The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Content marketing can help you attract web traffic, grow your email list and win more sales. What’s more, content marketing can also help you attract more backlinks—one of the key factors for ranking higher on Google.

Now, far too many website owners get confused over how content marketing works. Is it all about churning new content pieces every week? Does it involve SEO or paid advertising?

In this beginner’s guide to content marketing, we’ll break down everything you need to learn about this topic. And we’ll help you create a killer content marketing strategy to grow your business. Let’s get started.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of marketing a business using content. It sounds simple, but it is a lot more complex in practice. Content describes textual, visual, or audio forms of communication. Think of blog posts, sales copies, tweets, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

Marketing involves strategic communications designed to make the public aware of a business, product, or service. Content marketing, therefore, means marketing your website or its products using content.

Compared to traditional means of marketing, content marketing aims at bringing people to your website. By comparison, traditional marketing involves going out there to find your customers.

Content marketing aims at achieving several results. Below are some of them:

  • Attract the right audience
  • Create awareness about your business
  • Educate your audience about a topic
  • Convert your audience into customers
  • Increase sales

Does Content Marketing Really Work?

Statistically speaking, content marketing actually works. According to research firm Statista, more than 4 billion people have access to the Internet. In the US and Canada, nearly 25% of the population is usually online at any given time.

This means there is a huge population of people willing to interact with quality content. It could be a blog post. It might be a tweet or a TikTok video. If it’s entertaining or intriguing, it’s could help your business achieve its marketing goals.

Further research shows that content marketing can achieve the following results:

  • Lowers the customer acquisition cost by 15%
  • Businesses with blogs attract 67% more leads
  • Content marketing improves growth rate by 30%

Content Marketing Strategy

A good content marketing strategy can help you achieve your website’s goals fast and efficiently. Continue reading as we dive into the steps you should take to achieve a successful content marketing campaign.

Outline your Goals

A content marketing strategy without specific and measurable goals is meaningless. A good strategy should outline everything your business targets to achieve.

Maybe you want to create brand awareness about your new business. Perhaps you want to increase sales. Draft the goals you want to achieve in your content marketing plan.

Good goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Specification helps define your target audience and the type of content to use. Measurements allow you to create great KPIs. Of course, these goals should be achievable, relevant to your business, and attainable within a specific time frame.

Set your KPIs

KPIs mean Key Performance Indicators. They are measurable indicators of your content marketing campaign’s performance. Let’s say your marketing goal is to improve brand awareness.

Your KPIs could be website traffic volume, social media followers, or email newsletter sign-ups. With these KPIs, you can quantify your campaign through numbers.

Choose Appropriate Content

Nowadays, many websites use multiple types of content to maximize their ROI. That said, you don’t need to target all types of content. Choose one or a few of these content tools:

  • Blogging

Blogging is one of the most popular forms of content marketing. There’s a great explanation. Up to 77% of Internet users read blogs. What’s more, more than half of blog readers take into consideration the content published on blogs before making a buying decision.

Another reason to use blogging for content marketing is that you can optimize your blog to rank high on Google. In doing so, you can attract the right audience to your blog, thereby increasing traffic, leads, and sales.

  • Videos

Blog posts are great. But more and more people prefer to consume content through videos over blogs. The explanation is that videos are more engaging, more entertaining, and easier to consume.

From an SEO perspective, videos are great for growing your website. Google ranks content with videos higher compared to articles with no videos.

  • Infographics

Infographics grab people’s attention quickly with their bright graphics, large fonts, and short sentences. Infographics work best in explaining complex topics or when you want your audience to engage with your content.

  • Social Media

Social media allows businesses to target customers who may not be big fans of blog posts. You can leverage social media in a few ways. First, you can open accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Then you can publish engaging content on these social networks to increase your following. Another strategy is to partner with influencers to help reach out to a larger audience. You could also use paid adverts to achieve your goals.

  • Podcasts

With podcasts attracting over 60 million listeners per year, you have every reason to start a podcast for your business. The secret is to target a specific audience and conduct thorough research and present your podcasts in engaging ways.

If used properly, podcasting can help supplement the traffic generated through blogging and social media marketing.

Set your Budget

Although you can launch a content marketing campaign at no cost, this isn’t always the best approach to take. Let’s say you have a valuable product that could generate your business a lot of money. The only thing lacking is that people don’t know about it.

The best way to make your product popular is to market it aggressively, even if it means spending money in the process. Create a budget based on your goals, KPIs, and the tools you plan to use.

For example, you may need to partner with a couple of social media influencers to increase awareness about your products. You may also need an advertising budget to grow your sales and social media followers.

What’s more, you will need people to help you create and distribute content. Obviously, you want to hire content creators. And you want to work with the best marketers.

Create and Publish your Content

The next step is to create your content. As a rule of thumb, strategize before you churn out a piece of content. Think about your audience: what do they search for? What platforms do they use?

Consider learning SEO best practices to guide you on how to create good content. Precisely, you should write content that can rank for specific keywords. It also needs to be formatted in a way that is easy to read. It should be informative and engaging.

Assess and Measure your Performance

After publishing content, assess its performance. Revisit your goals to find out how many you’ve achieved. Use your key performance indicators to determine your return on investment.

Did content marketing help your business achieve its goals? Did you hit your targets? Evaluate your content to determine what you could do better in the future. Also, pay attention to the best-performing content pieces.

Content Marketing FAQs

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the practice of winning customers by offering them free, valuable content. You create engaging blog posts, entertaining videos, or insightful social media posts. Customers gain trust in your brand and buy your products.

Does Content Marketing Work?

Content marketing works. It just has to be done properly. People need to get value from your content for them to become your customers. They also need to know about your content. As such, you have to conduct marketing after creating great content.

Is Content Marketing similar to SEO?

Content marketing is a broad strategy that involves blogging, podcasting, and marketing on social media, YouTube, and emails. SEO is the practice of optimizing a website and its content to perform better on search engines.

What Results Can you get from Content Marketing?

Content marketing can help your business achieve a wide range of goals, from brand awareness to increasing sales. All you need is to use the right content and the right platform to market your content.

How much does Content Marketing cost?

Content marketing can be free, cheap, or expensive. It all depends on the type and size of your business. Free content marketing can help you scale your business at a small pace. However, you need a decent budget to scale your business to the next level.