Whether you just started your business or planning to start, you probably have heard everyone talking about content marketing. By everyone, I mean those that run their businesses on the internet.
Then you turn to Google to see what content marketing means but you are presented with more marketing jargon that you end up thinking content marketing is a hard thing to do.
The image below says it all.
If this is your case, worry no more 😁. The Queen of simplification (whatever that means) is here to help you.
Content Marketing Explained- What is Content Marketing?
Content is a form of expression through speech, writing or any of various arts” Wikipedia. Don’t get confused yet😁
You see, everyone is involved in creating and distributing content, especially in this age of social media.
When you update your WhatsApp status or share what’s going on with you on your IG story, you are distributing content. But why it can’t be called content marketing is because there’s no marketing intent behind it.
Therefore, content marketing is the act of sharing content online to sell a product/service or stimulate people’s interest in a product/service.
Content can be in the form of blog posts, social media posts, email newsletters, lead magnets, courses, ebooks, or webinars. etc.
Got it now? Good!
5 Benefits of Content Marketing
If you are not sure whether content marketing is worth your time, here are 5 benefits of content marketing for your business.
1. It increases conversion than traditional adverts. Content marketing allows consumers to learn everything about a brand. This in turn leads to making quicker purchase decisions. Demand metric
2. It builds trust: Content marketing helps potential customers build trust in your brand. When your content educates and helps your audience solve their problems, they tend to be drawn closer to you and easily buy from you.
3. It’s cheaper: Content marketing costs less than 62% less than paid advertising. Source: Demand metric
4. It adds to your credibility: Creating quality content makes people see you as an authority in your niche.
5. It builds brand awareness and loyal followers: If people find your content helpful, they’ll share it. Sharing means more visibility for your brand. If you have a blog or a youtube channel, you’ll be able to rank on search results.
4 Types Of Content Marketing
As I said earlier, content marketing can be in the form of writing, audio, graphics, or video. But it doesn’t end there. There are different intentions behind content marketing. Meaning that for every content a business shares online, there’s a reason for it. Even though the ultimate goal is to make sales.
There are many reasons actually but I have grouped them into 4 parts for easy understanding.
Educational contents are for educating your target audience about your product or services. This type of content usually answers all the questions the customer has to make a buying decision.
Educational contents are what takes a buyer from the awareness stage to the consideration stage and then to the buying stage. Examples of educational content are the “Why this and that, How to, A-Z guide, step by step guide” content you see on blogs, social media, youtube channels.
Educational contents are value-adding contents. Meaning that your readers should be able to solve a problem.
Educational content marketing example from becoming a minimalist
How to come up with educational content ideas for your business
Coming up with a content idea isn’t that hard as long as you know that people are interested in your product/service.
Few ways to find educational content ideas is by
1. Asking your audience. Ask your audience any questions (Related to your brand). From their answers, you’ll be able to find content ideas.
For instance, I can decide to ask “What is your greatest challenge in starting a side hustle?”. The answers I’ll likely get are “I don’t know what business to do, I don’t know where to start, I have no time”. etc. All these are amazing content ideas for me.
2. Ask yourself: Ask yourself what likely questions your target audience will possibly have about your product or services and create content about it.
3. Look at your competitors: Look at those in your niche and see what they are writing about and write a better version.
2. Informational Content:
Informational content is aimed at informing your audience about updates, changes, launches in your business. etc. The purpose of this type of content is to carry your audience along with what’s going on in your business.
Example of informational content from Michelle of makingsenseofcents
3. Promotional Content
Promotional content just like the name is focused on selling your products or services. This type of content can be educational too but this is in a bid to sell your product at that moment.
An example is talking about the benefits of your product, sharing product reviews and testimonials, offering discounts, etc.
4. Neutral Content
A neutral content has no educational, informational, or promotional intent. It’s just a type of content that sends the ” We are also human” type of message. It’s often for entertainment purposes. You’ll likely see these types of content on social media. Be careful when sharing this type of content, you don’t want to send the wrong signal to your audience.
An example of Neutral blog content from Hubspot
Note: The ultimate long-term goal of all types of content marketing is to create awareness and sell.
How To Get Started With Content Marketing
1. Set your goals: What’s the reason you want to start content marketing? To create brand awareness, sell a product/service?
Write down your short and long-term goals. This will help you channel all your content towards that goal.
For someone who’s just getting started, the short-term goal is usually to create awareness and build credibility while the long-term goal is to sell. This is just a general goal. Try to be specific when setting your goal.
2. Create a mission statement: A mission and vision statement helps you stay on track and create only contents that are focused on the course.
A mission statement example is “To help senior students create an online side hustle that’ll enable them to pay off their student loan faster”.
You’ll find that someone with this type of mission will create content about side hustle ideas, tips for managing school and work, etc.
3. Find out where your audience is: Next is to know where your audience hangs out the most.
There are many statistics out there that answer this question.
Here’s an example below.
Social media usage by demography in the US. Image from Pew Research
Have in mind that you mustn’t be on all the social media platforms. Find out at least 3-4 of the ones mostly used by your target audience and stay active there.
Also, list out relevant blogs and social media groups where your target audience is likely to visit.
4. Create a content calendar if you want: A content calendar helps you organize your content. Most people use a content calendar, I don’t. My notepad is enough for me 😄. Maybe I’ll need one later though.
If you are interested, here’s how to create a content calendar.
5. Start creating and sharing. Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to create your first content. Booyah!
20 social media content Ideas for building brand awareness
If you are just getting started, you can draw inspiration from this list.
- Introduce your business. Share your mission and vision
- Share a personal story (Why you started)
- Answer a question
- Share a Quote (Related to the problem you want to solve)
- Share a tutorial
- Share a few Fact about you
- Shoutout to others in your niche
- Share a sad moment you once had
- Talk about mistakes people are making
- Share favorite books
- Share a routine
- Ask for guest speaking recommendations
- Interview a guest
- Share a quick tip
- Share fascinating stats about your industry.
- Conduct a survey
20 social media content ideas after you’ve garnered some followers
- Share a sneak peek into what you are working on
- Share the problems your product will solve.
- Share what inspired the product
- Launch like a pro
- Share reviews
- Shine a spotlight on the best customer
- Give out a free resource in exchange for email sign-ups
- Share a throwback
- Answer a FAQ about your product/brand
- Share a charity you donate to
- Share other people’s post
- Share a blog post. (Guest post or from your blog)
- Share a testimonial
- Remind people to buy your product
- Host a webinar
- Thank you fans
- Collaborate with others in your niche
- Share Motivational Posts
- Share an infographics
- Share your biggest inspiration
Remember, all your content should have an ultimate long-term goal, and Let at least 60% of your content be educational. This is what will draw people to you.
- Should educational content be formal? No! educational contents can be any way you want it, funny, controversial, etc. but readers should be able to learn a thing or two from it.
- What if I’m just starting out and don’t have an audience yet? Your followers on social media are an audience. Start with them.
- Which format is best for content marketing? This will depend on your audience. Try all the formats and see the one they like most from their reactions. Although report has it that most people prefer videos
- What do I do if I don’t know how to write? Use audio and videos! Go live on audio or video to share your content. But writing isn’t that hard. If you can read this, it means you can write so try.
How are you using content to promote your business?
What did I miss?