Do you know anything about content marketing?

Content marketing - because relevant content works

It is called "Content is King". No wonder, because content is the new currency in marketing. The trend has been going on for several years now, and yet “content” is still used as a very hyped buzzword, the meaning of which is by no means all clear. Those, who Content marketing understand, no longer ask whether they need it, but rather how they can best implement it.

According to a survey too Content Marketing Trends In 2018 in the US, around 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers plan to use content marketing in their campaigns. The latest research shows that B2B marketers have achieved success with content marketing because they find ways to work more creatively and grow their audience.

The focus of a content marketer these days is no longer on the production of content for SEO purposes, but rather focuses on the user as a potential customer. Content has to be interesting, offer real added value and encourage interaction. And that's exactly what sets content marketing apart from other forms of marketing. The intent is to offer valuable information so that people will want to hear about your business and will subscribe to your content because they are interested.

How you can use content marketing in your company, how to develop a content strategy, how to produce, promote and finally analyze content, you will find out in our ultimate content marketing guide:

 

From push to pull content in marketing

The consumer was bombarded by advertising messages for about 50 years and every means was tried to get their attention. This through advertising representatives, calls or front-page advertisements in daily newspapers. Even as the Internet slowly emerged, new ways of serving advertisements were discovered. It went so far that the advertising banners almost jumped in the face of the customer on some websites. "We are here and you have been waiting for us for a long time," was the credo of many entrepreneurs. Although many companies today are aware that such advertisements are no longer equally effective thanks to Adblocker & Co. and one has to assume that a large number of visitors do not even see the advertisement, some advertising agencies still follow the trampled advertising paths. Today we refer to this type of advertising as Push content. In this guide you will learn why this species is pretty much critically endangered - and that's a good thing.

The new type of advertising should actually no longer be allowed to be called advertising. Because instead of Google Ads, texts are prepared that are no longer geared to the taste of the company, but to the interests of the customer and aim to be found by them. The push content that can be rubbed under the nose of potential customers at any time and without being asked should therefore come through Pull content be replaced. Content that people like and that enables them to get the right information at the right moment, voluntarily: that is content marketing.

Content Marketing Principles

Content means nothing else than content. Content is understood to mean all forms of content such as blog posts, interviews, white papers, e-books, images, videos, etc. Since users primarily look for answers to their questions on the Internet, content produced by companies on the Internet is becoming more and more important in order to be found by potential customers. Content marketing puts the customer at the center and offers them valuable support in their purchase decisions through tailor-made content. The aim is to bind the consumer to the company or brand through relevant, useful content. The content works like a magnet and is always designed to make life easier for the consumer. That is why we also call our content marketing inbound marketing, which is in clear contrast to outbound marketing (traditional marketing).

How content marketing works

The chances of being found on the Internet increase significantly with the amount of content. You can think of content marketing as something like fishing. If you throw more bait (content) into the water (here Google’s search result pool), you will catch more fish (customers). You can find out here why this comparison is a bit lacking and why certain important points have to be taken into account when creating content (such as the choice of bait). At the same time, it can be seen that organic search results (those that are found in the search results under the ads) convert 5 - 10 times better to leads and, in the best case, result in customers, such as the Adwords that are bought and mostly based on generic search words.

With the right content strategy, content can be tailored precisely to the needs of your target group and communicated via various channels. The basis is a sophisticated keyword strategy, the definition of the personas and the knowledge of the buying cycles (customer journey). Many companies are aware that content marketing is the key to success, but they simply don't have the know-how or the resources to do it. However, content marketing is an important competitive factor in order to continue to win new customers in the future. It is a continuous work that has a lasting effect. If you are not yet entirely convinced that you want to use content marketing in your company or if you feel that you do not have the time, you will find out more reasons why it is worthwhile to rely on content marketing.

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A strategy is always the description of the path from the IS to the TARGET. It is advantageously a documented procedure that should help you to define a long-term strategic direction and thus to achieve your goals. The same goes for content creation. Without a strategy, you blindly create content and hope that it will attract the right visitors and turn them into customers somehow. Before you get started, it is important that you know where you are today and what exactly you want to achieve. In this way you can always check whether the daily activities are aligned with the strategic plan and contribute to achieving the goals, such as increasing traffic or promoting blog.

 

Guiding principles for the content strategy

# 1 Content marketing is meaningful and beneficial and focused on the persona. It's never about the company, but always about the added value for the customer!

# 2 The content is tailored to the position in the customer journey. The first phase (awareness) is about narrowing down the problem and giving initial approaches to solving the problem. In return, minimal information is exchanged just to maintain communication.

That sounds well and good, but you only understand half of it? No problem - you will definitely see more clearly after the next chapter!

 

This is how you define your content strategy

1. Set a goal

What goal do you want to pursue with your content? E.g. positioning, customer acquisition or competence leadership

2. Define personas

Who exactly do you want to reach with your content?

More on the subject:
How to create your persona
Get the useful persona checklist
George Clooney has that to do with your persona

3. Describe the customer journey

What is the path from the first contact with the customer (awareness / consideration stage) to the conclusion of the purchase (decision stage) and beyond?

