What is content marketing?
Content marketing is all about content: It is intended to inform, entertain and ultimately inspire the target group. Content marketing is part of corporate communications and is a part of the overall marketing concept and the associated strategy.
Sub-areas of content marketing are public relations (PR), Search engine optimization (SEO), the development of the content, but also the distribution in the social media channels and the Email marketing. Since a large part of corporate communication takes place online, we can also speak of online marketing.
The goals of content marketing
- position brands, products and services in the market.
- Attract and attract new customers.
- Retain existing customers.
What matters is the content
Content initially means nothing more than content: this is what matters.
This applies to classic PR, but also to e-mail marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimization. Only if the content is interesting and also relevant for the respective customers will it be noticed.
Even the search engines like Google are guided by the content, the good content that can be found on the websites. If the questions of website visitors are answered, Google rewards this with a better ranking. Targeted online marketing that is geared towards the users helps here.
It's all part of content marketing:
- Blog posts with matching images and graphics
... and many other contents, which also include Videos, Interviews or Recaps can belong.
The strategy forms the basis for success
Those who have not yet gained experience with online marketing and content marketing should know:
Even good content takes time to become known and established.
A sound content strategy therefore forms a secure basis for online marketing and provides the roadmap for the conception, production and distribution of the relevant content. If you want to address your target group correctly, you first have to get to know them. This is where the so-called Buyer Personas. Once the target group is known, it comes down to the right formats and topics.
Important here is:
- Online marketing sender must prove to be competent
- The content must be based on the target group
Once the decision has been made to pursue content marketing as online marketing, the appropriate relevant content must be created.
This involves a lot of effort, but it is worth it.
Basically, every blog post and every video counts. Certainly, the number of readers is still low at the beginning, but here is the chance to learn from the reactions of users and to constantly improve the content.
Five steps for content planning and improvement
If content has to be developed and designed on a regular basis, it often requires a large amount of time. A new idea is needed for every blog post - and finding these ideas is not always easy. If you need inspiration, you can get it from the Search engine queries as much as the content of the competition or contributions in forums.
If there is direct contact with the desired target group via customer service, this can of course be used. The service employees know exactly what content is important for the customers and what solutions they need for their problems.
An idea board helps collect ideas and topics and provides a good basis for an editorial plan.
The format, tone, and structure that makes sense for each article depends on the target audience. In today's world, there is so much information and content flowing at every single user - it's important to stand out from the crowd.
If a post appeals to users' emotions, they are more likely to respond than to a purely factual post. The better the story and the more sophisticated the storytelling, the more likely the company's message will be remembered. The design of the web text is also important.
No matter how perfect the content, if it doesn't reach anyone, it will percolate unseen and unread into the depths of the global web.
Depending on which social media channels the target group is on, the content must be distributed there at the right time.
Therefore, already during the planning and creation of the content, attention should be paid to the different channels for distribution. In order for the content to be found well by search engines, it must be optimized for them. If all this is not enough, further possibilities can be used with the social media channels.
Whether on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or via email marketing, it is important that the message reaches the target group. Influencers such as bloggers, Twitterers and Youtubers can also help spread the message.
Modern content management systems not only make it easier to plan, create and distribute content, they also provide a whole host of figures on how successful individual posts are.
The access figures reveal from which cities and countries the visitors come, how long they stay on the blog and which posts they like to read the most. Which of these many numbers are relevant depends on the target group, the content, and the channels through which the content was distributed.
The analysis ultimately lays the foundation for how the individual posts and thus the entire content can be further optimized. If a post is more appealing to users, their interests may have been better addressed. It is often the case that the reach is distributed differently depending on the social media channel.
For successful online marketing, the strategy can be tailored to what interests users and which posts they like. This way, success is already programmed and the access numbers increase steadily.
How big is the team?
While large corporations often have an entire team dedicated to the creation and implementation of online marketing and content marketing, smaller and medium-sized companies rarely have this much capacity.
It depends on the size of the company, the available budget and the formats in which the content is to be produced, how big the content marketing team is.
