What Is Content Marketing and How Do I Use It?

Content marketing is a strategic advertising and lead generation method.  The focus is on creating, publishing and distributing relevant, consistent and valuable content to attract and retain the target audience. Its ultimate purpose is to promote a brand, stimulate brand-related interest and channel profitable consumer actions. At Hound Dog Digital Marketing, we consider it to be the foundation of all SEO and digital marketing.

Content Marketing is a digital marketing approach, which has proven to be beneficial to businesses. Almost 85 percent of most companies’ digital marketing strategies revolve around it.

Content marketing is not a new methodology. In fact, it has been around for nearly a century in one form or another. According to the CEO of Copy Blogger Media, content marketing was first implemented in the late 1800s by an American Corporation named John Deere. It published a magazine for farmers with the primary objective of selling more tractors and machinery to them.

High-quality, relevant content is an excellent method to inform your target audience about your services or products. According to a featured expert in Kauffman Founders School, Neil Patel, ‘The goal is to offer tips, help and educate about anything that can be helpful to a customer. This kind of information is shared in the form of a blog, white paper, and webinar, video or social post. The opportunities are infinite.’

All websites are seeking ways to improve their presence on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The importance of delivering relevant and high-quality content to the targeted audience cannot be ignored.

Why Do I Need Content Marketing?

The marketing strategy, in which you create, publish and distribute material to your target audience for engagement and traction towards your business, is called content marketing. An obvious answer to why do you need content marketing, would be to keep your marketing strategy up-to-date and to stay ahead of competitors. Give your business a lead over your competitors with efficient and effective content marketing.

The Reign of Content Marketing

Content marketing has completely changed. Previously, the process was static. A writer would develop the content, which a publisher would turn into a draft before sending it for printing. Almost two to five people had worked on a single piece of content before it was ready for the marketing department to endorse. Today, the Internet is used not only as a primary source of knowledge but as a publishing center as well. The writer is responsible for developing, editing, publishing and marketing the content.

To get readers to engage with your content, you want to create is authentic, engaging and unique stories. High-quality content is essential for generating brand awareness and link building strategies.

Organize your content, so it is relatable and shareable with the audience. The idea is to nurture a relationship between the reader and the content. This approach has led to a marketing shift in how consumers engage with brands. Publishing great content is what sets you apart from your competitors.

How Do I Use Content Marketing?

Content marketing has become extremely efficient at converting leads into profitable sales. It is the foundation and building blocks of digital marketing. A renowned marketing agency, Strata Beat, stated that nearly 80 percent of the company’s stakeholders now prefer to get the company information in the form of articles instead of an advertisement.

Similar to other marketing techniques, content marketing requires adequate planning. Brands need to prepare their content strategy. Producing content without having an effective strategy will yield minimal results. Content marketing becomes more efficient and less challenged if marketers devise a plan earlier. Brands that use content marketing effectively have a better opportunity to communicate with potential consumers and impact their purchase decisions directly.

Content is SEO and SEO is Content

Content published off of your site will lead to links to your site. On-site content will result in stronger SEO performance. One benefit of content marketing is that you can implement different strategies across a variety of media, to engage with your target audience. Content is useful for engaging users on your site, through social media, native ads and retargeting.

With the freedom to explore different channels, the main issue most of the marketers face is the lack of content flow. Content that is not well-structured will confuse the target audience. Therefore, one should devise a formal strategy to market content to manage such issues.

Build a strong brand identity

Your brand drives your strategy. Why does your business exist and what value does it bring to the consumer? Therefore, It is important to have a strong digital marketing strategy revolving around content. Content strategy helps you to shape your brand personality. Your content needs to follow and speak in the manner that relates to your consumers and brand personality.

To succeed in business, you have to give the customer a reason to engage with you. Through content marketing, you can create this engagement and stand out from your competitors. Through an effective marketing strategy, you can create a strong brand identity that will put your business in the right direction.

Make Your Content Strategy Produce Results

You have to have a strategy for your content, and it needs to be part of your marketing strategy. Define how often you will post, relevant topics and newsletters to publish your content. And you need to have a realistic daily, weekly, or monthly target. Content is difficult and time-consuming to do correctly. A good beginning strategy would be to target two blog posts, three articles, five tweets on Twitter and four posts on Facebook. This will help in keeping track of all the activities and the results produced by each.

Streamline the process

Content marketing and its tactics require constant moderation to compete. Creating a strategy and documenting it will help you in keeping track of activities and progress. Certain unproductive actions can be eliminated. You will also get a better idea, of how your overall campaign is performing by focusing on the metrics that are producing results.

Focus on maximizing your Return on Investment (ROI)

According to Neil Patel, “content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and generates about three times as many leads.” Several industry experts believe that content marketing has become the most effective and efficient digital marketing strategy of all time. One advantage, content marketing holds for small businesses, is that it makes it easy for them to compete with large well-established businesses.

This type of marketing strategy is more beneficial for small companies, as it helps them progress in a saturated market. However, to compete with large scale businesses, it is essential to develop a comprehensive strategy to guarantee your business a desirable outcome.

With increased productivity, a good content marketing strategy can result in a higher return on investment for your business.This allows you to invest less time and money to get a high number of conversions.

How Does Content Marketing Work With Paid Advertisements?

Businesses looking for immediate results in the form of more sales can combine their content strategy with paid marketing. Paid advertisements are an easy solution for short-term success. However, those who desire immediate results tend to take risky measures which might damage the strategy in the long run. If you choose paid advertisements with link building strategies, then native ads are suitable to choose from.

Native ads offer an online marketing platform and are popular for its ad format and special placement. The ads are skillfully designed to have a similar look and feel as content with a consistent reading flow. This ensures cohesiveness, as they do not irritate the visitors. Native ads are an excellent way to engage and positively encourage your target audience.

Editorial content and native ads are similar in nature. Online services and platforms that are used to distribute content include AdNow, Gravity, Outbrain and Taboola. Services like these help get your content distributed to maximize awareness.

Experts believe that it is beneficial to include native ads in a content marketing strategy. Native ads can target a vast global audience. One can easily distribute the content on different blogs and websites to improve engagement of the target audience. A benefit of using native ads is that they are extremely personalized. You can use your targeted user’s data to customize the ads according to the interest of the user.

Content marketing and native ads might seem similar, but they are not used to achieve the same goals. However, if you use them together, then there are higher chances of producing better results. You can use Taboola, Outbrain or other various platforms if you are looking to convert an editorial content into a native ad.

Have A Strategy

In a nutshell, having a well-planned content marketing strategy can help you attract and engage your target audience and build a relationship. Today, content marketing has become an integral part of digital marketing. If devised and executed properly, it can improve your online presence, convert your leads into customers, improve sales, and maximize your ROI.

With an effective strategy, you will witness more traffic on your website, and experience customer engagement within the first few months of its execution. It is important to give some time to see optimum results in the form of monetization of traffic, directed to your website. Some major businesses have experienced 7.8 times more traffic on their blogs and websites by using content marketing.

Content marketing has gained significant momentum in a short time, becoming a major marketing element of many online and offline businesses. For your products or services to gain traction, make sure to invest smartly in your content marketing tactics for a greater ROI and to experience business growth.