Content creators, writers, entrepreneurs, communicators, and business owners create or produce content. Audiences want that content from your brand and business. It needs to reach them in an organic and natural way. Content Marketing is the way to do it. The market is buzzing with a desperate need for people who have their finger on the pulse and are aware of the bridge between two industries- content & marketing.
With a rapidly growing budget and gap for roles, it is an exciting new opportunity for creators, communicators to look for roles as content marketers in 2022. If you are looking to develop content marketing skills, this beginner’s guide is ideal for you. We break down the term, its implications, processes, and how you can apply it to your industry.
Before we start our guide to Content Marketing, let us explain what it is.
Content Marketing is the manner in which businesses attract, engage, and communicate with target audiences and the market. Traditionally called Marketing, it is now merged with content and focuses on achieving optimum results for your brand and its presence.
WHY CONTENT MARKETING?
What is it about traditional marketing forms that signal a need for change? Audiences today want everything to be seamless and organic. The content they consume (even if its branded) should be visible on existing mediums without being obvious. For example, traditional marketing would suggest placing ads between videos on YouTube. But how often have you personally used the ‘Skip Ad’ option? Traditional (or outbound) forms of marketing can feel invasive and irrelevant to audiences and the market. This is where Content Marketing comes in. You use newer, fresh ways of integrating content within channels to reach audiences.
FORMS OF CONTENT MARKETING
Content Marketing is a broad term which can include multiple forms of marketing. It is also used interchangeably with Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing (though both are technically forms of Content Marketing). The goals of these forms remain the same, which is to plan, create, publish, distribute, and share content on digital and offline channels.
- Social Media Marketing- Arguably, the most popular and used term, Social Media Marketing is working with social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat) to create, publish, and share content for your brand. As of 2020, Facebook has 2.6 billion active monthly users. These numbers signify that social media platforms are getting too big to be included in traditional or offline marketing. Most companies have full-fledged departments for Social Media. The common roles are Social Media Manager, Social Media Coordinator, Social Media Assistant, and Social Media Executive.
- Video Marketing- Companies that engage in video marketing increase revenue 49% faster than those that don’t. Consumers prefer to learn about brands through videos which makes video marketing a powerful form of content marketing. You can create smaller videos, how-to guides, reels, and snippets of behind the scenes to share on your social media channels. Professional opportunities are excellent for videographers, editors, directors, graphic designers, visual effects artists, performers, and writers in video marketing. Most digital marketing agencies outsource their videos to production houses or have smaller in-house teams that work on multiple projects.
- Podcasts- Podcasts are emerging as a viable source of content marketing due to their disruptive nature. Artists and entrepreneurs can record and share podcasts without spending excessive money. Podcasts are also useful for informative sessions, heavy topics such as finance, tech, and health. The audio nature of podcasts makes it accessible to diverse audiences and acts as a way of reaching your target market during their travel or leisure time. Sound editors, voiceover artists, writers, producers, singers, performers, directors, and creative directors have a strong chance of working in podcasts and the audio industry.
- Blogging- Long-form content will always be a staple for marketing, despite the changing attitudes. Blogs are a useful resource for external and internal content, news, guides, services, and upselling your customers. Writers, editors, proofreaders, content editors, copywriters, and publishers have crucial career opportunities in the blogging industry.
Now that we know the various forms and types of Content Marketing, let’s figure how to create a Content Marketing strategy.
CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
This is a template for a basic content marketing strategy. You can customise it to suit your brand and business and your goals.
- SET GOALS- What are your goals? Are they yearly, quarterly, or monthly? They should also complement your traditional marketing, advertising, and sales goals. If you are a new brand for example, your goal can be brand awareness, attracting new partners or stakeholders, and establishing your presence. Get your goals as specific as you can to avoid confusion within your team.
- DETERMINE YOUR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are data points companies use to measure performance and success. They are quantifiable and can help with specificity. So, if your purpose is brand awareness, then your KPIs will be site traffic, subscriptions, reshares, number of followers etc. For engagement, they will be shares, likes, follows, reposts, backlinks, mentions, and stories.
- CONTENT SELECTION- What is your audience looking for? Who are they? Why should they pick you? Answer questions like these to select the kinds of content you should create and publish. It is extremely important to answer these questions and have a content creation calendar or tool that allows you to produce content targeted to your needs.
- CONTENT CHANNELS- Just because there are 10 different social media or content channels, doesn’t mean you need to be creating content for ALL of them. Select a few that suit your audiences (e.g. if targeting younger audiences, pick TikTok, Instagram) and focus on them. Use automation tools (such as Hootsuite) to streamline the process and plan content in advance.
- BUDGET PLAN- Work on a fixed monthly, quarterly, or yearly budget to avoid going overboard. Do you need external teams/members? Will you need special equipment or rental spaces? Do you need software memberships or subscriptions? Are you going to purchase ad space or boost your posts? These questions should be answered with the help of your team before embarking on your content marketing strategy.
- ANALYSIS- Analyse your content every month or quarter to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. You can use tools such as Google Analytics or Sprout Social to help you understand how close you are to your KPIs.
Content Marketing is an evolving field with massive scope for growth in the future. It is buzzing and provides employment opportunity to a diverse range of professionals. For creators, writers, or entrepreneurs looking to kickstart their career or transition their skills, content marketing is optimum and allows for real money and stability. Companies are also open to remote opportunities which makes it viable for returning moms or people looking to jump back after a break.
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