Content marketing is more than writing blogs and producing an email newsletter. It serves as the foundation for nearly all your marketing strategies, from paid promotions to influencer outreach to your own earned media.
But what is content marketing, exactly? And why does it matter? Before we discuss the ways that content impacts all aspects of your marketing strategy, let’s dive into what content marketing is.
What Is Content Marketing?
According to Joe Pulizzi, the founder of 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 layman terms, this means that content marketing uses pieces of content, such as blogs, eBooks, newsletters, and videos, to deliver information across all stages of the marketing funnel. Through this, marketers educate their audience in the hopes of future conversions. Content marketing, like SEO, is a long play and requires a developed strategy to get the most out of your pieces.
Most content pieces are top of the funnel strategies, but they can complement other sales and marketing channels, as well. This is is why, as we say, content marketing impacts everything.
How Content Impacts Your Marketing Strategy
In today’s advertising age, there’s no reason why marketers shouldn’t be incorporating content into their full-funnel strategy. Below are five ways content marketing impacts everything you do, from creating your website to pitching new customers or clients:
1. It is an Educational Tool
As Joe Pulizzi shared earlier, great content is valuable, relevant, and consistent. In addition to that, valuable content is also educational. You can use blogs, articles, press releases, videos, podcasts, and more to educate your customers before they decide to purchase.
For example, if someone is considering buying a new car, they will need to research their options before making a decision. They might research their options through blog posts, social media posts, articles from influencers on the topic, and other content avenues. These are examples of top of the funnel, educational content.
2. It Furthers Brand Awareness
Another way content marketing helps your full-funnel marketing strategy is because it further brand awareness and helps you become a thought leader in your space. Glossier, a makeup brand “inspired by real life” actually started from a successful blog, Into the Gloss. Founder Emily Weiss turned her uber-successful blog into a full-fledged product line by producing content that mattered, watching what resonated with her audience, and creating products to match. In fact, the company still uses social media, such as Instagram comments, to guide their product releases. For Weiss, content was the foundation for her whole company and it has proven successful, as Glossier has amassed a “cult-like” following due to its organic content and social media.
3. It Complements Paid Media
Paid media, including display ads, PPC, and social ads can benefit from content. Paid media, like all marketing strategies, should cater to the full marketing funnel. This means, not every ad should drive to a conversion page with a “Buy Now” call to action. If a consumer has never heard of your brand before, it’s unlikely that they’ll just take action right away without doing further research.
Instead some of your ads should drive to informative pieces like blog posts, infographics, or videos. While you might not convert the user right away, this approach is a great way to introduce them to your brand. From there, you can retarget them and serve them more ads that drive conversions.
4. It Works Together with SEO
Content marketing on its own can be a powerful tool, but it’s even more effective when combined with SEO strategies such keyword research, user search intent, and reporting. Your content strategy should be based in data, but include creative ideas, as well. Extensive keyword research is necessary for all blogging strategies to show the method behind the work. This and on-page optimizations help brands rank organically on the first page of Google. All of this combined makes for more quality content marketing.
5. It Can Be Used as Sales Material
By understanding your buyer personas and knowing what your potential customers respond well to, you can use content to help your sales team. These pieces might include case studies, testimonials, sales decks, and more. According to HubSpot, the most important product marketing content for sales enablement include:
- Product page copy
- Product videos
- Blog content
- Case studies
- ROI reports
- Product demos
- Sales presentations
- Overview sheets
Content can be used as a sales tool for both B2B and B2C businesses. Don’t be afraid to ask your sales team what kind of content they need and work to build a strategy to produce this bottom-of-the-funnel content.
6. It Drives Your Website Design
If you are planning a website redesign or refresh, you’ll want to consider content in the preliminary stages. Good UX, or user experience, is driven by both design and content. You never want someone to land on your website, appreciate your beautiful design, and then get turned off by bad content. In fact, intechnic shares that content is “the most important thing on your website.”
As you can see, content marketing is more than just producing a few blogs a month or creating an infographic. It is the backbone of your marketing strategy and impacts everything else you do. Want to learn more about content marketing? Download our Content Marketing Guide here!