These days, people interact with brands in many ways: video, podcast, social media, and a whole lot more. All these prove that content is king today and in the future. However, publishing content just because won't work anymore. It needs to have a partner, and the best is context.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of creating relevant, valuable, and engaging information for a targeted audience. Content can include:
Video content - Educational, how-tos
Blogs - Tips, news, industry updates
Whitepapers/ eBooks - Research and statistics
Infographics - Visual representation of information (sweet spot for bit.ly)
Webinars - Web-based seminars that provide real value to your audience before selling your product or service
Web content - Articles, blog posts, landing pages
Content in social media platforms- Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates
Email marketing content - Newsletters, drip campaigns
Podcasts - Audio or video files you can subscribe to
Visual content - Photos, videos, slideshows
SEO content - Titles, meta descriptions, header tags
Paid ads - Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.
Some people confuse content marketing with other digital marketing strategies, such as search engine marketing (SEM). While search engine marketing is a subset of content marketing, it is essential to know the difference.
Content marketing means creating any type of content for your potential customers online. SEM involves optimizing web pages, appearing at the top of search engines when people search specific keywords.
For example, let's say you are selling cat food, and you create a blog post called "7 Tips for Training Your Kitten." The content is focused on the needs of your target audience (cat owners) and helps them solve their problems by training their cats with these seven tips.
SEM would involve getting as many web pages as possible to rank highly when people search for the keyword "training a kitten." This could include optimizing the title of the blog post, the meta description, and even the header tags on the page.
While both content marketing and SEM can help you bring in leads and customers, content marketing is a long-term strategy that helps build trust and credibility with your target audience. It can take time to rank highly on search engines, but content marketing creates value for people that builds trust and generates conversions.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
When done well, content marketing offers many benefits to both the brand and the audience:
1. It Is One of the Foundations of Digital Marketing
Content marketing is one of the fundamental pillars of digital marketing. It helps businesses attract and retain customers by creating and distributing valuable content.
What's more, it is fundamental in guiding your leads throughout their customer journey. One of the most significant roles of content is to bring them deeper into the sales funnel.
Sale Funnel Definition: A funnel is a visual representation of the process your leads go through from the time they first hear about your product or service to when they become a customer.
While some leads become new customers immediately, most go through a journey visually represented by a sales funnel. These stages include:
Awareness: The first stage of the funnel, in which the customer becomes aware of your product or service.
Interest: The second stage of the funnel, in which the customer expresses an interest in your product or service.
Consideration: The third stage of the funnel, in which the customer considers whether to buy your product or service.
Purchase: The fourth stage of the funnel, in which the customer moves forward with a purchase.
Loyalty: The fifth stage of the funnel, during which you try to keep your customers loyal by offering post-purchase support.
Creating high-quality content can push your leads into the funnel until they purchase a product or service. Like in the funnel, you will have the most leads in the brand-awareness stage. As they trickle down, the number also decreases. The good news is that those who end up in the lower levels of the funnel are quality leads. In other words, these are individuals who have the highest chance of buying your product and service.
Either way, content marketing supports every stage. For example, when you're trying to raise brand awareness, you can use content like whitepapers to reach your audience. Creating high-quality blog posts with interesting, actionable insights is the best bet for quality backlinks and social shares when you want to increase your fan base.
Meanwhile, when you want to retain customers or build loyalty, some excellent content ideas are case studies and guides. You can even use content to improve your lead generation and customer acquisition. One great idea is to create a "lead magnet" such as an eBook or checklist, which you can then give away in exchange for the prospect's contact details.
2. Content Providers Can Use It Across Different Channels
One of the advantages of content marketing is that it can be used across different channels. This flexibility makes it a powerful tool for reaching your target market.
For example, you can use content to drive traffic to your website, social media pages, and email marketing campaigns. You can also use it to create paid ads, an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to reach a larger audience.
Even better, because content can be versatile, you can use the same high-quality content for different websites. Let's pretend you've created a 10-minute how-to video on how to bake a Christmas cookie. You can upload that on YouTube.
However, you can also splice that or make clips then upload these on other social media platforms with a shorter duration, such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. You can share them on Instagram Stories or Reels, for instance.
Then, you can share the actual YouTube video on your blog post to boost organic traffic and improve Google rankings.
3. It Can Increase Digital Marketing Conversion and Lower Costs
By now, most marketers know there's no such thing as a free Internet marketing strategy. Sure, some tools can be. Greencheck.ai, for instance, lets you generate a comprehensive SEO report in real-time with zero cost.
However, you cannot implement marketing tactics without spending. Fortunately, you can lower your costs while increasing your conversion with valuable content.
For one, B2B content providers can use content to improve lead generation. You can use easily shareable blog posts to encourage website visits and social media sharing. You can even set up PPC ads or build microsites with high-quality content that links back to your main site.
