Content marketing can be defined as a marketing strategy that involves creation and distribution of information that is valuable, relevant and consistent to attract and get an audience. The main objective of content marketing is to drive up the profits through customer action. Examples of content marketing include articles, infographics, videos, and podcasts. Content marketing is crucial in the creation of awareness, enabling easy research and consideration of products among the customers, and later enabling the purchasing decision. Closely related is the content marketing strategy.
Content marketing strategy uses both content marketing and the traditional copywriting. The application of blogs, videos, and others are the drivers of content marketing while the copywriters involve attractive and magnetic headlines, landing pages that are persuasive and emails that are driven by conversations. There are about three choices to consider for a winning content marketing strategy. They include focussing on value addition rather than marketing, building relationships instead of links and choosing to promote substance rather than carrying activities such as video sharing on social media. The next area of focus in online content marketing is whether to choose quality or quantity in the process of marketing.
1. Quality vs Quantity
Both quality and quantity matter in the process of online content marketing. Quality is necessary since the only best quality of content attracts visitors to the website and they are likely to turn off if anything fails to impress. Lower quality is therefore likely to cause more damage to the content. As much as quality matters, inconsistent updates are likely to result in little content to the people hence not likely to come back. This, therefore, implies quantity matters too. Consistent and frequent updates draw more users to the site hence increasing the traffic and reaching out to a wider audience. This is because, with increased content, more visitors get reasons to visit the site regularly.
It is crucial to focus on both quality and quantity during the online content marketing. High quality helps in building a good and strong reputation while a large quantity of content helps to increase the traffic of users on the site and gives them a reason to come back. Either quality or quantity requires a lot of time and input of resources in developing excellent ones. One can be tempted to choose either because of the expenses involved but successful content marketing requires balancing between quantity and quality. Applying the two strategies can be good but the quality is more important. However, content should be created on a regular basis to achieve the needed results.
Another area of focus is choosing between trending and evergreen topics.
2. Trending vs Evergreen Topics
One can choose to write a trending topic that is popular during a certain period but has a short lifespan or write about evergreen topics which are popular during a certain period and still remain useful for months or years. Trending topics, therefore, have high numbers of shares and traffic when published but the numbers decrease significantly as the topic becomes outdated. In choosing the topics for the blog, one should consider factors such as the type of target audience, their topics of interest and making the topics stand the time test.
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Focussing on trending topics alone is likely to make the blog or site have too much content that is obsolete since it fails to stand the long duration of time; writing about evergreen topics only makes the site fall behind time and look like it is out of touch with current issues. It is therefore important to strike a balance between trending and evergreen content to optimize on reaching the audience. Balance can be attained through knowing the cycle of the industry which enables one to understand when certain information is relevant and useful, watching for trending topics, listening to readers hence understanding information that is relevant to them all time, and also ensuring the content is free of errors for future references even when it is not trending anymore. In regards to the above, one has to choose the quantity of both trending and evergreen topics for content marketing. The best combination is about 30% articles on trending topics and the remaining 70% on evergreen ones that have a long lifespan.
3. Long-term vs Short-term goals
It is necessary to consider short and long-term goals when doing content marketing campaigns. Short-term goals take less period such as days or weeks to be complete while long-term goals take several months or years to achieve the accurate and proper desired standards. The goals enable one to visualize on the future and assess the progress of the business. Examples of goals to achieve in content marketing include improving visibility in the search engines, improving the perceptions about the brand, driving customer conversions, increasing the traffic of users, rankings and also dominating the market. Short-term goals focus on increasing the traffic, conversions, and engagements over a short period of time. Long-term goals consider community building, acquisition of links, and increasing exposure.
The long-term content is considered to be more important that short-term because it has well-designed content with best thought-out strategies done without any hurry. This makes the content more effective and sustainable. Long-term strategy comes out to be the best way of spending money and other resources since it builds users and sustains the traffic levels for a long period of time. In addition, it gives the readers an opportunity to think hence address their concerns and problems.
With the fact that content changes over time, there is a high demand for quality, informed and relevant information that long term goals address. Besides, long-term content strategy is an effective way of approaching the current issues in the market and it promotes itself since it is of high quality and well-researched. Thus, content marketing needs a solid focus on long-term goals and a long-term strategy; however, long-term goals should be divided into short-term ones for easier implementation.
4. Customer vs Reader Engagements
In content marketing, there are two types of engagements which include customers and readers. A customer is a person who is aimed at buying services or products hence the content focuses on visible or hidden promotion. Content for the customer engagement should be relevant and respond to the needs. This implies providing value in the content.
At the same time, a reader is a person who is engaged through informative content and does not necessarily aim to buy the product or service. Readers looking for quality articles, podcasts or videos hence will be pushed away with content that is sales purposed. It is, therefore, necessary to understand how to engage a reader without sending them away.
A content marketer should produce content that is vulnerable, that shares details to make a personal touch, uses alarming statistics, and tells important stories. However, it should simultaneously have a direct connection to your services or products. In this way, a reader can be transformed to a customer.
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Content marketing is rising every day and therefore there are many opportunities for reaching and engaging audiences. However, with many opportunities, there are various dilemmas to overcome in getting the best for the business and offering the best to customers and readers. There is a high need to use intelligence and deep thoughts in choosing the best strategy for success in a competitive market.
Amanda Brown is a marketer and content creator at WillbeCoded.ca. Amanda has published numerous articles focusing on content marketing and brand building. Her interests range from the latest eCommerce trends to history.