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What Is Content Marketing? (And How Does Content Marketing Work?) [Guide]

What is content marketing? It’s a type of marketing used by more than 50% of companies. Content marketing focuses on creating and sharing resources like blog posts, infographics, and videos to help readers learn about a topic, product, or business.

In this post, we’ll discuss content marketing’s meaning, how content marketing works, and share some tips for creating great content. Need help creating valuable content that ranks in search results and engages your audience?

Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-53559 to learn more about our content marketing plans.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of online material like blog posts, videos, and guides to attract, engage, and educate readers about a topic, product, or business. Distribution methods for content marketing include social media, paid advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO).

What is an example of content marketing?

A content marketing example comes from the search “kinds of Christmas trees,” which focuses on learning about the different types of Christmas trees. Pro Flowers ranks first with a blog post explaining the 16 types of trees.

Pro Flowers’ content has a few goals:

  1. Educate readers about the type of Christmas trees
  2. Help readers choose the best type of Christmas tree for their needs
  3. Provide readers an option for purchasing the type of Christmas tree they want (Pro Flowers sells live mini Christmas trees)

What’s important to note with this content marketing example is the content has goals — Pro Flowers didn’t write the blog post just to write it. They wrote it because they researched their audience needs and how they (Pro Flowers) could meet them.

Bonus Reading: SEO vs. Content Marketing

Types of content

When most people think of content, they only thing of blogging. While blogging is an effective way to produce and share content, many other mediums fall under content marketing, too. Here are some common types of result-driving content you can use for your business:

  • Blogs: Blogs are a popular way to share information with your audience. When you create a blog, you write and post content on a regular basis. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your site. Every industry, from dentists to florists, can use a blog as a marketing strategy.
  • Videos: As platforms like YouTube continue to rise in popularity, videos continually grow as a popular way for businesses to market online. Video marketing is an excellent medium for sharing an abundance of information quickly.
  • Ebooks: Ebooks provide your audience with everything they need to know about a topic. This content is in-depth, so you’ll cover all the bases of your topic to ensure your audience has a full understanding of the information. Many companies create ebooks and offer them to clients in exchange for contact information.
  • Infographics: Infographics are visual images that present data and information in an easily digestible format. Many companies use infographics to present statistics and help users better understand them.
  • Site pages/SEO copy: Site pages are crucial content pages you include on your site. This SEO website copy includes about us pages, pricing and product pages, and more.
  • Webinars: Webinars are a great opportunity for you to spread your knowledge and expertise with your audience. This content marketing strategy allows you to share information with your audience through live video.
  • Online guides: Guides are in-depth pieces of content that allow you to give your audience a deeper look into a subject.Many companies offer guides as downloadable content in exchange for information. This format provides your audience with a go-to source for information on a topic.
  • Long-form content: Long-form content provides your audience with more information on a topic. While it’s not as in-depth as online guides, it does provide your audience with more information than a standard blog post.

These are just a few of the many types of content you have at your disposal. You’ll want to use a variety of these formats to keep your content fresh and exciting for your audience.

How does content marketing work? Your 6-step overview

As you look more into a content marketing strategy, you’re wondering, “How does content marketing work?” How does this strategy help you turn visitors into customers? Let’s look at the necessary process of how content marketing works to help you earn more conversions.

1. You create valuable content

To start, you create valuable content. If you want this marketing strategy to work, your content must have value and sustenance. People don’t engage with half-hearted content that doesn’t inform them or answer their questions. Create content that’s valuable and provides the answers to your audiences’ questions. If you want to keep leads on your content, it must be informative and thorough.

2. You share your content online

Once you create your content, you share it with your audience. Whether you optimize it in the search results or share it on social media, you must get your content out to your audience. If you share your content on social media, you can share it on your own profile or reach out to influencers to get them to post it. You’ll want to focus on industry influencers that can reach people who are likely to have an interest in your business. Additionally, you can reach out to industry experts to see if they are willing to link to your content within their content. It’s a great way to drive more valuable traffic to your content and get them to check it out.

