In 2022, Semrush released its State of Content Marketing Global Report, which showed that 97% of respondents consider content marketing an important part of their overall marketing strategy. It’s clear that high-quality content is critical to your success, but what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a way to connect with your target audience. It involves creating and distributing valuable content relevant to audience members' needs. Content marketing helps increase brand awareness and get people interested in your products or services.
This guide explains why content is so important and outlines what you can do to create a content marketing strategy that works. We also rounded up three examples of companies knocking it out of the park.
Types of Content
When you use content as part of your marketing strategy, you need to deliver the right piece of content at just the right time. There are dozens of types of content, but these are some of the most common.
As you probably know, an infographic is a visual representation of information. This type of content is especially helpful for sharing survey results and other types of data. Instead of wading through a paragraph filled with numbers, your audience can simply look at a pie chart or bar graph.
You don’t need to be fancy, either. Clare McDermott of the Content Marketing Institute recommends simplicity whenever possible. Pie charts and bar graphs may be “boring” to you, but most people are familiar with them.
A case study is a report explaining how an organization implemented a product or service. The report typically describes a problem the company was having and explains how a product or service helped to solve that problem.
Social media posts
It may seem like social media was made to share recipes and get into political arguments. Still, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the most powerful marketing tools available. Social media networks allow you to engage directly with the people in your target audience, sparking interest in your company and making it easier than ever to gather customer feedback.
Not everyone likes to read blog posts and other types of written content. Instead of leaving them out of the conversation, connect with them via video.
Video content is ideal for demonstrating product features, introducing new employees, or taking potential customers on a virtual tour of your business. You can be completely serious or show off your silly side—it all depends on how you want customers to perceive you.
In 2021, podcasters released more than 48 million episodes of their shows, making podcasts one of the most popular forms of content marketing. A podcast is an audio show focused on a specific theme or topic.
You don’t need to talk about true crime or snark on celebrities to start a successful podcast. Spotify has shows dedicated to landscaping, dentistry, roofing, and everything. If you have something interesting to say, there are people ready to listen.
A landing page is one of the most important digital marketing tools in your arsenal. A landing page is designed for a specific marketing campaign where people land when they click a link to your site. Landing page = where the visitor lands. Get it?
White papers are one of the most useful content formats for B2B companies. A white paper provides a detailed overview of a problem and introduces a recommended solution. This type of content may take months to prepare due to the amount of research required to meet the needs of your target audience.
A webinar is an online presentation that allows you to connect with audience members worldwide. The best webinars are interactive. In other words, participants aren’t held captive while the presenter talks to them for an hour. Instead, they actively participate in the webinar, asking questions or giving their opinions on a specific topic.
Top Reasons to Incorporate Content Marketing Into Your Business Strategy
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of your content marketing efforts, here’s why you should incorporate content creation and distribution into your overall marketing strategy.
1. Content builds trust
When you buy something for the first time, do you buy from the first business that comes along, or do you take your time and do some research? Hopefully, you research your options carefully and buy from a trusted brand that sells what you need at a price you can afford.
Publishing high-quality content turns you from an unknown quantity into a trusted source of expert advice in your niche. The more potential customers see your blog posts, videos, and other types of content, the more likely they are to trust you if they need your products or services.
2. Great content helps you generate more leads
Think of each piece of content as a little soldier helping you fight for attention in a crowded marketplace. Every time someone in your target audience comes across your content, they can learn more about your business.
3. Content is highly shareable
When you publish great content, people want to share it. They’ll forward your emails to friends and colleagues and share your videos on their social media accounts. With the right kind of content, you can have customers doing some of your marketing for you, reducing your expenses and giving your marketing team more time to focus on strategic planning.
SEO Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing is also highly effective for search engine optimization. The more pages you publish, the more opportunities the search engines have to crawl your pages and determine if your online content is relevant to specific search terms.
Publishing good content can also help SEO by showing Google that you’re committed to quality. The E-A-T algorithm update emphasizes expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Relevant content goes a long way toward establishing your company as an authority in your industry.
Great content can also position you as a thought leader, emphasizing your expertise and making it more likely that potential customers will trust what you say. That means content marketing has an excellent return on investment.
3 Examples Of Effective Content Marketing Campaigns
Need inspiration before you create your content marketing plan? Check out these three content marketing examples.
Limeade develops employee well-being programs for companies throughout the United States. The company focuses on holistic wellness, which emphasizes physical, social, emotional, and financial well-being for employees.
If you visit the Limeade website, you’ll see that it’s filled with helpful content, such as customer stories, a blog, and a resource center. Limeade also partners with research firms to produce in-depth reports for corporate decision-makers.
Smart Passive Income started out as a simple blog that taught people how to do keyword research, create buyer personas, and dominate the SERPs for high-value keywords. Over time, owner Pat Flynn has grown SPI into a world-renowned brand in the digital marketing space.
SPI now has a blog, four podcasts, and online courses to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the skills they need to earn money online. Flynn and his team members are active on social media platforms and stay connected with audience members via email marketing and other types of content marketing.
One of the best features on the SPI site is the archive of income reports that Flynn used to publish monthly. These reports are highly shareable and inspire readers to dream big about starting their own businesses.
When it comes to inbound marketing, you can’t beat Hubspot. The company offers content marketing software and other tools to help companies with lead generation, marketing automation, and marketing metrics. As of mid-December 2022, more than 400,000 Hubspot pages have been indexed by Google.
Hubspot is known for in-depth marketing guides, trend reports, templates, and infographics. Some of the company’s best content focuses on addressing customer pain points, understanding the buyer’s journey, and using social media marketing to promote almost any business.
The company also publishes several podcasts and a newsletter called “The Hustle,” making it easier to bring in a steady stream of new customers.
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