Content Marketing

What is Content Marketing?

In our last blog post we touched on how important great content is for your brand. This blog post will dive deeper into the many reasons why content is so crucial to your digital marketing success.
What Is Content?
Content is a very broad term and includes anything that is educational to the consumer and does not necessarily need to be directly about the products or services a company sells.
Content can be anything from relevant curated imagery or your own unique images you have captured during a photoshoot. In today’s world phone cameras are of such a high quality you don’t need to go into studio to take beautiful images.
Written content includes articles, blogs, short stories, podcast and video scripts, interviews etc.
On social media gifs and videos receive the most engagement so should be featured in your monthly content plan.A unique point of view in the subject matter of your content is integral in communicating what your brand is about. 
Content Generates Awareness
Creating awareness can be a costly exercise which inhibits small businesses from getting their products and services known in the market. Content Marketing equals the playing field and is the most cost effective way of generating brand awareness to targeted audiences.
The consumer “Path-to-Purchase” demonstrates the shopping journey individuals follow when making a purchase. ‘Awareness consideration trial purchase re-purchase loyalty love mark’ outlines the various shopper and decision making stages. The awareness stage cannot be successfully achieved without, amongst other things, high quality content to communicate a brand’s offering to potential consumers.
Armed with a communications strategy these days marketing campaigns usually make use of both traditional and new media formats to create a holistic 360 campaign to generate brand awareness. The information within your digital content is paramount in creating successful digital campaigns and capturing your audience’s attention before they scroll on.One needs to generate relevant, engaging, unique and consistent content which aptly represents your brand’s aesthetics and values. One needs to ensure that your consumers feel like you are adding value to their online experience which in turn will make them come back for more, engage with and buy in to your brand offering and generate brand loyalty – the aspiration of all marketers!
In terms of type of preferred content online – Video is favoured for creating brand awareness as it can quickly and creatively communicate what products and services a company can offer its consumers. This content then drives traffic to your website where consumers can find out more regarding your products or services and complete the path to purchase journey.
Great Content Improves Your Google Ranking
Digital Marketing Solutions depend on good quality content to provide results for the various Digital Marketing techniques being implemented for the business. For example take a look at SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO makes use of keywords, which is part of the content that is used to make up the website content.
These keywords need to be targeted and very specific in order to make one’s website appear in consumer searches in Google, drive traffic to the website and ultimately generate leads for the business.
Websites are ranked by Google and sites that are seen to have great content are classified as ‘high-quality websites’ – positively affecting the website’s Google ranking ( you want your website to appear on the first page of Google for a relevant search). And the most effective way to improve one’s SEO is by posting high-quality, search relevant, content that meets the needs of users.
Build Backlinks
Website content that is perceived as ‘high-quality’ can be appealing for backlinks from other websites. This in turn increases one’s domain authority, leading to higher Google rankings.
Backlinks are viewed as a vote of trust and the more backlinks a website has, the higher the website’s position will be on the Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Backlinks may also enable one’s website to gain an inflow of traffic in a relatively short amount of time.
Social Media Content
As discussed in the beginning of this blog post Images and videos are also types of content most commonly used in social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote products and services. This visual form of content is used to capture users’ attention as they scroll through their social media pages. The visuals and videos need to be aesthetically pleasing, short, punchy and to the point with minimal text in order to hold consumer’s low attention span long enough to peak their interest and make users click to find out more.
Companies need to translate their overall brand strategies into their digital content for social media in order to create synergy for all the brand touch points. This is done through the development of monthly content calendars which outline what each social media post will focus on. Posts can include copy, designed images, competitions, polls, user generated content, podcast links, livestreams, webinars etc.
Brands use social media platforms to promote a specific lifestyle their offering evokes. Brands that create authentic aspirational ‘lifestyle’ content  that appeals to a wide audience are going to get ‘likes’, ‘followers’ and ultimately sales!
Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts
Tracking how effective your Content Marketing efforts are is important in figuring out where to improve.
Creating goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is the best place to start  in your content analysis. For example a business’s focus and one of their KPI’s could be to increase their customer ‘engagement’. The business would measure the levels of engagement through metrics such as; likes, shares, comments, re-tweets, inbound links and ‘forwards’.
There are many great apps and tools one can make us of to measure content performance. Different tools are used for different KPI’s so one has to make sure clear focus areas are set.
To name a few Hootsuite, HubSpot, Buzzsumo, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and Hotjar are all great tools to measure a variety of metrics.  As a collective these tools can measure brand mentions, engagement, monitor leads, track SEO and keyword performance, measure bounce rates and website traffic, track conversions and time spent on pages and provide insights into competitive research.
Encourage Brand Loyalty
To be seen as a thought leader brands need to publish authoritative, consistent content to encourage consumers to visit your website on a regular basis. This builds trust and brand loyalty.Once a following and a fan base has been established the more content your brand shares , the stronger the bond between brand and customer becomes. Brand loyalty = brand commitment and prompts repeat purchases.
Loyalty programs are a wonderful way to stimulate repeat purchases and reward loyal consumers.
Conclusion
Continually increasing competition between companies means that the quality of published content is becoming even more important for digital marketing success.
Content Marketing has changed how consumers get in touch with brands for the first time and so in turn has affected how leads are generated online. By developing strategic, quality content with a clear purpose businesses can be on top of their Content Marketing game and master lead generation for their business!
We hope that this blog post gave you a better understanding of the real importance of Content Marketing and how high-quality content can assist businesses grow.
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