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What is Strategic Content Marketing? The Ultimate Guide

Content marketing is a strategic approach focusing on creating and distributing relevant, targeted, and consistent content. It helps businesses attract and retain a well-targeted audience and ultimately converts them into customers. And also enables you to reach an audience organically.

Besides enabling your brand to reach a large audience, this marketing technique increases conversions, loyalty, and revenue. And helps you establish your brand as an industry leader.

This ultimate guide helps you create an effective strategy, showing you how and where to get content ideas. It also contains content creation tools and presents common types of content.

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What is Strategic Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a process that involves planning, distributing, sharing, and publishing content through digital channels like social media, podcasts, websites or blogs, press releases, and print publications. Content simply means the information contained within communication media.

Today, outbound marketing does not resonate and convert as it used to. It is a form of traditional marketing where a business makes first contact with the audience or potential clients. Outbound marketing includes print media, billboards, cold calling, TV, and radio ads.

Instead, businesses have shifted to inbound marketing, which focuses on creating and distributing content that draws people to a website or landing page. Common inbound marketing strategies include sharing videos on YouTube and social media, blogs or courses, and opt-in emails.

Remember, don’t attempt to create content for everyone. Instead, pick a niche, identify your audience, find the problems they are facing, do keyword research and find information gaps. Then prepare interesting and educative content with solutions to your audience’s problems.

Why is Content Marketing Important?

It’s not a secret that digital content marketing is essential for your business. Content is the most critical pillar of digital marketing, without which your marketing efforts will almost be useless. Here’re some of the reasons you need it today:

  1. Building a Community: The most crucial role of strategic content marketing is creating a community and initiating conversation around your brand to create trust and authority. You get an opportunity to tell people about your brand and why they need your products or services.
  2. Audience Retention: Content marketing helps create a positive experience for your potential audience. Great experience compels your audience to return for more as you establish authority. Consistent content increases audience retention, giving you more time to convince your audience. High retention also tells Google content is resourceful, improving your rankings.
  3. Creating Brand Trust: Sharing great content with your audience makes them trust your advice and information. Thus making them willing to implement the recommendations you present. However, always kept them engaged, for instance, by replying to their comments.
  4. Generate Leads: Strategic content marketing generates leads for your business. Leads are requests or contacts from your website visitors or potential customers. As your audience trusts your content, they’re more likely to purchase products/services from you now or in the future.
  5. Boost Quality Traffic: With time and consistency, great content brings people to your website, either from social media or SEO. Such content tends to get more social shares and backlinks, ranking higher on SERPs. There is a positive correlation between a website’s traffic and sales.
  6. Saves on Cost: Every business aims to reduce costs as much as possible. With content marketing, you can reduce advertising costs by hiring a permanent writer or freelancer to write content for you for as low as $7 per page. Or you can learn how to write blogs on your own.
  7. Present your Offerings: Content marketing helps you educate people about your products or services, explain to them why they are necessary and drive them to the checkout. For instance, you can create a video about your eBook on Tiktok and have people inbox you to purchase it.

As you can see, content marketing is essential. So, if you haven’t dived into it, there is no better time than now. Here’re some types of content you can start sharing as early as now.

Types of Content in Digital Marketing

There are many types of content you can incorporate into your strategy, some of which include:

  1. Blogs or Articles: These are websites or web pages written conversationally, informing an audience about a particular topic. Blogs have become a popular way to increase website exposure and traffic. And making money through Google Adsense and affiliate marketing.
  2. Videos or Tutorials: Like blogs and articles, videos allow you to share a step-to-step guide on how to use your products or solve a particular problem in your industry. You can then share them on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, or your website.
  3. Guides or how-tos: Unlike blogs, guides or how-tos content aims to take the audience through the process of doing something. They can be in the form of a video or tutorial, text or images, or a combination of any of these. Guides replace manuals and help an audience solve problems.
  4. eBooks: These are books made available in digital forms and dive deeper into a particular topic in your niche. They are popular ways content creators can share their knowledge in their industry. Alternatively, one can also share life stories and make money.
  5. Postcards: Instead of preparing guides, writing blogs, or creating videos, you may opt to share digital audio files over the internet for people to listen to and download. Each audio file is a postcard episode through which you can address issues or share stories.
  6. Images: These types of content are prevalent, especially on social media and within your website or articles. Images help you represent something visually and can help you grab people’s attention. For instance, you can advertise a cover for your eBook on social media.
  7. Infographics: They combine elements like images, icons, text, charts, and data to convey messages at a glance. Infographics increase the attractiveness of your article and increase audience retention. They help get more people to link to you, improving SEO rankings.
  8. Social Media Content: Businesses create content for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Social media helps one boost awareness and drive sales to a website. Popular types of social content include reels, videos, and images.
  9. Case Studies: They refer to an analysis of something, like a business or technique, to present quantifiable results. The findings are used to make justifiable suggestions. For instance, you can analyze the performance of YouTube and Netflix and give tips on how to run online biz.
  10. Checklists: These types of the content outline the steps or items needed to accomplish a particular goal. For your article to rank on Google, you need to conduct keyword research, get inspiration, write your article, and include outbound and internal links, e.t.c.

