Content marketing is a facet of marketing that
is different from, but beneficial for, many other types of marketing. Many
businesses know they should have a content marketing strategy, but do not know
what it is or how to do it. It can be a confusing topic to learn about,
especially if marketing is not your specialty. If you’re new to content
marketing or have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, keep reading to
learn the basics and how to get started.

What is
content marketing and why is it important?

Content marketing is an approach that produces
and delivers valuable information to a target audience. By creating consistent
and relevant information for your target audience, your company will build
awareness and customer loyalty. A content marketing strategy is not meant to
promote your product or service, but to attract customers to your company by
providing the information they are looking for on a specific topic. 

Like any business strategy, the goal of these
marketing efforts is to increase sales, revenue, and brand awareness. A content
strategy allows businesses to easily differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Two products may be nearly the same, but the company that goes above and beyond
to truly understand and connect with their audience to enhance the user
experience will come out on top.

What are the
different types of content marketing?

Content marketing has been around forever and
continues to evolve with new trends, techniques, and research. Essentially,
anything that provides educational information or answers the questions of
consumers would be considered content marketing. 

Some frequently used methods include blogs, videos, case studies, e-books, podcasts, infographics, and webinars. Video content, blog posts, and infographics tend to be the most common as they are easy for consumers to understand and access. Content marketing is everywhere and we consume it every day, even unknowingly. This article you are reading is content marketing. 

Who needs
content marketing?

One of the best ways to take your business to
the next level is through content marketing. Every business needs content
marketing to remain competitive in their industry. If all of your competitors
are creating good content, you also need to create good content to stay
relevant. If no one in your industry is doing content marketing, your business
can gain serious traction by filling that gap.

Great content will allow your business to
become a credible resource on topics your audience is interested in which will
help you gain trust and loyalty. When you think about the decision making
process consumers perform before going through with a transaction, it is simple
to see where content marketing can make a huge impact.

Is content
marketing effective?

Consumers start their purchase process by
recognizing a need for something and then venturing out to find a solution to
satisfy the need. Next, they research to learn about the solutions that are
available and will meet their needs. Then, to narrow down their options,
consumers will compare the different products or services they found through
their research. Finally, a decision will be made of what to buy and where
from. 

While traditional marketing and advertisements
work well for the second half of the buying cycle, content marketing can have a
huge impact on the first half. By having content readily available, consumers
will be able to find solutions and information on a product or service they
might not have ever considered. 

Likewise, your company will be of higher
consideration if potential customers are aware of your company and find value
in your content during the beginning stages of their purchase decision. By
creating good, accessible content, you will help educate consumers while
building credibility and relationships. 

Creating content is useful for several other
areas of marketing as well. During the need recognition and research process,
potential customers turn to search engines to find answers and information.
Your company can be at the forefront of search results by developing
educational content that consumers are looking for. Successful content
marketing helps companies to be found by the right people, influence purchase
decisions, build an engaged audience, and differentiate themselves from
competitors. 

What are the
best tools to use for content marketing?

For content marketing to be successful for a
business, it has to be done well. It is a tedious task that takes a lot of work
and patience. One of the best ways to get your content marketing up and running
is through a content marketing agency. These agencies provide
expert-level content marketing
services
 and can produce
great results because they stay on top of the changes and trends in the
industry. Many businesses turn to agencies for their content marketing because
it is convenient, cost-effective, and has limitless potential.

If you think you are ready to take on this job
alone, there is a variety of tools available to help you produce content that
ranges in price as well as functionality. Whether you are looking for help
coming up with ideas, writing, distributing, or optimizing, there is a tool or
50 to help. Here are some of the best-rated tools to help get your business’
content marketing started: 

WordPress

WordPress is the most popular content management system. It is widely used because it is highly customizable, has a plugin architecture, and can host both small and large websites. 

Grammarly

Everyone should use Grammarly, not just content marketers. This grammar application can save your content from embarrassing mistakes and errors. It is user-friendly and has an internet extension that will help anything you write – social media posts, comments, emails. 

Yoast

If your business is going to do SEO focused content (which it should), Yoast is a great tool. It has a WordPress plugin that will help you optimize your body copy, meta descriptions, URL slugs, internal linking, and more. 

Google Analytics

Measurement is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. Google Analytics will track all sorts of metrics to show how your content is performing. This tool can take a while to get the hang of, but a simple Google search will provide guides on how to get started. 

Canva

You do not have to be a graphic designer to create great images. Canva has thousands of templates to choose from including social media images, flyers, blog banners, and infographics. It is incredibly easy to use and will make you feel like a creative genius.  

Hootsuite

Once you have made great content, it is time to share it. Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media management platforms. It allows you to schedule posts, engage with followers, and track your content on the most popular platforms. 





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