New to content marketing?
Fret not. We’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to get you started on your content marketing journey this 2022:
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
Before we get into tips, let’s first answer the question: what is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In short: it’s all about creating content your target audience will find valuable and then using it to drive conversions.
What Are the Basic principles of Content Marketing?
The basic principles of content marketing are relatively simple:
Create valuable, relevant content.
Publish that content consistently.
Promote your content to reach your target audience.
Use your content to drive profitable customer action.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that — which is where we’re headed next.
Instead of replacing traditional marketing efforts, content marketing should complement and support them.
After all, content marketing is just another tool in your marketing toolbox.
3 Essential Characteristics of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a complex beast, but there are three essential characteristics that all great content must have:
It Must Be Valuable.
Your content must provide value to your target audience — whether in the form of helpful information, entertainment, or something else entirely.
Your content must serve an unmet need (e.g., provide a solution to a problem they’re facing, provide a tool or technique they can use, guide them through a process, etc.).
It must be relevant.
Your content must be relevant to your target audience’s interests, needs, and pain points.
It must appeal to the audience’s interests and information needs.
It must also be timely — meaning it should address current trends, news, or events.
It must be consistent.
Your content must be published regularly. How often you publish will depend on factors like your audience’s needs and your own resources, but aim for consistency above all else.
Viral success is great, but it’s not the goal.
Content marketing isn’t about creating one piece of viral content and then calling it a day. It’s an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and attention.
The key is to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to publish one high-quality piece of content per week than four low-quality pieces.
That leads us nicely to our next point.
Why Build an Audience with Content Marketing?
Ever wondered why companies use content marketing?
There are quite a few reasons, but the common ones are to:
Build an audience: Content marketing can help you build an audience for your business or brand — and that audience can be incredibly valuable.
Think about it: why do you think people follow brands on social media?
It’s not just because they like the product — although that’s part of it. They also want to feel like they’re part of a community and be kept up-to-date on news and events related to the product.
In other words, they want to feel engaged.
And that’s where content marketing comes in.
By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, you can build an audience of engaged followers who are likelier to buy from you — now and in the future.
Engage your audience: Content marketing can also help you engage your audience — especially if you want to turn them into lifelong customers.
By creating content that appeals to their interests and needs
If you can do that, you’ll keep them returning for more. And the more engaged they are, the more likely they will buy from you when they need your product or service.
Generate leads: Content marketing is also an excellent strategy for generating leads for your business. Initially, you’ll be focused on building an audience and engaging them.
But eventually, you’ll want to start converting them into leads.
And that’s where lead generation comes in.
Lead generation is the process of turning your audience members into leads — people who are interested in your product or service and who may be ready to buy.
There are a few different ways to generate leads with content marketing, but the most common is to use lead magnets.
A lead magnet is a piece of content — usually an eBook, checklist, or cheat sheet —designed to capture your audience’s attention and get them to sign up for your email list.
They get access to the lead magnet in exchange for their contact information.
It is a great way to generate leads because it lets you capture your audience’s attention and start building a relationship with them — all before you try to sell them anything.
Drive sales/conversions: Closing more deals, reducing shopping cart abandonment, or increasing average order value are all common business goals.
And content marketing can help you achieve them.
By creating content that speaks to your audience’s needs and pain points, you can guide them through the buyer’s journey — from awareness to consideration to decision — and eventually get them to take the desired action.
For example, let’s say you sell eco-friendly cleaning products.
You could create a blog post titled “10 Tips for reducing your carbon footprint at home” and include a call-to-action (CTA) to buy your eco-friendly cleaning products at the end.
Drive Loyalty and Evangelism: Content marketing isn’t just about acquiring new customers — it’s also about retaining the ones you already have.
Here’s how it works:
When you create great content that’s helpful, informative, and/or entertaining, your audience will start to see you as a trusted source of information.
And when they see you as a trusted source, they’re more likely to continue doing business with you — and even recommend you to their friends and family.
Brand Awareness: Content marketing can help you get discovered by the right customers.
When you create and share high-quality content, it helps you build credibility and authority in your industry.
It also allows you to be found by people searching for information about your product or service.
For example, let’s say you sell eco-friendly cleaning products.
If someone searches Google for “eco-friendly cleaning products,” your content could come up in the search results, giving you a chance to get in front of a potential customer.
Content marketing can also help you build brand awareness on social media.
When you share great content, people will start to take notice of your brand. And as they become more familiar with your brand, they’ll be more likely to do business with you.
So, there you have it — five ways content marketing can help your business grow.
10 Reliable Content Marketing Tips for Beginners in 2022
You should know that content marketing is not a one-time effort — it’s an ongoing process that takes time, effort, and commitment.
