What is content marketing and how do you use it?
The content marketing has become an essential communication tool for businesses. A well-developed content marketing strategy helps increase website traffic and connect with audiences. It is also an excellent conversion aid.
However, content marketing is a long-term job that requires rigor, creativity and will. The quality of the content offered, the relevance of the subjects covered and the SEO strategy implemented are the keys to success.
We explain what content marketing is, how it is beneficial for your business and how to create a successful editorial strategy.
Table of Contents
- What is content marketing?
- Content marketing and SEO
- Why invest in a content marketing strategy?
How to set up a content marketing strategy?
- 1. Create your buyers personas
- 2. Find relevant keywords
- 3. Establish a year-round editorial schedule
- 4. Schedule posts
- 5. Vary the types of posts
- 6. Be regular in your publications
- 7. Why and how to start a business blog?
- 8. Integrate content marketing with lead nurturing
- 9. Create quality content
- 10. Train every employee in the content creation process
- 11. Measure the ROI of your content marketing strategy
What is content marketing?
Definition of content marketing: Content marketing is a content creation strategy that aims to generate leads and increase website traffic. The writer (s) produce quality informative content that meets the demand of their audience. Content marketing is made up of a diversity of content: blog article, guide, tutorial, white paper, podcast, video, emailing, newsletter, social media publication, infographic…
Content marketing and SEO
Content marketing and SEO can become formidable strategies when combined.
Content marketing is all about using valuable and relevant content to drive profitable action from the internet user.
Deploying SEO actions without making optimum use of the content marketing layer is a failed recipe .
Why invest in a content marketing strategy?
The Internet, Google in particular, generates nearly 90% of the first contacts between a business and a customer. If large companies all have a website, only 50% of VSEs and SMEs have one. Few of those who have invested in a website have a content marketing strategy in place. Yet, according to a study conducted by Contently, 75% of marketers have seen a real benefit since implementing their content strategy.
Less expensive and more effective than traditional marketing or advertising on the internet, content marketing is also an effective tool for keeping in touch with customers and generating new leads. Integrated into an inbound marketing strategy, it helps the company achieve its goals and generate more income.
How to set up a content marketing strategy?
1. Create your buyers personas
The creation of an editorial line must absolutely take into account the notion of persona. These characters, inspired by your customers, are the starting point for all posts. Writing a blog post or newsletter should be persona oriented. For content to appeal to the target for which it is intended, it must meet the main needs of that target.
The creation of a buyer persona consists of several steps:
- Carry out market research : to find out what makes your customers tick, the easiest way is to ask them.
- Create Surveys : Just a few questions to learn more about your typical customer.
- Analyze customer reviews : Google My Business, Facebook, certified reviews, Trip Advisor… consult each review left by your customers to learn how to better understand their needs.
Create a “Buyer persona” file for each profile and detail as much as possible: last name, first name, job, age, nationality, hobbies, income, etc.
2. Find relevant keywords
To increase traffic through content marketing, keyword analysis is essential. The idea is to find out what queries people type when they are looking for a product or service similar to yours.
To do this, several online tools provide indicators on the keywords searched by Internet users: Yooda Insight, Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Research, etc.
To increase your traffic, it is advisable to work on:
- Short tail queries : these are short keywords, often a single word or a single phrase (content marketing, SEO, web writing, newsletter, etc.). Short-tail keywords generate a lot of traffic, but are also subject to stiff competition. It is therefore more complicated to find yourself on the first page of Google.
- Long tail queries: these are longer queries or keywords (find an SEO expert, get more visits to my site, how to get subscribers to my newsletter, etc.). The long tail query is typed less often on Google, but it has the advantage of being less competitive. It is therefore easier to properly reference your page on Google.
- Hot requests: by “hot request” we mean a seasonal request (Christmas menu, Mother’s Day gifts, barbecue, etc.). Google Trend allows you to see when this query is most often typed by Internet users. It is then necessary to create new content a month or so before the peak of this request and often, it is necessary to publish several articles in the days preceding the peak of searches.
- Cold queries: these are queries that generate the same number of searches throughout the year. Here, it does not matter when the content is published. On the other hand, we don’t forget that Google appreciates fresh content! It is therefore advisable to publish articles on this topic on a regular basis and to update the existing content.
3. Establish a year-round editorial schedule
It may seem heavy and yet it is essential. Creating an editorial schedule for one year ensures that you always have ideas for content creation. It also allows you not to find yourself dealing with blank page syndrome.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone and you can incorporate other publications into this schedule, including news articles or a topic that you really want to cover because the moment is right.
