Everything you need to know about Content Marketing.

Content Marketing: An Introduction

Content marketing is important because it can help to improve your customer’s conversions.

By educating and connecting with your audience, you are building relationships and trust. You’re giving your consumers the information they are seeking in order to make an educated purchasing decision - with a call to purchase your product/service.

Content marketing is constantly evolving, as it adapts to what customers expect and want from the brands that they interact with. Emails may bring a new or existing consumer in, but they may not be ready to buy. They need to be nurtured as you keep them in the sales funnel, so that they can convert and become a customer of your product.

Why Is Content Marketing Important?

Great content shows your consumers that they deserve more. Your customers appreciate it, and it shows - the Content Marketing Institute reports that content marketing is responsible for three times the leads as outbound marketing. Besides the higher conversion rates and 7.8-fold boost in online traffic, you’re receiving consumers that are happier and more excited for your product.

Content marketing is important because it focuses on your customer - not your selling objectives. Content is changing the conversation between brand and consumer, whether that is whitepapers or ebooks, videos or online reputation management.

Major brands have definitely become cheerleaders of content marketing - Cisco, for example, brought on 200 marketers in 2015. They have a content hub called The Network, which features a monthly magazine, live Facebook videos, frequent blog posts on tech news, and bios of Millennials and Cisco’s leadership.

Nike evolved from just a sports brand to a way of life. Sephora created a beauty community that invites everyone to participate in education, empowering, engagement content.

What have these brands pioneered? A conversation focused more on the consumer, more on the content, rather than on the products themselves. And it’s paid off - these brands have become more than just a big company, they’ve become a staple in our culture.

Where Do I Begin?

Here. We will take you on a full content marketing journey - from ideation to implementation.

What is Content Marketing?

In a nutshell, content marketing is utilizing blogs, white papers, videos, and other on-site content to aid in your sales funnel. But it’s so much more than that.

Traditional marketing methods are increasingly less effective as society adapts and evolves with technology. As your customers become more and more technologically literate, old-school marketing tactics such as banner ads become obsolete. That is why content marketing is so important - rather than just pitching your services or products, you provide relevant content that your prospects and customers are already seeking out.

Content marketing is the not-so-secret secret to understanding your customers better. By utilizing the data you collect, you can create a more interactive and engaging customer journey. By tracking which data is more successful, you are able to invest more money into what is working - and not sink money into something that is not. This is using Content Intelligence to analyze your audience’s interests in order to create a more informed content marketing strategy. Useful content should be the core of your marketing plan. The Content Marketing Institute has shown that marketers utilizing content marketing are in the majority. Major brands, such as Microsoft, Apple, John Deere and more are using content marketing in their marketing brands. Content marketing is beneficial because it can:

  • Help increase sales
  • Help cut costs
  • Bring in better customers 
  • Increase or grow customer loyalty

The key to the idea of content marketing is that it should be relevant and valuable. Not just spam in an email from yet another company trying to sell you something - you want content that is intriguing. You want content that cuts through the clutter.

 

How Content Marketing fits in with your other marketing tactics

Content marketing should fit into the overall strategy of your company’s marketing plan. It shouldn’t be just a standalone component - rather, it should be integrated with your other marketing streams. Content marketing is a strategic part of marketing, as it helps to distinguish effective from ineffective forms of engagement with your customers. But content marketing is more than just creating content - it’s also the distribution of that content. Your job isn’t over once the content has been created. How are you going to promote it? How are you going to get your consumers to interact with it? That’s where your other marketing channels come into play.

In social media marketing, content marketing is the “why” as to why you are using social media. Besides creating and engaging with your audience, social media can be used to drive new users to your site. Whether you’re tweeting or posting on Facebook or sending a direct SMS text message, social media should play a key role is driving users to your content.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a vital part of any online presence. Search engines use algorithms and bots to crawl digital content, and reward sites that have quality, consistent content with a higher ranking.

The higher your rank is, or the higher towards the top of the first page of search results, the more organic (people who searched for a similar term and clicked on your content) and paid results you will get.

