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Content Marketing: The Comprehensive Guide

The Guide to Content Marketing

Content marketing is an important part of your marketing approach.

It can see you increase sales and the improve overall perception of your brand.

This guide will talk you through what content marketing is, how to use it and show you some great examples of it put into practice.

Contents

  1. What is content marketing?
  2. How to use content marketing
  3. Why you should invest in content marketing
  4. Examples of great content marketing
  5. Key things to remember

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing has been around for hundreds of years.

For example, John Deere began producing a news magazine called ‘The Furrow’. The magazine was produced to help farmers by giving them practical information.

It was first published in 1895 but there are other examples that go further back than this. It connected John Deere to their target market and had over four million readers in 1912.

Content marketing is slightly different from traditional copywriting however a good strategy will incorporate both.


Define content marketing:

Content marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on producing and distributing relevant and valuable content to a target audience. The content can take many forms and is designed to attract potential customers and as a result drive profitable customer action.


Traditional copywriting includes drawing people in with enticing headlines and email marketing.

If you aren’t combining the two then you’re missing a trick. A big one.

Content marketing is all about storytelling.

Storytelling in marketing is getting a lot more attention than it ever has done before.

It should be an important element of any content marketing strategy.

Have a look at some of the examples below for inspiration.


Content marketing statistics

If you’re not convinced by the power of content marketing, check out some of these stats.

Content
  1. 70% prioritise quality over quantity of content. (Point Visible)
  2. 74% of companies say content marketing increased their lead quality and quantity. (Curata)
  3. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Demand Metric)
B2B
  1. 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing. (CMI)
  2. 93% of the most successful marketers say their organisations are extremely committed to content marketing. (Point Visible)
  3. 96% of B2B buyers look for more information from industry thought leaders before buying. (HubSpot)
B2C
  1. 74% of B2C companies have a content marketing strategy. (Point Visible)
  2. 64% of B2C marketers report that their organization is extremely or very committed to content marketing. (CMI)
  3. Last year, 57% of B2C marketers planned to increase their content marketing spend in 2019. (Business2Community)
Blogging
  1. On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without. (Demand Metric)
  2. 60% of all marketers believe blog creation to be their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot)
  3. Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than those without a blog. (Orbit Media)
Social media
  1. 61% of B2B content marketers increased their social media usage in 2019. (CMI)
  2. 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)
  3. 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business. (Buffer)
Video
  1. 87% of consumers want more video from brands. (Hubspot)
  2. 97% of consumers and online marketers report that video helps customers understand their product. (Wyzowl)
  3. 64% of viewers are likely to buy a product online after watching branded social videos. (Tubular Insights)
Email marketing
  1. Email marketing was the primary lead generation channel for 89% of marketers. (Juvlon)
  2. 86% of professionals reported that email was the best for business communication. (Hubspot)
  3. 74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement. (eConsultancy)

How to content market?

Content marketing should educate your audience but not sell the company’s products/services directly.

The valuable information you offer in your content should drive loyalty from readers.

Content marketing is therefore a long-term strategy. It’s not a quick-fix approach.

Building strong relationships is a lengthy process and this is your content’s purpose. To build relationships with customers.

When, eventually, they come to purchase, because they know and trust your brand they’ll turn to you.

Check out some of the most common ways to content market today…

Content marketing methods

Popular content marketing methods.

Social media

Social media is a great way to connect with your target audience.

By building a loyal following across the social platforms you’ll give your business the opportunity to make impressions on thousands of potential customers.

Set up a social media plan and begin pushing out your content.

There’s plenty you can talk about – it’s about understanding what your audience want to see.

Here’s a free content calendar template for you to use if you want to get started.

Blogging

As well as broadcasting your expertise, making your blog a key part of your online focus will increase your traffic.

Aim to blog consistently and to a high standard.

Blogging helps you appear more often in the search engines and keeps you in touch with your audience.

Blogging creates content that is worthy of promoting across your social media channels too.

Video

Video engages people much more than any other type of content.

Create a series that shows off your industry expertise.

Convert your blog posts to video.

Make ‘how to’ videos.

Explore deep into the heart of your business and what makes you different. And make a video about it.

Go beyond YouTube too. Certainly leverage it – it’s widely regarded as the second biggest search engine after Google – but post your videos across all your channels.

Infographics/eBooks

People love visually stimulating content.

Infographics are easy to digest and can be made to look really attractive.

eBooks go into real depth and again can be designed to look great.

It’s content that can be easily distributed among social media platforms too.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a traditional method of content marketing.

Although it has been around for a long time, it should still be an important element of your strategy.

Many thought that it would suffer with the rise of social media however email remains as strong as ever.

You’ve work to do to make people open and click through, however get it right and you’re laughing.


YOU MIGHT LIKE: 5 Ways to Help You Find Time to Blog


Why should you invest in content marketing?

There’s a long list of reasons you to invest in content marketing.

There’s plenty more reasons than those outlined in the image below, but these are some of the main points.

Most points are linked to each another in some way.

Here are some of the benefits of content marketing.

content marketing

Why should you invest in content marketing?

