Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing you have at your disposal.In this article you will find an essential guide to what it is, why it is so important, and how you can use it to your advantage.
Offering people what you know to help them achieve their goals-this is the secret to a successful business.
Here, then, is the content marketing, that is, sharing valuable content, is now part of the most established marketing techniques for any company.
This is for one simple reason: the Web makes an enormous amount of information available at the click of a mouse, and this has made users extremely autonomous in their purchasing choices.
They no longer need the classic salesman who presents them with his fantastic products trying to convince them at all costs that they cannot do without them: they know that they can find the solution to their problems themselves, if and when they feel it is necessary.
Sometimes you need an extra push to make them more aware of their needs, and sometimes they seek you out: either way, your presence on the Web with content that meets those needs is essential to establishing yourself.
However, thinking that content marketing is just blogging, posting on Facebook or shooting videos on TikTok is a big mistake: it actually has to do with storytelling, the storytelling and the ability to engage people through real stories.
What your lead, your customers and members of your general audience is valuable content that reaches them in a way that feels natural and organic (rather than disruptive or aggressive): content marketing is about doing just that, increasing conversions, establishing yourself as an industry leader, and so much more.
You obviously need to make sure you're competitive: whether you're just starting to devise a strategy or updating an existing one, it never hurts to reevaluate your process and find new ways to create and share the content your audience wants.
Content marketing, although it may seem like a simple concept, can be difficult to do well. It should help you build a strong relationship with buyers and foster a genuine connection, but these results take a lot of time and effort and do not always work overnight.
If you need a refresher or a few more tips, you will find all the basic fundamentals about it in this article: what content marketing is, what types there are, how it works, and how to implement a strategy that is effective.
Let's get started!
What is content marketing?
In the creator economy everything revolves around the production and sharing of content: the main players are they, the content creator, along with the audiences that follow and support them, as well as the platforms that enable such interaction.
But what exactly is content marketing?
The definition is actually very simple: it is the process of planning, creating, and distributing online content through channels such as social media, the blog (yes, just like this!), Web sites, the podcast, the newsletter and so on.
It is a strategy of inbound marketing, which leverages digital resources to attract, engage and retain a clearly defined target audience by delivering value through entertaining, educational or informative content.
The goal is to increase the brand awareness, sales, engagement and loyalty, thanks in part to improved search engine rankings.
Focuses on building strong relationships with your target audience (whether they are ready to buy or not) by consistently providing relevant, high-quality content that educates and ultimately sells.
It therefore goes far beyond simply presenting your products or services: it is clear that your purpose is to promote your offering with eye-catching content that attracts attention, but this approach allows you to bring as a solution to people's problems, with something useful that can meet their needs-giving them a real and concrete benefit.
At the same time, content marketing is not just about publishing something and hoping people find it. It's about intentionally tailoring your content so that it reaches your audience in a way that feels "natural"-a common way to do this is to create a narrative or tell a story; your content will seem more authentic, engaging, and tailored to your audience.
(Read also: Content curation: 7 reasons why it is essential)
Content marketing: a bit of history
How long have you thought content marketing has existed?
When someone first asked me this question a few years ago, I thought this marketing strategy had existed for maybe 50 or maximum 70 years.
In fact, it was only 1996 when Bill Gates wrote his famous essay titled "Content is King"-he had already realized that content would soon become the object on which the largest online earnings would be centered.
Yet, believe it or not, we can go further back in time, much further back, to find the earliest examples: according to the chronology of the Content Marketing Institute, the very first occurrence of true content marketing appeared in 1732, when Benjamin Franklin published his Poor Richard's Almanack.
It was an almanac published in the American colonies for 25 years, reaching as many as 10,000 copies per year.
We are talking about something that happened almost 300 years ago!
Since then, companies and individuals have tried to attract attention by creating free or low-cost content.
John Deere, a well-known U.S. tractor company, did something similar to Franklin in 1895 when it produced a lifestyle magazine for farmers called "The Furrow".
This is because he had already guessed the scope of such action: if you produce free and useful content for your target market, you stimulate people to interact with you, spread your message and probably buy from you as well.
Nowadays, of course, content marketing takes many different forms. But although the methods have changed, the formula has remained basically the same.
Types of content marketing
There are many types of content marketing that you can choose to incorporate into your strategy, to connect with your audience on different platforms, depending on your target audience and goals.
Here are some of the most common ones:
With billions of users worldwide, it is easy to see why so many companies invest in social media marketing.
There are many platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat) to work with and different ways to create and share content on each of them (photos, live video, recorded video, stories).
They are one of the most effective tools, because not only do they help you interact with your fans and engage them wherever they are (also stimulating re-sharing of your content), but they provide you with the all-important opportunity to build relationships with them.
When you create a connection with people, manage to make them laugh, cry, or empathize with what you say, the likelihood that they will trust you and thus buy from you increases dramatically.
Social media excels at promoting brands because it fosters relationships-you can grow an organic following, drive traffic to your site, and encourage sales.
(Read also: Content Marketing: 6 tips on how to use Facebook)
Believe it or not, infographics are among the most shared content types in the world.
They are a highly visual feature and present data and information in an easy-to-understand graphic format.
With a mix of simple words, short statements, and clear images, they can attract qualified and interested traffic to your site.In an age when people always want "anything and everything," at a minimum of effort, they represent a truly inviting offer in their eyes.
They work well if you are trying to simplify an educational or complex topic so that everyone can understand it, or you want to share instructions or features of your product or service.
They can also summarize the highlights of your latest blog article, or you can crop smaller images of them and re-share them on your social pages.
#3 Blog articles
A blog gives you a unique space in which to share your content; it also belongs entirely to you, so you are not bound by anyone else's rules.
Through SEO optimization, social media sharing and e-mail marketing, your articles can gain a lot of traction. You just need to focus on using the most effective keywords, understanding your buyers and targeting consumers at the right points in the sales funnel.
Blogging is a beneficial addition to any strategy because it is inexpensive to produce and easier to create than other media content.
Be sure to focus on one topic per article, write text of varying lengths, break it down into titles and headings for ease of reading, and, as always, share information that offers value.
Millions of people listen to them: for this reason, many companies and media outlets have begun to create and share their own podcast.
It is a type of content marketing that allows you to reach a niche audience through the power of audio-first content.
You can create your own or participate in other podcasts in your industry to connect with more potential customers; the idea is always to offer solutions to their problems, but also to present stories, case studies and other narratives that can create an emotional connection with your listeners.
Podcasts allow for a lot of creativity as they can cover any topic of your choice. In addition, you are free to decide on their features, such as the cadence and length of episodes, possible guests and co-speakers, and so on.
Many people tend to overlook the power of podcasting because they are not sure how to use audio-only content. Yet all it would take is to leverage the link to all your other content: so a blog article can become a podcast or vice versa, an episode can become a transcript or a quote to share with your readers.
Remember that, ideally, a podcast should entertain as well as educate. You want people to listen because they are engaged by your voice, your energy, and your enthusiasm.
A video puts you front and center in front of your audience-whether it's a new product launch, a testimonial, or an interactive, engaging experience-you can showcase your teaching style and how you communicate so that potential customers understand whether or not your voice resonates with them.
Video marketing can increase conversions, improve the ROI and help you build relationships with members of your audience; it allows you to communicate complex ideas and feelings quickly.
You can choose to share your video content on social media platforms, landing page Or on your Web site.
#6 Guides and eBooks
Free guides and eBooks are great ways to give customers a taste of your product offering before they buy. They are also great at creating authority and demonstrating to would-be customers that you know your industry better than anyone else.
They offer a deeper dive into a topic than blog posts. They explore more complex topics, highlight a company's products or services, or share the research that drives its solution.
An eBook is an excellent lead magnet: that is, it is useful for generating leads, although you must ensure that it offers real value. Create original research, compile industry insights, or offer exclusive information that readers can't get anywhere else.
Executed correctly, eBooks can help you generate more leads while increasing brand authority.
#7 Case Studies
Case studies often attract attention because they highlight someone's incredible success. They are intrinsically motivational and uplifting, which can mean success for your business as well.
They are therefore a fantastic marketing tool because they celebrate your customers and the achievement of their goals, while also helping them to make informed and informed decisions.
If you want to connect with your audience in an intimate but discreet way, organize a webinar: is an educational resource that allows you to talk to many people at once and build trust.
Both the webinar live that prerecorded ones offer the same advantages as traditional videos, but with the added one of interaction: being able to ask you questions live adds tons of value to your content.
#9 E-mail marketing
By e-mail marketing I've always talked about it a lot (including here on the blog) and for good reason.
Email allows you to stay in touch with your subscribers, constantly present new content and continuously whisper your brand name in their ears.
Those who say it is now out of fashion, well, they are very wrong: it still remains a method of contact and lead nurturing outstanding. Try it to believe!
(Read also: How to build your email list in 7 steps)
How content marketing works
Content marketing is not just a technique or strategy, but a unique form of communication.
To use it effectively, you need to provide the right content at each stage of the sales cycle-people have different needs at each stage, so you need to make sure your content meets them.
If you think about it, few (if any) people go directly from discovery to purchase: what usually happens, however, is that a user discovers your site and your offer, follows you perhaps on social media and subscribes to your newsletter, a few months pass, then sees a retargeting ad and finally buys.
Or something like that.
The great thing about content marketing is that you can use it to target every step of that journey: attracting, engaging and gently nurturing it until it becomes a buyer and, hopefully, a loyal customer.
Therefore, it is necessary to know what these steps are and what kind of content is best to use.
Let's look at each in detail.
The awareness phase is the first step in any customer journey.
That's when people hear about a problem-they're not necessarily ready to buy yet or sign up for your mailing list or newsletter. But that doesn't mean you can't offer value by creating content on general topics and solving their problems.
At this stage (we talk about marketing top-of-funnel) your content should focus on customers' needs and wants, without over-promoting your solutions or products.
Writing about their challenges and answering their questions is the best way to engage them. At the point when you want to create awareness, the content should be educational and provide practical advice.
Why is content marketing so valuable to your business here? Because by creating content that solves people's problems, you help them discover and trust your brand. And then in the future, when they are ready to buy, you will be one of the first people they think of.
The best content for this stage is therefore blog articles, e-books, videos and newsletters.
In this second phase, the middle one of the sales funnel, your audience knows they have a problem and starts actively looking for solutions-your content should then help them choose the best one.
You should offer a mix of useful information and promotion: explaining to potential customers what aspects or features to look for and how various features meet various needs (obviously directing them to your offerings).
eBooks, for example, do a tremendous job in building trust during the consideration stage and can therefore prove very effective in this regard.
This is because, under the assumption that people need to trust you before they buy from you, your potential customer needs to become familiar with your stance on certain topics, your brand image, and even the tone of voice of your company-which an eBook allows you to do.
A newsletter is also a great tool: by creating some sort of ongoing conversation with your prospects, albeit not yet ready to buy, you have a much better chance of converting them.
Of course, SEO also works at this stage, but only if you focus on long-tail keywords.
Finally, you could also use blog articles, infographics, case studies, or even videos: what matters is guiding people through this transition to purchase, creating content that builds trust and builds a solid relationship with the recipients of your message.
At the final (bottom-of-the-funnel) buying stage, your audience decides whether or not to choose your solution.
You already have their trust and they know your products and what you stand for-these people are ready to buy; you just need to give them a little push.
To put it another way, it is time to optimize conversions.
This is the stage where your content marketing should focus more on sales (comparison lists, testimonials, product demonstration videos, but also paid ads with retargeting), as long as you continue to emphasize the benefits of your offer rather than how great it is.
The central message should highlight your experience, knowledge and distinctive benefits of what you sell.
The best content for this phase is case studies, user-generated content, buying guides, product videos, and research reports.
Not only that: use your blog to create content based on long-tail keywords and include compelling calls to action within them; consider offering a discount, free trial or special offer for doing so.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is a proven tactic that proves its effectiveness day after day and provides a competitive advantage.
This is because consumers are inundated with information to the point that everything becomes noise: content marketing helps you overcome that noise by promoting your offerings through useful, high-quality content.
It is the complete customer acquisition channel: it drives traffic, builds trust, establishes your authority, and generates revenue by putting the customer at the center of communication and providing value.
It is so important, and it works so well, because it captures people all along the sales funnel.
Although it sometimes requires a lot of work on a myriad of platforms to be successful, it is definitely worth it.
So let's look at all the benefits of an effective and properly implemented content marketing strategy.
Increased online visibility
A content strategy helps you attract more customers and visitors to your website, especially when people are constantly looking for solutions to their problems.
Offering educational and informative content on a topic of interest to them helps increase online visibility.
Interacting with readers in the places they frequent gives you access to more potential leads at the top of your channeling; publishing consistently and expanding across multiple channels also expands your audience accordingly.
Improved search engine rankings
Content marketing can help your website rank higher in search engines for the keywords and phrases buyers use during their search process, especially when you are able to tap into the questions they are asking.
This in turn generates more organic traffic and more qualified leads to your website.
Loyalty and authority
La loyalty is essential in marketing and business, because the more loyal customers are, the more repeat purchases they will make. Offering content that informs consumers helps build trust with your brand and qualify you as an industry leader.
Developing content is ideal for enhancing authority and becoming a key leader in your industry. Content not only helps build trust, but also qualifies your brand as the most authoritative on a given topic.
Relationships and conversions
When your business focuses on educating (rather than selling) your potential customers, you have the opportunity to showcase your expertise and humanize your brand .
Few people are ready to buy anything when they first learn about your business. Content marketing allows you to build relationships and deepen trust with your audience, which can encourage them to eventually convert.
This is because consumers will see your business as a useful resource rather than just a brand to get their money.
For many marketers, effective content marketing management produces more leads. More eyes on your brand's useful content, coupled with an effective call to action (CTA), means more people willing to try your product.
Effective content marketing not only earns more clicks and views, it also allows visitors to scroll and click to view more pages. In other words, better content keeps potential customers on your site and interacting with your brand longer.
Lower overall cost and higher ROI
Content marketing costs much less than traditional marketing methods: this is because it leverages low-cost tools-with a higher return on investment.
How to start content marketing in 5 steps
Understanding the three stages of content marketing helps you create relevant content for each potential buyer.
However, you need a solid plan of action in order for your efforts to pay off: this means first and foremost having focused goals and targets, so that you target the right people in the right way.
A strategy then needs to be planned, detailing why you are creating content, who it is intended for, and how and when you will implement it.
This will also help you define metrics of success clear and implement improvement processes.
To develop your strategy as quickly and effectively as possible, here are 5 steps to follow:
#1 Decide what you want to achieve
Before you start, you need to know what success looks like. This includes defining specific goals, key performance indicators (KPIs) measurable and realistic ones that track your progress against them and benchmarks that give you a baseline against which to measure progress.
You clearly want to sell your offer: but you reach this goal through intermediate steps, such as increased brand awareness, more traffic to your website, more leads, better retention of existing customers, and so on.
This first step will help you focus your efforts in the right direction and manner.
#2 Find out who your customers are and what they need
You need to understand your audience and know how to interact with them; you need to know who they are and what they are interested in if you want your content to speak to them.
Creating content for as wide an audience as possible may seem like a good idea, but the reality is that it is difficult to stand out with content that appeals to everyone.
Instead, focus on a niche of people with specific interests and needs.
What is your target audience?
Find out what characteristics he or she has, but more importantly, what he or she is looking for: the key is to offer the solution to people's needs and wants through useful and relevant information, so that you gain their attention first and their trust later.
The better your content solves a problem, the more likely your audience is to interact with you.
#3 Decide how to provide such information.
At this point, you need to choose the best medium to reach your users: social media, blog, newsletter, video on YouTube, etc.
As you plan formats and channels of your content, consider all the different stages of the buyer's journey to offer timely information.
For example, in the early part of the funnel, where your audience may know they have a problem but are unsure how to solve it, you can focus on brand awareness through content such as blog articles, social posts, short videos, as well as podcasts, ebooks, and webinars.
Once a potential customer comes through the channeling center, they are considering your product (because they know their problem and are comparing possible solutions): the goal here is to build a relationship with that person, educating them about the qualities of your offering and how it meets their needs, through email newsletters, case studies, landing pages, and interactive content.
Content at the end of the funnel ultimately helps your potential customer make a decision and, ideally, convert: it should therefore stimulate action and create a sense of urgency, as well as answer common objections.
To increase its impact, leverage personalization and powerful Call to Action, using personalized emails, user-generated content (such as testimonials) and video demonstrations, among other things.
#4 Create an editorial calendar
You need to organize the time sequence and frequency with which you will share your valuable information.
This is to be consistent, avoid repetition, stimulate creativity, and track performance more efficiently-ultimately, a content calendar will help you stay on track and consistently deliver high-quality content, which is key to keeping readers and followers engaged.
#5 Set a budget and monitor results
Although content marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing, it is not free: be sure to set a budget for your campaigns so you can measure return on investment (ROI) and compare results with your target KPIs.
Analyzing and measuring your performance can help you understand which content performs better and what to target your efforts on.
Content marketing and SEO
Content marketing makes it easier for potential customers to find and identify your offer. However, you can enhance your efforts through search engine optimization (SEO).
