What is content marketing, you ask? We'll give you the answer to that question and more! Read until the end to get answers to frequently asked questions about content marketing.
In this article:
- What Is Content Marketing?
- How Does Content Marketing Work?
- Why Is Content Marketing Important?
- What Are the Types of Content Marketing?
- What Are the Digital Channels of Content Marketing?
- Does Content Marketing Really Work?
What Is Content Marketing? 6 FAQs Answered!
1. What Is Content Marketing?
The terms traditional marketing and content marketing are often used synonymously. So, how does one differ from the other?
It all boils down to messaging and intent. Traditional marketing strategies often rely on hard-sells—comms that pitch products or services to entice customers to buy.
Content marketing isn't intended to sell your readers a specific product or service. Instead, it's a strategic way of providing valuable, useful, and timely information to your target audience that is supposed to help them solve their problems.
Let's say you're the marketing lead for a commercial bank, and you're trying to encourage more people to apply for any of your bank's line credit cards.
If you're going to implement traditional marketing methods, you'll likely come up with digital ads that spell out the perks of your new credit card line—cashback offers, reward points, etc.
But if you'll go for the online marketing service route, you can publish an article about the benefits of owning a credit card—convenience, safety, and security. You can even talk about how online shopping would be much safer when you course payments through a credit card.
2. How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing works by tapping the three critical pillars of your online presence:
- improve your rank on search engines
- build trust with your audience
- establish your credibility as an industry source
A pivotal part of content marketing is search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is a way for you to ensure that your readers find the content you publish online. Having an effective SEO strategy in your content marketing plan ensures that your target audience will see your content whenever they search for specific keywords.
When your readers see your website and content rank higher on Google and other search engines, they'll think two things:
- Your page has answers to their questions
- Your brand is an industry authority and a credible source of information
Make sure what you publish resonates with your target market's wants and needs. Align your content with what your target audience is really asking for, and not what you assume they need. You gain your readers' trust when your content addresses their problems.
3. Why Is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing isn't just important because it increases your search engine rankings or builds trust with your audience. It's crucial now more than ever because of what customers expect brands to be today.
Nowadays, customers want brands to be more personal with them. Your readers don't really want to hear about your business. Instead, they want to know why your brand does what it does and how it can help them.
Meaningful content is a great way to bridge the gap between your brand and its target audience. It's a more personal and empowered approach to influencing your readers as compared to just telling them to buy a product or avail of a service.
4. What Are the Types of Content Marketing?
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms. What all types of content marketing ideas have in common is they provide information that's useful and relevant to the recipient.
Here's a list of the most popular types of content marketers incorporate into a typical online content strategy plan:
- Blog posts
- Email blasts
- Social media posts
- Downloadable ebooks
5. What Are the Digital Channels of Content Marketing?
In content marketing, there are three types of media channels: paid, owned, and earned.
Paid Content Marketing Channels
As the name suggests, a paid marketing channel is an online platform you have to pay so that your content can be distributed there. You can use search and social advertising to promote your content through ads, so it reaches more people.
Here are examples of paid media channels:
- Google search ads
- Google display ads
- Promoted tweets on Twitter
- Sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram
Owned Content Marketing Channels
These are the platforms your brand or business owns. Because you own them, you have full control over the content that gets published.
While posting original content on your brand's owned media channels is free, it does take a lot of effort to maintain. There's also the added pressure to ensure that your content reaches the right people.
Examples of owned media channels include:
- Your company's official website or blog page
- Your brand's verified social media accounts
- Your business' newsletters and e-newsletters
Earned Content Marketing Channels
Earned content marketing channels are platforms that you don't pay for or own. They positively impact your content marketing strategy because they are made directly by your target audience.
Here are examples of earned media channels:
- Website visits from organic search
- Online mentions by industry influencers
- Social media shares, tags, and mentions
6. Does Content Marketing Really Work?
With the right strategies, budget, executions, and expectations, you can count on content marketing to help you achieve your business goals.
The key is to make sure your company's content marketing strategy works is to align your content strategy with what you want to achieve. Having a reasonable budget to work with and the right kind of expectations helps, too!
Do note that content marketing is a long-term strategy. You need to be patient and let your strategy gain traction over time. If you're looking for a quick fix to your marketing problems, content marketing isn't for you.
With this article, asking yourself, "what is content marketing" is a thing of the past! Not only that, but you also learned the answers to five other frequently asked questions about content marketing. Remember, if you want to have a content marketing strategy that works, you'll have to put your target audience's needs before your own. This way, you create content they'll want to read!
Need help crafting an online content marketing strategy for your business? Contact us at Ape-X, and we'll give you ideas on how to create content that's tailored to your digital channel strategy and relevant to your audience!
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