More on the subject:
This is how you structure your content along the customer journey

4. Define added value

How does the customer benefit from working with you?

5. Describe USP

What sets you apart from the competition?

6. What is our core message?

Describe the core of your general message in one sentence and then in more detail.

This was a very crisp outline of a possible course of action for creating a content strategy. If you'd like it a little more detailed, read all the details here.

Practical example

So that you can motivate yourself a little and understand why it is worth creating a content strategy, here is a short practical example for a persona in the awareness phase.

Elvira Meier is 58 years old. She has had a lot of back pain recently. She can't explain where the pain is coming from, so she starts searching the internet for answers to your questions. In this phase, she comes across a blog post on the subject of “Back pain - what can you do about it?”. The article illuminates the causes and possible solutions to the problem. The goal in this phase should be that Elvira Meier can concretise her problem - nothing more. In addition to the blog post, a whitepaper is offered, which further specifies the possible solutions. Elvira Meier can download the white paper free of charge. In return, she fills out a form with her name and email address.

Imagine your company sells massage pillows. In order to attract potential customers to your page, it is important to work out different personas who may be interested in your product. Then think about the problems these people are grappling with (awareness phase) and offer them a possible solution (here a white paper describing various causes of back pain and various back exercises). If a potential customer shows interest (downloads whitepaper), you can continue communicating with them and find out what information they still need that can lead to a purchase. Read here how to structure your content along the customer journey.

More on the subject:
Find out why content marketing is also worthwhile for real estate dealers
Find out why SMB CEOs should rely on content marketing
A fishing net bulging with leads

 

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Now that you know what goal you are pursuing with your content, who it is aimed at and which phase of the customer journey it is best suited for, you must now consider the specific topics of your blog posts, whitepapers, e-books or rotate videos accurately.

No content available yet?

You are a start-up or a young company and have discovered the relevance of content for yourself. So you start at 0. With the considerations on the content strategy made in Chapter 2, you have already completed the actual “thinking part” and can now get very creative:

  • Grab a pen and paper and think about the questions your personas have in the respective phases of the customer journey.
  • Do a brainstorming session and involve your work colleagues, acquaintances and maybe even business partners.
  • The best thing to do is to ask your customers what they would like to hear from you or what content motivated them to benefit from your knowledge and to make use of your services.
  • Submit your own questions on Google and they will see you come up with lots of new ideas.
  • Browse related blogs and news portals. Illuminate the topics from all angles, you will see that there is enough material that you can prepare in a wide variety of ways and package it attractively for your customers.

More on the subject:
How to get relevant content in 4 steps
10 tools for successful content marketing.

Content audit - how you use existing content

You have been on the market for a while, have understood the mechanisms of content marketing and accordingly have a certain amount of content. Although you may already be an old hand in the field of content production and have pretty much browsed your subject area, you want to bring new content on a regular basis. But are you slowly running out of ideas and creativity is a long time coming?

Then a content audit is worthwhile. In doing so, you collect and evaluate existing content before content production, which is on your website, in folders, in the form of brochures or even in the minds of your employees. In this way you can get an overview, discover possible gaps in your information and improve and add to your content.

This is how a content audit works

Find new ideas and increase visibility on the web with pillar pages

Another way to find content ideas and, above all, to structure content so that it is more easily visible in the web SEO-technically, is the creation of pillar pages. As human search behavior on the web has changed, technologies have responded and tried to adapt to that behavior. In order to land at the top of the organic search engine results, it is no longer only advisable to rank using long-tail keywords, but rather to arrange the content in so-called topic clusters and to build pillar pages.

That's why you should incorporate pillar content into your strategy

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Now that you have defined your content strategy and agreed on the first content-related topics, it is now time to produce the content. In the following we present various content formats and give tips on how to best create them.

Blog

The heart of content marketing is the blog. Everywhere you can read that a blog is a must to be successful with your website. In the chapter too Content marketing you have learned why content tailored to your target group, e.g. in the form of blog posts, is so important. In a nutshell, high-quality content, e.g. in the form of blog posts, increases your authority on the Internet, it can be found more quickly by potential customers, generate leads through workflows and ultimately win customers.

But what is a blog anyway?

A blog is a website with frequently updated content on a certain topic - usually you are an expert in this field and want to answer your potential customers' questions with appropriate content or offer a solution to their problems. For example, this blog writes about content marketing because we sell related services. A blog needs to be updated frequently - so it's not a static part of the website.

More on the subject:
Which is why blogging also works for companies
Why your competition blogs and is more successful
The digital trinity of the blog

How to write the perfect blog post

Everyone can write - maybe just think quickly. And writing such a blog post about one of my favorite topics can't be too difficult. This attitude and a certain amount of self-confidence is not bad, but there are a few things to consider so that your own blog post doesn't just stay one among many, but stands out and inspires the readers.

Read here:
How to write the perfect blog post
How to succinctly write blogs and other articles


Newsletter

Perhaps when you think of newsletters you are thinking of those annoying e-mails that fill your inbox and that you have to sort out on a regular basis? Certainly there is useful and less useful content that is worth sharing or that you even subscribe to voluntarily. Newsletters are still one of the most important marketing instruments. You are successful if you not only distribute advertising messages, but also offer interesting content for the target group. In this way, you can gain topical leadership in your specialist area, increase your brand awareness and become a long-term companion of your customers.