3. People search online for information about your business, products, and services

Your audience will search for the information they need. They will search for your topic and look at the search results to see which page fits their needs best. If your article appears relevant, they’ll click on it and check out your content. When you create quality content on relevant topics, people can find your business and learn about your company. As a result, they’ll spend more time on your page and get to know your business. This increase in dwell time from reading your quality content and getting to know your business helps improve your SEO ranking.

4. People find and enjoy your helpful content

As you learn more about how content marketing works, you’ll see that people find the content extremely valuable. They enjoy your content and feel more informed. Your audience feels empowered with the knowledge you shared. Your helpful content keeps leads on your page longer, which helps improve your SEO ranking. It’s a great way to help your site rank higher in the search results so more people can find and enjoy your helpful content.

5. You boost brand awareness and trust with your audience

After checking out your content, your audience gets familiar with your brand. They may explore your site and see what you do. It helps them build brand familiarity and get to know your company.

6. You earn more conversions and sales

After reading your content, leads follow calls-to-action to contact your business to learn more or purchase online. Even if leads don’t convert right away, they’ll be more likely to remember your business in the future when they’re ready to buy. With content marketing, you will keep yourself at the front of customers’ minds — and you’ll earn more sales and conversions in the long run.

BONUS READING: Content Marketing vs. Digital Marketing?

What is the purpose of content marketing?

A content marketing strategy serves numerous purposes for your business.

Let’s take a look at four objectives for content marketing.

To inform your audience

People conduct searches every day, looking for valuable information. They continually ask Google questions to find information about their queries. When you provide content for your audience, you help them get more informed.

Content provides your audience with answers to their questions.

They read your article or watch your video, absorbing all the helpful information that answers their questions. When they leave your page, they’re more informed than when they started searching. Your audience will view your business in a positive light when you provide them with information. They will find your organization helpful and insightful.

To establish yourself as an authority in your field

Content poses your business as experts. If you’re sharing all this information with your audience, they will believe you’re an expert.

Content helps you establish yourself as a credible authority in your field. As an authority, people trust your business more. They know you are knowledgeable, so they feel more confident in buying your products or using your services.

For example, let’s say you’re a medical practitioner.

Your patient marketing efforts may include a blog that provides useful health and medical information for your prospeccts. When you invest in a content marketing strategy, you help your business build yourself as an authority in your field by sharing valuable information your audience seeks.

To boost brand awareness

Content marketing strategy helps new people find your business. Not everyone actively searches for your products or services. Some people are still in the initial stages of buying, where they search for information to help them become more knowledgeable about the industry.

As an example, let’s look at essential oils. In recent years, essential oils have skyrocketed in popularity.

As more people hear about them, they turn to Google to understand what they are and how they work. If you were a retailer selling essential oils, you would create content surrounding essential oils, the benefits, varieties, and uses. So, someone in the beginning stages of researching would find this helpful information and understand essential oils better. Creating all this content increases the chances of people finding your business. It allows you to appear in more search results, which helps drive more traffic to your page.

As a result, you boost your SEO ranking because you’re driving more relevant traffic to your page. The purpose of content marketing is to help people find your brand and learn about your business. Content helps boost your SEO ranking for more people can find your business and learn about your company.

To expand your reach

Content marketing strategy plays a fundamental role in helping you expand your reach. If you solely focus on improving your SEO ranking on your home page, you’ll miss many opportunities to attract qualified leads.

Content creation helps you expand your reach and obtain more leads for your business. It’s crucial to remember that everyone is interested in your business for different reasons. Creating content helps you diversify your strategy and reach people based on their interests.

When you create content, you expand your reach to people interested in your products or services. You help more people discover your business, which drives more traffic to your page. As a result, your page’s relevancy increases and you improve your SEO, allowing you to rank higher in the search results.

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4 tips for driving results with content marketing

Your content marketing strategy is a powerful way to get leads to find your business and choose you when they’re ready to convert. If you want to drive the right leads, you need a quality content marketing strategy that helps the right people find your business.

