How Can I Make Content Marketing a Part of My Advertising Campaign?
Before you craft an advertising campaign, consider all of the elements that you’ll need to make it successful. In our article, we’ll discuss content marketing and why it’ll be an essential part of your next advertising campaign.
In your everyday life, you probably have a few favorite blogs that you read or newsletters you subscribe to. You almost certainly watch online videos from brands, organizations, artists, and producers. And there’s a good chance that your social feeds are populated in part by engaging content from your favorite companies, from beauty brands to breweries, vacation resorts, apparel designers, and more.
All of those types of things (and many more) can be considered content marketing. Content marketing is a huge part of the marketing tactics puzzle and of the buyer’s journey, and for many good reasons. But the number one purpose of content marketing is to connect with customers. Here we’ll take a look at how that works, why it works, and why content marketing should absolutely be a significant piece of your advertising campaigns and of achieving your marketing goals.
What is Content Marketing?
First off, let’s define “content marketing.” According to the folks at Mailchimp, “Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant, useful content—blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos, and the like—to current and potential customers.”
That makes sense, right? There are probably several of these initiatives that you or your company have been involved in before, or at least considered bringing on board as a part of your marketing strategy and practices.
We can expand that definition above a bit, however, because that example does not mention one of the most important pieces of content marketing – strategy. In our case, we would define content marketing as the strategic, targeted implementation of multiple content types to reach audiences, build your brand, improve search engine optimization results, bring in more organic traffic, and establish your organization as a leader in its respective field/industry/sector.
Content marketing can also be more than blogs, Instagram posts, and so on. Content marketing is about telling a story, and that has been around for a very long time. In fact, Neil Patel makes the case that the G.I. Joe comic book series launched in 1982 was content marketing – and it was! Hasbro and the artists and storytellers at Marvel teamed up to create comics that would not only establish the stories of Hasbro’s toy line but also drive more interest in the products and make them a wish-list staple of kids everywhere.
Why Incorporate Content Marketing for my Campaign?
The story above is just one good reason why content marketing should be a part of your advertising, marketing, and/or communications approach. The comics drove interest in the toys, and that, in turn, drove sales of G.I. Joe toys in a big way.
Nowadays, there are a LOT more ways to get your product in front of prospective customers. From social media posts to web videos, digital ads, search ads, and more, modern marketers have a lot of possible tools to choose from. And for almost every B2B and B2C business, content marketing has become the best way to take advantage of some (or all) of these outlets, build trust, and grab people’s attention.
And content marketing is great at getting customers’ attention. From the standpoint of B2B marketers, it’s estimated that well-executed content marketing drives three times as many leads as other outbound marketing approaches, with conversion rates that are five to six times higher. And as for B2C marketing teams, many companies report that content marketing has helped them achieve 30% more growth than other businesses that are not utilizing this strategy.
Content marketing is also the key for many companies in terms of winning the search battle. The SEO value of quality content online cannot be overstated, and you are missing out on a valuable boost to your organic search results, brand awareness, key metrics, and customer trust without engaging content as a part of your marketing strategy.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
How to Integrate Content Marketing in Your Advertising Campaign
Bringing content marketing into your advertising strategy and marketing plan is a smart and simple enhancement, especially when you have probably already taken some of the steps below.
Identify your audience
Figure out your target market, who you want to reach, what their interests are, and the key demographic information that will be part of your buyer personas. You likely already have this information in your marketing plan, so you’re off to a good start in terms of creating relevant content.
Decide the best outlets to use
Now that you know the who, you want to figure out the where. Will you create blog posts? Post to social media platforms? Create LinkedIn posts or custom web pages? Will you make short- and/or long-form videos? The kind of content you choose as part of your advertising campaign should be tailored to your audience(s).
Define your goals
Looking at your overall digital marketing campaign, what are you hoping for the content marketing efforts to accomplish, whether in lead generation or eCommerce conversions? Set realistic but ambitious goals, which will help you when it comes time to create your content marketing strategy and develop and publish the right content.
Who can create the content?
Do you already have a person or team in-house who can write the blogs, manage the social media marketing, film, and edit video marketing pieces, create podcasts, develop landing pages, host webinars, and so on? Do we have existing relationships with influencers on social who can create content on our behalf? If not, this is a great opportunity to supplement your advertising campaign by contracting with a high-quality digital content agency.
When do we post?
The scheduling will be next, which should include the creation of an editorial content calendar for your content marketing efforts. The dates should account for when you want to post, how often, how long you want the campaign to run, and how much content you need to really reach those audiences. These decisions can have a big impact, which will show in your Google analytics, sales data, and beyond.
Is it compelling?
Once you know the who, what, and when, you can move on to strategizing engaging, interesting, and informative content that your customers will enjoy (and which will bring more customers to your business, of course). This is also a chance to figure out if there are content pieces you can template, apps you can use, existing video content, and other tools which will make future efforts easier.
Making it Happen
With a strategy in hand and an understanding of how integral content marketing can be to your overall marketing campaign success, you’re ready to get started and make the leap. Highly engaging content marketing pieces, including social media, email marketing, and more, can have a tremendous ROI for your business, and can really help you find and cultivate a larger, more engaged, and more loyal customer base.
As we talked about above, there are a ton of great content types and outlets these days, with more new content options coming along almost every week. But if you follow the steps above to strategize and plan your content campaign with business goals in mind, you can hone in on the best places for your content, and the right types of content and media that will best reach the right audiences at the right time.