Content Marketing: River pools, a fiberglass pool builder, was not doing well in 2008. At that time, the stock market was crashing and the company was in such a bad mood that every consultant the owner spoke to suggested he should shut down. But the main owner, Marcus Marcon Sherden, decided to use content marketing, create a blog, and answer customer questions about fiberglass pools, after research he did with his team to find out what concerns customers in this field.
After conversations with clients to explore the problems they were experiencing, Sheridan recruited his entire team to answer those questions and write responses to queries in articles twice a week, and after 6 months he wrote useful content and posted it on the blog. People from all over the world contacted the company, and sales began. The company knew how to use content marketing to attract audience attention and reap profits.
The moment we stopped saying we “build pools” and started saying “we know the best about fiberglass in the world” – and we happen to ride them too – those were the busiest days of our lives.
Content marketing appeared in 2007 when business owners discovered that they could communicate with the public directly and promote their products without the help of advertisers, but drawing the audience’s attention was a major challenge amidst the chaos of content and the many social platforms. Therefore, it was necessary to create an insightful strategy that allows drawing the attention of users by providing them with useful content, and then converting them into customers and thus raising sales and increasing profits for the company.
In this article, we will learn about content marketing, its types, and how you use it to achieve your business goals.
What is Content Marketing?
says Avinash Kaushik
Content is anything that adds value to a reader’s life.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and exchange of online materials (such as videos, blog posts, and sharing text on social media), which does not explicitly or directly promote a brand but aims to provide content that benefits the audience and motivates them to be interested in its products or services.
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as an approach to strategic marketing that focuses on creating and publishing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and maintain a clearly defined audience, which ultimately drives purchasing decisions. Instead of directly marketing your products or services, you provide useful and relevant content to customers and potential customers, to help them solve their problems. Content marketing is used by major brands such as P & G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, John Deere, and many others.
Characteristics of good marketing content
1- Affordable and valuable
Before publishing the content, make sure that it is easy to understand and accessible to your target audience, using terms that suit their scientific or societal level. The content should carry value to customers’ lives, seek to educate them, find solutions to their problems, and change their lives for the better.
2- It must be shareable
Before creating any content, you should ask yourself: Is this content shareable? Will the audience interact with it? If I add a question or poll, will they respond to it? Interaction creates a strong relationship between you and your audience, and the more accessible the content, the more willing the audience is to interact with it. Also, make sure that it is suitable for followers to share with their friends, and be sure to include the “share” option on the blog and other platforms.
3- It must be relevant to your products
It is very appropriate that the content that you publish is related to the services or products that you provide because it will help you to show the extent of your experience in your field. For example, if you sell products for mothers, then the content that you publish is supposed to include advice and information about motherhood and childhood. It encourages them to decide on the product. The purpose of the content, in the end, is for the audience to benefit and to make a decision regarding the service or product you offer them, and to go beyond consuming the content only by turning from a visitor to a customer.
4- Make your content marketing unique
Although marketers often touch on the same ideas or try to solve the same customer problems, they try to innovate in other ways than the rest. The content you provide must be unique and distinguish you from the rest of your competitors. Unique content shows the uniqueness of your company, products, or services. The content should not openly or directly promote your services or products, remember that the content is designed specifically to benefit the customer and not to sell something directly to them.
5- Just in time
Many marketers use Evergreen Content, but some content is valid at one time and not in one time, or one season and not in another season, you can write an article about the dangers of driving in snow, and it will be published in the winter on the days that It snows, logically more than publishing the article in the summer.
6- It must be of high quality and attract attention
Provide attractive and high-quality content that shows your interest, experience, and competence in the field of work, and increases the confidence of customers and investors in you. One of the most important features of good content is that it can draw the audience’s attention to stop at it for a long time, especially in the era of the flow of information, images, and content of all kinds.
What is the importance of content marketing?
- Effective content helps build relationships, gain customer loyalty and trust, and attract potential customers.
- Customer trust will turn into reactions (decision to buy) and referrals, thus increasing sales and profits.