Here are four content tips to help you make content marketing work better for your business.

1. Determine your target audience

If you want to create a successful content marketing strategy, you must determine who you want to reach.

Your content won’t appeal to everyone. You must know who you want to target, so you can create better and more personalized content that appeals to them. Establish your target audience. Determine who is likely to take an interest in your content and read it.

You want to know what type of people likely become customers for your business. The best tactic you can use is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are profiles of your ideal customers. They help you focus on who you’re targeting, so you can create content that best suits their needs.

Let’s say you exclusively wine. Think about your typical customer that comes to visit your winery.

You can use average customers to help you develop buyer personas that cover all bases of your customer base. For example, you may find that your most frequent customers are women, between 35-55 years old, who are married, and make at least $55,000 a year.

From this information, you can start building a buyer persona that helps you reach these women better. Buyer personas help your business target the right people and know their pain points. You develop a more intuitive content marketing strategy when you know your audience and know the type of content they want.

Learn More About Generating Marketing Personas!

You must create valuable content that engages your audience and makes them more likely to choose your business. By developing your buyer personas, you’ll know how to create relevant content that resonates with your audience.

2. Stick to industry-related topics

The purpose of content marketing is to provide your audience with relevant and informative content.

If you want to have a successful content marketing strategy, stick to industry-related topics.

Many businesses try to make content on trending topics because they want to drive traffic to their site. If the issue isn’t related to your industry, it won’t drive the valuable traffic that turns into customers for your business.

For example, a pizza restaurant wouldn’t create an article about how to make slime for kids just because creating slime is a popular activity amongst kids. That pizzeria wouldn’t get relevant traffic to their website because people looked for slime, not pizza. It’s best to stick to industry-related topics, so you drive the right traffic for your business.

A craft store, however, would be perfect for promoting how to make slime. If people liked their information, they could check out their supplies to make slime or pre-made slime kits. This content would prove very beneficial and relevant to a craft store.

So, how do you find industry-related topics to cover?

Keyword research will help you find relevant topics for your content. You can use keyword research tools, like KeywordsFX or Keyword Tool, to find relevant keywords for your page. When you use these keyword research tools, you find a list of relevant keywords, their search volume, their cost per click (CPC) value, and more.

Find Your CPC for any Campaign with our FREE Calculator!

By conducting keyword research, you’ll help your business find industry-related topics you can use for content. It will help you drive more relevant traffic for your business.

3. Promote your content

Content promotion helps you reach more people interested in your business. You help people find your relevant information and check out your business.

Social media is a great place to promote content.

You can share blog posts, videos, and infographics with your audience. They can quickly check out your content and share it on their own social media pages if they like it. For example, Patagonia shares a link to their YouTube channel to show off their newest content. You can also promote your content through email marketing.

If you have a list of subscribers, you can send them content based on their interests. It’s a great way to promote your content and get it out to your audience. By promoting your content, you’ll help drive more traffic to your page and get more people to check out your business.

4. Put time into your title tag

When people want content, they’ll often turn to search engines to help them find it. When they look at the search results, users determine which listings are most relevant by looking at the title tag. The title tag is the first thing your audience sees when they look in the search results.

They will use your title tag to determine page relevancy. You must make a descriptive and informative title tag, so your audience knows what to expect when they click on your article. A good title tag will get users to click on your page and check out your information.

It’s an excellent practice for helping you earn more leads for your business.

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Want to learn more about how content marketing works?

Content marketing is a valuable tool at your business’s disposal. It’s a great way to help you attract more valuable leads to your page and get them familiar with your brand. If you aren’t sure how to get started with a content marketing strategy, our team at WebFX can help.

We have a team of over 500 content marketing-savvy experts that will help you develop a content marketing campaign that works. We’ll help you create content that resonates with your audience and gets them to engage with your business.

Want to learn more about how content marketing will help your business grow? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our content marketing plans.

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