Content marketing explained for beginners
We have been in the content marketing business for half a dozen years now. In India, we are witnessing the rise of content marketing, and over 86% of CMOs have increased investment in their content marketing efforts to achieve marketing goals that drive business. The increase in interest and investment means content marketing is likely to attract more talent and become a sunrise industry. We thought this is an excellent time to answer FAQs around content marketing to help you appreciate this business in a true sense.
This blog focuses on the several questions you may have on content marketing. We have attempted to keep the focus on content marketing in India wherever needed, and you will be able to see this in the backlinks and the question(s) around careers in content marketing. We hope you would enjoy reading this and find it useful. If you do, please share this blog with your friends and colleagues in the digital marketing business or those who plan to start a career in content marketing and creation.
Content marketing basics and benefits
How does content marketing help?
Through content marketing, brands can build a unique identity and trust among their audiences by providing them with informational content that also has a high recall value. Producing quality content can also help establish your business as a credible source of expert knowledge. With the use of the right tools, you can increase your visibility on search engines and cost-effectively attract potential customers.
What is the importance of content?
There is no marketing campaign that is complete without content. Content forms the root of any brand’s communication efforts. Brands have used content marketing to promote their businesses for the longest time. But with quality content, they can also educate and engage audiences to create demand for their products and services more holistically. Marketers do this by giving people valuable information that can help them make informed buying decisions.
Publishing quality content regularly and consistently also helps brands gain trust and reputation as experts – whether in their specific fields or in general – among their audiences. And the right mix of SEO techniques can bring visibility that is essential for brands to become discoverable to their intended audiences. This also helps generate qualified leads, the nature of which depends on the quality (style, depth, information) of the content.Publishing quality content regularly and consistently also helps brands gain trust and reputation as experts Click To Tweet
What are the pros and cons of content marketing?
With everyone trying to jump on the social media bandwagon, we are surrounded by a slew of content. In all this, the aim should be to ensure that your content has the quality that makes it stand out. Here are some pros and cons of content marketing that you must consider:
1. It is a cost-effective way to disseminate information and boost SEO.
2. It can help create brand awareness, customer loyalty, trust among audiences, and establish you as an authority on a specific subject matter or as a social media influencer.
1. It takes time and effort to create relevant, enticing content that stands out in a sea of information that is already on the Internet.
2. Content creation takes highly skilled and creative professionals.
What companies use content marketing?
There is no limitation to the kind of companies that can use content marketing. Several companies ranging from global players like Apple, Salesforce, and Facebook to small-scale entities like a local bakery or cafe, use content marketing strategies. Content marketing helps them to boost their businesses and customer engagement. It is a more affordable and effective way to create brand awareness than traditional marketing. Most companies prefer it due to its massive ‘targeted reach’ and high-quality lead generation.
What is an example of content?
Content is omnipresent and available in varied forms and sizes. It could be promotional or informational, branded or non-branded, independent or linked, and packaged as any format (text, image, audio, video, graphic design, etc.). It can be created in multiple languages and ultimately aims to provide information. Blogs, websites, social media platforms, etc. are some of the most commonly known spaces used in content marketing to showcase/publish content. Even the text of this answer is an example of content!
What are some examples of content marketing?
Amul is usually at the forefront of contextual marketing. For instance, when India banned 59 Chinese apps in June 2020, Amul created a sketch that used the names of a popular video-making app and messaging app, TikTok and WeChat (two of the banned apps), to create puns.
Pepsi successfully promoted its Pepsi Intern commercial on various channels by leveraging Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor’s popularity.
Many such examples have even become case studies for brands using social media platforms to achieve their marketing goals.
What are the types of content marketing?
In content marketing, different types of content with different purposes are used to help businesses connect with varying audiences at various stages of digital sales. Here are a few examples of some of the most shared content formats:
- Blogs/Articles: Easily accessible and most used to engage customers.
- Long-form content/Guides: Great for establishing thought leadership and increasing subscription.
- White papers: Can be used to effectively attract leads and generally appeal to audiences who have slow buying behavior patterns.
- E-books: Creating e-books takes effort, but they can help brands build their identity as thought leaders.
- Infographics: Short, interesting, and appeal to audiences instantly.
- Videos: Extremely dynamic and engaging.
- Case studies/Checklists: Great sources of information for audiences.
What are the different types of content?
Brands use content in various formats to disseminate information or promote their products and services. Here are a few examples of content types used in content marketing:
- Articles/Blogs – Helps boost SEO.
- Videos – Visuals help to increase engagement.
- Infographics – Eye-catching graphics increase the aesthetics and readability of compactly packed information.
- GIFs/Memes – Easy to share and a fun way to connect with audiences.