Reputation Management, is an important part of any marketing strategy. PR strategies address issues that consumers care about, and work to provide a solution before there’s ever a problem.

Reputation Management also helps to ensure that you are being seen in a positive light in the market. If an unfavorable review comes out, or something is unhappy, it’s important to do damage control immediately in order to turn that unhappy customer into a happy one.

Paid search, or Pay-Per-Click, is a form of marketing in which you pay for an ad to be seen by relevant consumers.

People searching for keywords you’ve already picked are shown your ad, which gives a Call To Action (CTA) to click on a link. That link points people to your content, an online survey, or other forms of digital content.

 

How to get started with content marketing: a blueprint

There are fundamental skills and information that you need to begin your content marketing journey - especially if you want it to be successful.

In short, you need a strategy that helps guide you and your team throughout your entire content marketing journey.

You need to know where you are now, where you started, where you want to go - and how you’re going to get there.

Content marketing is all of these things, and more:

In order to be effective in your content marketing, you need to understand the elements that are essential to the core of content marketing. You need to develop a content marketing strategy that addresses your company’s business goals. You need to create content in the formats that your audience wants - and that they’re currently searching for. You need to involve your social media, and use it to engage with your audience and create new conversations.

You’re not done there, however. You need to build your content to complement your SEO and integrate with your website and other digital channels - especially in a format that bots can read, but people will enjoy. You need an editorial plan, and ensure that your team is on board. You need a service that will effectively measure the success of your current efforts, in order to optimize each piece of content. And then you need to take those measurements and analytics of your content - and put them into action.

But, first things first.

First: Start with Your Goals

When you’re ready to get started, it’s important to start with a solid content marketing strategy. (See next section for a more in-depth explanation and a guide on how to develop that strategy.)

The gist of your content marketing strategy is to understand your company’s overall end goals, and a mission statement (or what part of your company’s goals you want your content marketing to be or play a part of.)

These two elements should guide you on the type of content you create. You need to keep them handy, as you should continuously examine your content and ensure that it aligns with your goals and missions.

You should never make content just for the sake of creating content. Instead, your content should support a core marketing or business goal. Do you need to raise awareness for your brand, or build your email list?

Through every part of establishing your business goals, you need to ask “How will this piece of content support and propel our business goals forward?” If the answer is “I don’t know,” then perhaps it’s not the right piece of content for your business at this time.

Just because something is trendy, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for your business.

Your business’ mission statement should also inform your goals. Your content marketing strategy should be the reason you are promoting content - just as your company’s mission statement details why they exist.

Second: Understand Your Goals

Your content marketing should support at least one business or marketing goal. Whether you’re raising awareness for your brand, building an email list, or nurturing your prospects along their journey, you should define and understand how your content marketing will support your business goals.

Questions to ask to understand your goals include:

  1. Does your brand need to raise awareness?
  2. Does your email list need more subscribers?
  3. Do you need to up your content marketing nurturing process?
  4. Is your buyer journey too long or cumbersome?
  5. Are you having a problem converting consumers to customers?
  6. Do you need to retain your current customers better?
  7. Do you need to increase your up-sell or cross-selling?
  8. Are your customers recommending your products?

Included within your goal should be your unique marketing proposition. What makes your company, product, or service stand out from the crowd?

Your goals should be focused on your core target audience, or the person you can help most with your content.

Your goals need to be delivered to the right audience - are you delivering the right information with interactive content on the right platforms?

Your goals need to focus on the outcome you are aiming for - what is the call to action, and what your audience will do once they are done consuming your content.

Each piece of content that you produce needs to be able to stand alone. Content shouldn’t be created just for the sake of creating content - it should fill a need, want, void, or address a problem that your consumers have.

Third: Follow Your Mission

Your company’s mission statement is its reason for existing.

A successful marketing content strategy’s mission to be to engage with your core target audience, deliver your message to that audience, and have a desirable outcome.

A content marketing mission statement differs a bit from your business mission statement in that it captures the essence of your content marketing strategy in a single sentence. This mission statement then informs the content you produce.

