Whether you’re just starting out in the world of SEO, or are looking for ways to branch out to become one of the top SEO companies, and try new strategies, content marketing is a valuable technique to learn. And it doesn’t have to be intimidating – we’ve written up a quick, simple guide covering the basics of the trade. With a little bit of time and persistence, you’ll be well on your way to using content marketing to your advantage.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing refers to the practice of producing and distributing useful online content – that is, content which provides value to your audience, whether it be through entertainment or education. It doesn’t specifically promote a brand, but rather helps build a following for a brand’s products and services. Some examples of ways in which you could use content marketing include:
- Blog posts (including guest blogging)
- YouTube videos
- Instagram posts
- Facebook posts
Benefits and advantages
Content marketing comes with an array of benefits and advantages over traditional marketing (i.e. print and broadcast).
Its benefits include helping to increase a brand’s reputation with its audience, improving search engine rankings, and increasing and retaining traffic for a longer duration of time.
Its advantages over traditional marketing include:
- Value for money: Content marketing is typically much more cost-effective. While you still have to factor in costs associated with production and promotion (which are reasonably low), you don’t have to pay for advertising space, and distribution channels are often free to use.
- Long-lasting: Unlike a traditional advertisement which may date quickly, quality content (especially the evergreen sort) may stay relevant for years, thus keeping traffic flowing to your website for equally as long.
- Complements other strategies: Content marketing also assists with social media strategies, email marketing and SEO.
Initial steps for success
To begin, it is important to establish the groundwork for an effective content marketing strategy. These are some basic things to consider when starting out:
- Aim: Consider what the aim of your content marketing strategy is. What do you want to achieve? Is it higher levels of traffic, or a stronger conversion rate?
- Niche: Aim to be as specific as possible. What population do you want to target? What role in the ecosystem that is the internet do you want to occupy? Identifying your particular niche helps to differentiate you from other brands and become more relevant within your field.
- Audience: Think about the population you’re aiming to target. Consider their demographics, their interests, and their lifestyle. Being knowledgeable about your readers can help you improve the relevancy of your content and increase your audience base.
Building an effective strategy
Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to work on the rest of your strategy.
- Distribution channels: Think about which platform(s) you plan on using to share your content. Social media is arguably one of the strongest ways of sharing and interacting with your audience. You may also want to incorporate a variety of platforms; for example, your strategy may include a blog, a YouTube channel, and an Instagram account. If you have the resources to manage multiple platforms, consider it, as it is a great way to maximize your outreach.
- Use personal brands: Getting a personal brand to write a guest post on an external site for you is an excellent way to promote your brand and content.
- Keep promoting: It’s vital that you continue to share your work, rather than simply publishing it. You can do this in many ways, such as an email newsletter, or a one-off paid advertisement.
Your content marketing strategy will take time, but the results should be worth it.