What’s Content Marketing? The Ultimate Guide

What’s content marketing? It’s a question we get a lot. It’s also a question that can be hard to answer. You might think it’s just about creating content, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about creating engaging content that your audience will want to read. It’s about creating content that will help you grow your business. It’s about creating content that will help you build a relationship with your audience. So, what is content marketing, really? In this blog post, we’re going to answer that question and give you everything you need to know about content marketing. We’ll cover:

Create your content strategy and goals

Define your content goals and create a content strategy that aligns with those goals. A content strategy is a plan for creating, publishing, and distributing content to attract and engage your audience. It includes a strategic approach that covers all aspects of production, from writing to editing to promotion.

Define your content goals

Knowing what you want from your content is the first step in creating a successful content marketing strategy. Defining your content goals can help you determine how much time and effort you should be putting into your content creation, whether you need to hire additional help, and where and when to publish your content.

Define the frequency and distribution of your content

Next, you need to define the content creation and distribution schedule. You need to decide how often you will publish your content, and how you will distribute it. Will you publish new content every day, twice per week, or just once per month? Will you publish new content on your website or social media channels? The frequency and distribution of your content will depend on your goals and target audience.

Understand your client’s challenges and interests

Knowing your audience—who they are, where they hang out online, what problems they face and how you can help—is the cornerstone of content marketing. You can understand your audience better by doing some competitive research. Find other businesses in your niche that are well-established and try to learn more about them. Read their website and social media pages. Pay special attention to any content that has received a lot of comments or shares. Look for any questions that people have asked and try to answer those questions, especially if they are frequently asked.

Define the content type and frequency for each content piece

Set up your content calendar to determine how often you plan to publish and which types of content you will publish. If you frequently publish helpful, educational content, you may want to schedule that as a regularly occurring post. You could also decide to publish fun, entertaining content once a month. The important thing is to set your content calendar to fit your brand and your audience.

Develop a content plan

One of the most frequently asked questions about content marketing is how to plan your content. If you’re already producing content, then you know how important it is to have a plan. But if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! As long as you have a goal and stick to it, you’ll be able to create a content plan that works for you. The first thing you need to do is determine what content you want to create. As you can see in the example above, your content plan should include all the types of content you want to create and when you want to create them. For example, if you want to create a guide on how to build a deck, you’ll need to know when you plan to do it. Maybe you want to create a guide about deck building for spring. Or maybe you plan to create a guide about deck building for the holiday season.

what's content marketing

Start with your client’s goals

Start with the basics—like your client’s goals—before you dive into any content marketing strategy. You need to know what your content is for, so you can create it. Ask your client to describe their goals and provide you with a list of objectives. Write down the goals they mention in their proposal or in discussions, and use that information to guide your content creation process.

Understand your client’s challenges

The first step in your content planning is understanding your client’s challenges. Ask your clients what they hope to accomplish with your content. Then, use your research to find out what challenges your clients are facing, both internally and in their industry, to provide them with content solutions. If your client is a business, for example, you might want to look at what’s hurting their revenue and what they can do to increase it. If they’re a B2B organization, you might want to look at how they’re solving problems for their customers and how they can help solve the same problems for other customers.

Define your content strategy

A content strategy is a plan for all your content, and it includes creating the content, where it will live, and when it will be published. A content strategy should also outline what content you will create and for each channel (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). This will help you determine where to attract your ideal customers, fix content gaps, and build a relationship with your audience. A content strategy is a living document that you should constantly update to be as effective as possible. When you create new content, refer back to your plan to make sure you’re still on track with your goals.

Create your content plan

Now that you’ve identified your content marketing goals, you need to plan out how you will create and publish your content. When creating your content plan, it’s important to keep in mind that your audience is the most important aspect of the plan. What will your audience want and need to help them make a purchasing or education decision? Your content should address those needs and help your audience solve their problems or answer questions.

Create the content

Before creating content, you need to establish a goal for your content, determine the right channel for your content, and create a plan for where you will distribute your content. Set a schedule for creating your content, including when you plan to put your content out. You will be more likely to consistently create great content if you create it in batches.

what's content marketing

Set your goal and audience

Before you even sit down to write, make sure you have a goal for your content and an audience you plan to reach. A goal will help you determine what types of content to create, and an audience will help you determine how you plan to reach them. For instance, if you’re planning to create content for a local business about why you’re the best option for roof repair in your city, you’ll want to know your audience before you start writing.