Which of these ten types of content would you rather share with your audience? Well, I’d advise you to incorporate as many as possible. For instance, if you have a website, you can write blogs and guides, embed YouTube videos, and share images, infographics, and videos on social media.

Strategic Content Marketing Process (Plan)

With content creation, you must plan how to allocate resources effectively and deal with potential challenges. More so, you should document your plan to make sure you are always on track. And you can do so with tools like Google docs, spreadsheets, or any other format of your choice.

Here’re the seven steps you can follow to create a successful strategic content marketing campaign.

#1 Set Smart Goals

The first stage of any marketing strategy is planning. How are you indenting to achieve? Sell a product or service? Find new customers or communicate with existing ones? Your goals should follow the SMART model. Be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Source: Toolshero

For a new blogger, the first step would be to plan on the topics they want to write articles on, let’s say, for the next 30 days. Planning helps you get organized and consistent.

#2 Find an Audience

As earlier mentioned, you ought not to create content for everyone. Instead, target a specific audience, depending on the nature of your brand. Think of a specific population that may be interested in your content and can be potential customers or business partners.

In my case, my target audience can be college students or fresh graduates willing to be self-employed through content creation. This audience may be experiencing challenges starting a blog or online business or marketing their website, and I can create blogs like this one to guide them.

Specify you’re creating content for who and where they are (online or in a specific location). And your audience will most likely be interested in the content format (videos, images, etc).

#3 Pick a Channel(s)

There are many content creation channels, including, but not limited to, social media (Facebook, Youtube, TikTok, etc.), your website or blog, and free blogging sites like Weebly.

I suggest you pick one main channel, preferably your website, and make other channels direct people to it. Your channel choice will majorly influence the content you want to share. For instance, YouTube and websites are best for videos, and TikTok for shorts.

#4 Find a Topic (s)

Just a recap, you already have a niche and specific goals and have identified your target audience.

Now, you need to research to identify what keywords or phrases your audience is searching on the web and the questions they are seeking answers for. And many websites help you with keyword research, including Semrush, Ahref, and Ubersuggest. Here’re more tools.

Keyword Research Tools for beginners and experts SEOs

Find the most appropriate questions or topics to address in your niche based on the search volume, level of competition, country your audience is, and the type of channel or platform selected.

#5 Find Inspiration

One more step before preparing your content; find the creators who have published content on the same topic. But, of course, not to copy, but to get inspiration and identify knowledge gaps. Try and make a better version of the content already out there, and add your styles and features.

If it’s a blog, you want to write, read at least two articles on your topic, watch videos, listen to postcards, and the like. And then, create a plan or outline for your content, not forgetting the keywords you unidentified to be the most relevant in connecting you with your target audience.

#6 Prepare, Polish, and Publish

With the target audience, topic, and keyword in mind and your outline, create awesome content that your audience will find interesting and relevant. If it is an article, write in a conversational tone and add visuals; if it is a video, be audible and engage the audience.

And before you publish your content, proofread and edit it, as too many errors can annoy people and kill your audience retention. This is the best time to include internal, outbound, and affiliate marketing links so that you can make money and publish it.

#7 Marketing or Advertising

If you want to reach a larger audience, you can spend a few dollars, or as much as you want, to boost the exposure of your content online. For instance, through email campaigns, you can urge creators in your niche to share it with their audience, especially if you feature them.

You can also run ads with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, YouTube ad campaigns, Instagram ads, and any other means you deem fit to deliver your content to the right audience. But if you’re a beginner, you would rather start with a small budget as you gain experience on how ads work.

Or even, you can opt to let the content ‘market itself’ through SEO, as long as you have targeted the right keywords and audience. However, for better results, here’re some SEO best practices you can adopt to market your articles online, increase conversion, and make more money online.

What do you think yields better results, content marketing or SEO? Content marketing is ineffective without some SEO practices (like keyword research), while SEO without any content on your website is equally irrelevant.

Therefore, I hypothesize that the two approaches are complementary rather than substitutes.

Conclusion

Content creation is very important, as it helps you promote your brand by creating and sharing information in videos, blogs, eBooks, videos, images, and infographics, among others.

In the contemporary world, businesses are moving away from outbound marketing strategies like billboards to inbound marketing strategists that focus on driving people to a website.

The article explains why strategic content marketing is necessary for any business. Some of the advantages of this approach include creating brand awareness, loyalty, and credibility, increasing conversions, sales, and money, and establishing a brand as a leader in s particular industry.

The article maintains that the two are complementary rather than alternatives on whether content creation is better than SEO marketing. And therefore, one can hardly do without the other.

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