 

Increased brand awareness

The more content you produce the more people you can target. By increasing your audience you expand your brand’s reach.

Brand awareness is one of the major advantages of content marketing.

If successful, you should build a larger customer base – your content


Increased customer satisfaction

Give your customers valuable content and they’ll love you for it.

Imagine if your audience looked forward to reading your articles or watching your videos each week.

That’d be a perfect scenario.

When they finally needed the services or products you offer, you’ll be top of mind.


Portray your expertise

Portray you and your company as thought leaders.

Become the people your audience come to if they need information.

By exuding this expertise you’ll stand out and build trust


Increase inbound traffic

If you release plenty of online content; blogs, videos, social media marketing etc. then you’re increasing the opportunity for people to click through to your site.

Always give people opportunities to click through to your site.

If your SEO is up to scratch then you’ll begin to appear in the search engines too.

The more traffic the better.


Improved search engine rankings

Not only will you appear in the search engines, but if your content is good enough, you’ll rank highly for certain key terms.

The search engines love fresh, quality content.

The higher the standard of what you’re producing the higher you’ll rank for your keywords.

The better you rank the more traffic you’ll get. Simple.


RELATED: SEO: How to Write Search Engine-Friendly Blogs


Increased brand authority

By writing contagious content that your audience loves, you build trust.

If the quality of your products/service matches the quality of your content then your authority in your industry is boosted.

Becoming a thought leader will only strengthen your position.


Higher conversion rates

You should be converting more customers if you’re driving higher levels of traffic to your site. By law of averages if for nothing else.

If your site is well designed and functions properly this shouldn’t be an issue – you should begin seeing results.


Lead generation

Being active on social media and on your blogs is great for lead generation.

Many clients are found through social media nowadays – LinkedIn especially (for B2B).

The more that you spread your business’ name through great content, the better it is for generating leads.


Examples of Content Marketing

If you need inspiration, look no further.

These brands excel at content marketing and attribute a lot of their success to it.

They’re creative in their work but the quality of what they deliver is always top-notch.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola’s marketing is often flawless. It’s why they’re so successful and why pretty much everyone on the globe knows of the brand.

Multiple campaigns have gone viral including several guerrilla marketing campaigns.

We’re all aware of the Coca Cola Christmas truck and the myth that they were the reason the colour of Christmas changed from green to red.

(They weren’t, but it’s not a bad for the brand to have a rumour like that floating around.)

The example here is another campaign that spread worldwide.

Share a Coke began in Australia in 2011.

The concept was simple – they wanted to maximise the use of personalisation by including people’s names on their bottles and cans.

The sentiment of sharing a Coke developed the campaign and made it more appealing to the masses.

That summer alone, Coke sold more than 250 million named bottles and cans to those down under. Pretty incredible, given there are only 23 million people in Australia as it is.

The campaign then spread all around the world.

People were so connected with the idea of seeing their own name on the side of a bottle of Coke that they just had to try it.

Coca Cola pushed the campaign online too by allowing people to send virtual bottles to one another on Facebook.

Everyone was talking about it. And a lot were buying too.


GoPro

One of the biggest reasons people buy GoPros is that they want to take great visuals.

Visuals are massively important to GoPro’s customers. And GoPro know this only too well.

That’s why their content marketing strategy places a large focus on producing amazing imagery and quality visual content.

So far they’ve amassed nearly 8 million YouTube subscribers and over 16 million Instagram followers. This is due, no doubt, to the high standard of their content.

GoPro Instagram

GoPro’s Instagram page.

Content marketing must be customer focused.

Your target audience are your ideal customers and so creating a meaningful connection with them is vital.

GoPro are a great example of this.


Asos

ASOS hit every spot when it comes to content marketing.

They blog, leverage Instagram, email, video – they seem to do it all.

ASOS YouTube

ASOS YouTube

They also use influencer marketing to increase their reach.

The images they use always look great and they’re consistent with their email campaigns.

It all comes together as a great example of integrated marketing communications working to the highest degree.


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Key Things to Remember

Tell stories

Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool.

People love stories and become invested in them.

There’s an art to telling the right stories that reflect your brand and its values.

Nail it and you’ll see great results from your content.

Personalise where possible (it worked for Coke)

This is especially effective in email marketing.

Personalisation helps people connect with your brand.

Send out personalised offers to your customers and make them feel exclusive to your company.

Make sure it sounds natural though otherwise it loses its effect quickly!

Quality over quantity

Preferably you have both.

Make sure your content is relevant and of the highest standard for your audience.

You’d much rather they spent valuable time with one piece of content than simply glanced past ten others.

Content is king, and the high calibre of it is what will make it successful.

Make use of visual content

Use images, videos, infographics, the like.

As humans we process visuals 60,000 times faster than we do text-based content.

And we’re far more likely to remember what visual content says.

Use omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing is making use of various channels to reach your audience.

Don’t just use Facebook – add LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

And don’t just use social media. Start blogging.

And then add YouTube.

Top all of this off with email marketing campaigns and you’ve got the solid foundations for something highly effective.


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