- It saves marketing costs because choosing a less expensive type of content marketing (for example, blogging) and focusing on it will save you a lot of marketing expenses.
- It contributes to keeping users longer on the site (this is what search engines prefer), and thus your content reaches a greater number of visitors and the audience that converts into customers.
- Contributes to educating others by spreading knowledge, information, and values widely among the public.
- Content builds a good reputation for brands. The more unique and useful the content the brand provides, the more respect it will gain from customers and competitors.
- It enhances your position as a market expert in your field, which helps you achieve many of your goals.
Types of content marketing
Many believe that publishing written content – articles in particular – is content marketing, but content marketing has many types.
One of the most powerful types of content marketing and it is relatively low-cost. Companies hire content writers to write various and different articles on product-related topics that provide benefits to consumers, answer questions they ask and provide solutions to problems they face that are usually related to the product or service that the company will provide. Companies compete through articles to occupy the forefront of search engines. Some companies provide reviews of their products and provide explanations to customers on how to use them in the form of articles or reviews.
Groove, the email customer service tool, has made millions of dollars in revenue just by using a single marketing channel, “written content marketing.” After the company was about to end and their marketing efforts failed to record user visits or sell products, and after two months of research and talking to experts, the team decided to start using content marketing, specifically focusing on the blog and providing articles of great value to customers, as the company recorded revenues in the first months amounted to $500,000 a month Grove marketing expert Lynn Markidan says they “almost built the company thanks to the blog.”
A visual representation of information or data that helps simplify a complex topic or bring a boring topic to life. It is designed to transform information, statistics, or data into a visually attractive graph. Infographics have become one of the most attractive types of marketing because they contain graphics, pictures, and simplified information that present In a light form for readers in a way that shortens their time and effort to understand the topic.
One of the most popular types of content marketing, videos are designed with a duration ranging from 2-5 minutes, on specific topics, the topics of the videos are usually extracted from articles, followers’ questions, and other text content, and the videos are uploaded to the company’s website, or various social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and the phenomenon of including video in marketing campaigns has spread widely from large, medium, or small companies.
4- Research and studies
It is one of the most reliable types of content marketing among customers, as everyone trusts numbers and statistics. Therefore, sharing the company’s efforts in searching and obtaining information is one of the most important reasons for customers’ trust in the brand. Doing research in your field of work, and sharing it with customers proves your professionalism and professionalism.
One of the most valuable types of content marketing, companies search for questions that concern customers, so they provide solutions by launching an e-book that is made available for download for free or in exchange for subscribing to the mailing list, which gives more credibility to your business, enhances customer confidence in you, and enhances your position in the market As an expert, if you want to create content that will last and be shared by customers, you must know why and how to use e-books to market your business.
Other types of content marketing that can help boost your content marketing strategy include: podcasts, interviews (with experts and influencers in your field), guides (launching a user guide on a topic they care about), case studies, social media content, images, polls, Webinars..etc
How do you choose the right content?
You cannot choose one type of marketing because it fits your budget, or because you prefer it over the other. There are many things that you must take into account when choosing the type of content that you will use in marketing, including:
1- Target audience
The audience you target with your product or service plays a big role in choosing the content you share. It is important to realize that gender, age, and even geography is important to choose the type of content. Red Bull likes to use video marketing because it provides content for athletes and adventure and risk lovers because it is the best type, better than publishing articles, designing infographics, or even providing e-books.
2- Type of product or service
In addition to the importance of the target audience, and the product or service you offer, it is very important for you to know what content you will provide. Blendtec, the maker of the blender, discovered that posting fun and funny videos about its blenders is more rewarding than any other kind of marketing, so the company began cutting marketing expenses and going on YouTube videos showing the challenge that blenders are capable of grinding anything (such as the iPhone grinding experiment). 6 Plus with a blender) The videos were very popular on YouTube and significantly increased corporate sales.
3- Consider the stages
The stages of customer recognition of your product influence the type of content you will choose. At the beginning of your brand awareness journey, focusing on videos is more effective than focusing on written content. And when you are about to launch a new product, the use of images will make a big difference in the success of your marketing strategy.
