The following are frequently asked questions about content marketing.
What is content marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Simply put, content marketing is providing value to your ideal audience in the form of free content so that you can attract them, get them to trust you and eventually convert them to customers.
It involves a lot of strategic planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing of different forms of content.
What is the goal of content marketing?
The goal of content marketing is to get your target market to trust you enough to patronize you.
Why should I care about content marketing as a business owner or personal brand?
With content marketing, you get to achieve the following:
- Educate your ideal audience and prospects about your products and/ services and how these products/services can help them
- Build trust and eventually gain the trust of your ideal audience
- Gain loyalty from your ideal audience as a result of the intentional relationship built with them
- Convert your ideal audience or prospects to customers, thereby increasing sales
- Become an authority in your niche (a thought leader)
- Create a sense of community around your brand
Is content marketing a strategy my business should be invested in? Should I do it?
Every business should be considering incorporating content marketing to their marketing strategy. Businesses love to make sales and content marketing is a good way to do.
According to Demand metrics, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing (e.g. TV commercials, print ads etc.) and costs 62% less.
Not only do you make more sales, you also get people that trust you and your brand. Isn’t that something your business or personal brand would like?
What qualifies as content?
Content is simply any piece of information that provides value. It could be to educate, inform, entertain and even inspire an audience. It can come in the form of a webinar, video, blog post, PDfs, e-books or even shorter forms like a social media post, info graphics and even memes.
Does content marketing even work?
Yes, content marketing works. It’s what almost every big brand you can think of and you love use. How do you think they got you to love them beyond just their products?
Even Coca Cola uses content marketing? Yes, they do. How about Nike? Yes, Nike too and their content marketing strategies are good too. Don’t you love and connect with the content they dish out?
How exactly does content marketing work? Considering I’m giving out free content and I’m not directly promoting my products and/or services
With content marketing, you give out free and valuable content that answers questions or meet the need of your target audience in exchange for their trust and loyalty to your brand. You also get to show people your process and what makes you unique and stand out. This gets people to see you more, trust you and relate to and with you.
A lot of people might be selling what you’re selling and so why should anyone choose you? What makes you different?
The answer is You.
You’re unique; your experiences are unique, the reason you do your business is unique and this is what people want to see. Everyone wants someone helpful and resourceful. They want someone that empathizes with them, understands them and can relate to their pain and struggles.
They don’t want another person trying to sell them something (nobody likes being sold something). Content marketing gets your target audience to see you and choose you.
Why do you choose the brands you choose? Think about it.
If I start incorporating content marketing strategies into my business or personal brand, how long will it take for me to see results?
With content marketing, it can take as short as a month and as long as a year or more to see results. It all depends on your business goals and objectives. Averagely, it takes between 3 to 6 months to start seeing results.
Content marketing is long term and that’s because you’re going through stages dealing with your ideal audience.
Think about it this way, how long do you think it takes for someone to gain your trust?
How do they even do that?
It takes some form of commitment and showing up right?
That’s how content marketing works.
You have to be patient when it comes to content marketing but does it pay off? Sure, gradually but surely!
Is content marketing expensive to execute? How much does it cost?
With content marketing, the cost varies but it can be tailored to your budget.
Here’s the thing, if video content will best suit your target audience, it means more cost compared to written content like a blog post or a written post on social media.
Simply put, cost of content marketing depends on the strategy you’re taking, the target audience you want to reach and your business goals.
However, whatever the cost, know it pays off eventually.
I have a small business, is content marketing something I should be focused on at the moment?
As a small business, the priority is to make sales. There’s no yes or no answer to the question but here’s what you need to know.
Content marketing is long term and as a small business owner, you most likely want to be making sales right now as you read this.
This is where promotions and ads help you because they drive in sales the way you desire, however, they are short term. You need to know that once you stop advertising or promoting your business, sales might drop and so you need to keep it up which can be expensive in the long run and maybe not sustainable for your business too.
