A lot has been said about content marketing. When I say ‘a lot’, I mean, really, A LOT.
While most of those blogs, articles and even videos talk about what content marketing is, how it works, and the whole nine yards from a marketer’s perspective, this blog is going to be a bit different (said every businessman ever).
I am going to give an entrepreneur’s point of view about this goldmine of marketing (or not?) in this blog.
Let’s get going.
Table of Contents
- What is content marketing?
- Impact of content marketing
- What are the components of content marketing?
- Types of content marketing
- Examples of good content marketing
- In Conclusion
What is content marketing?
Simply put (yeah, I’ll put a lot of things simply in this blog), content marketing is a type of marketing where you use different forms of content to promote your business.
Now you’ll think – but there’s content everywhere (of course it is, with 27 million pieces of content being shared every day1).
So, how does it differ from content marketing?
Well, it doesn’t.
Any social media post you see, blog you read, ad you come across, website you engage with – is a part of a huge content marketing strategy.
Since most of us live our lives online more than the reality around us, a majority of the content marketing strategies involve producing content online.
Difference between content marketing and content writing
A million-dollar question. The answer to which I did not know until I started leading a team of 7 content marketers (I know, I know, pretty bad on my part).
To put it simply (again), content writing is the process (or the profession) of writing different forms of content like websites, blogs, social media, emails, etc. and then forgetting what happens with it.
Whereas, content marketing includes producing the content, distributing and analyzing it.
For example, a content writer won’t and shouldn’t be bothered much about the reach of the blogs.
Impact of content marketing
Now that we understand the basics of content marketing, let’s get to the bottom-line.
What and where is the impact of content marketing? Here, impact would mean ROI, because that’s the ultimate concern of entrepreneurs and business people.
Because I have been both – a content marketer and entrepreneur, I can share an honest and experienced take on this.
1. Content lasts for long (really long) periods of time
I know you’ve heard it enough, but content is indeed the king and always will be.
Why? Because it lasts for a long time. Either through memory recall or through bookmarks and even in search engines, it survives to a great extent.
Not to mention, if you have an outdated piece of content, you can always add the latest information to it and re-publish it.
Basically, content is like honey. It never goes bad or stale.
2. One piece of content can be repurposed into ten
Content repurposing is a marvelous subset of content writing.
It includes using an existing piece of original content and tweaking it to align with other content formats.
For example: A blog can be repurposed into social media posts, infographics, carousels, videos, quotes, eBooks, and more.
Eventually, this reduces your efforts in creating new content (which has to be your priority in marketing).
3. It teaches you the art of minimalism
No one likes reading filler content. And let’s face it, if you are a creator, you may not get a whole lot of space to publish it.
Especially, when it comes to ads and Twitter tweets/posts.
That being said, content marketing gives you the ability to keep your messaging minimal, yet effective. This further helps you shape your content based on your distribution channels and audience’s attention span.
4. It helps you understand your audience better
When you distribute your content effectively (I will write a separate blog on this), you get a chance to interact with your audience and get their feedback.
A lot of brands take regular surveys of their audience to understand their pain points and engagement patterns better, which enables them to produce better and more relatable content.
As a result, you build a supporting community instead of a unicentric customer base.
In case you didn’t know, a community is exactly what you need if you are building in public.
5. Boosts customer retention and acquisition
Content marketing helps you establish a dialog with your audience and customers, which plays a significant role in increasing customer stickiness and loyalty.
Happy customers attract more customers.
Therefore, an effective content marketing strategy ends up increasing your customer influx, and that leads to the ultimate goal, more money.
6. It makes you a better brand
Listening to your customers, running experiments based on their preferences and conversing with your audience from time to time through content gives your brand a human touch.
At the end, authenticity, reliability and realistic stories go way beyond any million-dollar copywriting.
Thus, content marketing makes your brand better, not only in terms of positioning but also in terms of credibility.
What are the components of content marketing?
I know, you must be thinking – components? Really?
Is this an experiment?
To that I say, yes, this is an experiment. Marketing on the whole is an experiment.
And before you think of getting involved in content marketing, these are the aspects you should be aware of.
Well, if you don’t know the purpose of the entire experiment, then
Jokes apart, the purpose defines the flow of the rest of the experiment and the end goal.
Say, your end goal is to generate leads. Then, all the following activities should be focused on the end goal only.
2. Target audience
Very important step this is. Absolutely important.
No content, I repeat, no content should be written without keeping the target audience in mind.
Let me explain this with an example.
If you are writing an ad for a toothbrush for senior citizens, what would your message be?
And if you write the same ad for teenagers and young adults, how different would it be?
Besides demographics, you should also consider the awareness of your audience as an important factor. What stage of the funnel they are at – top, middle or bottom, decides the information you will be giving in your message.
Similarly, your content differs for each type of audience. So, segment your target audience effectively to get optimum results.
A little tip here, the more clearly you segment your audience, the better.
3. Approach / tone
Next thing you need to know is the approach you’ll be taking in your messaging (content).
Now, you can have multiple approaches to understand which connects best with your audience, and which gives you the best results.
Keep in mind that the approach you take should align with your goals and purpose so as to not deviate from the entire experiment.
The medium is the channel on which you will connect with your audience.
Before deciding this, you should be aware of the platforms your audience is active on.
Are they more active on Instagram?
Or on Google Search?
Or on YouTube?
Based on this information, you decide the medium and the form of content you will produce to communicate with the audience.
This will ensure that you are where they are, and somewhere in their memory recesses too.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for content marketing – experiments.
When we did science experiments in school and college, we tried different angles, variables, approaches to see what got us closest to our desired results.
