What is content marketing? The purpose and essential objective of content marketing can be defined as increasing sales and becoming sustainably competitive in the market.
It includes analysing where the company is now, where it wants to be in a certain period of time.
It includes all the short, medium and long-term marketing activities that contribute to achieving these goals.
It differs from sales in that selling is the final stage in Marketing, which also includes the 4 P’s: Pricing, Promotion, Place and Product.
- Define content marketing
- The 10 most common content marketing methods
- #1. Content marketing using Blogging
- #2. Content marketing via Guest blogs
- #3. Content marketing with e-books
- #4. Content marketing with Articles
- #5. Content marketing by writing Case Studies
- #6. Content marketing by publishing White Papers
- #7. Content marketing by hosting Webinars
- #8. Content marketing through launching a Podcast
- #9. Content marketing through Videos
- #10. Content marketing using Tweets
- Avoid these 15 content marketing mistakes
- Further reading
Define content marketing
Content marketing is marketing that revolves around creating and sharing of high-value media and publishing this content with the view to acquire and/or retain customers.
The role of Content Marketing in the marketing mix has been the subject of much confusion brought about by the many changes to the Google algorithms.
Some have pronounced content marketing as DOA, but our view is that on balance it still ranks among the top online marketing strategies. The benefits include:
- being recognised as an authority in your area
- it develops a sense of trust with your clients
- organic (as opposed to manufactured) backlinks through shares
- boosts your internet search engine ranking
- drive more qualified traffic to your website
But how to do it well and which mistakes do you need to avoid?
Before going into the details, there is one overwhelming strategy that supports all of this activity, and that is having passion for your chosen subject area. If you’re not sure what that means, click here for some helpful advice and useful tips.
The 10 most common content marketing methods
#1. Content marketing using Blogging
Blogging can help you gain new clients, boost internet search engine ratings, and help you be recognised as a though leader in your niche.
But since everybody is extremely busy nowadays it is important that you have a clear voice and a point of view that provides people a reason to read your blog as opposed to another.
That does not mean you have to be controversial, or do crazy stuff just to stand out of the crowd. But it does mean you cannot aimlessly waffle that doesn’t add any value.
#2. Content marketing via Guest blogs
Guest posting on popular blogs inside your niche brings you traffic that might help build backlinks organically, establish you as an expert, and help you interact with new audiences you had not yet been able to reach before.
But you need to do carefully as it is one of the areas that has attracted unscrupulous SEO webmasters and spammers alike.
After Google released their “Penguin” update on 24 April 2012 it devalued/punished spammy link sources like garbage sites, forums and blog comments and as a result SEO webmasters and spammers turned their attention to guest blogging.
As a result, on 20 January 2014, Matt Cutts the head of Google’s web spam team announced that if you’re “using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop”.
He did clarify his stand in a follow-up announcement in which he acknowledged that there are still many top reasons to guest blog, but only on quality blogs.
#3. Content marketing with e-books
e-books are widely used on the internet to cover a subject in-depth, provide tips, advice, details, and statistics, and can include images/tables/graphs.
But the same applies as does to guest blogging. There are so many junk ebooks out there “written” by spammers or worse, by computer “spun” content that they’ve become undervalued.
More recently there’s been a trend towards much shorter formats, for example fact sheets and check-lists of a maximum of a few pages that address a very specific question.
They are more to the point as they target very a specific need and are easier and quicker to read and write.
#4. Content marketing with Articles
Article marketing isn’t what it was once but still it works for individuals entrepreneurs using it to for indirect marketing. By offering valuable content free of charge it can help build trust with clients.
Again, make sure you provide valuable content and avoid writing fluff – fluff is fluff and your clients will recognize useless filler information immediately and be switched off because of it.
Should you choose wish to write articles and distribute them, make certain they’re completely unique content, are grammatically correct and it reads well (ie not written with an eye only to search engine optimisation). Very popular categories include:
- articles on entrepreneurship
- internet marketing articles
- life coaching articles
- positive thinking articles
- small business articles
#5. Content marketing by writing Case Studies
Compelling research explaining how your items or services has assisted a person is a sure-fire method of generating good, unique and valuable content. Make it short and compelling and use it to build credibility and market yourself and your expertise in a subtle way.
#6. Content marketing by publishing White Papers
Creating white papers is a good way of explaining complex subjects at length and they frequently include original research.
White papers establish you as an expert inside your segment, plus since you can turn the key findings into blogs, guides, infographics, tweets, etc they can be used as the building blocks for your ongoing marketing efforts.
#7. Content marketing by hosting Webinars
For those who don’t what is a webinar, they are online workshops presented as live events where you and/or any other experts you may invite discuss subjects worth discussing.
Typically the most popular webinars are educational and may last for an hour or so or even more and as such they are a fantastic way to connect with an audience, especially compared with the short amount of time a typical web user will spend on a webpage.
#8. Content marketing through launching a Podcast
If you feel webinars are an easy way to interact with your audience consider podcasts. There are many benefits from doing a podcast meaning it is the only media where the user does not have to stop doing something in order to participate.
No matter whether driving a vehicle, cleaning the house, or taking a jog, they are able to pay attention to a podcast throughout each one of these activities.