Mistakes you shouldn’t make with content marketing
Content marketing is when you educate people about things related to what you offer so that they know you, love you, and trust you enough to deal with you, but doing so is not easy, so marketers make a lot of mistakes in content marketing, which may lead to weakening their marketing strategies, here are the most important mistakes Common ones in content marketing that you should avoid:
1- Politics is a red line in content marketing
In 2017, Pepsi launched a new advertising campaign through video marketing, which is one of the most popular trends in content marketing, at a time when the United States was suffering from unrest between the police and demonstrators due to the killing of an African American citizen, as a model named Kendall Jenner appeared in The promotional video breaks into the ranks of the demonstrators and offers a bottle of Pepsi to a policeman, which made him smile while drinking the drink.
The sight of the model Jenner approaching the police was clearly a reference to the avatar of Isiah Evans, an African-American woman who stood up to heavily armored riot police during a protest against the persecution of African-Americans following the shooting of a Native American man. African was named “Alton Sterling” by the US police in 2016.
The video caused a sensation on social networks, accusing the company of racism and trying to underestimate what black-skinned people are going through in the United States, forcing the company to apologize and withdraw the campaign, saying in a statement that it was trying to present a global message of unity, peace, and understanding.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s political leanings and his bias towards President Trump’s administration and his support for his agenda, especially with regard to immigration issues, caused problems and losses for the company in the wake of severe criticism and boycott of the company via the Internet in February 2017, which forced Travis Kalanick to step down from Donald Trump’s Economic Advisory Council. Trump.
With regard to politics, the masses will always be divided into two parts. If you take sides with one side, you will inevitably lose the other side. Keep the content you publish away from any political ideas. You can have your own ideas and opinions, but as a business owner, you should distance yourself from mixing politics with work as much as possible. What you can, and avoid policy issues when you put your marketing plans into action.
2- Being unaware of new content marketing trends
Content marketing is a constant value and what makes it more vital than other types of marketing is that it is fast-moving in the marketing market, and marketers must constantly adapt to the latest trends that direct this strategy, as its trends witness continuous ups and downs according to the preferences of the customer audience. What was appropriate today, will be Tomorrow is not appropriate, and what attracted customers this season is likely to attract them even more next season.
You will need to pay close attention to these variables if you want to keep up with this fruitful strategy, attract customers, and outperform competitors. Ignoring new marketing trends will be a real problem. If you are not familiar with content marketing trends for the year 2022, here are 4 of the most important ones:
This trend allows you to leverage the reach of direct influence on the internet, through bloggers, social media celebrities, and thought leaders to get an opportunity to directly promote products and services.
According to a study by Linkia, 39% of marketers say they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2022.
Live video marketing
Many believe that live video broadcasting is the future of marketing. On Facebook, users spend 3 times their time watching live videos compared to traditional videos, as giant brands have begun to use such as Elon Musk’s Space X company, which specializes in the space technology industry, space flights, and others. many companies.
The continued supremacy of video marketing
Video marketing is a trend that has been around for years but is constantly on the rise. By 2023, Cisco expects that online traffic through videos will account for 80% of all online traffic worldwide.
Videos are also shared 1200% more often on social networks than images and text. There are other trends as well such as short-lived content marketing in which Snapchat outperforms the rest of the platforms, augmented virtual reality marketing, and other trends.
3- Provide poor content
Brands seek to attract audiences in multiple ways. Useful, valuable, high-quality content is one of the most important ways to attract high-ranking officials. According to a Havas Group study, 84% of people expect brands to create content, in a competitive market in which all brands seek customer satisfaction. Quality content should be what sets your brand apart. When creating content, you need to make sure it says enough to be useful.
Your customers are looking for specific information and answers in a specific field. Weak content includes that content that does not provide appropriate answers or any benefit to customers. If your company specializes in booking travel tickets, then the content that you will provide should be related to travel and trips in a way that: You can visit it in the summer, how to enjoy your trip at the lowest costs… etc. It would be illogical for you to publish content about the benefits of tomatoes for the skin!