With content marketing, you give value to your target audience in the form of content and strategically position yourself as someone they can always remember to do business with because they’ve grown to like you and trust you; you convert prospects to customers. This is why content marketing is long term but rewarding.
My advise would be to promote your business and do content marketing too, besides, content marketing also involves some form of promotion.
You also don’t have to spend a lot on your content marketing strategy. Remember, content marketing matters especially if you want long term lasting results.
I have a personal brand, is content marketing also for me?
As a personal brand, you want to maintain or establish an image, impression or position. You might also have something you are selling or intend to sell in the future.
Content marketing can help you increase your authority in your niche. It can help you build influence and trust and spread awareness of your brand.
To answer your question, yes you need content marketing.
Personal Brand + Content Marketing is a powerful combination and as a personal brand, this is something you should take advantage of.
If I’m considering content marketing, does that mean I have to let go of traditional ad (e.g. tv ads, print ad such as fliers) and even inbound ad (e.g. social media ad like Facebook ad) and focus solely on content marketing?
No. In fact, content marketing sometimes require promotions too. Both can coexist. Promotions and ad can get people to see you faster but an effective content marketing strategy gets them to stay and even convert to customers. It has more longevity.
Assuming you come across a Facebook ad from a business that sells shoes, and you like some of the shoes you see, most times, this doesn’t mean you will buy the shoes. You might be a bit skeptical to make that purchase even if you have the money.
However, on clicking their page and seeing some of the content they put out (e.g. how to select the right shoes for a long distance trip), and their consistency, it gets you to trust them if not immediately, but after consuming some of their content.
This makes you feel confident about purchasing their shoe and if you want to buy shoes in the future, they most likely will come to mind. This is the power and effect of content marketing.
I want to do this content marketing thing, how do I get started?
As a business that wants to get started on content marketing, here are things you need to work on to help you get started.
First, you need to define your brand. What’s your brand about? Why do you exist? What solution do you bring to people? How do you do it? This will help you ensure you truly know what your business is about and to know the brand message you want out there. It will also help you know the kind of customers or audience you want. Knowing these things will keep you focused.
Secondly, you need to understand your customers. Please don’t be that business owner that thinks their products or services is for everyone. Almost anyone can patronize you but your business isn’t for everyone. You need to go after whoever would most likely buy from you. This means you need to understand your ideal customer. Who are these people? What are their goals and aspirations? What do they desire? How about their challenges, their fears? You need to create a detailed, yet specific buyer’s persona(s) of your customer.
Thirdly, develop your content marketing strategy. When you truly know what your business is about and who your ideal customers are, creating an effect content marketing strategy won’t be as burdensome. With the type of customer you have in mind, you can plan what type of content to give them, how to do it and what platform will be best suited for them. Remember, you don’t just post or create content for the sake of doing so. You do so strategically, there has to be a plan that leads to a goal in mind.
Finally, create and share your content
According to your content strategy, you have to start creating content and sharing/promoting it too because if you have a good content your target audience will like and they don’t see it, how will they know about you?
Which is better; outsourcing my content marketing for my business or doing it myself?
There’s no definite answer to this as the answer depends on different factors.
Running a business entails a lot like working and delivering on your products or services, business meetings, and so on and let’s not forget other engagements you might have like being a student, a mom, etc. but If you have enough time on your hands as a business owner, then sure, why not. As long as you know how to create an effective content marketing strategy, you can do it yourself. If you don’t know how to, the good news is you can always learn.
However, if you’re busy and can’t take up such commitment on your own, it will be of a great advantage to outsource your content marketing for your business.
This will let you focus on other things. This is where I plug my business by saying I do content marketing strategy and what’s amazing is, I do so with brand storytelling and brand strategy in mind. You don’t just get a content marketer, you also get a brand strategist and so a content marketing that takes into account your branding. If you’re interested, send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Regardless of whichever you choose to do, make sure the content marketing is being done well if not the effects won’t show.
In all, realize that research and reading a lot has a big effect on running a successful business. It helps you know the right paths to take and mistakes to avoid.
I wish you all the best in your content marketing journey.