Say goodbye to traditional marketing methods. Antiquated and disruptive tactics begging for attention are being made obsolete by effective content marketing. And it all starts with a solid content marketing strategy.

What Is Content Marketing?

Advertising has been around as long as street market vendors calling out for customers to try their goods. Luckily for business owners, marketing methods have become somewhat more refined over the years. Evolving from disruptive billboards, flyers, radio ads and television commercials to streamlined, dynamic creative content that attracts consumers with targeted intent, refining your content marketing strategy is now the way to go for an effective digital marketing strategy.

Often utilized in blogs, a well-designed content marketing strategy boosts a company’s online presence without being overly “salesy”. Think of it this way: instead of flashing an ad in the face of your website visitors, you are offering them useful information that also promotes your brand and positions it in a positive light.

Although the term content marketing wasn’t coined until 2001, the perfect example of this method of advertising dates back to 1904. Marketers at Jell-O decided to offer a free recipe book to their target audience. This simple yet effective move resulted in $1 million in sales, and we still talk about this early content marketing strategy today. The main difference now is that this type of offer typically comes in digital form.

Benefits of a Content Marketing Strategy

A refined content marketing strategy can help you scale your company more quickly. Providing something of value to your target audience for free is a great way to get tongues wagging. If your content is useful enough, people will tell their friends and family. They may also share it across social media, which can drive more traffic to your website.

Once on your website, visitors can take advantage of your other free content, such as your blog. If you keep a blog up-to-date with handy information catered to your audience, they will likely subscribe to your newsletter or email list. This will help you build an online community of loyal followers and collect data about what these customers like most. Blogs are also great for attracting new hot leads and ensuring that long-standing customers remain loyal.

In a nutshell, a good content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can go a long way in cultivating brand identity and a strong online community. All of these things lead to better sales and a higher ROI at the end of the day.

Building a Content Marketing Strategy That Works

Before you get ahead of yourself thinking that you can easily pump out valuable content every day for the next year, you’ll need to come up with a content marketing strategy that is actually sustainable in the long run.

First, you need to set your goals. Sure, you already have business goals at this point, but have you taken the time to consider your marketing goals? If not, that’s your first step.

Make sure that your content marketing strategy sets realistic goals. You may think that you can generate content every day, but you’ll soon burn out if you try to do this. Instead, understand your strengths and weaknesses and utilize them to your advantage. If writing is a strong point for you, you can brainstorm a giant list of blog ideas and categorize them into different groups. Then, you can prioritize which topics might be best suited for your audience and create a content schedule from there.

If writing is not in your wheelhouse, you can collaborate with a remote freelance writer to generate content and the collaboration process will probably make you stronger.

Keep your goals in mind throughout the entire process. You will not get a million followers or subscribers overnight. However, you can gradually build up your email list and social media following by posting consistent, valuable content that your audience wants to see.

Next, you need to figure out which social media platforms your target audience uses. Creating an account on every single platform can be overwhelming. Instead, do some research to see where your audience gathers online. Once you begin publishing articles to your blog, you will need to share them across social media to broaden your audience.

Just remember to pace yourself. You don’t want to annoy your audience by sending out five emails or ten posts on Facebook per day. Tap into your buyer persona and learn when are the best times to post or send a message. You want your audience to read your content, not to unfollow or unsubscribe because they were annoyed.

Inbound Marketing vs Content Marketing

Content and inbound marketing go hand in hand most of the time. Both are non-invasive advertising tactics that allow potential customers to seek out the brand.

The main difference between the two is that inbound marketing is a bit more obvious. An example would be a pop-up ad or promotional banner that appears when someone visits your company’s website. This type of advertisement is unintrusive since the user sought out the site. In this case, inbound marketing is an informative method of advertising. It’s as if the brand is ushering them in with a friendly welcome, such as saying, “Since you’re here, we’ve got a sale going on.”

In Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of content marketing and just how beneficial it is, you can get started crafting your dynamic content marketing strategy for your audience. If you want to learn more about marketing automation, why not check out SharpSpring today?

Koertni Adams