That demand that you be strategic in your approach and have a plan for what you want to achieve.
Not sure how to proceed?
Here are ten actionable tips to help you get started:
Tip #1: Don’t Embark on a Content Marketing Journey without a Strategy
Embarking on a content marketing journey without a strategy is like going on a road trip without a map — you might end up somewhere, but it probably won’t be where you want to be.
By strategy, we’re not talking about 100-slide PowerPoint decks (unless that’s your thing).
A good content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as answering these four questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their pain points?
- What kind of content will resonate with them?
- What are your goals for content marketing?
You have to be specific with what you want to achieve because that will determine the kind of content you’ll create.
For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to create shareable and informative content.
On the other hand, if your goal is to increase conversions, you’ll want to create persuasive and actionable content.
Your content marketing strategy defines the who, what, where, when, and why of your content marketing efforts. It also defines what you’ll accomplish with your content marketing.
Creating a strategy might seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it — trust us.
It will also make your life easier (no more aimless content creation!) and help you get better results from your content marketing efforts.
Here’s what stats have to say about content marketing strategy:
- 69% of the most successful companies have a well-documented content marketing strategy, while 16% of the least successful companies don’t. –Content Marketing Institute
- 56% of B2B marketers say their biggest challenge is producing engaging content. — Iron Paper
Now, this begs the question if a company’s success is partly attributed to having a well-documented content marketing strategy, what exactly should be included in that document?
Here’s a quick rundown of what your strategy should cover:
- Your target audience: You must know who you’re creating content for. This way, you can create content that appeals to their needs and interests.
- Your goals: What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Boost sales?
- Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on content marketing?
- Your resources: Who will be responsible for creating and promoting your content?
- Your distribution channels: Where will you publish your content? On your blog? On social media? In email newsletters?
- Your content mix: What kind of content will you create? Blog posts? Videos? Infographics?
- Your editorial calendar: When will you publish your content? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. Just ensure you clearly understand your target audience, what they want, and what you want to achieve with your content marketing.
Once you have that figured out, the rest will fall into place.
Tip #2: Figure Out What Kind of Content Your Target Audience Wants
Creating content isn’t hard. The hard part is creating content your target audience wants to consume.
The key to creating content that resonates with your audience is to know what they want. And the best way to do that is to ask them directly.
You can do this by conducting surveys, interviews, and focus groups. You can also look at your website’s analytics to see what kind of content is performing well and resonating with your audience.
Once you understand what your audience wants, you can start creating content that meets their needs.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:
- Blog posts: Write blog posts that answer your audience’s questions or address their pain points.
- Videos: Create videos that teach your audience something new or show them how to do something.
- Infographics: Create infographics that make complex information easy to understand.
- Podcasts: launch a podcast that covers topics your audience is interested in.
- eBooks: Write an eBook that your audience can use as a resource.
Tip #3: Create a Content Creation Process
Creating content regularly can be tough, especially if you don’t have a solid content creation process in place.
The best way to make content creation easier is to have a process you can follow each time you sit down to create something new.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick overview of what your content creation process should look like:
Step 1: Brainstorm ideas: This is where you develop ideas for your content. To do this, look at your target audience’s pain points, what they’re talking about, and what’s trending in your industry.
Step 2: Outline your content: Once you have a list of ideas, it’s time to start outlining your content. That will help you organize your thoughts and ensure your content flows well.
Step 3: Write your content: Now, it’s time to start writing it. Keep your target audience in mind as you write and try to address their needs.
Step 4: Edit and proofread: After you’re done writing, it’s important to edit and proofread your content. That will help ensure your content is error-free and easy to understand.
Step 5: Optimize for search engines: Once your content is ready to go, it’s time to optimize it for search engines. That will help ensure your content is seen by as many people as possible.
Step 6: Publish and promote: Last but not least, it’s time to publish and promote your content. That can be done by sharing it on social media, sending it out in email newsletters, or advertising it on your website.
A solid content creation process is the best way to ensure you can consistently create high-quality content.
Tip #4: Build an Email List and Email Sequence
You must build an email list and create an email sequence to get the most out of your content marketing strategy.
An email list is a group of people who have given you permission to send them emails. That can be done by having them sign up for your newsletter or download one of your eBooks.
Once you have an email list, you can start sending them a series of emails (known as an email sequence) that introduce them to your business, build trust, and sell your products or services.
Building an email list and creating an email sequence is one of the best ways to generate leads and make sales from your content.
Not so sure how to get started? Here’s a quick overview:
Step 1: Create an opt-in form: The first step is to create an opt-in form that people can fill out to join your email list.
