What is Content Marketing

Content marketing is the creation, publication, outreach and promotion of content assets as part of an overarching content strategy. Successful content marketing will help your business meet its (digital) marketing goals by providing useful, entertaining, educational or inspiring context to your products or services.

What is Content Marketing?...

What is content marketing? Lets dig a little deeper...

If you want to win in today’s digital landscape, your success is going to rely heavily on quality content that meets user intent. With every algorithm update, Google representatives have stressed the importance of relevant content and, in many cases, improving content quality has become their sole piece of advice.

In order to establish what ‘relevant content’ means to your brand, you’ll need to know who your audiences are, what queries they are typing into search engines and what they talk about amongst themselves. Based on the gaps in your existing content – and that of your competitors – you’ll need to tackle the challenge of developing content campaigns that are specifically designed to achieve your (digital) marketing goals.

Contrary to some outdated beliefs, content marketing is a very measurable discipline that is essential in making your online presence generate results for you. If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘what is content marketing?’, you can find the low-down here.

What is Content?
What is Copy?

If you want to make the most of your content marketing, understanding the difference between content and sales copy is crucial. After all, journalists, bloggers and industry experts are less likely to share or link to heavily branded content that obviously tries to sell your products or services. So what is content and what is sales copy – and how are they different?

Sales copy is created for advertising and marketing purposes, and its purpose is to sell. It is written to persuade customers of the value of your offering and convert them into leads. Sales copy may include product specifications, unique selling points and call to actions.

Content extends far beyond copy: it tells a story. It aims to educate, help, inspire or entertain your target audience. Content can take the form of videos, infographics, images, calculators and many other assets. The main power of content, however, lies in the creativity of the idea.

Facts & Figures
84%
84% of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions and creates experiences and events.
Copy aims to sell your products and persuade people to convert, whereas content aims to engage your audience.
Samia Majid, Senior Content Marketing Executive

The Benefits of Content Marketing

So if copy sells and content tells, surely copy is the more important of the two? Not necessarily. Good content marketing can increase your organisation’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust) factors. It establishes your brand as an authority in your industry, letting your audience know that you hold expertise in your field and that they can trust you to have their best interests at heart. This type of reputation improvement is invaluable in the digital landscape.

Solid content projects can also win backlinks – improving your site’s domain authority and channelling traffic to your site. This can make it a key factor in achieving your wider marketing goals. However, unlike other strands of digital marketing, content helps you reach your audience in a mostly organic way.

Facts & Figures
7.8x
Annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers (19.7% vs 2.5%).
Source: Aberdeen
A brand that regularly offers its audience insightful content is difficult to ignore, and certainly difficult to doubt.
Oliver Wheaton, Content Marketing Manager

Choosing Your Content Marketing Metrics

There are various content marketing metrics out there that can help you measure whether the content you’re producing is effective.

To see whether it hit the spot with your audience, try measuring social shares, unique page views and the average time spent on the site. To find out whether it helped SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), monitor how your content ranks, how much organic traffic it receives and how visible it is in search engines. The number and quality of backlinks to your content page – along with brand mentions and referral traffic – can tell you how well your content was picked up by the press, bloggers and other publications.

Finally, well set-up Google Analytics can tell you whether your visitors performed any actions after engaging with your content. They might have proceeded to sign up to your mailing list, visit a product landing page or even make a purchase. Even if your web visitors did not convert directly, accurate tracking will show you whether they returned to your site at a later stage to go further down the marketing funnel.

Facts & Figures
65%
65% of marketers agree that link building is the most difficult tactic to perform.
For the very best content marketing results, you must keep your objectives in mind from the very beginning
Samia Majid, Senior Content Marketing Executive

Defining Your
Content Strategy

Once you are clear about your content marketing goals and have decided on your success metrics, it’s time to start the content strategy process.

Your first step is the research stage, in which you can use advanced analytics, persona mapping, social listening and search intent modelling to gain the necessary insights into your audience and opportunities. On top of that, analysing your best performing content – and that of your competitors – can help inspire you and identify content gaps.

Then it’s time for the second phase: the brainstorm. Armed with the results of their research, members of different disciplines will come up with creative content ideas – at this stage, no idea is a bad idea! The brainstorm should result in a shortlist of ideas which will go into stage three: the justification stage.

In the justification stage, each of your favourite ideas will need to be backed up by relevant key phrases as well as outreach justifications: are your target influencers interested in covering this story? Each idea that’s generated enough interest has passed the test – it can be integrated into your content strategy presentation.

Facts & Figures
73%
73% of B2B organisations have a person dedicated to overseeing content marketing strategy.
Source: CMI
Don’t waste your time and money – test your ideas before you start executing them.
Lola Michels, Content Strategist

Creating Your Content Marketing Plan

Your creatives are bursting with ground-breaking content ideas, and now a firm content plan is needed.

A content roadmap is an ideal way to ensure that your campaigns are complementing, rather than competing against, each other in your content timeline. You might also want to look at key dates and events throughout the year, and how your content can gain more visibility around these dates.

Perhaps your brand appeals to film enthusiasts: have you been sure to schedule Oscars-related content to go live close to the award ceremony date? Are you spending the winter period preparing content that ties into the summer’s big blockbuster releases?

All these things and more need to be considered when creating your content strategy and roadmap. You want users to see you as a switched-on organisation that will always satisfy their content desires.

Facts & Figures
60%
60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.
Source: eMarketer
Three great ideas shouldn’t all be released in one week. Space your brilliance out over a few months to grow your audience.
Oliver Wheaton, Content Marketing Manager

Conclusion

If you need advice about content marketing or content strategy, get in touch with Passion Digital. Our in-house experts are equipped to help you meet your digital marketing goals, no matter how ambitious they are.

If you are after training, visit our content marketing courses.

If you want us to do some work for you, visit our content projects showcase.

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