Weak content also includes linguistic errors or containing phrases that are not understood by the audience, content that is constantly directed to promote your products only, repetitive and non-exclusive content, or content that carries any signs that encourage violence, racism, hatred… etc.
Poor and incomplete content may lead customers to lean towards competing content rather than the content you publish. So make sure that you are publishing everything that is reliable, useful and attractive, and specifically targeted to the right audience.
4- Ignore other types of content marketing
It is possible that you focus on just one or two types of content marketing, you may use blogging and ignore video marketing, you may focus on video or infographic marketing and ignore e-books, or you may ignore all of these types and prefer social media marketing.
Customer audiences have different tastes, some like watching videos, and some prefer reading articles, if you have an audience of professionals or if your clients are B2B companies they definitely prefer professional content like e-books, while millennials prefer social media like short-lived content via Snapchat Or Instagram…etc. According to an IDG study, at least 40% of B2B marketers currently use 10 or more different types of content. Diversifying the use of different content marketing strategies allows you to target a wide variety of customer audiences of all ages, tastes, and preferences, and can be used to target customers. potential, focusing on one or two types will allow targeting a limited segment of customers, so you should seek diversification.
There are many mistakes that are made in content marketing, which you should avoid, including your lack of a strategic plan for content marketing, or having a plan without implementation. Remember also that you use content marketing to educate customers in the first place, not to sell.
Some of the tools that are used to improve the content
Provides analysis and data of visitor behavior on the site, even after the visitor becomes a customer.
The tool provides reports and measures the impact of social and telephony networks on web traffic and conversion rates.
It helps website owners track visitors across multiple devices and build comprehensive timelines for each user.
A content analysis tool for social networks that gives you reports on the content of your competitors and influencers on social networks.
These tools enable users to monitor social networks and manage SEO campaigns.
How do you apply all of this in your business?
It is true that content marketing has become one of the most popular trends that marketers adopt to attract customers and increase sales, but it does not succeed unless you have a clear strategy that is consistent with the values of your company. Here are steps to help you create a content marketing strategy:
- make a plan You should define your company’s needs before you decide which content to use, whether will you use one or more types, and why? Will it be of use to your business? Make a plan to choose the content that works best for you.
- Know if you have one homogenous audience or an audience from multiple segments? What role will your content play in bringing together that homogeneous audience around your product? You must work to cover your experiences and the information you have solutions to the audience’s problems and concerns and be carefully designed to respond to their questions, needs, and interests.
- Start developing the content so that it matches your business values, the needs of your audience, and the search engines (devise an SEO plan).
- Start publishing content so that you set a schedule for that and the platforms that you will use, when will you publish articles in the blog, how many articles per week, whether will you use social networks and what networks are appropriate for that.
- Your content should convince your customers that you are the best problem solver in your field.
- Make sure to update the content constantly to help raise the site’s ranking on search engines.
Experts believe that the biggest challenge facing company owners regarding content marketing is the lack of sufficient experience in the field or the time required to produce content that helps them achieve their business goals, if you think it is time to start using content marketing in your marketing strategy, and that you are facing challenges Like those that prevent you from achieving progress in your work, you can use the services of professional content makers through a Fiverr platform.
Flashes about content marketing
- Neutral content is the perfect way to gain the respect and trust of your audience and build a relationship with them. Customers will get bored if you talk all the time about yourself and your service or product.
- By posting quality content, you will stop seeking your audience because they will come to you for advice and knowledge by asking questions on your platforms, or subscribing to your mailing lists.
- To know exactly what content to prepare, you must know the following:
- The information your customers are looking for
- problems they face
- The questions they ask
- their interests
- How will you be able to provide content that helps them develop solutions to their problems?
- Not only do you strive to provide unique and useful content, but also to build an audience.
- Make sure you have clear goals (avoid posting content randomly).
- It can take 9 months as a minimum. And between 15 to 17 months on average to start reaping the benefits of content marketing.
Finally, transform content marketing from a tool into a culture. Don’t treat content marketing as a marketing campaign