What is Content Marketing? A Guide for Beginners

Content marketing. This has been a hot phrase in the world of digital marketing over the last several years, and its growth has continued to climb. It’s no secret that the world of internet marketing is quite vast, and it can be difficult to keep on top of various trends that might not help your business at all.

The reality is that content marketing isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, 84% of the top performing companies plan to use or start using content by this year. If you have yet to consider content marketing as an approach to generate exposure, it’s time to make the leap into one of the most effective marketing methods available today.

What is the Definition of Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of using online content to gain exposure for your business. It can come in multiple forms, including white papers, blogs, eBooks, case studies, press releases and more. Businesses can use this content on their websites, social media profiles, and even other websites (guest posting and publishing) for extra exposure.

It’s important to understand that content marketing is strategic and an ongoing process. Many business owners are under the impression that you simply publish a blog or two, and results will come pouring in. Unfortunately, content marketing does not work this way and business owners may become frustrated.

In order for content marketing to be effective for any business, there needs to be a plan in place in order to move forward.

How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy

If you’re considering taking on the role as content marketer for your business, you may want to consult with an expert such as Bigfoot Media before you get the ball rolling. Content marketing goes well beyond simply writing a blog post, and research is critical for your success.

One of the first steps that you need to take is to analyze your website and the existing content that’s on it. If you don’t have a blog, you’ll need to launch one so you have a platform to publish content on a regular basis.

The next step is to conduct keyword research. This is important because you need to know what keywords to target to get the most out of your efforts. Content marketing can help Google discover your website, and help your business rank highly in the search engines.

Once you have your keywords in place, it’s time to identify some blog topics that you can use. There are online generators that are quite helpful when you’re in a pinch, such as HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.

Come up with a list of 8 blog topics—1 per week over the next two months. You can then take these blog topics and add them to a content calendar to help keep your posts on track. The calendar doesn’t need to be anything fancy; you can simply use an Excel spreadsheet. Be sure to include the publishing dates, days of the week, blog titles, and any keywords that you’d like to include.

Why is Content Marketing So Popular?

Content marketing has a laundry list of benefits—and if you’ve ever used it, it’s easy to see why. In a nutshell, content marketing helps businesses:

Generate Leads

Lead generation is one of the top major benefits of content marketing. It’s entirely possible that a single blog or eBook could generate thousands of dollars in revenue for your business. Keep in mind that lead generation via content marketing is both an art and a science, and you aren’t going to score big with every blog that you publish.

However, content marketing will help move potential customers down the sales funnel. In turn, lead generation will eventual follow.

Search Engine Optimization

Another benefit of content marketing falls into the realm of search engine optimization. This isn’t to be confused with old school SEO techniques where keyword stuffing helped achieve high search rankings. Search engine optimization is a lot different today, and content marketing is the driving force behind ranking your website online.

One of the keys to enhancing your SEO with content marketing is consistency. It’s important to frequently publish new content on your website so it remains active and up-to-date. Another piece of the puzzle is implementing the right keywords (typically long tail keywords) into your strategy, and using these throughout blog posts, articles, and more.

Social Media Content

One of the challenges that business owners face is having content to share with their social media followers. This challenge leads to business owners never updating their social profiles at all, and results in a stale and bland image.

Producing regular content will give you a source for great social media posts time and time again. You’ll begin to notice trends in terms of what your audience enjoys the most out of your content, and you can continuously replicate your approach to share the best content possible.

Industry Leader Status

Another big benefit of content marketing is becoming a thought leader in your industry. Your blog can become a credible source for industry news, updates, and insights—as long as you regularly update and add valuable insight.  It’s a long road to achieve thought leader status in your industry, but content marketing can certainly help take you there.

Grow Your Business with Bigfoot Media

If you’re interested in growing your business with content marketing, social media management, and more, contact Bigfoot Media for your consultation.

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