Mar 12, 2022

What is Content Marketing? – Complete Overview with FAQs, Tips, Tricks, & More   

what is content marketing

In today’s digital age, content marketing is a crucial component of any business or brand. 

It’s a tool that can help you reach wider audiences, maintain brand loyalty and boost revenue. 

However, content marketing has to be done in an organic and subtle way. If you do it in an intrusive or salesy way, it can actually hurt your brand. 

Quick Summary

In this post, we will discuss what content marketing is and what role it plays when it comes to increasing brand awareness and just marketing in general. 

We will shed light on: 

  • What content marketing is 
  • Types of content marketing 
  • Content marketing examples

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What is Content Marketing? 

Content marketing can be described as the process of planning, creating, and distributing content related to your brand via certain media channels. 

These could be digital channels such as social media and emails, or they could be physical channels such as newspapers, flyers, etc. 

The definition of content marketing, as stated by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), is as follows: 

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The objective of content marketing is to reach wider audiences and increase your brand’s awareness. This will then increase your sales and boost your revenue. 

In the days of the past, outbound content marketing strategies were quite effective. By outbound strategies, we mean strategies that interrupted whatever your target audience was doing to deliver your message.

They were effective in the past because advertising and content marketing was still new. Consumers had little to no issues with such type of marketing but now, marketing your product or service in this way can really hurt your brand. 

Today, you need to make use of what is called inbound marketing strategies. What this means is that you have to communicate the value of your product or service in a way that feels natural and organic. 

A fairly common and effective way to do so is to create a narrative and tell a story.

  1. Present a problem or an unmet need 
  2. Communicate how your product or service can solve that problem or meet that need
  3. Present some examples that strengthen your credibility 

When you use content marketing in this way, your content will feel more natural and genuine. As a result, you’ll have a much higher chance to convert potential customers and even bring in repeat customers. 

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Why Should You Spend Time on Content Marketing? 

Many newer entrepreneurs and business owners focus a lot on creating the best product or service that they can. What they don’t realize is that it does not matter how great your product or service is. 

If you don’t market it properly, nobody will know that it even exists. 

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That’s why you need to spend time on content marketing if you want your business to succeed. 

Here are some great benefits of content marketing: 

  • It communicates the value of your product or service to potential customers.
  • It boosts conversions.
  • It increases brand loyalty because it creates a relationship between you and your customers.
  • It helps you create a community around whatever your product or service is.

Now that you understand the importance of content marketing let’s look at a few different types of content marketing techniques. 

Types of Content Marketing Efforts

There are a variety of different types of channels you can use to market your content. The media channel you choose will depend on a number of factors. These can be what your product or service is and what your target demographic is. 

We’ve delved into detail about how to choose the appropriate distribution channel for your content in our post on how to create a marketing campaign.

While you can market your content across however many channels you want, the trick is to find the appropriate distribution channels. 

Quick example: If you intend to market a product or service to teenagers, then it would obviously be the best choice to market your content through social media.

You won’t see a lot of success if you choose to market your content through flyers, trade journals, or the newspaper. 

The different types of content marketing in today’s digital age include: 

Social Media Marketing 

According to Statista, over 3.6 billion people in the world are currently social media users. 

This is why you see so many companies and brands investing a hefty chunk of their budget in social media marketing

There are a number of different platforms you can consider marketing your content on, such as: 

  • Facebook 
  • Twitter 
  • Instagram 
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Pinterest 

And many more. 

Again, the platform you choose will depend highly upon your target audience and the type of product or service you intend to offer.

The type of content you share can also vary greatly, such as: 

  • Text posts 
  • Photos
  • Long-form videos 
  • Short-form videos
  • Live streams 

And much more.

You can also include links to your shop page or brand landing page within the bio of your profile on different social media platforms. This can also be done when you write a content post about your product or service as well. 

One thing you have to watch out for on platforms like Twitter and Instagram is the character count. You really have to choose your words carefully on such platforms since you don’t have a lot of characters to work with. 

If you add a link to the equation, things become even more difficult. Oftentimes, links can be quite long and leave you with no room to effectively communicate your message to potential customers. 

An easy solution to this is to use a link shortener to shorten your link so that it takes up a lot less space.

How to Create a Shortened Link Through Pixelfy

To shorten your link through Pixelfy, you must first register yourself and log in.

Step 1: After you log in, you’ll have access to the dashboard. From here, you can check out analytics to your shortened links as well as the URL shortener itself.

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Step 2: Paste the URL you want to shorten and include within your post or your bio into the URL shortener box at the top. Once you’ve pasted it, click on the “Shorten” button as shown below: 

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Step 3: You will be taken to another page, where you will receive the shortened URL for your page. You can then copy this shortened URL and use it anywhere you want. 

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Blog Content Marketing 

Blogs are an extremely powerful form of content creation and a great tool that you can use to reach wider audiences. 

With the help of well-written blogs that are search-engine-optimized, you can boost your brand to the top of search engine rankings. This will help your product or service reach the people that need it. 

