Have you got content marketing questions you’d like answered?
We’ve done the research and answered ten of the most frequently asked questions in regards to content marketing. You Googled, we answered! Use the tabs below to see our answers, and if you have any more questions or would like more information about anything, get in touch with us or leave your comment below and we’ll get back to you asap!
The benefits of content marketing are numerous. Content marketing enables you to connect with your audience and show them that your brand values align with their brand values. It allows you to participate in their communities – whether they are all about innovation and the latest tech, or being organic and sustainable. It helps you increase brand awareness and positive engagement with your brand and business. It ensures that there is information readily available when people want to research your brand or products.
Essentially, content marketing helps you turn cold audiences who have never heard of your brand or business before, into hot audiences who are ready to purchase from you.
Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing content (blogs and articles, videos, infographics, graphics, photos, podcasts, whitepapers etc) that is not of a directly promotional manner. The content adds value to the consumer and can be educational, entertaining, informative etc.
It is designed to help build connection with your audience so that they think positive thoughts about your brand or business before you hit them with your sales pitch. The idea is that if you give them something of value before you pitch to them, then they will be more receptive to your sales message. If you continue to give them value with your content, then they will eventually purchase from you and they will also start to advocate for your brand (the digital version of word-of-mouth advertising).
Good content can help you reach new audiences, resulting in greater brand awareness.
There are a lot of great content marketing tools out there that can help you maximise the time and resources that you pour into content marketing activities. We recommend that every content marketer’s tool kit include the following:
- A multi-channel scheduling and content calendar tool: at BeKonstructive we use Later.com which allows you to create a shared media library to be used across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Their scheduling tools allow you to pre-plan your content for auto-publishing and their calendar views let you see all of your posts across the 4 main social channels in one single view.
- An image editing application: we use two – photoshop and Canva. Canva is great for smashing out lots of social media posts quickly and their drag and drop functionality make it easy for anyone to use. Photoshop is a slightly more professional tool for when you need to make more customised content or want to use specific fonts and editing tools.
- A video editing app: iMovie on apple or Windows Movie Maker on PCs are great entry-level video editing apps to do basic things like add an intro / outro, backing track or subtitles. When you’re ready to step-up you game we recommend Premier Pro or Camtasia.
- Stock content: For your content marketing campaigns to be successful you really need to be aiming for at least 70% of your content to be unique and custom-made for your brand, however for that extra 30% you’re going to want a reliable (and affordable) stock library to fall back on. We use Unsplash.com for free stock imagery and Pexels.com for free stock video. These services can be a bit hit-and-miss (you get what you pay for!) but still worth checking out before you resort to purchasing stock content
Best practice for content marketing will vary depending on who you ask but some standard guidelines that we follow at BeKonstructive Marketing are:
- Aim for 70% or higher unique content created specifically for your brand.
- Always reference your sources – if you re-post someone else’s content then tag them, and if you use text from someone else’s website or blog, reference it and add in a link to their work.
- Focusing on 2 or 3 channels and doing a really good job on those channels is better than spreading yourself too thin across 12 different channels.
- Content marketing needs to be supported by community engagement – if you don’t reply and respond to people when they comment on your content, they will stop engaging with you. It is not enough to just throw a piece of content out into the world, you need to stick around to look after it.
- Have a strategy – know what your different marketing messages are and make sure that every piece of content you create is purposeful. What is your end goal and how does this piece of content help you achieve that goal? Not every piece of content needs to lead to more sales – some might lead to brand awareness, product education, entertainment etc.
- Content marketing is about weaving a story about your brand or business – if all you are posting is promotional stuff about sales and products then you aren’t actually content marketing.
- Don’t rely too heavily on platforms you don’t own for all of your content marketing. If you invest in creating lots of content for Instagram and then Instagram – a platform you don’t own and have no control over – goes out of business tomorrow, all your hard work goes down the drain. Make sure that you are building audiences on platforms that you own, like your website/blog or your email database. Leverage platforms you don’t own, like social media sites, to drive traffic back to your owned platforms.
Some of the biggest content marketing problems that we see are a lack of strategy and a lack of patience.
Good content marketing takes a lot of planning and investment of time. Yes, some lucky brands and businesses have a single piece of viral content that skyrockets them to instant Insta fame, but for the majority of businesses, building a strong and engaged audience takes time.
It is a snowball effect and the more you commit to it and do it consistently, the better results you’ll see. Chopping and changing between strategies and ideas constantly will result in… well, nothing. Take the time to do some research, plan out a strategy and then commit to it for 6-12 months before you decide whether it has been successful or not.
Our biggest advice for small business owners is to recognise that content marketing is a time-consuming but valuable marketing activity when done correctly. It isn’t as simple as just slapping a few pics up on Insta and FB – take the time to research it and learn how the platforms work and how to great quality content.
Use some of the tools mentioned in Question #3 above to help you automate your posting and create professional-looking templates for higher-quality content.
