This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get started with content marketing. We will also discuss content marketing strategy, a guide to content marketing, and examples of content marketing.
Content Marketing Strategy
Before you get started with content marketing, you need to know what content marketing is and why it’s important for any business. The best advertising is always going to be about the customers, not the company.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material, like blogs or social media. It does not explicitly promote a brand, but it is intended to increase interest in its products or services.
Why Do I Need a Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing improves your business because it allows you to connect with and educate your customers and potential leads. There are three main benefits to content marketing: increased sales, cost savings, and cultivating loyal customers.
Content Marketing: Guide to Getting Started
Next, we’ll give you a guide with all the steps you need to get started with content marketing.
Learn More About Content Marketing, or Hire an Agency
The first step of getting started with content marketing is to learn as much as you can about the topic. Like this article, there are lots of resources online to help you learn more about content marketing. You also might want to consider hiring an agency like SEO Design Chicago to help you with your content marketing campaign. An agency can help you with your entire content marketing campaign, from researching your target audience to creating content, to promoting the content and analyzing its effectiveness. If you wish to pursue a content marketing campaign, an agency is your best bet for success.
Research Your Competitors
Before you get started with creating your content, first research your competitors. Find businesses similar to yours and look at what they are doing in terms of content marketing. What kinds of content are working for them? Which kinds of posts see the most engagement? Which platforms are they using to promote their content? What aspects of their content do you like, and which can be improved upon? Since their target audience is the same as yours, you can get a lot of information by analyzing their content marketing strategy.
Make a Content Calendar
Once you’ve made some decisions regarding your content marketing strategy, it’s time to create a content calendar. This helps you stay organized and set goals. A content calendar also helps you plan out what content you need to create and when to post it. It helps you be strategic about when to post what content. Research when your target audience spends time online to help you plan when to post your content. There are plenty of tools on the internet you can use to make a content calendar. One option is Asana, but there are lots available to you if that one isn’t your preference.
Set Goals and Stick to Them
Once your content calendar is in the works, it’s time to start setting goals. These goals can be big and small. Some examples of goals you can set are: What do you want your content marketing strategy to accomplish? When do you want to accomplish that goal by? How much content do you want to produce each week? How many impressions do you want to make with each piece of content?
Treat Your First Posts as Tests
Don’t worry if your first posts don’t perform as well as you hope. Treat the first few posts of your content as tests or experiments. They can help you learn what is working for you and what isn’t. If you need additional help with content creation, considering hiring an agency to help you.
Promote Your Content
Posting your content on your website is great, but it isn’t enough these days. Make sure to post your content on social media channels, especially ones that your target audience use regularly. You can also use email marketing, influencers, and other ways to promote your content.
Keep Learning and Improving
If you choose to continue producing content for yourself, keep learning and improving your content creation skills. Content creation isn’t easy. If one post doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped, try another type of content marketing or try promoting it on other social media channels. You can also use websites like Google Analytics and social media analytics tools to help you learn what is working for your business and what isn’t.
Examples of Content Marketing
We have found that to help you get started with your own content marketing strategy, it can help to look at some successful and inspiring examples of content marketing.
Aerie’s Use of User-Generated Content
One simple but effective example of content marketing is user-generated content. Many companies utilize this content marketing strategy. One example is the intimate apparel retailer Aerie. Aerie asks their customers to share their real, untouched photos of themselves in their Aerie clothes on Instagram with the hashtag #AerieReal. Their Instagram bio even notes that they don’t use any retouching.
User-generated content is an extremely cost-effective content marketing strategy because others contribute the content for you to use. All you have to do is reshare! No hard work of creating content yourself. It also lets customers tell their own story and is proven to be an effective strategy.
You can use user-generated content as part of your content marketing strategy, too! One way is to ask your clients or customers to post about their experience with your business on social media. Make sure to ask them to include a specific hashtag or to tag you so you can see the content. Then, you can simply reshare their content, or reuse it as part of a larger campaign.
Coke’s Personalized “Share A Coke” Campaign
Another great example of content marketing you’ve probably heard of is Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign. (But maybe you didn’t even realize it was content marketing!) Coke put the most popular first names out there and put them on the sides of bottles. It was extremely popular and effective. Everyone was trying to find a bottle of Coke with their name on it, even people who don’t usually drink Coke.
Why did this work? Because it was personalized. Personalizing products for a content marketing campaign can be a lot of work, but it’s effective. It makes your potential customers feel seen and feel special.
Personalization is an effective but underused marketing tactic. Nearly three-quarters of marketers know that personalization works, but not even 20 percent utilize it, according to research.
There are other ways to use personalization as part of a content marketing campaign. There are certain apps that let you write texts or emails to clients with their name. For example, some sports teams use personalized messaging to try to sell their fans season tickets. Think of how you can personalize your own content marketing approach for your potential clients!
Utilize Storytelling like Microsoft
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in any marketer’s arsenal. Microsoft utilized storytelling well in their blog, simply named “Stories.” It highlighted real but impressive Microsoft customers and how they use Microsoft in their careers and day-to-day lives.
You can use real customers to tell their stories as part of your content marketing strategy, too. Testimonials are a powerful way to connect with your potential leads. An added benefit of testimonials is that you can use them in several different formats – they can be videos or blog posts, as just two examples.
Use a Publication to Reach Your Audience Like AARP
Did you know that AARP the magazine is America’s biggest consumer magazine and goes out to 22 million American households? Having a publication like a magazine, blog, eBook, email newsletter, or anything else that works for you industry is an excellent and effective example of content marketing.
AARP is successful because it knows their audience and gives them the content they want. It listens to their readers and delivers them information on the topics they’re interested in. You can do the same and provide your target audience with knowledge about your business or industry as a whole. It establishes you as an expert in their minds, increases your brand visibility, and eventually increases your business’s revenue.
Use Video Marketing Like Hootsuite
As we all know, videos are gaining popularity every day and the same is true of video marketing. Hootsuite used that trend and harnessed another trend – the popularity of HBO’s cult hit show “Game of Thrones” – to make a video ad. The minute and a half long video now has more than 1.3 million views on YouTube.
You can use video marketing as part of your content marketing strategy, too. Videos are great content not just for your website but for posting on all sorts of social media channels.