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Stellenbosch Graduate Institute is proud to introduce guest author, Daniela McVicker. Daniela is a professional marketer and social media expert who enjoys spending her time teaching others how to improve their online marketing strategies In her free time, she loves to blog for websites like, where she offers advice on social media management and online marketing. Read more about what Daniela has to say about content marketing.
Content marketing is one of the categories within the wider concept of digital marketing. It implies the creation, publishing and distribution of content on websites or social media.
Content comes in many shapes and sizes, but most often, it relates to texts and images on your brand’s website. Next to these two, some of the content types that are enjoying a rise in popularity and use are infographics, animated GIFs, eBooks, guides, presentations, webinars and other types of video content. Simply put, everything you publish online comprises your content.
Now, we’ll look at content marketing’s place in the bigger picture of a digital marketing strategy. Namely, not every content publishing is necessarily content marketing! To be considered a full-blown marketing effort, the content has to be planned, high-quality, original and directed at a target audience. Only then can content marketing be considered a part of a digital marketing strategy.
If you're still looking for convincing reasons to include content marketing in your overall strategy, here are some of the main ones:
One of the most common mistakes in digital marketing strategies is that no clear goals are set. Usually, marketers thoroughly list and analyze the tools they will use, how much of the budget will go to which channel and the timeline for each action, but goals often remain on the sidelines.
Given that content marketing is a really analytic-friendly channel, you can use it to define and tweak some of your digital marketing goals. Here are some of the most common ones:
In the chapters to follow, we will describe each of these goals and how they can be achieved with effective content marketing efforts.
Many digital marketers will tell you that it's not so much what you write, but who you write it to. In other words, spectacular content can fail because it's directed to the wrong audience. These flops often happen on social media, where marketers boost and sponsor content that's not relevant for the group they are targeting.
When it comes to search engine content marketing, it's guaranteed that you will come across that particular segment of the audience that your brand is interested in attracting. How? Because you didn't push your message – they actually came to it on their own by entering a query into a search engine!
This is also the reason why audience coming from search engines has lower bounce rates and higher average time spent on site.
The basic assumption of content marketing is the opportunity to create real, concrete values for future consumers of the published content (possible future customers). As a rule, content created for marketing purposes is completely free for the end-user.
The goal of content marketing is not to directly advertise a product or a service, but to attract the attention of users who fit the target audience profile and to build brand authority in its respective industry.
Through building brand reputation and increasing awareness among a larger audience base, content marketing works to create indirect sales results.
Wonder why everyone from one-person enterprises and tiny startups to huge, multinational corporations are using content marketing? Of course, the answer always lies in the bottom line. Compared to other marketing channels, the content has an amazingly high ROI.
The only investment connected to marketing will either be your time (or work hours of one of your staff members) or the cost per article if you decide to outsource your work. However, keep in mind that the writing industry is very developed, so you will get exactly the level of quality that your budget will afford.
This is also one of the marketing fields that's full of experts and professionals, so it shouldn't be a problem to find someone to outsource your content work. For example, you can use GrabMyEssay or TopEssayWriting to find writers who can take up some of your content marketing work.
Can a content marketing strategy replace advertising on Google or Facebook marketing? In the short term, definitely not. Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can take a lot of time, so you need to prepare for a quiet starting period before your content jumps off.
Usually, any type of online advertising provides prompt results. As soon as you boost a post on social media, you will witness a huge bump in website visitors. Organic traffic doesn't really work that way – if you're not a massive website with tens of thousands of loyal visitors, merely publishing a new post will not attract millions to your website.
However, with a high-quality content marketing strategy, you can drastically reduce your marketing costs! For example, instead of paid ads, you will be able to obtain a segment of new customers through organic traffic.
The average conversion rate for a landing page is 2.35%. Now, if you're selling a high-end product, for example, and your content costs $100 one-off, with thousands of customers and leads visiting it every month through Google, you get how the numbers will start working for you in the long-term.
Content really is king. Due to its high ROI and the potential to build your business brand into an empire for scratch, it's the perfect marketing tool for startups and entrepreneurs.
However, an important thing to keep in mind is that the approach to publishing content has to be planned and strategic if you want it to be a real part of your grand marketing scheme. If you don't have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with content and how you want to do it, it's better to put it off until you have a clearer sense of what content will do for your brand.