- User-generated content/Testimonials/Customer reviews – Seamless engagement on social media and websites allow customers to promote their favorite brands in a personalized manner.
- White papers – Detailed compilation of facts in a comprehensible manner is key to many brands’ communication.
- Influencers/Paid ads – Brands collaborate with social media influencers who have similar business sensibilities. This could be for paid advertisements and cross-promotion; both effective tools to reach a wider audience
What are the various content categories?
Content must be provided in various forms and categories to appeal to different audiences. Categorizing content in the following manner can help brands increase engagement and conversion through targeted content marketing:
Depending on your business and goals, you can choose any or a mix of the above categories to produce compelling content. Content marketing may not be used to drive direct sales, but it can help build long-term brand awareness and customer loyalty.
How do you write marketing content?
Content marketing requires a good understanding of the market and customers’ needs. So, creating marketing content requires adequate research and analysis. Here’s how you can proceed:
- Look for as much information as you can about the topic you want to write about.
- You must know and write down the purpose of creating that content – whether it is to increase traffic on your site, boost awareness about your brand, or create informational content to build authority.
- Mention data or statistics from legitimate sources to exude expertise/authority.
- Have a plan and track your progress.
- Try to bring out the creativity in your content.
- Don’t write just for the sake of it. Ask yourself if the content is helpful/valuable for the intended audience.
- Edit for clarity and make sure there are no errors – but don’t dwell too much on quality in the first draft. This may cause you to hit a writer’s block.
How do you write the best content?
Content that is high-quality and helps you achieve a predefined goal is considered good. This is only possible if you create content keeping in mind the intended audience and what they may need or want to know about. The content needs to be presented in a form and language that the target audience understands and can relate to. Creating good content also requires ample research and a unique perspective that others are missing. Additionally, adding relevant keywords, catchy headlines, and using content marketing tools can increase traffic on your site.
What makes good content?
From the consumers’ point of view, any information that adds value and empowers them with knowledge is good content. From a content marketing aspect, good content helps brands achieve an end goal. For Google, any content that coincides with users’ requirements is good. All three expectations can be met by a single piece of content if:
- The content is original
- Has headlines that may be perceived as relatable/catchy/striking/precise by users
- The content has actionable points
- It answers all the users’ questions
- The content is compelling and impactful
- Has enough images and videos
- It is crisp/precise
How do you write unique content?
Creating unique content is not as difficult as it seems. With a little bit of discipline, creativity, and research, you can start putting out quality content that is also unique. You must begin by gaining a good command over your language to be able to translate ideas into usable content efficiently. When you combine good writing with great research skills, you can gain a deeper understanding of subject matters you want to write about. It is important to read what others are writing about but avoid plagiarizing their work. It is unethical and prevents your content from standing out.
Additionally, you can brainstorm with people for new ideas and perspectives. Whenever you create content, it is important to write without any prejudices and know the aim and audience for your content to create an effective content marketing plan.
How do you write original content?
Content marketing efforts can deliver the desired results only if your content is original and relevant. Here’s what you can do to create original, compelling content:
- Know the purpose, location (blog, social media, or website), and matter of your content right from the beginning.
- Read other material available online on your decided topics. Make a note of what’s missing from these and try to fill these gaps while creating your piece.
- Keep buyer personas in mind while creating content.
- Always run your content through a plagiarism checker tool to look for duplication that may have gone unnoticed.
How do you create effective content?
It isn’t challenging to create content but creating quality content requires skill and knowledge. Content marketing can only succeed if the content has the lure and valuable information that can help readers make informed decisions. Here’s how you can create effective, compelling content:
- Define the purpose of your content
- Understand your audience
- Create content keeping documented user personas in mind
- Regularly update the existing content
- Invest time in keyword research
- Use social media to increase the reach of your content
What are some good content creation tools?
While content forms the meat of the matter, content marketing tools can help make it impactful and reach the right people. Such tools can help you research, write, edit, design, and beautify your content to make it more interesting and comprehensible. Here are some great content creation tools that can help increase your efficiency:
1. Site:search is a quick and handy trick to search for particular terms on a specific website. For instance, if you need to look for topics related to buyer personas on Scatter, simply enter site:scatter.co.in buyer personas in Google. This will show you results related to all the places where that search term is mentioned on the Scatter website. An excellent hack, isn’t it?
2. Google Drive Research Tool helps you conduct Google searches without leaving the Google Drive window. You can find this in the Menu bar of any Google doc. Select the ‘Tool’ option and click on ‘Research’ in the drop-down menu.
3. Canva is an excellent tool with multiple features for editing images.
Besides these, several free tools can help you improve the quality of your content.
