content marketing and traditional marketing

Digital Marketing 101: What is Content Marketing?

With thousands of businesses online in Nigeria today vying for the attention of your potential client, how do you set your business apart and show up at their doorstep?

Enter content marketing.

According to The 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.

Emphasis on the word “valuable.” Instead of constantly trying to sell your products/service, you should be providing useful information or entertainment to help prospects in their daily lives.

Majority of the big brands infuse content marketing into their digital marketing strategy. Why? Because it works. One major example is MTN’s ad on migrating to MTN Pulse with FalzTheBadGuy. It has 70k views on YouTube and has gone a long way to inform people of the benefits of moving to that plan. It was also a very funny and entertaining video.

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate because marketing is impossible without great content.

Are you still confused? Let me clarify by using these examples.

Five Content Marketing Examples

Content marketing can be done both online and offline but because I am a digital marketer, I will only talk about the online examples. The aim of this is to introduce you to content marketing and open your eyes to the content marketing opportunities around you. Even though there are a lot of different types of content marketing out there, I’ll give just 5 examples of the most popular types.

1. Infographics

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.

Below is an example of an infographic on the importance of visual content.

the importance of visual content
the importance of visual content

In fact, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. And it’s more accustomed to processing images—ninety percent of the information sent to the brain is visual, and 93% of all human communication is visual.

2. Web Page

What’s the difference between a normal webpage and a webpage that is content marketing? Consider Name cheap, a web hosting company’s FAQ page. This page targets long tail keyword searches for people who are confused about web hosting, domain name cost, etc and would need more clarification on it. This page has probably been viewed thousands of times, bringing in customers who would have never known about this brand.

3. Videos

On Instagram today, most business owners use video especially live video to reach more people. Videos and podcasts are untapped forms of content marketing because people think they’re expensive to create but with the improvement in mobile technology, you can make a pretty decent video with your phone and a little tweaking on photoshop.

What video can you make today that can improve your brand awareness? It might be easier than you think.

4. E Books

E Books aren’t just be used for making profit, they can be used as marketing tools. Leke Adler’s books are a a great read for business owners and as much as he loves to make some sweet cash from it, the books acts to drive customers to his coaching services.

Thanks to technology again, you don’t need to break the bank to publish an E Book. With tools like Canva you can create books that are very engaging and speaks to your target audience.

5. Blogging

You are obviously here because you searched a topic or saw the headline and it captured your attention. You might be thinking, “I’m not a writer, I can’t be a blogger.” You don’t have to be a writer to blog, as long as you are blogging about your business, the words will flow easily. The more you write, the easier it will be.

Blogging isn’t just done on websites, you can also blog using Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Here is an infographic of other examples of content marketing;

content marketing tactics
content marketing tactics

Why Content Marketing?

Before we understand why content marketing, we need to first look at the four steps of the buying cycle;

Awareness: At this stage, the customer might or might not be aware of they need they have.

Research: Once they are aware, they will search around on Google or social media for businesses that offer those services. Example, someone who wants to purchase a wig will try to find out the different types of wigs out there, how much they cost and which will fit their needs.

If they aren’t aware, a catchy headline, picture or video they might have accidentally stumbled upon might trigger their interest.

Consideration: The customer starts to compare different products from different vendors to make sure they are getting the best value for thier money.

Buy: The customer comes to a decision and makes a transaction.

customer buying cycle
customer buying cycle

Even though traditional advertising covers the first two steps, content marketing helps to raise awareness of a product, solutions it provides and educating consumers.

Potential customers will find your content, find value in it and contact you. The process of trying to convince them about you and build trust will be cut short using content marketing.

I must warn you, content marketing is a long term marketing strategy. It takes months and sometimes even years of pushing out quality content to see monetary results but the return on investment for content marketing can be phenomenal if executed correctly.

Content marketing also supports your other digital marketing channels because it provides content for them and contributes to your SEO efforts. In fact, I would advice that the bulk of your content marketing efforts be focused on ranking high on search engines.

How Do I Get Started Creating Valuable Content

You can do a research on others in your niche and see what sort of content they put out and which of them their followers engage with most. Think about why you got into your business in the first place and try to provide solutions that can help people solve a problem. If you’re not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers what kind of content you can produce that would be helpful to them now, or would have been helpful to them when they were looking for your product or service. They’ll tell you.

If you are too busy or confused about how to, you can email me and I can help you with the research and come up with valuable content prospects will resonate to.

Conclusion

Without knowing it, you are probably already content marketing. You just have to focus on the type of content people are looking for; when they are actively looking and when they aren’t.

Avoid continually talking about your product and perform a little research to find out what people want, ask questions, look at what your competitors and other big brands are doing for inspiration. Focus on producing mobile-friendly content because most people are using their smartphones today to search for things.

Did you learn anything from this article? Why not share on your social media platform so other business owners like you can learn too.

Most companies are not doing real content marketing…yet. That’s why you’ll have an advantage if you jump in. Let me know how it goes.


Also published on Medium.

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