Learn how your business can benefit from the power of content marketing
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, and publishing content online that centers around your core topics and keywords. The goal is to attract and connect with your target audience and convert them into leads by solving their problems with valuable, useful content.
Types of Content
Here are some types of content that are typically included in a digital marketing strategy.
Blog posts are a great way to attract potential customers with highly targeted content. You can also use blog posts as a jumping off point to other digital marketing tactics like email marketing.
Optimized content (including images) on your website pages increases your search engine rank and connects you with people who are looking for your content.
Consumers are demonstrating a strong preference for video content when they want to learn about a new product or service. Videos also help boost conversations and establish a relationship with your audience.
Infographics deliver information and content with a combination of graphics and concise written descriptions. Ideal for breaking down a complex topic or concept.
These prerecorded audio programs allow brands to deliver on-demand content to a captive audience and create a list of subscribers.
The Role of Content in Digital Marketing
The primary role of content marketing in your digital marketing strategy is to attract and connect with your audience, leads, and customers to increase brand awareness, conversions, and engagement. Valuable, optimized content will do this in a natural, unforced way.
An essential part of a digital marketing strategy, content marketing:
- Boosts conversions
- Educates your audience, leads, prospects, and customers about your products/services and how to use them
- Improves brand awareness
- Boosts SEO rank
- Establishes a connection with your customers and a community around your brand
- Increases revenue
- Establishes you as an expert/industry leader
The Pros of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a critical piece of any successful digital marketing strategy. Here are a few of its advantages:
Establishes an emotional connection with your audience
When you produce meaningful and helpful content for your audience you secure their loyalty. You will attract regular readers, listeners, and viewers, many of whom will subscribe to be notified of updates. This connection will make them more likely to purchase from you in the future and become repeat customers and potentially, brand ambassadors.
Positions you as a reliable source of information
If you regularly publish valuable content, people will come to see you as a topic expert and a trusted source of information. You will build a reputation as a thought-leader and an authority on your subject matter. This will make people more receptive to future offers.
Attracts your ideal customers
When you customize your content, you will attract a highly-targeted audience. Not everybody will love you, but those who do follow you and resonate with your content will take the next natural step and purchase your products or services.
For the most part, content marketing work can be done in-house, making it a cost-effective method of marketing. In the past, when advertising ruled, it was expensive to produce content for mass consumption. Now, you can focus on your target and communicate with them in a natural, unscripted manner, in your preferred way (e.g. Instagram Live, blog post, podcast, YouTube video). For content that is more formal or demanding (e.g., white papers, eBooks, epic blog posts etc.), you can hire freelancers to help. Another option is to purchase done-for-you content that you can personalize and customize to your brand.
The Cons of Content Marketing
Content marketing is an integral part of a digital marketing strategy, but it does come with its own set of challenges. The negatives primarily come from the demands of consistently creating novel, helpful content at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
Content marketing requires regular content, ideally across various mediums. This can be very time-consuming. Even if you have the talent in-house, it can be difficult to generate a new spin on an ‘old’ topic, over and over. For example, if your niche is organization and time-management, it can be challenging to spin it in different ways that will keep your regular readers, viewers, and listeners coming back. When you need an infusion of inspiration, look to guests, success stories, new trends and tech, holiday themes, or audience questions.
Benefits aren’t immediate
Content marketing is a long-term project. It will take time to reap its benefits. For example, to secure loyalty and gain subject matter authority, you need to compile a significant library of content. You also must engage in some trial and error – determining what type of content resonates with your audience, and what falls flat. You will need to test out not only the subject matter, but the way in which it is delivered. For example, does your audience predominantly prefer unscripted video content, infographics, or blog posts?
Requires content for all stages of the buyer’s journey
Content marketing isn’t just about getting people to subscribe. You need to create content for all stages of the customer journey. So, you need to raise awareness to attract people; create educational content for the newcomers at the consideration stage; develop compelling and convincing content for those at the decision stage; and finally, continue to provide valuable content to customers, post-purchase. That can add up to a lot of content to create!
Is Content Marketing Right for You?
Even if some Content Marketing tactics require you to stretch your comfort zone a bit, it could be worth the effort, depending on the results it yields for your business. The question is, knowing the pros and cons of Content Marketing, how much time will you dedicate to it? What percentage of your digital marketing strategy will go towards it?
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