Content Marketing: What, Why, When

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content marketing what, why, when

Content Marketing is a foundational component of every digital marketing strategy. These days content includes more than blog posts. Companies have the opportunity to create a varied content calendar that includes blog articles, infographics, videos, special offers, and engaging emails. But is it worth the effort?

Consider these statistics:

  • 51% of content consumption derives from organic search. (Siege Media)
  • 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (Hubspot
  • 28% of Gen Z consumers bought a product through a social media app. (Hubspot)
  • 51% of the businesses that invest in content marketing publish content every day (The Manifest)

There are many benefits to developing and implementing a strategic content marketing plan. But before you get started, let’s cover the what, why and when of content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Every digital marketer has a slightly different definition of content marketing. Content marketing is a broad term that includes the creation of images and words to promote your services and products online. Ideal content marketing breaks through the noise on search engines and social media and provides helpful and educational information for your ideal customer. It’s important to realize that content marketing goes well beyond the strategies presented in social media marketing; however, there is often overlap.

Here are two additional definitions:

  • The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
  • The Vanessa Rodriquez of the UHURU Network explains, “Content marketing is a marketing strategy that revolves around the creation, publication, and distribution of content to a target audience in order to bring new traffic (and therefore new customers) to your business.”

Types of content marketing encompass social media posts, blog articles, web stories, white papers, checklists, case studies, infographics, emails, and videos. As digital marketing strategists, we strive to develop relevant content that educates a specific audience. When your content marketing efforts speak directly to your company’s target audience, you will see the impact on company growth. At SMA Marketing, we work to develop strategic editorial calendars that carry customers through every stage of a buying cycle.

Why Use Content Marketing?

As the statistics above show, content marketing is a proven method for increasing your opportunities to engage with current and potential customers. As you focus your written and visual content around your buyer persona, you will improve your opportunities to engage with the right clients, those that are looking for solutions to pain points you can fix.

Effective Content Marketing is Proven to:

  • Improve SEO
  • Attract prospects and customers
  • Increase customer retention
  • Build trust with visitors
  • Help you establish your voice as an industry expert
  • Help you create a well-rounded social media feed
  • Answer commonly asked questions at every step of your buyer’s journey
  • Expand your digital reach

When Should I Use Content Marketing?

The short answer is all day, every day. While that sounds impossible, it really isn’t when you take the time to make sure that every piece of content you create is optimized for SEO. By taking a few key steps, you can ensure your blog articles and social media posts do their job 24/7.

Because there are many forms of content marketing to explore, it’s important to have a very well-developed buyer persona. Your persona will help narrow down the digital channels to focus on, and the type of content to develop for prospective customers and current clients. 

The customer journey is unique for every business, but the stages are the same.

Awareness Stage: Create blog posts with infographics to quickly and clearly convey helpful messages to potential customers.

Consideration Stage: Video content, case studies, and emails are helpful for customers looking to take the next steps.

Decision Stage: Make it easy for people to become customers. A clear purchase pathway will improve user experience and trust in your company.

Should I Use SEO in Every Piece of Content?

Yes. SEO is a vital part of developing informative content for your digital entities. SEO Best Practices begin with making sure you take the time to do keyword research and identify the optimal words and phrases to create content around. Next, take the time to make sure your images are optimized by including ALT text for Google to read and your content has a structure that includes headers, lists, and internal and external links. Finally, use hashtags that are industry relevant on social media.

Taking the time to optimize every piece of content you curate will help your ideal buyer find you through search whether they use Google, Facebook, or YouTube.

Utilize Experts

Content marketing is extremely valuable to business owners across all industries. Many companies report that they understand the value of content marketing but do not have the time or personnel to devote to developing a thorough content strategy.

At SMA our expert inbound strategies are available to partner with you to create a content strategy that establishes you as an industry expert and helps you get found online. Whether you need help with keyword research, content calendars, creating blog articles, or all of the above our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business Growth has the information and tools you need. Download it today.

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