Content Marketing. The words sound familiar as if you know exactly what they mean. But, do you?
Usually, content marketing is confused with traditional marketing methods such as adverts and digital marketing. If you thought so too, you are about to get your facts right!
Read on and you will find out what marketing truly is, to its core. Moreover, you will learn why it is not the same as other methods of brand promotion and why this might be the perfect marketing technique for your brand.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating in-demand content consistently to attract people. With this, your audience will eventually become loyal to your brand.”
If you read the definition closely, you will understand what makes this form of marketing so unique and different from other forms.
A content marketing strategist creates insightful, entertaining, and catchy content that the public willingly looks for without even knowing that it’s a marketing strategy.
Unlike advertising, you don’t have to persuade them to see it. They will find it themselves!
By providing them with what they really want and enjoy, you will be viewed as a trustworthy brand that cares about its customers.
This trust will be the foundation of a strong and long-lasting relationship. Sounds almost dreamy!
Are you still confused? Well, let’s look at an example.Content marketing is the use of good-quality, in-demand content to develop customer loyalty and gain lifelong customers. Click To Tweet
Star Wars – An Example
You must have heard about Star Wars, right?
Look at it this way. The creators of Star War had a product to sell: their action figures. To sell these they used a simple yet effective strategy. They created the Star Wars comics, a rich and thrilling back-story to go with their action figures.
As kids read these comics, they developed a relationship with the story and while there are thousands of action figures out there, it was Star Wars that the kids wanted, right?
Marvel used a similar strategy and was able to increase their action figures’ sales by 70% in 7 years of their comic’s launch!
This tells us another important aspect. That is, content marketing can not only be done using online content such as blogs, Facebook posts, or YouTube videos. In fact, this technique is very old.
Forbes gives the following five different examples of content:
A content marketing writer can create any of the above to promote a brand. However, a blog or website may be the quickest way ahead! So, this brings us to the question, why should we use content marketing?
Why content marketing?
As Neil Patel says, “content marketing builds a stronghold of trust between you and your customer. This develops into a long-term relationship.”
These lines accurately explain what makes it such a valuable approach!
It introduces people to a need they might not even know they had. It then makes them aware of a solution. With this, they will be loyal to your product over your competitors’.
It is because you provided them with what they wanted. This shows that you care about your customers.
In providing what your customers might need, you may face some challenges. Later we will be discussing some content marketing challenges that you may encounter in the course of your campaign—from the pre-planning stage to the end.
The Challenges of Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the most effective, long-term strategies that you can use to market your business and gain loyal customers.
By creating high-quality, entertaining content that consumers are already seeking out, you are giving them what they need. With this, you gain their lifelong trust. This will make them always choose you over your competitors!
However, content marketing requires efficiency, hard work, and creativity. There are many challenges that come with content marketing. You should put the following content marketing challenges in mind when deciding on how you want to go about the campaign:
One major challenge content marketing specialists will always find themselves facing is the need for consistency.
As a creator, you have to ensure that you have a consistent and steady outflow of content. You cannot create a killer video one month and have a poor video in the next release, right?
When consumers love your work, they will want more of it. The best way to go about it is to create a schedule that you can stick to. Do not release your content too soon because you may not be able to do your next project as quickly.
Release content every week, every two weeks, or every month. No matter how long the break, it should be consistent so that customers know when to expect your content. Ensure that you meet these expectations!
2. Limited Resources
Time is what you will always be short of. It is quite clear that the best person to write or content about your business is you because you know the most about it!
But, you might not be able to do it consistently while you actually run your business. This brings you to the alternative that is paid content marketing through another company. Outsourcing, basically. It has its risks but it can be very efficient.
However, the decision to outsource the role of managing content marketing campaign is dependent on some factors like personal preferences, budget, size of the business, etc. You will need to ponder about this carefully in order to know what option is best.
Money will most likely be the biggest limitation. What should you do?
Decide a budget for content marketing and hire a professional, good-quality content marketing team. Such teams usually consist of managers, directors, specialists, consultants, and writers. The team can also include your existing employees or yourself.
This would help you spend less money and divide the workload—leading to more efficiency and effectiveness.
3. Quality Maintenance While Managing Your Time
Meeting deadlines and publishing on time is very crucial and delays can be a turn-off for your customers. However, people often lose their content’s quality trying to meet deadlines. The biggest challenge is to maintain the quality standards you have set while also meeting your publishing standards.
For example, you have continued to post content on a weekly basis. If you are unable to maintain that, you can do two things:
- Post low-quality content to be on time
- Meet quality standards but post late
Both of the strategies have their disadvantages to your brand image and reputation. Therefore, always maintain a schedule. Do not leave things for the final hour. And most importantly, keep backup content ready. In case of any issues, post them!
4. Creating Unique Content
Competition today is very high! There are thousands of companies producing content and hundreds that produce on the same topics as you.
Creating content that not only meets consumer standards but is also unique and exciting is important as well as difficult. Therefore, always try to approach a topic with a fresh mind.
Take suggestions from other people, be it your family, colleagues, or target audience, itself. Finally, do NOT try to copy your competitors. The best content is one that only you, no one else, has produced!
How to Learn Content Marketing Skills
Take any of the courses listed below to set yourself on the right path.
- Content Marketing Strategy: Helping you build a content marketing strategy that you can use, scale, and get real results.
- Content Marketing: Get CERTIFIED as a Content Marketing Expert
- Growth Content Marketing Course: Discover how to unlock the potential of your content marketing from content marketing strategy to content production.
What Skills Should a Content Creator Have?
There are several skills that a content creator should have. In fact, the need for new skills is a never-ending quest. The following are the skills that a content creator should have:
- Web content creation
- Content marketing
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) coding
- Graphic Designing
- Social media management
- Social media marketing
- SEO (Search engine optimization)
- Video production
- Use of Adobe Creative Suite
- Use of YouTube
What Makes a Good Content Marketer?
Having content marketing skills is not enough to make you see yourself as a good content marketer. There are other criteria involved. You will find them outlined below.
- You need to have goals that you will be determined to achieve with persistence in the absence of procrastination.
- You need to be driven by faith in making an impact and getting great results.
- You should know the area, niche, and so on that, you are good at (specialization with a unique skill set).
- You have to be creative if you want to stand out.
- You cannot do everything on your own, so make sure you hire others for some of the work.
Content marketing is the use of good-quality, in-demand content to develop customer loyalty and gain lifelong customers.
If you can overcome the main content marketing challenges, then you are on your way to attaining success. Use our helpful tips and be the expert at the table. Know your skill and outshine everyone!