Marketing firm Econsultancy’s describes your mission statement in their Best Practice Guide as “a rallying cry around which your team can assemble, and a directional statement that can help inform decision making and greater autonomy.”

It should have within its structure an understanding of your consumers, their wants and needs, your overall objective, and the value you are creating.

Here is a template to create your own:

You use the goals that you defined in the previous step; the unique service or product you are offering; the audience that you’ve specified (such as women in their 40’s who garden, etc.); the emotion you are wanting to evoke (such as happiness, understanding, compassion, excitement, etc.); and the action you want them to perform (i.e. gardening, business consulting, buy server space, etc.)

You want to consider the following items:

  • The personas of the audience that follows you
  • The journey your customer takes from beginning to end of the funnel
  • The position and tone of voice your business will take
  • The channels you will market
  • The format that you will market each piece on each channel
  • The optimization and testing of your content
  • Calendars to keep your team on the schedule
  • Improving the overall engagement of your audience with your brand

Four: Create Content People Want

It’s important to do more than just create content - it should be content that people actually want to consume.

Your content should be consistent (weekly, every two weeks, monthly, etc).

To begin, however, you need to decide how much of a commitment to each piece of content that you plan to make. Do you have the resources to have your team publish a new piece of content on a daily/weekly/bi-weekly basis?

No matter the timeline that fits best for your business, it needs to be consistent and on an expected and understood the schedule.

Types of content could include:

  • Blogs
  • Newsletters
  • Magazines
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Infographics
  • Games
  • Branded content tools
  • Books
  • Apps
  • Research reports
  • Social media
  • And more!

Mix and match what type of content you’re producing. Social media should be on the “daily” list, whereas blogs might be once a week, videos twice a month, or white papers and eBooks could be on the monthly list.

Consistency is expected for blogs, newsletters, magazines, and podcasts. These are the types of content that should be produced on a schedule - one which you shouldn’t really deviate from.

Consistency is good, but not exactly required, with videos, white papers, online presentations, eBooks, infographics, webinars, etc. These are the types of things that could be done on a monthly basis, or quarterly basis, and don’t exactly need a specific date that they need to be published on.

Types of content in which consistency is not critical include in-person events, games, apps, books, etc. These are the types of content that you should sprinkle in with the others, in order to provide a variety and create a more engaging and interesting overall message.

Make sure you take an in-depth look at the formats that you are working with, and how the topics you’ve chosen fit with those. An in-depth interview might be better as a podcast of video, rather than a blog post. Conversely, a couple of interesting, quick stats might be better for an infographic than an app or magazine.

Step Five: Analyze It All

Finally, it’s important to analyze your marketing efforts. Constantly measure the success of your marketing channels. Find out who is clicking on what and when, who is opening what and why, and why your personas are interacting with your content.

You and your company have invested quite a lot of time and resources into your content marketing. Now it’s time to measure the effectiveness of all of this.

To begin with, you want to determine how you will track your KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators.

You’ll need to decide how often you’ll collect your data. Do you want real-time measurements? How about daily reports? Weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports?

A good place to start are weekly and monthly reports. Receiving reports this frequently and analyzing the metrics ensure that you stay on track for your monthly goals, but if something goes awry, you can address the issues quickly.

Ensure that everyone working on your content marketing knows the core KPIs for the effectiveness of your business’ content. Whether they are involved directly with the analytics or not, it’s important that all creators understand that their work impacts the overall goals.

Some goals you might want to track include:

  • Brand Awareness: Website traffic, page views, downloads, views
  • Engagement: Comments, likes/shares/tweets, forwards, inbound links
  • Lead Generation: Form completions, downloads, subscriptions, conversion rate
  • Sales: Online/offline sales, reporting
  • Customer Loyalty: Retention, renewal rates
  • Upsell/Cross-Sell: Other products not previously bought

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How to build a content marketing strategy

You wouldn’t begin to build a house without the knowledge of how to do so, and a plan of how it will look in the end.