But creating a good newsletter is not that easy.

Read here:
How a good newsletter is made
10 tips for better newsletters
Whether your newsletter has character or is just boring

E-book

In inbound marketing, offers are the golden ticket for lead generation. Not only do you extend your contact list, but at the same time feed your existing contacts to bring them further down the marketing funnel. The best known of these offers is the e-book. In order to be able to write a successful e-book, you should be a kind of journalist, designer, project manager and of course an all-round content strategist!

Read here how to choose an exciting topic, how to write and design appealing content and how to successfully promote the e-book.

Podcast

Blog posts are still one of the most widely used methods of imparting knowledge in different industries. However, they are only accessible to a limited extent, as interested parties do not have access to them while driving or in the gym, for example. Therefore, podcasts are a great alternative for your company to get in touch with users and offer them content on the channels they prefer.

Read here how you can pack your knowledge and creative ideas into a podcast instead of a blog!


Video

You can find more and more video content on social media and landing pages, case studies and product demos are also enhanced with this medium. In 2017, video content was responsible for around 74% of all web traffic.Around 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day, and websites that contain video material spend an average of two minutes longer than those without video content. Do you see the potential of video marketing?

Find out here how to incorporate video into your marketing strategy and how to create videos in just a few steps!


Infographics

It is difficult to remember isolated numbers and complex facts. Packaged in a story, however, data becomes more accessible and tends to stick in our heads. The human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than words. So why not upgrade the dry matter from your company and make it palatable to your employees, customers or the community with the help of a great infographic? At the same time, you can bring traffic to your website, increase attention and ultimately generate leads.

Read here how to create an engaging infographic in less than an hour.

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Nowadays we are constantly being showered with information because content is king. But what actually makes content so special? Text alone is bloodless and does not affect. It is only when it is wrapped in a good story that content is entertaining, exciting and attracts the desired attention. Digitization and social media have revolutionized storytelling. Content can be prepared emotionally and vividly with the help of the entire range of text, images, videos, podcasts, infographics or in combination.

Storytelling is not just a trend, it is even a necessary paradigm shift. People want to be entertained. You can memorize complex facts much easier with stories, which is why these have been passed on from one generation to the next for thousands of years. If you incorporate a story about your product, your service and your company into your communication, you will see how great the power of storytelling is.

Embedded in a content marketing strategy, it is very different from purely advertising approaches. Instead of a push, a pull strategy is in the foreground, which is used when customers or potential customers are looking for relevant, educational and entertaining content.

Would you like a few practical examples?
So with storytelling you earn over 3 million in four weeks
Storytelling - yesterday's news or a dream of the future?
Why you can win more customers with good storytelling
When storytelling hits the heart

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e-mail

As soon as you have created all of your content, the next step is to promote it and ensure that it reaches as many interested parties as possible. This can be done on the one hand via a weekly or monthly e-mail newsletter that is sent to your subscribers. Sending e-mails as an important component of content marketing enables you to write very personal e-mails tailored precisely to your target group and thus to build a relationship with your leads and accompany them on the customer journey.

Find out here how to use this digital service correctly and ensure that the right person gets your email at the right time.

More on the subject:
Why email marketing still has potential
How to use email marketing to create stable customer relationships
Why you should combine email and Facebook Messenger

Social media

According to Statista, Facebook, Youtube and Whatsapp are among the most popular and most visited social networks worldwide. In total, over two billion people are active on social media and the annual growth averages 25%. According to a study by the German Institute for Marketing, 90.9% of the companies surveyed use social media marketing (SMM) for their corporate communications. 75% percent of SMM users predict that social media marketing will become increasingly important in the company. Business networks such as LinkedIn and Xing are also gaining in importance with around 170 million users in the EMEA region.

Do you see the potential? You too can use the social platforms for your company and thus bring your content to the right people, increase the number of visitors to your website and gain reach and attention.

More on the subject:
How to make your content fit for social media
You need these 10 steps for a successful social media strategy
7 features of LinkedIn you should know

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Around half of all online marketers neglect the constant checking of their data, which is generated by inbound marketing activities. This is a very important step, albeit not always an easy one. But once you have understood what your marketing activities are doing, you can check whether they are actually boosting sales, increasing your ROI and thereby gaining qualified visits, followers, leads and ultimately customers. In addition, the data analysis allows you to find out which topics and formats attract the most and on which channels your content performs best.

Read here how you can carry out a clean content marketing analysis in three steps.

 

We have included some useful tips and tricks on the subject of content marketing for you, which on the one hand can help you with content planning, production or distribution.

Content Marketing Hacks:

10 tools for successful CM
12 useful marketing tips
Content Marketing Trends 2018

Online Marketing Tip Series:
# 1 Use social selling
# 2 Give first, then take
# 3 Harness the power of emotions in content marketing
# 4 Email marketing still has potential
# 5 use customer data properly
# 6 How to become a content marketing all-rounder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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