what value does it provide?
  • How will you keep readers engaged in different channels?
  • What makes you better than other companies?

We also recommend that you clearly define your brand’s mission statement by pinpointing the reason for content creation and how consumers can benefit from it. Most importantly, mention your target audience and how you can help them achieve their goals.

4.) Business case and goals

We have spoken a lot about providing value to consumers so that they can convert or attract new customers. But even then, you should look to progress the business further by establishing clear goals for the company. How else will you judge the success or failure of a content marketing venture if there’s nothing to compare it to?

Once you know the company’s aim, it will become easier to decide how content marketing will help achieve those milestones. This will automatically get you thinking about resources and a suitable strategy.

To convince potential clients, highlight the risks, opportunities, benefits, and costs associated with content marketing to win them over.

5.) It’s time to act

Make a list of upcoming marketing campaigns and projects to include in the content plan. After that, you can decide how to align them with your business objectives to plan each step precisely. 

You can include the following information to increase the relevance and value of the marketing campaign –

  • Choose only the best topics and quality content
  • Use relevant content marketing formats
  • Select channels for effective content promotion and distribution

To choose the best formats and channels, we recommend looking at records of your content performance and analyzing consumer behavior. But if you need some tips, read the next section to clear your queries. 

How to Boost Your Website Conversions

David W

I’m the founder of WebCitz, LLC and have more than 20 years of experience developing and marketing websites.

Tips For Different Types Of Content Marketing

These tips will help in the long-term planning and development of effective campaigns since you will be able to anticipate challenges and keep the necessary resources ready.

1.) Create an empathy map

To understand market trends and formulate strategies based on the target audience’s requirements, you can create an empathy map. It looks at things from the customers’ points of view to help you plan suitable strategies and improve the content depending on their perception.

The trick to it is determining consumers’ pain points and recognizing their buying behavior.

2.) Jobs to be done

A simple way to determine consumers’ needs, so they turn to you for help is by using the “jobs to be done” framework. By completing a series of sentences, you can look at things from the customers’ perspective to see if the content or service will benefit them.

These sentences are –

  • “When I…” which is the customer’s problem
  • “That’s why I want…” is your solution for them
  • “So I can…” is how the customer will benefit.

Let’s see an example to understand this better – “When I use my laptop, it hurts my eyes; that’s why I want to buy glasses so I can work in peace.” This is just a random example, but you get the gist of how to offer services that will prove useful to consumers (unless you’re already in the eyecare business).

3.) Goal setting

To establish well-defined goals, you can take the help of multiple marketing frameworks like SMART or CLEAR. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, but when you’re looking to set more realistic benchmarks, you can use the latter.

CLEAR is more suitable for a fast-changing environment and stands for Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable.

Final Thoughts on Getting into Content Marketing

You can push customers along the sales funnel to achieve more conversions with the right content marketing tools, tactics, and techniques.

But we have seen that outbound techniques have lost their effectiveness in attracting new or potential customers, and people are looking for something more natural. That’s where content marketing can help, as you can market your brand in the form of a story. 

The goal is to ensure that you create content that feels authentic and is tailored to the audience to grab their attention. So, we will let you get started with the content plan and see you next time with another interesting guide. Bye!

David W

I'm the founder of WebCitz, LLC and have more than 20 years of experience developing and marketing websites.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or any websites linked to from this page. This article was written by David W in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect those of WebCitz, LLC. When you purchase through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission.