Welcome to the ultimate content marketing guide for 2023! Creating high-quality, engaging content in today’s digital age has become more important than ever. Whether you’re a small business owner, a content marketer, or a freelance blogger, understanding the fundamentals of content marketing is essential for success.
This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need regarding content marketing in 2023. We’ll cover the basics and importance of content marketing, then dive into the different types of content and how to create a successful content strategy.
We’ll also explore the latest trends and tactics in content marketing and provide practical tips for measuring your success and optimising your content for search engines. By the end of this content marketing guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of the tools you need to create effective, engaging content that drives traffic, conversions, and brand awareness. So, let’s get started!
Content marketing is a long-term strategy in which businesses create and share helpful, engaging, and consistent content to get and keep the attention of a specific group of people. The goal is to build a strong connection between a business and its audience by offering content that educates, entertains, or inspires. It is a powerful tool for building brand awareness, attracting new customers, and nurturing existing ones; it plays a crucial role in today’s digital marketing landscape.
Content marketing can take many forms, including blog posts, social media updates, videos, podcasts, infographics, eBooks, and whitepapers. The key to content marketing success is understanding your target audience and creating content that resonates with their needs, preferences, and pain points.
Content marketing is where your SEO and user experience collide.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
Content marketing offers numerous benefits, from increased brand awareness and customer loyalty to improved SEO and lead generation. Businesses that invest in a strategic and consistent content marketing approach can gain a competitive edge and see benefits such as:
Attracts Prospective Customers: Content marketing can introduce your brand to new customers at the top of the sales funnel.
Establishes Credibility: Sharing valuable information for free can build trust with potential customers. According to a 2021 Content Marketing Institute study, 75% of marketers report success in building brand credibility through their content marketing strategy.
Supports SEO Efforts: Search engines rank websites with useful and informative content higher, thus contributing to your overall SEO strategy.
Enhances the Customer Experience Content marketing can aid in demonstrating how others utilise your product or service, provide insights into improvement areas, and provide the information customers want before purchasing. A DemandGen study conducted in 2021 revealed that 62% of customers stated that they relied heavily on practical content, such as case studies and visual content (like videos), to inform their purchasing decisions.
Improves Online Visibility: Regularly posting content can increase your business’s exposure, drawing in more customers. Share informative content that addresses the challenges and needs of your target audience.
Increases Lead Generation: A well-planned content marketing strategy can drive traffic to your website and generate conversions. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing produces three times the number of leads compared to traditional outbound marketing while incurring 62% lower costs.
Establishes Authority: Consistently sharing valuable content can establish you as an expert in your field, earning recognition among your target audience.
Enhances Customer Engagement: Engaging with customers who provide feedback or respond to your content can build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
How do I get started with content marketing?
Creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content can establish businesses as thought leaders in their industry, build brand awareness and drive customer loyalty over time. However, content marketing can be daunting for businesses without prior experience or a clear plan. We’ve created a step-by-step framework for getting started with content marketing that will give you the tools and insights you need to launch a successful content marketing campaign.
Set goals for your content strategy
Think about some key performance indicators that will define how you measure your success. Do you want your content to attract new customers and educate them about your business? Or are you looking to inform current customers about your products and encourage them to purchase?
Your content marketing goals could include any or all of the following:
Brand awareness – Set this goal if your website receives a low number of unique visitors, achieves low reach across your social media channels, or ranks on search engines for a low number of branded and non-branded keywords.
Engagement – Social media engagement can refer to follows, likes, shares, and comments, while website engagement refers more to dwell time (how long users remain on a given page) and scroll depth (how far down the page a user scrolls). These metrics provide a snapshot of how well your brand resonates with users.
Website traffic – Website traffic is a universal goal—a desired outcome of any content strategy. However, you may emphasise it if you notice declining traffic or high bounce rates for specific pages or within certain topics.
Lead generation – You might focus on leads if you are generating fewer or poor leads (leads that don’t convert).
Conversions – Analytics data can help you determine where you’re losing the most potential customers in the conversion funnel.
Identify your target audience
Website and social media data can provide key insights into your audience demographics, which may skew significantly toward a specific age group or gender. This information, combined with your intimate understanding of your own business’s market, will help you determine which content formats and platforms will be most effective.
Shareable social media video content—such as TikTok or Facebook and Instagram Reels—will likely be more effective for an audience primarily under 30 than it would for an audience over 50, for example. Alternately, a study by Google found that one in three people aged 60+ use YouTube to learn about a product or service, so video content can be helpful if you are marketing to an older audience.
Think about the kind of content that will work best
Knowing your audience and strategy goals will inform what kind of content you need to produce. Knowing where your customers are in the buyer’s journey may also affect your content. You need to align your content with the various stages of the buyer’s journey, also known as content mapping.
Top of the Funnel: You want to increase brand awareness at this stage. Customers typically have a question or a problem and are researching to learn more and find a solution. How-to guides, infographics, and educational video content are helpful for customers at the top of the funnel.
Middle of the Funnel: At this point, your audience is actively seeking a resolution to their issue. They may even be comparing different providers of solutions. Therefore, you should focus on content centred around your product. Blogs about your product and Email content are useful at this stage.
Bottom of the Funnel: At the bottom of the funnel, the customer has developed a plan for resolving their issue and is ready to decide. This readiness is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to fulfil their requirements and address any potential questions they may have about your solution. FAQs, product overview blogs, and user-generated content such as reviews are useful at this stage.
What should my content marketing strategy consist of?
After you’ve followed the above steps of our content marketing guide, you can start developing a comprehensive content marketing strategy.
Audit of your existing content
Check over your older content and identify areas requiring better accuracy, relevance, and usefulness. Keep an eye out for outdated information that needs updating or overlaps in topics you can consolidate into one post. Ensuring that even older content on your site stays relevant increases its value to your audience. It can offer insights into the audience’s preferences, informing your future content.
Topic research & trend analysis
Begin brainstorming topics that relate to your business. Start broad with general themes, and then break those down into more specific areas. From a consumer’s perspective: what exactly are they typing into a search engine? Once you have a general idea of a topic to focus on, keyword research can help you refine the idea and find opportunities to get your content on the SERPs.
Once you have a topic, use a keyword research tool like Semrush to see how often people search for them and how hard it is to rank for those words. This research will help you decide which topics to write about and which to avoid. There are two types of keywords to consider: head terms and focus keywords.
Head terms are broad keywords that typically consist of one to three words. They are generic and have high search volume but also come with high competition on search engine results pages (SERPs).
On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more specific and often consist of three or more words. They tend to generate less traffic but are less competitive and can attract more qualified traffic. You can uncover long-tail keywords using Google’s “people also ask” feature. Type your potential topics into Google and perform an organic search to get basic information about your competitors’ positions. From here, decide whether you want to improve your ranking for similar keywords or prefer to target their neglected keywords with different topics.
It’s time to plan out your upcoming content. Write a summary of each content piece, including the keywords (or hashtags for social media content) you will focus on and when you plan to publish the content. When creating your content calendar, consider seasonal or time-sensitive content opportunities. Is there a holiday coming up that you can create relevant content around? While having a plan for your content is always a good idea, being flexible is also important. Is there a trending topic that you can tie in with your content?
Developing a content distribution plan ensures your content reaches the right audience. This plan involves promoting your content across multiple platforms, such as your website and blog, email marketing and newsletters, social media, online communities and forums, content roundups and guest posts, influencer posts, and paid ads, to cater to diverse audiences and demographics. By mapping out a clear content distribution plan, you can maximise the visibility of your content and increase the likelihood of it reaching your intended audience.
Effectiveness of visual content
Tone of voice
Different Content Formats for Content Marketing
Not all content is created equal; using a variety of formats helps keep your audience engaged and interested. Different formats, from blog posts and infographics to podcasts and videos, offer unique benefits that can help you achieve your content marketing goals. Learn about the various formats you can use to diversify your content marketing strategy and deliver the best results.
Blog posts are articles typically published on a website’s blog and used to attract and engage an audience. Blog posts effectively provide valuable information to potential customers, answer their questions, and establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. They are often used with other forms of content to create a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Blogging is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and build brand awareness.
Also, check out our podcast detailing the SEO best practices for writing blog posts.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are common questions and answers related to a specific topic, product, or service. FAQs are often published on a company’s website or social media channels to provide information to customers, prospects, and stakeholders. They are a valuable resource for customers seeking quick answers to their questions.
FAQs can also address customer concerns and objections, building trust and credibility with potential customers. In addition, FAQs can help to improve a website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) by providing relevant content that includes commonly searched keywords and phrases. By incorporating FAQs into their content marketing strategy, businesses can provide valuable information, address customer needs and concerns, and drive more leads and sales.
Infographics are a type of visual content used in content marketing. These graphic representations of data, statistics, or information are easily understood and shared. Infographics aim to simplify complex concepts, make data more visually appealing, and engage audiences with interactive and engaging content.
Businesses typically share podcasts on social media, websites, and blogs; they are an effective way to drive traffic to a website, improve engagement, and increase brand awareness. They can also help promote products and services, educate customers, and build thought leadership in an industry. Infographics are a popular and effective content marketing tool because they are eye-catching, easy to consume, and can communicate information quickly and effectively. By incorporating infographics into their content marketing strategy, businesses can create shareable content that increases online visibility and drives traffic to their website.
Are Infographics still effective? Infographics are just as effective at capturing Google’s attention as users’.
Whitepapers are in-depth reports or guides that provide detailed information on a specific topic, often including original research, data, and analysis. Whitepapers typically showcase a company’s expertise, promote a product or service, or provide valuable insights on industry trends and best practices.
Whitepapers are often longer and more detailed than other types of content, such as blog posts or social media posts. Businesses typically publish them as gated content. This means that readers must provide personal information, such as their name and email address, to access the content.
Whitepapers are a powerful tool in content marketing because audiences view them as authoritative and credible sources of information. They can attract leads, educate potential customers, and establish a company as a thought leader in their industry. By incorporating whitepapers into their content marketing strategy, businesses can create high-quality, informative content that helps them connect with their audience and drive more leads and sales.
eBooks are digital books or guides that provide detailed information on a specific topic or subject. eBooks are typically longer than blog posts or whitepapers and are often used to provide a comprehensive overview of a topic or as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers or leads.
eBooks can cover various topics, from how-to guides to comprehensive industry reports. They are often published as gated content, meaning that readers must provide their contact information, such as their name and email address, to access the content.
eBooks are valuable in content marketing because they allow you to dive deep into a topic and showcase a company’s expertise. Businesses can use them to build trust with potential customers and establish a brand as an industry thought leader. By incorporating eBooks into their content marketing strategy, businesses can create high-quality, informative content that engages their audience and drives leads and sales.
Emails and newsletters are emailed to subscribers or customers and provide information, updates, promotions, and other relevant content.
Emails and newsletters can cover various topics, including product launches, company news, industry trends, and helpful tips and advice. They are typically used to build customer relationships and keep them informed and engaged with a brand.
Emails and newsletters are powerful content marketing tools because they provide a direct line of communication between a business and its audience. They allow businesses to provide personalised and targeted content to their subscribers, which can help to build trust, increase engagement, and drive sales.
By incorporating emails and newsletters into their content marketing strategy, businesses can create a consistent stream of valuable content that helps them stay top of mind with their audience and drive engagement and sales over time.
Video content uses videos to convey information, tell stories, and engage with an audience. Video content can take many forms, including product demonstrations, how-to tutorials, brand stories, and customer testimonials.
Video content is a powerful tool in content marketing because it provides an engaging and dynamic way to deliver information and connect with an audience. Videos can showcase a brand’s personality, highlight the benefits of a product or service, and provide a more immersive experience for viewers.
Businesses can share video content on various platforms, including social media, YouTube, and a company’s website. It can also feature an email marketing campaign or a larger content marketing strategy component.
Podcasts use audio recordings to convey information, tell stories, and engage with an audience. Podcasts typically feature a host or hosts discussing a specific topic or interviewing guests, and they can cover a wide range of topics, from business and entrepreneurship to sports and entertainment.
Podcasts are a powerful tool in content marketing because they provide a convenient and accessible way for audiences to consume content on the go. They can be listened to while driving, exercising, or doing other activities, making them a popular choice for busy consumers.
Businesses can share podcasts on various platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and a company’s website. They can also be part of an email marketing campaign or as a component of a larger content marketing strategy.
Social media posts are a type of content that businesses create and share on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media posts can take many forms, including text-based posts, images, videos, and stories.
Social media posts provide a direct line of communication between businesses and their audiences. They allow businesses to engage with their followers, share valuable information, and promote their products or services more casually and conversationally.
Social media posts can build brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, promote new products or services, and engage with customers. Businesses can also use them to share user-generated content and showcase their brand’s personality.
Content marketing is a powerful strategy that helps businesses build brand awareness, establish credibility, and drive customer engagement. Creating valuable and informative content that resonates with your target audience can strengthen your customer relationships and position your business as a thought leader in your industry. With the right approach, content marketing can also help you generate leads, boost conversions, and drive revenue growth.
Creating compelling content marketing campaigns requires careful planning, a deep understanding of your target audience, and a commitment to delivering quality content consistently. Use our content marketing guide as a starting point, and your business will reap the benefits.
Ruby joined the content team in August 2021. An avid reader and writer since she was young, Ruby always knew she wanted to work with words. After leaving high school, she studied a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Massey university. She spent a few years working as a journalist for a news app in the area she grew up in, Matakana, before joining the team at PureSEO.
Ruby also worked part time as a preschool teacher to save money for travelling. So far she has ticked Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali off her list, and she hopes to be able to travel again soon.