Since blogs are a form of long-form content, they really allow you to pack a lot of information into them. They’re a great way to effectively communicate the value of your product or service as you don’t have to keep things short and sweet. 

You can also promote internal and external content via your blogs, such as the content of business partners, etc. You can also have social share buttons, links to your shop page, product information, and much more. 

With every blog post, you can create content that is friendly to search engines so that your website starts to rank on them. This will make your brand much more discoverable. 

Infographic Content Marketing 

You may already know what infographics are. They display a fair amount of information or data in a way that is easy to understand. 

It can be a great way to effectively communicate the value of your product to your target audience. You can also include data and statistics within the infographic to build credibility. 

Infographics are great because you can use them in conjunction with other forms of content marketing. You can print them into flyers and distribute them; you can post them on social media platforms, you can use them in email marketing, and much more. 

Video Content Marketing 

According to a study by Wyzowl, 69% of consumers said that they prefer to get information about a product or a service through video content. 

Everyone’s in a hurry in today’s digital marketing age, and most people prefer not to read through lengthy articles. Instead, they like to have things communicated to them through snappy, well-made videos. 

Creating video content is a whole other topic on its own and not within the scope of this post. However, once you have the video content produced, you can choose to share it on a number of different platforms. 

Again, social media platforms are a great bet, but in addition to that, you can also consider starting a Youtube channel for your brand. Sharing content for your brand on Youtube can be a great way to build a community and increase brand awareness. 

Podcast Content Marketing 

When it comes to developing a content strategy, podcasts are the big new thing. 

A 2020 survey by Edison Research stated that 49% of people living in the US and aged between 12 and 32 had heard a podcast within the previous month.

Similar to blog posts, podcasts are a type of long-form content where you can really delve deep into the specifics of your product or service. Not only that, but you can also discuss other topics that are loosely related to your industry. 

When audiences know the face or the person behind the product or service, it builds trust. It’s a way to connect with your clearly-defined audience that is like no other. 

Not to mention that podcasts can be a great way to collaborate with other individuals within the same industry. 

If you’re just starting out, having a guest on your podcast that is a prominent figure within the industry can be an amazing way to jump-start your business. 

It’s a powerful marketing strategy that can bring their audience over to you and introduce them to whatever you have to offer. 

Paid Ad Content Marketing 

Paid ads can be extremely effective when you are first starting out. 

The important thing you need to understand is that you shouldn’t rely solely upon these paid ads. The best way to find an audience is to have a combination of paid ads and inbound marketing. 

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You can use paid ads to display your content on a number of different platforms depending on what your content marketing strategy is. 

Some spaces where you can share paid ads include:

  • Social media platforms 
  • Landing pages
  • Sponsored content 
  • Banners 
  • Forums 

How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy in 4 Steps

This is something that we’ve delved into in great detail in our post about how to create a content marketing strategy

However, for the purposes of this post, we will delve into it slightly so that you get an idea of what to expect. If you intend to market your brand, product, or service effectively, you will have to market content at some point in your career. 

Quick tip: Developing a content marketing campaign might intimidate you at first. 

However, the key is to break it down into smaller, simpler steps. This will help make tasks a lot more manageable and easier to handle. 

In this section, we will provide you with the general steps you need to take in order to develop an effective content marketing strategy. 

We will not go into details but just give a general overview. If you’d like to read about it in more detail, you can click the link shared above to go to our detailed article about how to develop a content strategy. 

The steps you normally take for content marketing include: 

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

The very first step is to determine the audience that you want to reach. It’s important to know your target audience inside out to effectively communicate your content. 

This includes determining what media channels they use. 

It can be a good idea to create a customer persona. In fact, we recommend that you create multiple personas to effectively determine what type of people would be interested in your product or service. 

A customer persona can be described as a representation of a typical person that would be interested in your brand. You would define their habits and the types of websites they regularly visit as well as the social media platforms they would use. 

Once you have your target audience defined, you can move on to choosing the appropriate distribution channels. 

Step 2: Choose Appropriate Media Channels 

The next step is to determine what media channels or distribution channels you will utilize to post your content. 

Again, the customer personas you created will play a huge role in this. 

If you want to market to teenagers, you would most likely choose forms of social media. If you want to market to other partners in the industry, you will use trade journals and public papers related to your industry. 

Always remember that it’s not about how many media channels you use but rather which media channels you use. 

Step 3: Create a Content Plan and Implement It

Depending on the channels you choose, you will first determine the type of content you want to create. 

For example, if you chose Youtube, you would create video content. If you chose to write a blog, then you would create content in text. 

Create a content plan that spans over 3 – 6 months according to your budget and the resources you have available to you. 

Once everything has been planned, create your content and post it to the appropriate platforms. 

Step 4: Analyze the Results 

Analyzing the results is extremely important as it will help you determine what channels and strategies were most effective and what weren’t. 

This will help you create better content strategies in the future. 

Wrapping Things Up… 

Content marketing is a vast topic, and you shouldn’t expect to be an expert at it as soon as you start. 

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results with your first attempt. Analyze the results, realize your mistakes and do better next time. 

If you have more questions, please reach out to us in the comments section below.