What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing helps your business achieve its digital marketing goals through the creation, publication and promotion of content assets, forming the overall content strategy. It also provides entertaining, informative or inspiring context to products and services.
Success is generally determined by high quality content that is relevant and resonates with the audience. How to determine what ‘relevant content’ is for a particular brand? You first need to establish who your audience is, what they’re talking about and what they are searching for on Google and other search engines.
What is Copy?
In today’s digital landscape, it’s vital that you understand the difference between content and copy.
Content, in short, tells a narrative. It can involve anything from images and videos to charts and infographics. Information is presented in such a way that it intends to inspire, inform or educate the target audience, however the measure of success is determined by the creativity behind the ideas.
By contrast, sales copy has a different purpose which is sell – primarily through creating leads. It’s purely created for marketing and advertising purposes and typically consists of product specifics, call to actions and unique selling points of the products.
Content Marketing Benefits
If we were to compare copy (selling) with content (telling), you may be inclined to think that copy was more important than content. However, this is not always the case. Content, when done well, can improve many brand metrics including authority and trust which are vital in today’s digital industry.
Another benefit of content marketing is that through backlinks, you are able to attain broader marketing goals such as driving traffic to your website and improving domain authority – allowing you to reach audiences mostly organically.
Content Marketing Metrics
In this section we consider the various ways in which you are able to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing. There are a number of available content marketing metrics out there, such as measuring shares on social media, looking at time spent on site and unique page views.
You are able to determine whether your content was picked up by the media and monitor how your content ranks through looking at referral traffic, brand mentions and the number and quality of backlinks to your content page. Going a little deeper, you can even tell whether visitors to your site performed any behaviours after engaging with content (i.e. subscribing to a mailing list or making a purchase). With accurate tracking, you can then go on to see whether visitors returned to your site at a later date.
So far, we have discussed the benefits of content marketing and how this can be measured, but what about the content strategy?
The first stage in the process is research, which involves things like persona mapping, social listening and advanced analytics. These types of research will ensure you gain insight into your audience and what opportunities may be available.
In order to eliminate any content gaps, it’s a good idea to identify and analyse your best performing content, as well as the content of your top competitors.
Following on from the research stage, the next step is to generate creative content ideas from a range of different disciplines. These ideas ideally need to be backed up by relevant key phrases, not to mention outreach justifications. Be mindful that influencers should be interested in covering the stories under discussion. Finally, to ensure that valuable time and money are not lost, it’s essential to perform testing before executing any ideas.
The Content Marketing Plan
Once you have gathered together all of your ideas, it’s useful to form a content roadmap as part of your content marketing plan. This often involves a timeline of key events and ensures that each of your campaigns are complementing each other.
Taking a fashion brand as an example, have you scheduled content around key themes such as party season and summer holidays? You want users to consistently be engaged with content, so spread good ideas out over a few months to grow audiences rather than releasing them all at the same time.