What is content marketing? Why is it so important and how can you plan it?
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.” In fact, they found through their annual survey that most brands – from large corporations to small businesses to solopreneurs – were using content marketing strategies. Why are so many businesses using content marketing? Because it works! Businesses with blogs get 67% more leads than those without blogs and almost three-quarters of B2B marketers say that content marketing improves their engagement rate and lead generation. Those are staggering numbers.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing helps you to build relationships and trust with your potential customers or clients. After all, almost half of buyers view at least 3 to 5 pieces of content before they decide to speak with a sales rep. Here are four reasons why content marketing is important.
It builds awareness for your brand. Good content helps your brand grow. When your business produces content that your potential clients want to read about, they will begin to see your brand as one that shares valuable, high-quality information. This, in turn, creates loyalty with your potential customers.
You become an authority in your industry. If your business is consistently producing content that provides value, you are going to start being seen as a leader in your industry. People know they will be able to turn to your business for valuable, up-to-date, and reliable content.
It generates more organic leads and helps your business rank higher in search engines. Remember SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Content in the form of social media posts or blogging can boost your ranking in search engines, increase your number of website visits, and grow the number of leads your business gets. This is because trust plays a critical role in your business’s online presence. The more trust you earn, the higher your business will be in keyword rankings, and the more likely you are to be found by potential customers.
How can you plan your content marketing?
Now that you know exactly how important content marketing is, it’s time to implement it. This can be tricky. Planning your content can be overwhelming, to say the least. It can be difficult to know exactly where to begin. But there are a few strategies you can use to take the stress out of scheduling your content.
Decide on what content pillars your business wants to focus on. Later describes content pillars as, “3 to 5 topics your brand will consistently discuss, amplify, and create content for on social media.” While Later focuses on social media, you can also use content pillars for blog posts or other content marketing. These pillars can be helpful because they can provide overarching topics your business will focus on within your niche. It keeps the content focused, makes it easier to create, and shows your expertise in these areas. It also helps your business look more organized and put together.
Have a content calendar. What is a content calendar? According to Facebook, “A content calendar is a way to plan and organize your social media posting schedule. It includes: what you will share when you will share it, and where you will share it.” Oftentimes businesses are posting on a whim. Content can be one of those to-do list items that gets pushed to the back burner until someone remembers it hasn’t been done in a while. Then, it’s a scramble to find or create content quickly. A content calendar can eliminate this. By intentionally planning content for a month at a time, you can begin to implement a strategy.
Set aside time once a month to plan your content. Too often content is the last thing businesses want to focus their energy on, but it is so important for website ranking and generating leads. Setting an appointment or meeting on your calendar once a month to brainstorm and create content can help ensure you are creating intentional, high-quality social media or blog posts.
Even with these tips, content planning can be overwhelming and difficult to know where to start. Your business needs a solid content strategy in order to produce higher search engine rankings and generate more leads. If you are still struggling with your content planning strategy, contact us. We have an entire team of experts that are ready to take the burden of content marketing off of you so you can breathe easier and focus on other aspects of your business.