You can also use several quality content pieces to optimize each funnel stage. This will help you save on costs while generating leads and sales. Additionally, using content for nurturing customers can help keep your costs down. You can send valuable content to your email list without breaking the bank. Some clever ideas include:
Creating a series of short, helpful videos
Writing eBooks on topics related to your product or service
Recording podcast episodes with thought leaders in your industry
Creating a blog post series around a specific topic
Marketers today can also repurpose old content. They can add more recent information, include more relevant keywords, use fresh visuals, and drive more visitors without spending more time and money on other content.
They can also collaborate with people in the same field, such as a few content marketers or social media influencers. Not only can they benefit from each other's resources, but also teaming up means there's more material to work with for better results.
4. It Can Increase Brand Engagement and Authenticity
Content marketing can help you build a good brand name and improve your reputation by giving thought leadership to industry topics. It can also add authenticity to your personal brand, especially if you run a business that's less "corporate" in nature, such as lifestyle coaches or freelancers.
You can engage your potential and paying customers by creating content that tackles issues they're interested in. This way, you'll attract more prospects and keep them engaged. You can also use it to build a stronger connection with your existing fans or email list by publishing specific kinds of content for each group.
For instance, say you sell children's books. Your prospects are usually parents looking to read more bedtime stories. You can then create content that centers on parenting tips or recent research studies on kids' mental development.
Meanwhile, your blog readers are primarily teachers who want to share them for their class lessons or children looking forward to reading new stories at night with their parents. You can then publish content that appeals to their interests, such as activities or games parents and kids can do together.
5. Quality Content Can Boost Your Google Rankings
Surprised? Content marketing improves your brand's reputation, grows your email list, and helps you rank higher in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). There are several ways this happens:
Content analysis tools such as Greencheck.ai have become more popular for marketers to determine which articles performed best when they published certain pieces. You can then use the information to improve content for better rankings.
Google has been known to rank sites that publish frequently and create high-quality content higher than those that don't. The more you post, the more likely you are to get ranked--provided the quality of your content remains consistent.
Including keywords in your titles and throughout your articles can help improve your site's rankings. But be careful not to overstuff your content with keywords or you might get penalized by Google.
Great content is helpful in link building. Creating external links from other authoritative sites (such as .edu or .gov domains) can help improve your site's ranking since Google sees these links as a sign of trust and authority.
6. It Can Help You Stand Out from the Competition and Enhance Your Brand's Authority
The Internet is a crowded space, so businesses need to find ways to stand out and be seen. Content marketing can help you do just that.
A study by Smart Insights reveals that businesses that use content marketing grow their revenue 49% faster than those who don't.
Content marketing also helps you build relationships with your audience, especially if they're loyal to you and keep coming back for more. This way, you'll understand their needs better and provide the information they need accordingly.
When you publish relevant content consistently, your audience will see you as an authority in the industry. And in the digital marketing world, nothing is more precious than gaining consumer trust.
7. You Can Scale Your Online Marketing Strategy Depending on Results
Content marketing isn't a one-and-done activity. It's an ongoing process that requires effort and resources to keep it going. But the great thing about it is that you can scale your actions based on the results you're getting.
If you find that a particular type of content performs well, you can produce more of it. If you see that people comment or share your content more, you know that you're on the right track and should continue creating similar content.
On the other hand, if you're not getting the results you want, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Maybe you need to produce more interactive content or focus on a different target audience. Tools such as Greencheck.ai can provide you with valuable suggestions on how to create awesome content.
8. Online Content Creation Supports Offline Marketing Tactics
Contrary to popular belief, traditional marketing isn't dead. Take, for example, printed magazines. According to Statista, nearly a hundred million still read it. These publications can still generate an incredible $229 million ad sales .
Besides, not all people want to use the Internet or can access it. In fact, a new study by Pew Research shared that at least 7% of Americans don't log on to their email or browse Google.
As a marketer, these figures suggest that you cannot abandon conventional marketing channels quickly. But you also cannot afford to ignore the growth of e-commerce. In this situation, content marketing is an excellent tool to complement your offline marketing strategy.
You can provide your audience with more information or help solve their problems. One of the few examples to try is coupons. You can write an ad about special holiday discounts or offers. Then, you can enclose them in certain printed magazines and upload them on your website for those who want to use digital coupons.
So Is Content King? Yes, But Context Is Just as Vital
With this long list of benefits, it's evident that content is king in digital marketing. Visual, audio, or written content influences several Internet marketing techniques, including paid ads, link building, and SEO.
But even ancient history reveals that a kingdom doesn't prosper when the king doesn't have a queen. Some say that title belongs to distribution. We say that it should go to context.
