What is Content Marketing?

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marketingcont
By Ryann Bull

Every day the marketing world is evolving, and companies need to adapt to survive. Creation of social media sites and online shopping has hugely impacted everyone’s lives. Marketing is all about catching the consumer’s eye and sparking interest. Content marketing was born from this new world of marketing and is becoming a necessity in internet marketing. Consumers are more likely to read content than the old-school ads that are fighting to get through the clutter. If you can create content that resonates with your consumer, you’re one step closer to your end goal…whatever it may be.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing in simple terms is the strategic creation and sharing of materials to bring attention to a product, service, or business. These materials can be almost anything, ranging from videos to blogs to social media posts. Content marketing is becoming so crucial because it sparks the reader’s interest and causes them to want to learn more. You’re luring them into your page via materials that they can relate to or want to learn more about.

Types Of Content

As previously mentioned, content can be nearly anything as long as it has some creative value. Some popular kinds of content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Videos
  • Guides
  • Book reviews
  • Opinion posts
  • Product reviews
  • Lists
  • Link pages
  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Podcasts
  • Interviews
  • Images
  • Research and original data

No matter what type of content you create, it’s important that you choose something your target audience would want to react to, whether they are commenting on it or sharing it. Step into their shoes and create something that will spark their curiosity.

How Do You Create Content?

Before you start creating content, think of its purpose. Why are you creating this and who do you want to see this? If your content isn’t intriguing to your target audience then what’s the point? Create content that will keep them wanting more, leading them to click through more of your pages. But, keep the phrase quality over quantity in mind; your readers would prefer one credible post over four iffy ones any day. SEO favors quality over quantity too. Google knows when you are creating fluff, and their end goal is to provide quality links.

Once you have decided your purpose and distinguished your target audience, it’s time to start creating. With your target audience in mind, create content that will intrigue them, whether it’s a video, blog post, or meme. Keep in mind that in order to be credible and rank higher on search results, you need to do a fair amount of research on your topic.

Contextual Content Clusters

If you’re creating a series of blog posts that relate to each other, hyperlink the other blogs to each other. People who are curious about the topic will continue to click through the links you have attached in order to learn more. You can look back on old blog posts and see if there’s anything you can add onto. When you create enough blog posts relating to the same topic, it turns into a contextual content cluster. A contextual content cluster is a spiderweb of related topics that will strengthen your SEO ranking.

If you think you can crank out an effective contextual content cluster by posting as much content as possible, you’re wrong. Google knows when you are posting fluff and will put your site below others that are posting credible, relevant content. Create your context cluster by answering questions that relate to each other. For example, if you own a hair salon you can create blog posts and quizzes that answer the question “Which haircut would work best with my face?”. Then, when people type that question into Google, you will have plenty of content that will help them to answer that question.

How Content Creation Affects SEO

When you think about it, it makes sense that content creation affects SEO. SEO needs content in order to rank sites, and the more quality content you have out there, the more likely you are to rank well. SEO searches for keywords, and plugging keywords into your content will help people find you.

More and more people are turning to the internet for their information search. If your content answers their question or provides a solution to what they’re looking for, Google will rank you higher. Do your keyword research to find out what people are looking for. Once you find useful keywords, create content topics. Figure out how you can answer the question your potential customer is asking through your content.

Content Marketing And Social Media

Content marketing and social media are two peas in a pod. The content you create is shared on social media to bring attention to your company. If you think about it, anything you post on your firm’s social media handles IS content.

There are three ways to promote your content on social media: paid, owned or earned. Paid occurs when you are paying for a spot to advertise to your target demographic. Owned is posting content on your company’s social media site. The goal is to earn your social media content promotion. This happens when you don’t have to do anything. People like your content and are willingly sharing it with their followers. You are getting the recognition without having to pay the price.

Content Marketing And PR

PR and content marketing have similar end goals. PR wants to create a mutually beneficial relationship between your company and your customers through communication. Content marketing helps build that trust through creating materials that are relevant and intriguing to your potential client. Effective content helps bond the customer with your company. They see you as a place to go to solve a problem they may have. Think of the sites you’re loyal to and why you’re loyal to them. What keeps you coming back? They have consistently provided you with solutions, and you know that they are reliable. Create content that will encourage loyalty.

How To Improve Your Content

There are a few simple things you can do to make sure that your content is the best it can be. The most simple way to ensure that people will keep reading is by doublechecking that your content is grammatically correct. Nothing says “not credible” like simple grammar mistakes. When’s the last time you continued to read a blog that was riddled with grammatical errors?

You can make your content easier to read by breaking it up into sections with subheads. This way, your readers know what to expect with each coming section, and they aren’t staring at a long, intimidating piece of writing. Adding images will also make your writing easier to digest. It adds another level of interest from your reader and is another way to break up your long paragraphs.

Look at your title tag. Does it sound like it’s answering a question? Your title tag should help reel your audience in. It should include keywords that are popular amongst your target market. You should also plug keywords into your meta tag. A meta tag is the short description of the content that appears under a link once you’ve typed something into Google. People often read the meta tag to make sure that the link they are clicking on will help them answer a question they have. Including keywords in your meta tag will not only bump you up in SEO ratings but will also drive the consumer towards your link.

Finally, do NOT plug keywords in just to plug keywords in. If your content sounds choppy, your reader will notice. Plug a couple of keywords into your introduction, and then sprinkle a few in throughout the rest of your post. Don’t over do it.

Wrapping Up

When used correctly, content marketing will help your business boom. There is no excuse not to implement a content marketing plan, as you can target it towards any audience. It helps create brand awareness and establish who you are. Build your business by building content. Now get writing!

 

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