Planning in content marketing
How do you work on keyword research for content marketing?
Keyword research is essential, and usually the first step in content marketing as it helps you understand what your audiences look for (or want to know about). Using the right keywords can help your business grow by generating leads through increased traffic and higher search engine rankings.
Here are the steps you can follow to perform keyword research:
- Based on the key products and services you offer, categorize your business into 8–10 broad subheads.
- Make a list of all the important keywords related to these categories that you can find. Add as many keywords or phrases as possible.
- If you’re unable to find keywords, simply search for related terms on Google. Even related searches that appear at the bottom of every page can be used as keywords.
- Lastly, narrow down your keyword list by using tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
What is a content marketing plan?
Every content piece is an opportunity for brands to get a step closer to their intended audiences. So, to make the most of each piece of content, you need a proper marketing strategy and plan for their inception, execution, and distribution. Having a content plan can also help you time your content basis topical events and social media trends for maximum impact. Research shows that content marketing can generate three times the leads generated by traditional forms of marketing and is about 60% more cost-effective, so brands that update their content plans regularly are more likely to meet their marketing objectives.
What is a social media content calendar?
A good digital marketer always uses content calendars to capture marketing moments and avoid last-minute panic. Here’s how you can create a social media content calendar for your content marketing campaigns:
- Assess/examine your existing social media content.
- Decide on the right social media channels for targeted posts.
- Know the end goal of your campaigns, as this can help you track progress.
- Create a resource library for your assets.
- Create your posts in advance, so there are no delays or errors at the time of publishing.
- Assign roles and responsibilities for different aspects of each post.
- Start posting based on a defined schedule.
How do you create a content calendar?
Creating a content calendar can help you align your resources and time your content for the desired duration – a week or a whole year. Here’s how you can draw up a calendar for your brand and streamline your content marketing efforts:
- Consolidate all your existing content in one place and make a list of it to get a sense of what you have and what you need to create.
- Think of all the ways you can use the pieces in your content bank. Remember, you can always tweak and repurpose existing content to create new ones. E.g., an old blog post of yours that got fabulous responses can be repurposed to create an infographic or video on the same topic.
- Get your team together and brainstorm for new ideas.
- Once you have the content/ideas, put a timeline for each piece’s different stages of execution and delivery.
How do you create a content plan?
Having a content calendar is essential for brands that want to be prepared in advance and make the most of every marketing opportunity to boost their business. There is no one way of creating a calendar for content marketing. Still, it can be pretty easy to do if you have a clear goal in mind, a deep understanding of your target audiences (their demographics and buying behavior), and know what you want to tell them. Once you know what needs to be communicated to the audience to elicit a particular response from them, you can break it down into smaller content ideas. Once you have put together a list of content ideas that are in line with your brand’s communication, mark a timeline against each idea.
What should be included in a content calendar?
Before you add anything to a content plan, you need to know if the content that you are currently publishing fits your brand’s persona and the requirements of your target audiences. To know this, you can employ various content marketing tools to check your content’s performance online and see if it holds relevance in terms of social trends – like brands that support the anti-racist movement. Once you know if your current approach is working or not, decide the daily/weekly/monthly output that you are aiming for and where the content will be showcased. Your content calendar should include details such as upcoming pieces/activities, delivery/publishing dates, status updates, etc. to stay organized and to able to create consistently.
How do you manage a content calendar?
To create and manage a content plan, you must gain a good understanding of the audience, their requirements, and what it is that you want to communicate to them as a brand. You must also know how to leverage platform such as blogs, websites, social media, etc. and identify KPIs that tell you whether your current approach is working or not. Research, analysis of your content’s performance, and planning are essential to successful content marketing. Therefore, it is important to regularly review and update your content calendar with relevant material for both the short and long term.
Careers in content marketing
Is content writing easy?
Content writing is easy if you have an inherent inclination towards writing and storytelling. If you have that, knowledge, and skills like SEO, editing, etc. can be learned over time to make your writing more impactful. As long as your writing is comprehensible, creative, and engaging, you have half the skill set required for successful content marketing. If you want to polish these skills and learn more tricks of the trade, many institutes offer courses that can help you become a successful content writer.
How much do content writers get paid in India?
As in any profession, content writers are paid based on their experience and skill set. As a beginner in India, you can earn Rs 8000 to Rs 10,000 a month. Once your experience starts to grow, your earnings could grow as well. If you have expertise in a specific field or deal with complex subject matters that require research, you can earn as much as Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 a month. These tentative figures are for freelance writers and largely depend on the volume/frequency of work. However, as a full-time writer, you can earn as much as Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month.
Updated on 22nd July 2020