You wouldn’t put together DIY furniture with the instructions, would you? OK, maybe you would. But you know you shouldn't. Similarly, it’s important to think of your total marketing strategy as a dresser you’re wanting to assemble: The step-by-step instructions should be your content marketing guide, which will give you each of the individual pieces that will make up the dresser as a whole.

According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. It’s no wonder that they don’t feel as if their content marketing efforts are successful - and that companies who DO, think that content marketing is essential.

Without a strategy in place, it’s up to a roll of dice whether your company will be lucky and be successful with content marketing.

A similar amount of companies - 65% - have said that learning how to build their content strategy is a great education need for them. We will combine some of these steps, but here are the essential steps towards defining your content marketing strategy:

  • Establish your mission/goals
  • Rank your KPIs
  • Understand your audience
  • Assess where you are now
  • Figure out the best content and content channels
  • Create your content & a content calendar
  • Market your content
  • Measure your results

Step 1: Establish Your Mission

You will want to begin your content marketing strategy by looking at the content marketing plan that you detailed out in the last section. Address what challenges you are trying to solve, the risks if you fail, the unique perspectives you want to involve.

Remember, your mission statement has what your company is going to focus on. What is important - and what is not - in your content strategy will help to inform the tone and direction of your content.

Figure out what your goals are, and how those work towards your mission.

Step 2: Key Performance Indicators

The best way to measure if you are getting results from content marketing is to make sure you've outlined measurable and specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

Your KPIs will help you figure out if you have - or can - achieve your goals. Establish milestones that you can check off. In your plan you’ll want to know how you plan to achieve:

  • More revenue
  • More sales
  • More traffic
  • Improved SEO
  • An expanded marketing portfolio

These indicators of success will have very specific numbers associated with them.

For example, you might have a KPI of hitting a certain revenue target within the quarter. Or you might have a number of new subscribers you want to achieve. Maybe there are a certain number of spots you want your business to go up in terms of search ranking.

Make sure your KPIs are specific, measurable, and actionable. Adjust accordingly.

Step 3: Know Your Audience

By now you’ve figured out what your audience’s needs are, and what you hope to accomplish with your content marketing. Next, take a look at your audience, and see if it is big enough to accomplish what you are trying to do. If it’s not, your first move will be to grow your audience.

Lay out what your differentiating value is - what service or product are you providing that no one else is?

Figure out the personas of the people you are trying to look. How will those personas fit into your sales funnel? What is the buying cycle, and how will your content marketing help to bring those customers into it?

Collect your current demographic data, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Income

Also get some current customer feedback, as that will help you get an insight into your current positioning.

Finally, create buyer personas - flesh out who your ideal customer is, so that you know how to market you content to them better.

Step 4: Assess Where You Are Now

Take a look at an audit of your current position, if you haven’t already. What do you have now that you can utilize - and what sites, social platforms, or software do you need?

If you need to change something, such as devoting more resources towards developing a blog or adding a social channel, do it before you launch your content marketing plan.

Figure out where you are starting, and where your competitors are now. You want to identify what your customers like and don’t like, as well as how they see your business, your competitors, and their buying decisions.

Step 5: Your Best Content Channels

Define objectives for each channel, such as new sign-ups for your webinars or new followers on Twitter.

Lay out what your specific goals for each channel, and which of your personas you can reach from each channel. Then, allocate your budget per channel.

You want to highlight the New Idea that you have, and detail how your content marketing will play and emphasis that.

Plan for naysayers and challenges that you can foresee, and how to handle ones you can’t.

If your brand has changed since you first launched? Showcase that differentiation.

Step 6: Create Your Content and Content Calendar

Okay, you’ve figured out where you are now and decide where you need to go.

You’ve also decided on which content channels you want to promote on. Now it’s time to create that content.

If you are going to focus on blogs, you want them to be published on your own site, and then share the links to them on your channels.

Video marketing should also be included in your content strategy plan, as it’s a proven tool to increase consumer engagement.

Decide how much content will go to each channel, who will publish what, and at what time (date/time/week) that each piece of content will go on each channel. This should inform how you allocate your resources.

