What is it & how do you approach it?
We live in a digital world where a good content marketing strategy is indispensable. Don’t have a rock solid strategy yet? Then you will be sidelined in no time and get overtaken by your competitors. Content marketing can help you win visitors over. You meet users’ needs without pushing your brand, product or service. That way your brand becomes top of mind. But how do you grow your brand in a digital world that never stops changing? With a clear-cut content marketing strategy and the right approach!
After reading this article, you will know:
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the strategic creation and consistent distribution of relevant, valuable content. You want to use relevant content to reach your goal: attracting an audience and making money from it.
Content marketing is an essential part of your overall (digital) marketing strategy. By being both relevant and unique in the ocean of online content, your brand can earn your customers’ loyalty. Your content should offer value to the user. What we mean by that, is that you need to create content that is better than your competitor’s and better than the customer expected. It’s all about your customers and their needs and questions, that you can answer best as an authority. To do so, it’s important that you get to know the user inside and out. How to do that, you ask? By immersing yourself in the customer journey of your user.
If you ask us, your customer has no interest in you, your service or your product. They only care about themselves, their own questions and their own problems. Being an expert and authority in your field, you have to help your customer. You do that with the right content and strategy, based on real-world data. That’s how you reach your end goal: a larger audience and higher revenue.
Why is content marketing important?
Maybe even more important than the ‘what’, is the ‘why’: why would you start doing content marketing? The major goal of content marketing is to make your business grow. Think of a higher revenue or new customers.
For every phase of the customer journey (the road a user follows when they pursue a goal), you should provide appropriate content. From the first trigger – a user’s first thought, question or problem that opens a door for your brand to become relevant – to the moment of ultimate brand loyalty, and every possible touchpoint in between.
But a customer journey starts much earlier than the moment a person decides to buy your product or service. In the phases before the purchase, a potential customer is triggered to engage with your brand. That’s called lead generation. After that, you feed these prospects with the right content. In other words: lead nurturing. Doing this by using content marketing, you will be top of mind when your audience reaches the purchase phase. And that increases the chance that they will convert, which contributes to your goal of business growth.
Content marketing isn’t a new thing
Content marketing definitely isn’t a new thing. It has been used for decades already, mostly by traditional media and paid ads. Nowadays, we can do much more with content marketing and we have several media at our disposal: paid, owned and earned. Paid media is used best for marketing campaigns and short term goals. This includes channels that are activated by budget, like SEA (search engine advertising), display marketing and social ads.
But in order to build a truly relevant and loyal community, you will have no choice but to focus on organic channels: owned and earned media. Owned media include media that you manage, such as your website, social media pages and email. Earned media are about how others pick up your message and what they say about you. Think of reviews or news articles. How to make the best use of these channels? We explain that in our article about content strategy.
Relevant and valuable content is key
Relevant and valuable content doesn’t only serve the customer, it also helps build your brand and helps your business grow. Solid brands become increasingly important to Google. That’s why content is the basis of content marketing. This means that you, as a brand, help the user with their problem. This doesn’t directly have to be your service or product, it can also be the answer to a question. For example, think of:
- A liquor store providing cocktail recipes;
- A skincare brand writing about solutions for skin issues;
- A tech e-com party comparing laptops for gaming and studying purposes.
Careful: there’s a difference between branding by means of content marketing (such as the examples above) and ‘branded content’. What is branded content, you ask? It’s a collaboration between different businesses and brands. Think of Johnnie Walker’s collaboration with Game of Thrones. With their limited edition White Walker whisky, they created search volume on the query ‘johnnie walker white walker’. And that resulted in increased organic visibility for the brand, retailer and TV show. A win-win-win situation!
You can use content in different ways and through different channels. To discover which channels you should be using, you need to know your audience well and know what they’re looking for. A few examples of types of content are:
- Social media posts
Besides closing that content gap based on search volumes, branding by means of content marketing is becoming more and more important for your organic visibility in Google. How do you get the most out of it? By the right approach, a data-driven content marketing strategy, and the best possible implementation. And we know all about that!
And example of content marketing
We already mentioned the example of a liquor store. That was a real-world example of successful content marketing. For Dutch liquor store Gall & Gall, OAK answered the question ‘how to make cocktails’ by creating related content for several phases of the customer journey. The result? A significant increase in organic traffic and organic revenue for Gall & Gall.
This is how you do content marketing
From research and strategy to distribution and measuring, these 6 steps are part of a data-driven approach to content marketing:
- Define topics
- Create content
- Use the right channels
- Monitor results
- Optimize content
So, what do you have to do to get the most out of content marketing? Let’s recap:
- Your proposition has to be clear-cut.
- Your content has to be relevant, valuable and unique.
- You use different content formats at different moments and bring them to the right audience through the right channels.
- In order to not lose your touchpoint to competitors, you anticipate your audience’s customer journey.
- Content marketing is especially useful in the first phases before a user becomes a customer, but can also help build a strong brand.
- A solid content marketing strategy is the foundation of your company’s online growth.
- You use different types of media to achieve your goals: earned, owned and paid media.
- The success loop of data-driven content marketing consists of 6 steps: research, topic definition, content creation, distribution, monitoring and optimization.
Use the available data and listen to your audience. Create, measure, optimize. And grow! No idea where to start? Shoot us a message and let us carry out a content marketing audit for you!
Want to realize organic growth?
OAK helps you grow organically by making the best use of your content. We conduct market research, discover the wants and needs of your potential customers, determine the content gap, spot opportunities for your company, formulate a plan and implement it while we’re at it. Want to know what we can do for you? Request a content marketing audit!