Updated: Jul 6, 2018
Here is a detailed analysis of various content channels and why marketing them is essential
It doesn’t matter in which industry you’re working. Wherever you’re working in one way or the other you are generating content. And if you’re working on social media or write blogs or doing copy-writing or starting your own venture, then it is extremely important for you to know why marketing your content is essential.
Are you spending insane amount of time generating and publishing content and not getting desired results? Don’t worry. It’s not that you’re going wrong somewhere, it’s probably due to a weak content marketing strategy. But we’re here to help you out with that by making you understand why marketing your content is essential. For that, we’ll be understanding content marketing, various content channels, its benefits, content funnel and various content marketing examples.
So just hop on and read through. All your doubts & inhibitions will vanish. And even you’ll master the art of making your content work & get desired results in no time
What is content marketing?
According to The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.
In other words, content marketing is creating and sharing valuable content to make people aware and help them make better & educated buying decision. It is how the modern buyer comes to know, like, and trust you. You can say it’s the new branding. But it’s also much more. These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitching.
Why Content Marketing?
Prospects and buyers search the web for answers to their questions and solutions for their problems, your brand continues to show up. This increases your brand awareness. Then comes your brand preference, content marketing helps to further establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, which strengthens relationships with buyers. Okay, let’s face it. It is cost effective! It is not a short-term strategy, but over time, a library of great content will continue to reach more qualified leads and interested buyers.
There is one extremely thing you must know- How do people decide to buy?
For instance, you want to buy a smartphone. You won’t directly go to the store and purchase a phone. You’ll read a lot of reviews, watch videos on YouTube, research in every possible way before making the purchase. If you’re doing it then your consumers are going to do the same. Generate content which educates or be of some use to the reader or viewer.
Content Marketing is cheap. But it is a long-term game.
It helps in building your brand.
Helps in Seo.
Make people aware.
You become a source of information.
But before you start generating content, you must the following 2 things:
What are your goals?
Don’t ever confuse content marketing with just your blog posts. Content is not restricted just to blogs. It also includes the following:
Social Media Updates
Print Magazines/Newsletters (You’ll need a bigger budget here)
Understand your goals
Your content should never be created for its own sake. Rather, it needs to support at least one core marketing or business goal. Consider the ways you would like a proposed piece of content to help your business.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need to raise awareness for your brand?
Do you need to build your email list?
Do you need to nurture prospects along their buyer’s journey?
Do you need to convert your audience to paying customers?
Do you need to retain customers and/or increase their purchases (up-sell/ cross-sell)?
Do you need to convert customers to evangelists?
Answer the above questions before generating your content. Once you answer all these questions, the content you generate will be of use to your readers and get your desired results.
Content Marketing Funnel
To come up with a strong and effective content marketing strategy, understanding the content marketing funnel is very important. A content marketing funnel is a system that takes as many leads as possible through a step by step content flow and converts them into actual customers. If you’re looking for consumer conversion then you must understand the process very closely.
The above image is the content marketing funnel. At the top, the funnel is very wide. This is where a large number of people might become aware of your products or services. All these people are your leads or potential customers. As they move through your funnel towards the much narrower neck i.e the second part. This is where many will drop off. A much smaller number of leads will actually make it through the entire funnel and become paying customers which will be the final part of the funnel.
Let’s now study each part closely.
Awareness: This is where a lead first discovers your brand. At this stage, people will discover you either via social media, or organic search. The sole purpose of this stage is to educate people about the problems and how they can solve it.
Evaluation: Here a qualified lead (or prospect) decides to find out whether your product or service is the right fit or not. At this stage, consumer understands their pain points. Now they become more interested in your product/service. Now, you can offer them to opt-in for your newsletter or enroll them for a course, give them a free guide/ebook.
Consideration: This is the last stage where they start trusting you. You become their source of information for solving that problem. They are more likely to buy from you. The thing you should keep in mind here is to clear all their objections. You can do this either via blogs or personal assistance.
Almost every company online is marketing its content or at least is trying. For instance,if we see the wedding industry in India, ‘Wed Me Good’ & ‘Weddingsutra’ are marketing their content phenomenally! They’re working on multiple content channels and evolving themselves through it. In tech industry, we have ‘TechCrunch’ & ‘Digit’ and the list is endless.
Now you have a proper guide as to how to go about marketing your content. Just go out there and nail it!