Today, it's all about content in content marketing. There's never a shortage of new content being published and created across the web, but regardless of its form—text, images, video, or audio—content is what users crave in order to stay up-to-date with their field. Because of this, marketers are flocking to blog posts and other forms of written content as they work well with search engine algorithms and have the potential to go viral on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.
According to HubSpot, 25 percent of marketers plan to increase their spending on visual assets like videos and photos this year while also increasing their budget for blogging The Content Marketing Institute found that more than 60 percent of B2B marketers currently use some type of content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. And that number is only expected to grow year after year.
So if you're wondering what the heck "content marketing" even means, rest easy. We've got you covered—from start to finish!
What is Content Marketing?
The first and most important thing to understand about this topic is that content marketing isn't a new concept. It's been around much longer than most marketers realize (even though it didn't become widely known by its current name until 2007).
In fact, some studies show that content marketing has been around since cavemen’s days when hunters would use stories about their catch to lure more prey. However, it wasn't until the twentieth century that content marketing began gaining traction with marketers when companies like Ford and GE began to use print ads to promote their products.
How does Content Marketing work?
As mentioned before, content marketing is closely related to "inbound" marketing which means getting found organically through search engines as opposed to "outbound" marketing activities such as buying advertising space or cold emailing potential customers.
Content marketing can take on several different forms including written blog posts, videos, and infographics—just to name a few. But regardless of its form, the underlying principle of all content is teaching people about a particular subject without taking an overt sales approach In other words, there's no selling involved here. The goal is to teach, not push sales.
Types of Content
There are three types of content that are vital to your content marketing strategy for build a successful digital presence. The types of content you create will vary depending on the customer persona you are targeting and their stage in the buying cycle. The three types of content are:
1. Awareness Content
This type of content is designed to raise awareness about your brand, products, or services. It's not about selling directly but educating potential buyers about what your business has to offer them and creating interest in your brand so they feel compelled to learn more. Examples of this include infographics, blog articles, case studies, events (in person or online), webinars, competitions, etc.
2. Consideration Content
This is created with the aim to get people thinking about making a purchase and persuade them that your business is the right one for them. It's usually more persuasive and focused than awareness content, addressing specific problems or needs that your product fulfills. Examples include e-books, white papers, videos (such as product demonstrations), banners (eg. on other websites), etc.
3. Conversion Content
This type of content aims to guide a customer along the sales funnel so they complete an action you want such as signing up to your email list, filling in a contact form, or making a purchase. This would typically be lower in volume but more directly targeted at nurturing leads into customers (and also used as an alternative way of generating brand awareness). Examples include blog posts with links to relevant products/services pages, landing page offers, etc.