If you are looking at outsourcing some content marketing activities or bringing in some external help but don’t have much of a budget, think about what will get you the most bang for your buck. Maybe that means having a professional help you with the strategy and content creation but keeping the posting of content and managing the audiences / engagement in-house. Or maybe that means engaging a professional copywriter to write some blogs for you which you then use quotes from to turn into social media posts or read aloud to turn it into a video or podcast.
The point is – figure out what you’re capable of doing yourself, and outsource just the parts that you need guidance or assistance with.
Oooh, a great question Googlers!
We are actually launching a whitepaper out about this topic in the coming months!
With good planning and execution, you can kill two birds with one stone by creating content that performs well in Google search engine results pages. This is quite a complex topic but the basic crux of it is that if you continuously create a variety of content (blogs, videos, infographics, imagery, podcasts) around a particular topic or theme, and you distribute that content across a lot of different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, industry news and blogs etc. and all of that content links or leads back to your website, then you will see positive results in Google for keywords relating to that topic or theme.
Content marketing is effective because it allows people to connect with your brand on a more personal level. People research brands and products a lot more than they used to; 10 -1 5 years ago we only researched big-ticket items like a new car, white goods, televisions etc. These days, we research everything, from a new t-shirt to the cream we put on our face before bed. We get our research from a variety of sources – reading the product description on the brand website, browsing some customer reviews online, watching a product demonstration video on Facebook, checking out what some influencers have said about it on Instagram.
Content marketing ensures that when people start doing this research, they find the information that they are looking for, regardless of what platform they are searching on or what medium they want to receive the information in.
Content marketing also helps you connect with your audience on a more personal level. People have different motivators for purchasing things, and content allows you to show them how your brand values align with theirs. For example, content marketing allows you to show people that your clothing costs brand costs more because you use sustainable and ethical materials and manufacturing processes. Or that your blender incorporates the latest innovative technology to ensure maximum smoothness in your morning smoothy.
Content marketing activities, when done properly, can be expensive.
If you are outsourcing content marketing then you are outsourcing to a professional who is going to do a much better job than your DIY efforts – you aren’t outsourcing to them just to save yourself the time and the hassle of regular posting and engagement. You are outsourcing to them because they will grow your audience and brand awareness, increase engagement and turn that engagement into sales.
Many business owners are surprised by the cost of content marketing, but the reality is that a well-researched and optimised blog article can take 3-4 hours to write and then load and format on your website. A month’s worth of Facebook posts can take a whole day to plan, create and schedule – and then you still need to log in daily to manage comments and replies. Videos require research, scripting, filming, editing and post production, all before they are then loaded to YouTube and distributed among your marketing channels.
Hiring a professional is worth the price tag – a professional is going to be faster than if you do it yourself; they are going to have the right tools, equipment and processes to get the job done efficiently. They are also going to get better results than you – they understand the platforms, the required formats and all the bells-and-whistles like hashtags, best time of day to post etc.
Think of it this way – if your time is worth $100 / hr for your business (so, you make your business $100 per hour of work you complete), and your content marketer charges $100 / hr, but gets the job done twice as quickly as you would if you did it yourself… then you are essentially making an additional $400 for a day’s work by outsourcing your content marketing to a professional. Add to that the fact that their work is more likely to result in an increase in sales and enquiries for your business, and suddenly you can see the value of outsourcing.
You can view some of BeKonstructive’s content marketing and copywriting pricing here, but every content marketing agency will vary in their pricing, inclusions and deliverables.
Measuring the ROI of content marketing can be difficult. You need to look at a number of different metrics combined – seeing an increase in Facebook followers alone won’t necessarily lead to more sales.
Attributing a sale to a particular piece of content can be almost impossible – for example, consider this customer journey:
Someone finds your company page on Instagram and starts following you. After 2 weeks something you post catches their eye and they click through to your website to read one of your blog articles. At the bottom of the blog article is a newsletter signup box encouraging them to sign-up for exclusive news and discounts. They sign up, and a week later they click through to your website from one of your emails and make their first purchase.
This customer’s journey from first seeing your brand to purchasing from you spanned 3 weeks and involved your Instagram account, your blog, your email marketing and finally your website. Which marketing channel do you attribute the final sale to? Does it go to email marketing because that was what initiated the website session in which they made their purchase? Or does it go to Instagram, because if it wasn’t for Instagram, they would never have known your brand and business existed?
If you are trying to measure your content marketing ROI then you should see consistent increases in a number of metrics and you should measure the metrics as a whole, not as individual items. Some of the metrics we suggest tracking include:
- Social media followings
- Social media comments and engagement
- Click throughs from social media channels to your website and blog
- Email marketing sign-ups
- Website traffic (from all channels/sources)
- Positive online brand mentions
- Positive reviews
- And of course, an increase in sales (especially an increase in sales that are not attributed directly to advertising campaigns)
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