You need to do the same with content marketing, or any type of marketing for that matter.
Next, you need to decide on the timeline of the content marketing experiment.
How long will it last? 2 weeks? 1 month? Six months? A year?
With this, you also need to know when to let go. Otherwise, burning the money without getting proper data and results is of no use.
Point to be noted here, various types of content marketing pave the way for long-term strategies and execution.
So, not every experiment is to be put at an end if you see a plateau in the outcome.
7. Optional: Budget
Though I have kept it as optional, I know for a fact that this is the first thing you (or any entrepreneur) will consider.
If you think about it, most benefits of content marketing are long term. That means, you need to invest for the long term. That doesn’t mean that you need to invest more or a lot.
Set your budgets aside, be it for recruitments, infrastructure, campaigns, distribution and other overheads.
P.S: Feel free to ask these questions to your marketing team as well. Because I know how entrepreneurs can be when it comes to marketing 😛
Types of content marketing
So, I told you about what content marketing is, its components and all that.
Now, what if I tell you that there are types of content marketing too?
Simply put (and again), these types are listed based on the corresponding type of content.
You’ll see as you read along.
1. Video marketing
This needs no explanation.
In video marketing, you create videos and distribute them to engage your audience.
Those videos can be either repurposed, or brand new based on your industry and audience preferences.
Videos gained popularity when high speed Internet became more accessible. From the first live streaming concert in 1993 to videos reaching billions of views, this form of content has become a comfort for all age groups in the world today2.
Platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, are used in video marketing.
In case you didn't know, YouTube boasts an extensive user base of over 2.527 billion individuals worldwide as of April 20234.
2. Voice marketing
One of the newest types of content marketing, voice marketing, came into picture when speech recognition technology achieved accuracy to a certain extent.
Sometime after that, we started sending voice notes to each other to communicate.
(Voice notes, FTW!)
That was followed by music players hosting podcasts on their apps, which made voice marketing accessible and convenient.
Podcasts, Twitter Spaces, LinkedIn Audio are used in voice marketing.
A long term yet one of the most effective types of content marketing, blogging, is where you publish blogs on topics your audience wants to hear and you want to gain thought leadership in.
These blogs can be on your website, or on a platform like Medium where you can get feedback and suggestions to improve your messaging as a brand.
Even TCC practices this type of content marketing. You’re reading this blog, aren’t you? 😀
4. Sales enablement
Content produced to enable and empower sales teams falls under this category.
This includes product presentations, brochures, demos, flyers, and such likes.
I know this can come as a surprise, but I didn’t realize it either before I wrote this blog.
5. Performance marketing
I have explained what performance marketing is in my blog on different types of marketing.
So, I will refrain from going into detail here.
That being said, performance marketing includes content in the form of ad copies, creatives written with an aim to get maximum attention and conversions.
Marketers call that kind of content ‘clickbait’, and those who specialize in this type of content writing are called copywriters.
Keep in mind, copywriters do not run your ad campaigns. They only provide you with the content that works the magic on your audience.
6. Email marketing
I made my email address in 2006. Back then, I had zero hopes of receiving any emails from anyone.
But email marketing proved me wrong. This type of content marketing not only filled my inbox, but also gave me an idea of how brands tap into untouched markets.
Mind you, email marketing might not give instant results, but it is sure to give you steady results while keeping your audience engaged for years.
Examples of good content marketing
Okay, enough of ‘more preaching, less practice’. Let’s look into some examples of good content marketing I or the world has seen so far.
You know, just to validate all the awesome things I said above about content marketing.
1. Duolingo on TikTok
Well, I’ve pretty much established that I am a huge fan of Duolingo. So much so that I have also written a detailed blog on it.
So, it had to be there on this list.
Having more than 5 million followers on TikTok, Duolingo has managed to raise brand awareness on the platform through their self-proclaimed “unhinged” mascot.
Can this brand BE more awesome?
Check out Duolingo on TikTok.
2. Girl with the Dogs on YouTube
I came across this YouTube channel by accident. A happy accident here.
The girl, who is also the narrator in the videos, runs a dog grooming shop, and shares about her experiences with different breeds and temperaments of pets.
With those videos, she has not only established herself as a great groomer, but also given tips to hundreds and thousands of pet parents worldwide.
Those videos, I tell you, can be considered as ASMR.
Watch them here.
I won’t point out any one thing that HubSpot has done right. Because they have and are doing a lot.
From their amazing, comprehensive blogs to their academy and certifications to the awesome product they have built, HubSpot is winning the inbound marketing game, all through content, content, and just content.
4. Buffer’s Blog
I came across Buffer’s approach to content when I was writing the Build in Public vs Build in Stealth blog.
Building publicly, Buffer has changed the definition of transparency in the business industry.
Buffer’s open blog is an example of that. The best part is: they have not kept it limited to what their product is about, but also about how to use it effectively, giving you a feeling that you’re a part of a secret, high-end club.
What are the 4 main purposes of content?
The 4 main purposes of content are to entertain, inspire, educate, and convince your audience.
Why is content marketing important for startups?
Content marketing can help startups raise brand awareness, reach new audiences, and expand their online presence.
What are the key elements of content marketing?
The key elements of content marketing are the distribution and promotion of content to drive awareness and engagement.
With 86% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers practicing content marketing3, it is here to stay, either in one form or another.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to realize this fact and leverage it – the sooner, the better.
That’s all for content marketing here.
Hope this has given you a better perspective on how it works. Ask me anything about it in the comments below.
If you want to know how we do content marketing at TCC, and how we can help you with it, book a consultation with us quickly.