Avoid absolutely: write an article quickly because you feel pressured to publish. It is better to postpone the sending of a newsletter or the publication of a blog article than to produce content of which you will not be proud and especially which may disappoint your readers.
To complete your editorial planning, it is advisable to note the article titles and the main keyword targeted. We start by noting the seasonal publications, then we complete the editorial planning, taking care to mix the blog categories well.
4. Schedule posts
The idea is to make an agenda of the company’s publications. All content must be included: articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, posts on social networks, etc.
Your file may also include a tab per media to further detail your publishing strategy.
5. Vary the types of posts
Varying the publications allows you to reach more people and therefore, to increase the number of views on your website . Ideally, publications come in multiple formats. That is to say that for a subject, you will create: a blog article, a video, a podcast, an infographic, a post for Linkedin, a Facebook post, a photo for Instagram … Obviously, this must be adapted to your communication strategy by publishing on the media where your customers and prospects are.
Here is an article for finding trends and ideas for topics for a business blog that will interest readers.
Keep in mind that content marketing is all about attracting prospects and converting them into customers. For this, we must play on 3 main axes of content:
- Emotional content: information on the life of the company, photos of newcomers, publications on a corporate event… this type of content makes it possible to forge a strong bond with Internet users and to humanize the company.
- Content that informs: white paper specializing in your field, guide… the content should help the reader and answer his questions.
- Useful content: this involves writing content that helps your readers: a tutorial, an explanatory video, a comparator or a converter … often, they are sent as a gift in exchange for subscribing to a newsletter.
Put next to each other, these contents form the 3 Cs: communication, content and conversion.
6. Be regular in your publications
Better to publish one article per week and keep at this rate, than to publish several articles or content in a short time and then not publish anything for several weeks. To get there, get ahead in writing or get help from an SEO web editor to build a database of articles to publish in accordance with your editorial schedule.
7. Why and how to start a business blog?
Creating a business blog can be a great lever to communicate and create an effective content strategy and create an editorial line that can reach your target audience by giving them relevant information. The topics covered can be varied and capture the intention of the future buyer at all stages of the information search tunnel.
8. Integrate content marketing with lead nurturing
Lead nurturing is a process of maintaining a marketing relationship with prospects (leads). Adapting your content marketing strategy to different types of prospects is a winning strategy.
9. Create quality content
To be effective, your content marketing strategy must be based on quality content.
But what is quality content?
Qualitative content is content that meets the following requirements:
- Compliance with SEO writing rules
- Impeccable spelling
- Text structure making it easier to read on small screens: short paragraphs, bulleted list, words in bold, table of contents with anchors (redirect links in the text)
- Informative: the article should be useful to your reader
- Write impactful introductions to capture the reader
Regarding the style or the angle, it will be necessary to ensure that it remains in adequacy with the image and the values of your company. Before publishing an article, ask yourself these two questions:
- Does the article perfectly reflect the image I want to convey of my company?
- Does the article meet an expectation or a need of my readers?
10. Train every employee in the content creation process
Often the production of content is exclusively dedicated to a single person designated as the official editor of the company. However, by asking each employee to invest in content creation, the company gains in diversity. Here’s how to collectively create content that meets your editorial line:
- Give your employees free access to your editorial charter
- Set up a shared workspace (Slack, Trello) where everyone can jot down content ideas
- Identify talent: copywriters , designers, proofreaders , infographics …
- Promote the employee by creating an “author” tag and letting him sign his articles
- Make content creation a ‘routine’ in your business
11. Measure the ROI of your content marketing strategy
Finally, measuring the results of your content strategy is a key step.
First of all set yourself KPIs. This may be :
- The number of views
- The amount of sharing
- The natural backlinking of the article
- The number of subscribers on a list of subscribers
- Performance on social networks
For your blog, use Google Analytics which will provide you with data on:
- The number of pages viewed: to find out which articles are the most popular with readers
- The bounce rate: if it’s high, it’s because the content doesn’t interest your readers or they didn’t find what they were looking for
- The time spent on the page: the longer it is, the more it shows the reader’s interest in the article (be careful, however, that Google Analytics cannot verify if the reader is present in front of his screen or if he is absent ).
It’s important to optimize landing pages for conversions with reassurance to reassure prospects and consumers.
For your social networks, use Hootsuite which allows users to follow the activity of their social networks in real time.
The content marketing is a strong tendency which won wide acclaim from businesses, but also consumers. Generating leads, increasing traffic, improving the site’s natural backlinking, improving the brand image, etc. are among the elements favorably impacted by a good content marketing strategy.