Our post lockdown world has become very comfortable with the idea of keeping everything in the digital space, and as a result, the need for effective content marketing strategies and agencies is in high demand.
But what is content marketing, Oxford Languages and Google defines content marketing as follows:
A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
As a content marketing agency, we know that there’s much more to content marketing than a simple definition can provide you. So, here’s our answer to ‘what is content marketing, exactly’.
- Content marketing definition
- Types of content marketing
- The benefits of content marketing
- Creating a content marketing strategy
- Content marketing examples
1. Content marketing definition
Although we’ve already taken a look at Google’s definition of ‘what is content marketing’ there are many variations in its meaning.
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Whereas Rebecca Lieb, Principal at Conglomotron LLC, states that:
“It isn’t advertising. It isn’t push marketing, in which messages are sprayed out at groups of consumers. Rather, it’s a pull strategy—it’s the marketing of attraction. It’s being there when consumers need you and seek you out with relevant, educational, helpful, compelling, engaging, and sometimes entertaining information.”
“Content marketing is what web searchers are looking for.”
Find other professionals’ definitions of what content marketing is in this fantastic article by Jason Miller, Marketing Director at CreativeX, over on LinkedIn.
From just these three definitions alone, we can form them together to get the bigger picture of what content marketing is all about. Content marketing is content that looks to provide answers, attract audiences, and keep them through more engaging content, creating a valuable relationship between brand and customer.
2. Types of marketing content
Here are the various types of content marketing that you could be using as part of your marketing strategy:
- Video marketing
- Email / mailshot
- Social media
- Case studies
- Webinars / courses
- Testimonials / reviews
- Print, e.g. newspapers, magazines, posters, leaflets
As you can see from this extensive list, there are many types of content marketing that you could be using, from digital to print-based, motion to static, and even free content in the form of testimonials and reviews.
The type of content you utilise in your strategy will depend on several factors, such as your target audience, your budget, and the technology and resources at your disposal. Here at Millrace, we don’t claim to do everything under the marketing umbrella. We do one thing, and we do it well; from copy writing and social media, to video and design, within these services we can provide many of the above content types.
3. The benefits of content marketing
With such a wide variety of content marketing types comes a plethora of benefits not only for your brand but also (most importantly) for your customers.
Increase brand awareness
By publishing more engaging content your brand awareness will increase as a result. Through memorable content marketing, you’ll start to see a rise in likes, subscribers, interactions, follows, and therefore more brand exposure.
This increased brand awareness will result in increased sales as interest grows for your brand and its products and services. Although this isn’t an overnight action, with the right content, your consumers will start to become customers over time.
Conduct customer research
Through content marketing, you’ll also have the opportunity to conduct some necessary customer research. Not only will this inform the type of content you should be creating, but it will also help to determine if you are targeting the right audience.
Build customer relationships
As a result of creating an excellent content marketing strategy that engages your audience and customers, you’ll build lasting relationships with your audience that result in loyal interactions and support.
4. Creating a content marketing strategy
Now it’s time to plan and implement an effective strategy. With all these different areas of content marketing, it’s now easier than ever to tailor your content marketing strategy to your brand and customer needs.
The first step in this process is to set out your goals and aims; this might be to gain more brand exposure and increase your following on social media, to increase the CTR on your website, or increase the sale of a particular product or service you sell.
Setting out these goals at the start of your strategy will help you to clearly see what you want out of your strategy. In turn, this also creates a measurable statistic for you to analyse at the end of the content marketing strategy.
Next, if you already haven’t, you’ll need to conduct audience research to find out which content type will be most effective for your target audience.
This research can be carried out in a few ways, such as utilising the ‘Insights’ tool on your social media platforms and discovering your audience’s ages, gender, location, as well as which types of posts are the best performing. You can also use Google tools such as Google Analytics to find out which parts of your website are most popular or include into your strategy a way to direct your audience to the content you want them to see.
Channels and content type
Now you know the audience it’s time to figure out what content will be posted to each of your channels. The different social media channels include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Tik Tok! Your website also counts as a channel, but it’s essential that you conduct thorough audience and channel research as these various platforms all have their own type of audience too.
Research what content works best on each channel, for example, video content such as reels are becoming increasingly more popular on Instagram, whereas infographics are best published on LinkedIn.
Create and publish
Once you’ve created your well-thought-out and researched content, simply publish it to the relevant channels.
Of course there are a few other steps before this, such as thinking of captions and researching the best hashtags to use. Another way to make the publishing process of social media easier is investing in a management platform that can post to all your various channels with the push of a button. This is especially beneficial if you have many platforms to post to or have a range of different content going out to each channel – we use Hootsuite here at Millrace.
Measure and analyse
Finally, after gaining enough data, you can then collate all the findings into a table, graph, or chart to see how your content marketing strategy is performing. We suggest at least a month’s worth of data should be collected.
From these statistics, you’ll gain a very clear idea of what is working well and what isn’t in your content marketing strategy.
Read our more in-depth blog on ‘how to measure content performance’ here.
5. Content marketing examples
The right content drives engagement, builds long-lasting relationships, and converts consumers into customers. Millrace Marketing is a content marketing agency that is built on a passion for creating meaningful content (as cliche as it might sound). Each of our campaigns aim to resonate with its audience, helping to drive your organisation’s key message into the heart of your target audience.
Below are some examples of the content marketing campaigns we have carried out for our clients:
Merthyr Valleys Homes – Copy Writing
Merthyr Valleys Homes required a new website that was reflective of their organisation. They were keen to understand what their stakeholders wanted from a well-designed, user-friendly website. Through Millrace’s research, we discovered what tenants want from their user experience and an external web building agency built a website around these findings. Our copy team then got to work and produced 80 pages of website copy, perfectly in line with the core messages, tone, and direction of Merthyr Valleys Homes. Find out more information on our work with Merthyr Valleys Homes on our website.
Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub – Video Marketing, Case Studies, Social Media
Millrace was approached to market Focus Enterprise Hub’s services through 30 detailed business case studies and a series of animated explainer videos. The campaign aimed to better communicate their offering to businesses through clear and creative content. Millrace conducted research to produce effective case studies, social media campaigns, and video marketing to ensure the Hub’s brand awareness was spread to the right people in an engaging manner. Find out more about our work with the Hub on our website.
Kings Monkton School – Blogs and SEO
Millrace was commissioned by Kings Monkton School to create blogs that were relevant to the school, children, and parents, and that also helped with their overall Google ranking.
From our research, Millrace found that the best solution for Kings Monkton School would be to publish two blogs a month, one written in a general manner, with the other written to be SEO-worthy.
The blog titles and topics were researched through our SEO program to ensure results, while also conducting research on relevant national holidays, school events, and frequently asked questions so all readers and audiences would be engaged with the content.
Create and Publish
The SEO-written content alongside the regular posting schedule has made room for Kings Monkton Schools’ growth on Google, with their new blogs ranking within the top 3 pages on Google. This will allow for the school to rank higher than competitors and therefore lead to more exposure.
And there you have it, this has been our guide to the question: ‘what is content marketing’. After reading this you should have the fundamentals to understand what exactly content marketing is, the different types, how beneficial they are, and how to plan, implement and measure your own content marketing strategy.