Here are some important best practices in this regard.
Keywords represent the core of SEO. They are the all-important words and phrases that a potential customer types into a search engine to find a company, product or service.
By including the right keywords in your content, you will be able to attract more traffic. The best keywords have these characteristics:
- They have simple language-the language that the public uses to describe their needs and weaknesses;
- They are relevant: keywords that match the skills, products and services you provide;
- They are specific: a combination of your goal, your industry experience, potential customers' problems, and other relevant details.
Given the importance search engines place on text, it is important to use keywords in all content. This means, among other things, that you should:
- Focus on one or two keywords: avoid "keyword stuffing," write about what potential customers are interested in but limit yourself to using only a few;
- Use keywords in the title and subtitles, making it clear and explicit what the article contains;
- Use keywords throughout the text, finding a way to insert them naturally;
- Optimize the ALT tags of the image with the relevant keyword and text;
- Create a meta-description that includes the main keyword.
Finally, don't forget the importance of internal and external links: link content to your other articles and get backlinks from high authority sites through email, guest blogging and other strategies.
Social media is a simple and proven way to promote your content. Write a post, put a link to your content, and voila! People are engaged.
Follow these 3 steps to optimize your efforts in this regard:
#1 Concentrates on high potential channels.
The best social media for you are those frequented by your audience.
Consider the larger, more popular channels as well as smaller, industry-oriented channels that can connect you with good potential customers.
#2 Create text suitable for the channel
Each social channel is different, may be more professional or more entertainment-related, has its own language and particular details that characterize it.
Before writing posts, spend some time reviewing the posts to familiarize yourself with these details.
#3 Test and modify your approach.
Successful social media promotion involves trial and error.
Track responses from various channels by quantity and quality. A smaller number of high-potential contacts, as opposed to a series of clicks that never turn into an audience, may indicate that a channel is more appropriate and effective.
3 useful tips for successful content marketing
With so many companies creating and publishing content online, it is essential to know how to stand out.Below are 3 little tricks to make your content marketing strategy successful.
Start where you are and stay focused: create content consistently and use a strategy to conquer your goals.
For example, instead of obsessing about your blog not reaching 1,000 monthly visitors, focus on getting 100 each month.
The same can apply to your mailing list: think in small numbers, day by day, and have faith in the power of sharing and word of mouth.
The important thing is to set a goal that is realistic and measurable.
This content marketing tactic involves making the most of your content by using it more than once in different formats.
For example, you could take an article, delve into it, and offer it as an eBook.
Or turn your videos into a podcast (my good friend Montemagno did just that!).
Or extract parts of your newsletters to create social posts.
In short, you are not limited in this regard-just be careful to reuse the highest quality content that has already produced measurable results.
Take advantage of trends (when it makes sense)
There is always something trending online that you could use to your advantage.
Simple: by creating content that replicates them.
It means getting creative and finding a (smart) way to connect that trending topic to your brand-without, of course, ever betraying your image and positioning.
Bonus Track: my Kajabi Bootcamp.
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You can use it to turn your knowledge and content into products to sell by creating, sharing and monetizing them.
Blogs, landing pages, email marketing campaigns... All in a fully integrated system!
You will not need any extra tools along the way-which saves you time and money.
Access my Bootcamp: includes a range of premium content and tutorials in Italian, explained in a simple and practical way, to help you master the platform in no time.
They are joined by periodic LIVE sessions with me, during which new strategies will be shared, new features explained, and where you can get answers to all your questions.
Read also: Kajabi Login: how to customize it; Kajabi vs Clickfunnels: which is better?, How to put a clean 10K in your pocket with Kajabi, Building customer loyalty with the Kajabi mobile app, Kajabi FAQ: the answers you were looking for.
We've said it before: content marketing is not just about sharing the virtues of your products to convince readers to become customers.
It is important to offer value that enables them to do something more efficiently, whether it is making their activities more profitable or optimizing their morning routine.
Whatever the case may be, strive to create content that gives a solution to your customers' most pressing needs.
Keep your message simple but empathetic. Create content that helps your audience see you as a trusted partner and collaborator, not just a supplier.
Unlike one-off advertising, content marketing shows that you really care about your customers-this is the key to a successful strategy.
Today, more than ever, people want to feel important. The world is louder, and keeping consumers' attention and trust is a marketer's most valuable asset.
But tell me, what kind of content marketing do you do? What are your biggest challenges in this regard?
Write it below in the comments!