Define your content strategy

A content strategy is a strategic plan for creating your content over time. It includes your goals, your content types, and how you will create and distribute your content. A well-crafted content strategy will make sure your content is aligned with your business objectives. You will also want to create a plan for how you will consistently update and grow your content.

Write your content

Creating a blog post is one of the most basic tasks that help you grow your content marketing efforts. If you’ve never done it before, it can seem intimidating. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll show you how to create a blog post that helps your content achieve its goals. Before you start writing, take some time to plan what you want your post to accomplish and gather the information you need. The topics you write about should help your audience solve a problem they have or answer a question they have. To learn more about why you should create content in the context of your buyer’s journey, read our post on the topic.

Create your content plan

One of the greatest mistakes brands make is not having a content plan. A content plan is your strategic guide for creating and publishing content. It includes your topic selection, keyword research, and creating a content calendar that outlines when and where you will publish your content. You can also segment your audience by what they’re interested in and create buyer personas to help determine what types of content you will publish. Without a content plan, you’re bound to create content that doesn’t align with your business goals, fails to attract your target audience, and keeps you from making more money. Make sure you have a content plan in place before you create your first piece of content.

Create your content marketing strategy

This is the foundation of your content marketing. A content marketing strategy includes your goals and objectives, keyword research, creation, and distribution. It should include a plan for how to create and distribute high-quality content that helps your audience accomplish their goals and answer their questions.

what's content marketing

Define your goals

Defining your goals will help you plan the content you create and the channels you promote it through. It will also help you determine if your content marketing strategy is working. If you can’t clearly define your goals, you’re more likely to make the wrong decisions about your content marketing strategy. And if you don’t know if your content marketing strategy is working, you won’t know what adjustments you need to make to get the results you want.

Understand your client’s challenges

Knowing your client’s challenges helps you create content that will help them solve them. What problems are they trying to solve? What challenges are they currently facing? What pain points can you help them solve? If you know the answer to these questions, you can speak directly to their needs and help them solve their problems through your content marketing.

Do your research

The way that you create your content strategy will depend on your business goals and your content marketing goals. For example, if you’re looking to attract more paying customers, then your marketing content will need to be more sales-driven. If you’re looking to help educate your current customers, then your content will need to be educational in nature.

Understand their buying cycle

Your buyer’s journey is the specific process of how your ideal customer decides to buy a product or service. There are several steps in the journey. Knowing where your audience is in the journey can help you determine what content to create to help them make a purchase. You can determine the buyer’s journey for your content marketing strategy by researching your competitor’s buyer journey and observing your own customers.

Implement and measure your results

The first step is implementing the content marketing strategy. You need to create a content calendar for your brand to ensure a steady flow of content creation. When creating a content calendar, you should segment your audience into different groups to determine what content will work best for them. For example, if you’re creating educational content, you may want to segment by age, gender, location, and education level. Once you have your content creation process set up, you’ll want to measure the results of your content marketing.

what's content marketing

Determine how many leads and opportunities you are getting

You can measure the success of your content marketing campaign by tracking the number of leads and opportunities generated. This can be done either by looking at your website’s analytics or by adding a campaign tracking goal to your marketing automation software. By tracking the number of leads and opportunities generated, you can determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are paying off. If a certain piece of content generates a high number of leads, it can be promoted to your top priorities. If it isn’t, you will want to repurpose it or change the topic to better fit your audience.

Determine how many of those are qualified

If you have a lot of posts that you just can’t seem to attract any attention, but you’re not sure why, take another look at your content. What works well on social media may not be compelling to your audience. You need to know what content is getting the most engagement so you can create more high-quality content that your audience will want to read. If you want to find how many people saw your content, you can use Google Analytics. Go to Content Performance and find the Content Performance overview. You can then look at the Post Performance section to see how many visits your post received.

Determine how many of those have been closed

The closed-won business is the most tangible result of your content marketing efforts. And the best way to find out how many of those you’ve actually closed is to keep a spreadsheet of your content marketing activities and their outcomes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a CRM tool or a spreadsheet—the important thing is to make sure that you have an accurate report of all the work you’re doing.

In conclusion, content marketing is a powerful tool that can help you reach your target audience and achieve your business goals. If you’re not already using content marketing, now is the time to start. Not sure where to begin? Our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing can help you get started.