Step 7: Market Your Content

It’s important to distribute and market your content effectively.

You won’t see the results you are hoping for if you are not marketing your content effectively. How you market your content will vary by channel, though.

You will want a schedule for sharing your content on social media. You will want to use email marketing automation for drip campaigns for subscribers and different buy journey positions. You’ll want a schedule for influencers, referrals, triggers, and integrations.

Step 8: Measure Your Results

You’ve made it to the end - congrats! However, now is not the time to sit back on your laurels.

Now is the time to assess those KPIs, see what has changed, and whether you’re actually meeting those goals.

You can:

  1. Use Google Analytics to see how your content is performing on-site
  2. Measure your social using social analytic tools
  3. Look at your dashboard to assess the success of your email marketing
  4. Check your Google ranking for organic search results

By consistently and frequently monitoring your current progress, you will be in a position to tweak and adjust your content quickly. You will always be ahead of the game.

How to convert website traffic into paying customers with content marketing

The website conversion rate is six times higher for businesses who have implemented a content marketing strategy than those who haven’t, according to Kapost. Additionally, qualified marketing leads through content increase by 75%.

Creating a content marketing plan that converts consumers into customers.

There are a few things you should consider when looking to convert casual website consumers into paying customers.

Quality Counts

Google is the largest internet search engine, and it’s important to note that the Google algorithm favors high quality over low quality.

High-quality pages will not only hook new viewers, but will also rank well with Google. You want fresh content produced consistently, adds relevant keywords to your domain, and sparks interest.

Don’t Be A Repeater

It’s important to not repeat the same content over and over again.

You want to be unique, and each piece of content marketing that you produce should stand apart from your competition.

You don’t want to listen to the same song over and over again for a month straight - and your consumers don’t want to read the exact same blog post every week. To keep people engaged, mix and match the type of content you are producing.

Mix Education With Selling

If you come off too pitchy, then you’ll likely turn your potential customers off.

You want to educate your readers to create an informed business purchase decision, rather than just purely selling them something. You want to attract customers to content that not only showcases the value of your product, but helps them become a fan of your business.

Don’t stick with just one form of content, however - that will quickly become stale. You’ll want to mix and match email marketing with blogs with infographics and more.

Using your content marketing strategy, detail out the problems you’ve identified your potential customers have that your product solves.

Attract Customers With Content

Selecting content can seem daunting, but if you pick a trending topic that is relevant to your business, you can come out on top.

Some successful tactics include:

  • Research & analyze your competition’s posts
  • Formulate your plan by comparing those SEO metrics
  • Undergo keyword research
  • Create and optimize landing pages for keyword density
  • Constantly optimize online surveys and consumer feedback

Mix and Match Your Content Types

In order to convert your content marketing into paying customers, ensure that you’re producing a large variety of content types.

Popular web content types are:

  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Gifs
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Blogs
  • Press releases & news

Identify Problems

Identify the problems that your customers are facing. If you are promotion the solution to those problems, you will create a unique value, which will help to convert consumers into customers.

Spark A Conversation

You have already evaluated which segments of your audience are on which social channels. Now is the time to distribute your content on those channels.

You’ll wait to tailor your content to fit the social platform that you’re posting on. Tailor your posts to not only encourage your audience to click on the links to your content, but to also engage with your posts, your business, and each other.

Your goal for your social media is to spark a conversation, and highlight how your product adds value into the lives of your consumers. This will help to improve engagement not only on your social platforms, but on your website, as well.

Things to Remember

There are a few important things to remember when considering how to convert your customer marketing efforts into sales.

Afterall, if you’re not converting customers into consumers, you’re not making any sales.

First off, all of the traffic in the world doesn’t matter if you aren’t getting a conversion. That’s why you want to focus on high-quality traffic. You want to focus on the conversions that are turning prospects into a lead, and a lead into a customer.

Adjust your content to best focus on the pieces of content that are converting prospects into leads.

