Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blog posts and social media posts, to entertain, educate or inspire your target audience. It does not explicitly promote or advertise your brand but it is intended to stimulate interest in your products or services.
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If you want to win in today’s digital world, your success is going to rely on quality content that meets user intent. With every Google algorithm update, Google has stressed the importance of relevant content and improving content quality is the number 1 piece of advice.
To establish what relevant content means to your brand, you’ll need to know who your audience is and what queries they are typing into search engines. Based on the gaps in your existing content and that of your competitors you’ll need to develop content campaigns that are specifically designed to achieve your marketing goals.
Content marketing is a very measurable discipline that is essential in making your online presence generate the right results for your business.
What is the Difference Between Content Marketing & Sales Copy?
If you want to make the most of your content marketing, you’ll need to understand the difference between content and sales copy because all forms of written text aren’t equal. Industry experts, journalists and bloggers are less likely to share your content if it is too heavily branded that it is obvious that you are trying to sell your products or services as it wicome across as looking a bit spammy.
Sales copy is created for advertising and marketing purposes, and its aim is to sell. It is written to persuade potential customers of the value of your offering and convert them into leads. Sales copy may detail product specifications, calls to actions and unique selling points.
Content extends far beyond sales copy: it can tell a story, educate, help, inspire or entertain your target audience. Content isn’t just text, it can also be videos, infographics, images, graphics and many other digital assets.
The difference between sales copy & content is that sales copy aims to sell your products and persuade people to convert, whereas content aims to engage your audience and build brand awareness.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
So if sales copy sells and content marketing engages and builds brand awareness, surely sales copy is the more important of the two? Not necessarily, because good content marketing can increase your organisation’s expertise, authority and trust factors. It actually establishes your brand as an authority in your industry.
Solid content strategy can also win backlinks – improving your website’s SEO, domain authority and driving traffic to your website. However, unlike other strands of digital marketing, content helps you reach your audience in a non-salesy organic way.
Choosing Your Content Marketing Metrics
There are various metrics out there that can help you measure whether your content strategy is proving effective.
Try measuring on your website’s unique page views, the average time spent on the site and the number of social shares that your blog post have received assuming that you have a social share plugin on your website, if not we can install one for you.
To find out whether it helped your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you should monitor how your content ranks, how much organic traffic it receives and how visible it is in search engines. The number and quality of backlinks to your content page can tell you how well your content was picked up by your target audience, the press, bloggers and industry experts.
We can set-up Google Analytics for you if you don’t already have it installed on your website. We can then tell you whether your visitors performed any actions after engaging with your content such as visited other pages, what pages they viewed and if they performed any conversions. Even if your web visitors did not convert directly, all is not lost because accurate tracking will show you whether they returned to your website at a later stage to go further down your sales funnel.
Defining Your Content Strategy
Once you have defined your content strategy goals and decided on your KPI (Key Performance Indicator) metrics, it’s time to start the content strategy process.
Your first step is the research stage, in researching and defining your primary and secondary customer personas. Followed by persona mapping, social listening and search intent modelling to gain the necessary insights into your audience and the various opportunities. Don’t forget to analyse your best-performing blog posts and that of your competitors, that can help inspire you and identify content gaps.
Then it’s time for brainstorming. By now you should be armed with the results of your research that will give you ideas for creative content ideas.
Creating Your Content Marketing Plan
By now you should have some ground-breaking content ideas so a content plan is needed.
A content roadmap is the best way to ensure that your campaigns are complementing, rather than competing against each other. The best way to do this is to put links in a blog post that have similar content. You can also space out similar topics in your content timeline too. Timing is important as you might also want to look at key seasonal dates and events throughout the year to gain more traffic.
So if you have an eCommerce website that sells products that are ideal for gifts, perhaps crating content around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas time should work for you.
Content marketing is a medium to long term strategy that is designed to build brand awareness. But you can’t bring brand awareness to the bank and cash it in whenever you want. So make sure that you have a short term strategy running side by side that will actually generate a consistent amount of leads every month for your business such as Facebook ads or YouTube video ads.
If you need any advice about content marketing strategy or a short term digital marketing strategy that generates leads for your business, get in touch with me. I am equipped to help you meet your marketing goals, no matter how ambitious they are.
Gary is a website designer and has been building websites since 2010. He is a certified digital marketing strategist with the Digital Marketing Institute and he holds a 2019 BSc Degree in Digital Technology & Design (Distinction)