Step 2: Add the form to your website: Once you have your opt-in form, you need to add it to your website. This can be done by adding a popup, slider, or embedded form.
Step 3: Create your email sequence: Now, it’s time to start creating your email sequence. That is a series of emails you send your subscribers over time.
Step 4: Send your emails: Once your email sequence is ready to go, it’s time to start sending it out to your subscribers.
Step 5: Monitor your results: Last but not least, you need to monitor your results and see how your email sequence is performing. This can be done by looking at your open and click-through rates.
Tip #5: Repurpose Your Content
If you want to get the most mileage out of your content, then learn to repurpose it.
Repurposing content is the process of taking one piece of content and turning it into something else. For example, you could take a blog post and turn it into an eBook or an infographic.
Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you reach a wider audience. That’s because you can share your repurposed content on different channels and formats.
Not sure how to get started? Here are a few ideas:
- Turn a blog post into an eBook
- Turn an eBook into an email course
- Turn an infographic into a SlideShare presentation
- Turn a podcast episode into a blog post
- Turn a video into an article and vice versa
Tip #6: Automate Your Content Promotion
If you want to save time and ensure that your content reaches as many people as possible, you need to automate your content promotion.
Content automation is the process of setting up your content promotion so that it happens automatically. This can be done by using a tool like IFTTT or Zapier.
Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you to reach a wider audience. That’s because your content will be promoted on multiple channels automatically.
Here are some ideas for content automation:
- Use IFTTT to share your content on social media automatically
- Use Zapier to add new blog posts to your email list automatically
- Use a tool like SumoMe to add social sharing buttons to your content automatically
Tip #7: Don’t Be Obsessed with SEO
If you’re just starting out with content marketing, it’s easy to get obsessed with SEO.
After all, SEO is important. It’s what helps your content get found in Google and other search engines.
However, SEO should not be your only focus. In fact, if you focus too much on SEO, you’re likely to miss out on other important aspects of content marketing.
For example, you might create great content, but no one will see it because you’re not promoting it properly. Or you might get tons of traffic, but no one will convert because your call-to-action is weak.
So, while SEO is important, don’t obsess over it. Instead, focus on creating great content and promoting it effectively.
Tip #8: Promote Your Content in Multiple Ways
Of course, you want your content to reach as many people as possible.
So, instead of just promoting it in one place, promote it in multiple places.
For example, you could promote your content on social media, in an email newsletter, on other people’s blogs, and in forums.
The more places you promote your content, the more traffic you’re likely to get.
Here are a few ideas for promoting your content:
- Share it on social media
- Write guest posts on other blogs
- Submit it to directories and forums
- Add it to your email signature
- Mention it in your podcast episodes
There are lots of ways to promote your content. So, get creative and experiment with different methods.
Tip #9: Maintain an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a tool that helps you plan, publish, and promote your content. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet or as complex as a tool like CoSchedule.
Not only does having an editorial calendar help you stay organized, but it also helps you to be more strategic with your content.
For example, you can use your editorial calendar to plan which topics you will cover and when. That ensures that your content is always relevant and timely.
You can also use your editorial calendar to track your content metrics. This way, you can see which pieces of content are performing well and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Some of the things to include in your editorial calendar are:
- The topics you’re going to write about
- The publish date for each piece of content
- The promotion plan for each piece of content
- Content metrics (e.g., traffic, shares, etc.)
- Who’s responsible for each task
Google spreadsheet is a great way to create an editorial calendar. But if you want something more robust, you can try using a tool like CoSchedule or a project management tool such as Asana or Trello.
Tip #10: Hire a Professional Writer
If you’re struggling to create high-quality content, then perhaps you should consider hiring a professional writer.
A professional writer can help you develop ideas, research, and write the content for you. This will free up your time so you can focus on other aspects of managing your business.
Hiring a professional writer is an investment. But if done correctly, it can pay off in the form of higher quality content and more traffic.
When hiring a professional writer, be sure to:
- Look for someone with experience in your industry
- Check their writing samples
- Get a feel for their writing style
- Make sure they understand your goals
- Be clear about what you expect
If you’re not sure where to find a professional writer, you can start by looking on job boards such as Upwork or Freelancer. You can also ask your network for referrals.
The Bottom Line
The last thing you want is to pour your heart and soul into a piece of content only to have it fall flat.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to increase your chances of success.
This post covers 10 of the most important content marketing tips for beginners.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Start with a solid foundation
- Create killer headlines
- Make your content scannable
- Write compelling copy
- Optimize your images
- Include calls-to-action
- Pay attention to SEO, but don’t obsess over it
- Promote your content
- Maintain an editorial calendar
- Hire a professional writer
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating content that drives traffic and generates leads. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!
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