Effective ways to convert traffic include:

  • Segment Your Audience: Market to people based on where they are in the funnel.
  • Improve Your Elevator Pitch: Find out what works for your audience, and concisely pitch your prospects your platform.
  • Show Off Testimonials: Collect reviews from your customers, and promote how highly they think of you.
  • Offer Limited Free Trials: Letting potential customers test-drive your product or service before they buy can increase the amount of people who stay - and retain - customers.
  • Use Remarketing: Use paid advertising to market to people who have visited your site, but left without converting.
  • Use Mouse Movements: Using software, you can anonymously note where you visitors move their mice around your website. From there, you can extrapolate what people loved about your website - and what you’re lacking.
  • Optimize Landing Pages: This one is simple - optimize your landing pages, using analytics, to ensure you are converting your visitors.
  • Use Automated Email Marketing: Set up triggers and sequences to ensure that you consumers are staying within the funnel.

Optimize For The Bots

Finally, it’s important to optimize each new piece of content, as well as existing content, for search engines. You’ll want to ensure that each piece of new content is focused on one theme, keyword, or topic.

Your content should be readable by bots, but still attractive to your viewers.

Additionally, ensure you include engaging content within the post, such as an online survey, infographic, and links to other posts on your site that relate to the topic.

Finally, make sure that you are tracking the success of each post with regular analytic checks, as well as real-time audience feedback.

Increase leads with content marketing

We have spoken about your customer persona, and here is where it really comes into focus.

You can increase by nearly three times as many leads and spend 62% less by marketing your content effectively.

But how do you leverage your content to increase your leads?

Leverage Video

People love videos - that is proven with the rise and dominance of YouTube and the shift towards video on the internet.

Identify your target audience for your video content, collecting research on how your competitors or companies you aspire to emulate are performing.

Watch the messaging in those videos, and how they are presenting their unique propositions in those videos.

Make the videos easy to understand and appealing. Don’t include industry jargon that an average user wouldn’t understand.

Try to inspire. Speak from the heart, and make sure your video message is clear and value-driven.

If you can, don’t overdo it - a video should be under 10 minutes, but a podcast or webinar could be an hour. Figure out the timeframe based on your message.

Bring The Wow Factor

Plan out your blogs with a “wow” factor. Offer things like white papers, brochures, or downloads to bring in more leads.

The “WOW” factor is all about exceeding your customers' expectations. You want to delight them with your ideas, and respond to their needs - before they realize they have them.

Work at being a thought leader. Identify what makes you stand out from the rest of the market, and post content that best positions you as the go-to for more information about it.

Link all of your content together, using chain links or cross-links so that your content is working together.

Include relevant white papers with a brochure, or a webinar with a research study. Include infographics with blogs, and videos on your social network.

You want to be found in Blog Network as an industry leader, so cross-posting or link-building might be necessary to help you spread your business’ message far and wide.

Blogging and other content marketing essentials

A big reason that content marketing has been so popular and hot in the marketing field is how effective it is in driving traffic.

Giving away content for free, all while leading leads down your sales funnel, works especially well with millennials and Gen Z-ers, which have been proven to be ad-adverse.

But we’re here to give you some good news: not all of your content needs to be created fresh.

A good rule of thumb is:

  • 65% of your content is uniquely created
  • 25% is curated
  • 10% is syndicated

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Content Marketing Tips:

Length & Frequency

A report from research firm Curata has shown that the average blog post is about 750 words or more.

Long-form content out-performs short-form by more than 40%.

The most effective length really depends on what your overall goals are.

If you’re looking to get more blog comments, a shorter, 275 - 300 word post is just fine.

If you want more social shares, 600 - 1,500 words is the range that you’re looking for.

If you want to rank better on Google, you want to aim for 2,500 words. Longer posts simply rank higher on Google, as well as increase on-site traffic and time.

A business that posts 16 times per month saw four times more traffic than those who posted four or less times.

Some of the top content markets outsource content creation in order to maintain a blog schedule.

Use Popular Formats

Content marketing is constantly evolving, just as what is considered content changes.

