An effective digital marketing strategy helps connect consumers with your brand. It does this using various channels and activity such as organic and paid in order to drive traffic, leads, or sales.
One of the biggest elements of any digital marketing strategy is online content. But how does content marketing support digital marketing strategies? In this blog post, we take a look, so you can create a successful digital marketing plan for your business…
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing encompasses most aspects of paid and organic content and advertising in order to get your brand visible in front of as many relevant potential consumers as possible. It can be highly targeted to reach your core demographic and includes aspects such as website marketing, SEO strategy, search ranking, social media, advertising, email marketing and blogging.
Just like any traditional marketing plan, the strategy element comes from making sure the right content is published via the right channel for maximum reach and effectiveness. Content should be strategically distributed across various channels so it reaches its target audiences in an authentic manner.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is an effective way to engage with your audience and promote your brand. It typically applies to any type of media, either written or visual, that is created and published online to promote your company, products or services, even if not overtly.
Blog posts, web pages, videos, tutorials, articles, whitepapers, eBooks, emails and social media posts are all examples of this kind of content. The goal of content marketing is to establish a personal connection with the customer through creating compelling, relevant, and valuable content.
How does content marketing support digital marketing?
You might think that content marketing is a marketing strategy in and of itself, but for most businesses it is actually part of a larger digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketers have an increased ability to provide versatility and greater engagement when they use content marketing methods like blogging, eBooks, social media and targeted landing pages. That’s because these are assets that can be utilised in several ways and provide measurable results that can help hone and refine your strategy over time for greater return on investment.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
The advantages of using online content in your digital marketing strategy include:
Highly targeted for greater engagement – Content marketers can produce pieces that are used on specific channels to engage a target audience based on their demographics. This means they speak to their target audiences in a way that best resonates with them while also giving them what they want.
Versatility of medium – The same content can be repurposed in several different formats, such as for social media, email, blogs, landing pages, eBooks, whitepapers and more. The aim might be to reach a different audience or even the same audience but tailored to the specific amount of time they have to consume it or device they might be viewing the content on.
Easily shared – Because you’re putting time and effort into your marketing online, the best part is it’s easy for followers to access and share it with other people who might be interested. If your content is really successful, it could even go viral.
Supports digital advertising – Content marketing could be considered the substance behind the commercial objectives of digital advertising. The two work in tandem. For instance, PPC ad campaigns can signpost users to blogs or articles that convey the depth of information that users crave, helping convert them into customers.
Easily tested, measured and revised – The beauty of digital channels is that the same piece of content can be tweaked slightly differently with diverse headings, layout, keyword strategies and calls to action to see which piece of content performs better. This is called A/B testing and the results can tell you a lot about your audience and their preferences.
How content marketing works with digital SEO strategy
One of the best ways to boost your website’s SEO and digital marketing is by using content marketing. Perhaps you’re already targeting keywords on some of your website’s pages? Well, now it’s time to take that further.
Content marketing has been proven to generate more leads, sales, and traffic than any other type of online advertising. It’s little wonder that the Content Marketing Institute found “60% of the most effective B2C marketers have a documented content strategy”. That’s because it works.
One of the core principles behind any digital marketing activity is a solid keyword strategy backed up by keyword research. This informs not just digital ad campaigns but website structure and content marketing.
This keyword strategy isn’t just driven by understanding what you want to be found for, but what your customer is searching for – and how likely you are to be found for it when judged against competitors in your market.
Once you have a comprehensive keyword plan, you can use this to create a digital strategy that details what marketing activity you will carry out across your ads, blog, social channels and more.
But how do you know what they are looking for?
3 simple steps to put together a keyword plan
1. List all of the main keywords you think your customers will search for. E.g. If your company provides custom graphic design services, then customers might search “custom graphics” or “graphic designer”. You can also look at competitors to see the keywords they’re using.
2. Use a paid or free search tool such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs to narrow this down and find a mix of relevant short and long-tail keywords that can be used for targeted landing pages and blog posts.
3. Sort these by lowest keyword difficulty and highest monthly search volume. Depending on the size of your campaign, you should end up with around 20-50 keywords which you can use for individual blog posts or landing page content and PPC ads.
How does content work with PPC?
It’s a common misconception that content marketing and PPC work at cross purposes. This is not the case; in fact, they can work very well together. If you have an ad campaign running on Google or Bing Ads, for example, or another type of banner advertising, you can link it through to a highly targeted piece of landing page content. This is your opportunity to sell the benefits of your product or service and persuade a customer to make that final click-through, whether to register, buy or enquire.
If your content is insightful enough, readers will also be more likely to sign up for your email alerts or newsletter and click through again when they see other ads from you in the future.
How does content marketing convert customers?
When we create content, it’s our goal to produce something that will persuade readers to take a desired action – or convert. Content marketing enables you to reach your target audience on an emotional level and it provides them with the opportunity to engage with and share information about your brand online.
As above, all content should have a call to action which provides a strong indicator of what the reader should do once they’ve read your content – such as click through to your shop/product page, contact page or registration page.
How do you know if your content marketing is working?
There comes a time when you need to measure the results of your content marketing and how it fits into your digital marketing plan. In tandem with the data generated by your analytics provider (whether through your CMS or a tool such as Google Analytics) ask yourself:
– Is the content on your blog attracting visitors?
– Do those visitors have the intention of converting into subscribers or customers for your business?
– Are they linking back to your site from their own social media posts?
– Are leads from PPC staying on your page long enough to read the content and taking the desired action, or is the bounce rate high?
– Have you seen a marked increase in traffic and sales that suggests it is worth continuing with the content marketing strategy?
Content marketing is an excellent tool for digital marketers and one that all businesses should be using in the digital era. The important thing is to keep testing it, tweaking it and measuring the results and your return on investment.
Don’t be afraid to switch up aspects of your content marketing strategy to make your digital marketing spend and strategy work harder for you. After all, that is the beauty of online marketing!
Main image credit: analogicus (Pixabay)