Are you looking to attract more customers, boost sales, and solidify your reputation as an authority in your industry? Sure you are – and content marketing can help you do it.
Join us as we break down content marketing for beginners. We’ll fill you in on why content marketing is all the rage, what it can do for your business, and how to get started.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that revolves around the use of (you guessed it) content.
Content is any form of digital media that your business uses to attract, engage, or retain customers.
It can include anything from blog posts and articles to ebooks, social media posts, webinars, videos, infographics, and more.
Gone are the days when you had to take out billboard and newspaper ads to get the word out about your business.
Content marketing is not only a lot more affordable than traditional marketing, but it also allows you to target your message to specific audiences.
Other perks of digital marketing include the ability to reach a larger audience, measure your results, and engage with customers on a more personal level.
What skills do you need for content marketing?
Successful content marketing planning involves a lot more than simply whipping up a few clever blog posts and posting them on your website. These days, there’s more competition online than ever before.
Some of the most important keys to content marketing for beginners revolve around knowing what makes a piece of content great, how to get it in front of your target audience, and how to measure the results.
The most important thing you need to decide is exactly what you want each piece of content to accomplish.
If your business is brand new, then your goals may be to create awareness and draw in new customers.
If you’ve been around for a while, then you might focus on things like converting more leads into paying customers or engaging with current clients to promote brand loyalty.
What are the 4 pillars of content marketing?
The 4 pillars of content marketing aren’t actually carved in stone and may differ depending on who you ask.
But we’d break down the most important components of content marketing for beginners into the following essentials:
- Know your audience
It’s hard to make a convincing argument unless you understand exactly who you’re talking to. Understanding your target audience is an essential part of figuring out how best to relate to them.
- Understand your buyer’s problems
There are two main reasons people buy things: to solve a problem or to enhance their lives. What problems does your product or service solve and how can it help make your buyer’s life better?
- Explain why you have the answer
Now that you know your buyer’s problems, it’s time to explain why you have not only a great solution, but the best solution ever. What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
- Tell them what to do about it
Once you’ve explained how you can enhance your customer’s life, tell them what you want them to do next. Whether your call to action (CTA) asks a reader to sign up for your newsletter or click on a sales link, make it very clear and easy to accomplish.
What are the 3 stages of content marketing?
While creating content is great, it doesn’t do a lot of good if you don’t know how to use it as part of an overall content marketing strategy.
Here’s a broad overview of the process of content marketing for beginners:
The planning stage
This stage involves many of the components we covered above, such as identifying your target audience and understanding what you want your content to achieve.
But it also involves things like:
- Planning what types of content you want to create (blog posts, articles, videos, etc.)
- Deciding who to hire to create them (if you don’t plan to yourself)
- Deciding where to publish them (your website, social media page, etc.)
- Mapping out when you will publish each piece of content by creating a content publishing schedule
The optimization stage
Before you send your content out into the world, it’s important to give it the best chance of reaching as many people as possible.
This is where tools like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) come in.
SEO can help ensure that when users enter a Google search that’s relevant to your industry, your page will show up in the results.
Google determines which pages will end up in its top coveted search engine results pages (SERPs) based on several factors:
- Content quality and authority
- The use of specific keywords that match the inquiry
- Site loading speed
SEO has become an art unto itself and can be a bit tricky to master. This is one area where you shouldn’t hesitate to hire professional help.
The results stage
The great thing about digital marketing is that there’s no need to churn out content and hope for the best.
As your content creation strategy evolves, you’ll want to be sure to track your progress.
You can do this by familiarizing yourself with content marketing metrics, which are benchmarks that can help you measure how well your content is performing. Which metrics you use will depend on your goal.
But overall, tracking metrics can be a great way to spot what’s working as well as any gaps that could use filling in.
There are now plenty of tools that can help you track your metrics, including:
Need some help getting started?
Learning content marketing for beginners can be overwhelming until you get the hang of it. But rest assured there’s no need to wait until you’re an expert to take your content to the next level.
When you sign up for a free 14-day trial of WriterAccess by RockContent, you’ll enjoy access to some of the industry’s top writers, editors, and content strategists. You’ll also have the chance to learn as you go with on-demand video lessons that cover every stage of the content marketing process.