What is context, especially when it relates to content marketing? Context refers to all the elements or aspects surrounding a particular content. It's the circumstances and environment in which the content is being created, viewed, or interacted with.
It answers the following questions:
Who is your audience?
What do they want to know?
What format will be most effective for them?
When is the best time to send the content?
Context is often used synonymously with "audience." But it's much more than that. The audience is simply a part of the context.
For example, if you're writing an article about the best time to buy a car, your audience is people in the market for a new car. But other factors that contribute to the context of your content would be things like what type of car they're interested in, what their budget is, and where they live.
Contextual factors can vary greatly depending on the content you're creating. But some general things to consider include:
Benefits of Adding Context to Your Content
What does this mean for your digital marketing efforts? You may have great content, but it doesn't mean it can convert. More than anything, it needs to be both RELEVANT and USEFUL to them. To do that, you need to have all the essential elements in the equation: timing, format, and method of distribution or delivery.
Let's say you sell heaters. An excellent strategic approach is to create a blog post or possibly a video about saving money on electricity this winter. It sounds like great content, right?
But it won't work for people living near the equator since they don't enjoy the freezing winter. You also cannot expect a high conversion rate if you decide to publish it in March since it's already spring.
Overall, adding context to your content provides the following benefits:
1. Adds Personalization to Content
Including contextual elements in your content helps create a deeper connection with your audience, making them feel more welcome and valued. As you research the needs of your audience, you may discover new opportunities to add value through personalized content.
2. Helps You Stand Out from the Competition
Creating relevant content for your audience and adding contextual elements is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Not many businesses take the time to do this, so you'll be ahead of the curve, and your audience will appreciate it.
3. Allows You to Meet Your Goals
If you know your audience and understand the context in which they're most likely to consume your content, you're well on your way to creating content that meets your goals. Whether it's leads, conversions, better position in the search results, or branding, contextual content can help you get there.
4. Helps You Build Trust with Your Audience
When your audience feels like you understand them, they're more likely to trust you. And as you continue to produce relevant and contextual content, that trust will only grow.
5 Tips to Create Content with Proper Context
1. Do Your Research
Before you begin creating content, it's essential to do your research and understand your audience. What are their interests? What are they struggling with? What format will they appreciate the most?
The answers to these questions will help you understand where your leads are in their customer journey. Once you know your audience, you can tailor your content specifically for them.
This can mean different things depending on the type of content you're creating. But some general tips include:
Include case studies that prove your product/service works
Highlight testimonials from people just like your audience
Offer actionable takeaways and suggestions
You can use analysis tools like Greencheck.ai to perform thorough SEO and content audits . The platform offers actionable suggestions to help you improve your marketing strategies fast.
2. Publish at the Right Time
It's not enough to simply create great content. You also need to publish it at the right time. Timing is everything when it comes to contextual content.
Consider the following factors when determining when to publish:
To ensure you don't miss the opportunity to publish timely content, develop a content calendar .
3. Pay Attention to Format
When it comes to formatting, you have a few different options: blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. But which one is the best for your audience?
Again, this depends on your audience and their interests. For instance, micro sites, blogs, and videos could work more effectively with Generation Z. These are digital natives with a short attention span. Meanwhile, your content becomes more valuable to visual learners if they are video or infographic.
Generally, mix it up and try different formats and interactive content. This will keep things fresh for both you and your audience, and it will encourage them to come back for more.
Don't forget to make your content easy to share, especially across social media platforms.
4. Dive Deeper into Your Subject Matter
Don't be afraid to go a little deeper into your subject matter. When you provide more context, your audience will appreciate it. They'll also feel like you're taking the time to get to know them and understand their needs.
Deeper content can take a few different forms:
Long-form blog posts
Including relevant data and statistics helps support your points and makes your content more credible. It also helps to illustrate the importance of your topic.
On the other hand, adding relevant images and videos can bring your content to life and help illustrate the points you're trying to make. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so take full advantage of it!
Lastly, use storytelling elements to immerse your audience in your content and make them feel more connected with your brand. Stories also come with the added benefit of illustrating concepts more effectively.
5. Be Consistent with Your Brand Voice
Consistency is essential when it comes to content. Your audience will only trust you if they know what to expect from your brand at all times.
When creating and publishing content, be sure to use the same tone and voice throughout. This includes:
Language - use the right words depending on your market. A casual, friendly tone usually doesn't work with C-level executives.
Style - keep your style consistent with your overall branding. This includes the look and feel of your website, social media platforms, etc.
Values - make sure the values you promote through your content align with those of your brand.
Creating great content is essential for any business. People still crave it. But you need to level up with your strategy beginning with context. Hopefully, this article helps you understand its value in content marketing.
In the meantime, don't forget to use Greencheck.ai to audit your content and make sure it's performing as well as it should be!