The more popular forms of content marketing include:

  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Infographics

Choose the type of content that best aligns with your goals.

Ways consumers are more willing to give out their content information include:

  • Signing up for webinars
  • Downloading white papers
  • Downloading eBooks

Choose the Right Channel

Pick the right channel for what you are trying to accomplish.

LinkedIn is the preferred channel to share business content, although many business people prefer email.

The topmost effective social media to deliver content (and engage your audience!) are:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • SlideShare

Marketers use SEM, print, and banner ads to pay for advertising and promotion of their content. Paid social media usually includes Facebook Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, YouTube Ads, and other social platform-specific advertising platforms.

Many marketers have found that investing just six hours per week on social media can increase their company’s exposure, while some businesses spend over 21 hours.

Know The Challenges

Some of the top challenges content marketers face include:

  • Producing content that is engaging
  • Measuring how effective your content is
  • Maintaining consistency
  • Measure your ROI
  • Lack of budget

Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some of the most common mistakes that marketers make.

  • Not having a content marketing strategy.
  • Not segmenting their content marketing.
  • Not diversifying their content types.
  • Not promoting their content.
  • Not measuring their data - or tracking their success.
  • Not being open to change.
  • Not being patient enough.
  • Not investing in a good design.

Marketing Trends for 2020 and Beyond

  • Video is going to continue to dominate the market.
  • Content creation is going to continue to evolve.
  • Brand transparency is key to success.
  • Content will continue to be hyper-personalized.
  • The mediums of content creation will change and evolve.

The power of gated content

For inbound and content marketing to be effective, you have to create the kind of content that is considered high-value and will entice visitors to come back and take action.

How much you put content behind a gate - or an action that the user must take before being able to consume your content.

Gated Content Defined

Gated content is any type of content that a consumer is only able to access after providing some type of information.

In many cases, this is an email address and some basic personally identifiable information, like their name and what industry they work in. Sometimes it’s liking and following the company on social media, sometimes it’s signing up for a free account.

Why Does Gate Content Work?

Gated content works because it is a way to incentivize your readers to give you their information for later marketing purposes.

Usually, a user will come to your site through a social media post or a blog post. From there, they might be interested in a piece of content that they have to give their email in order to download.

This is an excellent way of getting new users into your subscriber list that are not only pre-qualified (they’re already interested in your product) but that are willing to hear more from you.

Gated Content Strategies: Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are when a user is already on a piece of content, but need to sign up in order to learn more.

Some examples would be a free checklist, a white paper, a brochure, or any kind of additional content that fits into the theme and topic of your current blog post.

Gated Content Strategies: eBooks or White Papers

As we just mentioned, longform digital content are a great way to gate your content.

Creating an eBook is a great way to grow your email list because they lend themselves well to being paired with other content, or to be the focus of a landing page.

Gated Content Strategies: Webinars

Webinars, especially interactive ones, are a popular form of gated content.

Webinars are a unique way to deliver content in a live setting, as your audience can ask questions and participate live.

Webinars have some of the highest conversion rates, as they have a higher perceived value. 

Gated Content Strategies: Demos

Many SaaS companies offer free demos as a form of gated content.

These demos are great for not only qualifying prospects, but it also allows them to show off the software without being too pushy or “salesy.”

Conclusion

We have just covered a lot - so let’s recap.

We began with an introduction to content marketing. Content marketing is the best way to market your company, and it’s the marketing path of the future.

Next, we explored what content marketing is, and what various forms of content marketing do for you and your business. Maybe webinars are the key to success for you. Maybe it’s blogging. No matter the avenue, it’s important to understand where you are now before you can move forward.

We detailed how to get started with content marketing, and the different pieces of information you’ll need to collect before you’re ready to begin.

Then we helped you to build a content marketing strategy, and figure out how you are going to lead your content marketing into the future.

We looked at how to convert website traffic into paying customers, as well as increase your leads utilizing content marketing.

We gave you some tips on content marketing essentials, and how to improve your content marketing efforts in the future.

Finally, we explored gated content, and how you can use it to increase your subscriber lists.

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