To produce podcasts you’ll need some recording and editing equipment and software, an interviewer (most probably you) along with a customer or perhaps an expert inside your area with whom you are able to discuss a subject.
#9. Content marketing through Videos
Videos both live and screen recording style videos are very popular on the internet, whether or not they are published on your website or on your YouTube channel. They’re well-regarded by search engines and many customers would rather watch a video rather than read articles. According to YouTube statistics, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
#10. Content marketing using Tweets
Use Twitter to advertise your very best blogs and articles free of charge. It’s a great way for starting discussions with leaders inside your market, or interacting with clients. Tweets are fantastic for discussing key details from your research/white papers/reviews.
Avoid these 15 content marketing mistakes
Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways for your voice to be heard. It is too important for your future for you to make mistakes. We have curated the 15 most common content marketing mistakes:
- Don’t create a website unless you have a goal in your mind. What’s your site designed to accomplish? Is it about letting people know about you, are you interested in exchanging views or is it about immediate sales? Knowing in advance what you’re trying to achieve will have a tremendous impact on the design of your site.
- Lacking knowledge of your audience. Your audience ought to be your greatest fans therefore, your writing and marketing should focus on their interests. Consider what can be interesting for your audience and supply content which will attract them to your website. Create an “audience Avatar” also called a “Muse” to help you visualise your audience. But you have to make it specific.
- Not having a clear marketing strategy. This can be a killer mistake since your content marketing won’t be focused. Having an obvious and well laid-out plan can make everything simpler over time and can be the template by which to work.
- If you have nothing to say, don’t waste your time putting up a website. There are far better and quicker ways to waste your time. If your site is intended to convince your visitors that they need what you are offering, then have something to offer them. Chances are that when they like your website they’ll purchase from you.
- Avoid blogging just to spout random views. Potential clients easily recognise these kinds of blogs from the mile away. If you are planning to blog understand that your readers expect to see clearly written and factual content that’s valuable. Include links that your visitors have the ability to use. Encourage discussion.
- Do not be exclusively facts-based. Even individuals who love facts will get quickly bored. Try it for yourself by pulling up a spec sheet from any manufacturer and see how quickly your eyes glaze over. It’s human nature to connect with others, so include a story or two about yourself, and interact with your audience. They will reward you for this.
- While it’s fine to talk about yourself (people like to know with whom they are dealing) self-aggrandizement is the one thing your potential clients certainly do not want. Avoid boasting, rather focus your articles on your business and you relevant to your customer. Use WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) as your guiding principal.
- An impersonal or overly professional voice or referring to yourself in the third person is a turn-off and makes you look like some kind of corporate soldier. By the same token don’t be too casual either. You have to come across as if you understand what you’re talking about and inspire confidence. Use a conversational tone with a knowledgeable voice.
- Don’t ignore new technology such as infographics, video, audio etc. They can all add tremendous value to your site. If you can’t get your head around it, outsource it.
- Avoid re-using existing content. You’re wrong if you think you’ll attract a broader audience with content compiled by another person, or content you’ve already released yourself. All it’ll do is make you look bad. Your content must be original, fresh and enticing.
- Avoid overusing search engine optimization. While optimizing your articles for search engines is essential for bringing in new audiences, overusing key phrases inside your content and other over-optimizing methods will prove dangerous. Both visitors to your site as well as the search engines can easily differentiate between well-written and interesting content and content written exclusively for search engines.
- Keyword stuffing is really a B I G no-no and can get the site banned by the search engines in no time flat. Key phrases are essential, but when they seem artificial inside your posts, individuals will notice. Absolutely give consideration to search engine optimization but do not overuse key phrases. They have to fit naturally.
- Avoid only posting and marketing content in your blog or website. Involve other network marketing platforms too, for example Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and other like sites. Posting content on these platforms brings organic traffic and, naturally, more potential clients. Make certain to include share buttons under all of your blog posts.
- Don’t ignore the benefits of social networking and make it easy for your visitors to share your articles they find helpful. If it’s hard to share, you’ll miss out on valuable traffic. Make certain to incorporate links and buttons under each post.
- Letting content get stale with time. Whenever you write for some time you’re likely to exhaust your well of ideas. Should this happen to you it’s time for you to renew your way of thinking with some positive thoughts. Should that fail, you can always recruit guest writers. Guest writers can introduce new ideas, have new angles on your subject and add new voices.
Effective content marketing is clearly a balancing act between letting people know how much they require your products, getting them to like you without engaging in blatant selling. Remember most people dislike being pressed into purchasing something.
It’s all about finding your voice and then edit/revise/publish and keep doing that until you hit the sweet-spot with your audience. And above all try to keep the content fresh and fascinating for your potential clients.
 moz.com, A History of Major Google Algorithm Updates from 2000–Present
Moz was founded by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig in 2004. It started as a blog / online community for Search Engine Optimisation experts to share their research and ideas. It later morphed into an All-In-One search engine optimisation tool.
 Matt Cutts, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO
Matt Cutts and joined Google as a software engineer in January 2000. He wrote the first version of SafeSearch, which is Google’s family filter and worked as the head of Google’s webspam team for many years.
 statista.com, Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute as of May 2019
Statistica is a global business data platform with insights and facts across 170 industries and 150+ countries
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