The entire workflow comprises a total of six different areas and tasks and can, of course, also be handled by one person alone. However, the more extensive the tasks are, the better it is to distribute them over different shoulders:
1. the management
Without management, neither online marketing nor content marketing works. Not only does all the information flow together here, but the management is responsible for the goals and the development of the strategy and keeps track of the resources used.
2. the project manager
He coordinates the elaborated strategy with the creation of the desired content, leads the editorial meetings, creates the editorial plan and makes sure that the content is created on time in the desired forms.
3. the producers
The content can be created in-house or by an agency or other externally commissioned employees. As a rule, editors, media designers or other specialists are the right contacts.
4. the division of the contents
In order for the target group to perceive the content, it must be shared. If the company has a social media team, this is the right contact. They are experts in optimizing the individual content for the respective channels.
5. contact maintenance
Once the target group is known, good contacts help to find new ideas for relevant content. If the interests of the target group change, it is possible to react accordingly. Here are also suitable Marketing Automation Solutions.
Tools track the reactions of the target group to the content and show which content is clicked on, commented on or shared. Here you can check whether the content is also relevant - or whether the target group is interested in other topics.
There are also tools that take over the management for example ContentBird or SEMRush.
What can online marketing achieve?
If online or content marketing is used, the intended goals should first be defined:
- Is attention or social buzz to be achieved?
- Is a new product or service to be positioned in the market?
- Should the position in the search engines be improved by means of backlinks?
The format and content depend on the goal set:
While videos are more suitable for - possibly viral - distribution on social media, backlinks are more likely to be generated during blog parades or other events.
The key figures reveal essentials
Whether a campaign is successful is revealed by the associated key figures. These depend on the selected goals. For a company, the reach can be increased, new contacts can be made with customers, or existing contacts can be intensified.
Customers can be informed about new products and services. All the content aims to give users news and helpful knowledge at the same time. Only then the content is relevant and will be clicked by them.
Without SEO the most beautiful online marketing is useless
For online and content marketing, the Search engine optimizationMost people now use search engines and find out about the product in question before making a purchase. These search engines are interested in finding good content for users in the top positions.
The better their questions are answered, the higher the company's website ranks. If the content is relevant to users and of high quality, it creates real added value: it informs, advises, and can also shake up or shock.
How well the company ranks on Google depends on how high quality the content on the website is.
But the mere stringing together of keywords has long since ceased to be sufficient: With its algorithms, Google knows exactly how long a user stays on the respective website, whether he continues surfing there or prefers to disappear right away.
The search engine uses these numbers to interpret the quality.
For a long time now, people have not just been sitting at their computers or laptops when they want to get information online, but have been asking their mobile devices the questions.
This, of course, affects the online marketing strategy: if the content cannot be displayed on mobile, the company cannot communicate with future customers.
It is important that the content is optimized for mobile devices and designed accordingly. Otherwise, Google will measure how quickly the visitors disappear from the page again and penalize this via the ranking.
Here can also be the use of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) can be recommended. The user gets the content played out faster here on mobile devices and Google marks the posts especially. So why shouldn't you use this advantage?
That's why content marketing is relevant for businesses:
- Banner ads and other types of online marketing bring only low traffic. The same is true even for personalized advertising. On top of that, many users are mobile - and banner ads don't work on tablets and smartphones. Content marketing, on the other hand, reaches future customers more easily.
- Google appreciates good content. The better the text, the more likely it is to answer searchers' questions. The algorithm registers exactly how long a visitor stays on the website and how much he looks at.
- Thanks to digitization, customers can compare products much more easily. However, this makes the customer journey much more complex and heterogeneous for companies. Content marketing makes it possible to pick up and inform the user at every single point of this journey.
- Communication is changing: While newspapers, television and radio used to be relevant when it came to information and world events, social networks are now contesting this supremacy. So anyone who continues to rely on traditional advertising risks no longer being noticed by many customers, who neither read newspapers nor watch television.