What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is something you hear a lot about from nearly every SEO company in the US, but few seem to actually grasp what any of those people are talking about when they hear it. Essentially, the meaning is simple:

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable content on a consistent basis with the intention of acquiring a target audience, promoting profitable action, and converting them into customers.

The first question that probably pops up now is, what exactly constitutes valuable content? The answer: The kind of content that people want to seek out, rather than avoid. It really all comes down to how it's ultimately received by the audience. Obviously, the goal is always to connect as much of your target audience as possible with information that they can use, information that they need. But there are other variables.

That should give you a basis, a foundation for what content marketing is all about. Now, let's break the process down further, get into the methods of the madness, and go over some of the affordable SEO services available to help.

We create a customized game plan for every customer we work with, using a combination of tactics such as social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, search engine advertising and strategic website design to bring your company new levels of growth.

The Five Pillars of Content Marketing

Now, that's not to say there are only five kinds of content marketing. Remember, there are a lot of variables, loose parts, in each situation, and any SEO company in the US can tell you that. So, there is an array of angles you can take and moves you can make for any given campaign. The point here is to introduce you to some of the basics and get your mind on the right track. Eventually, you'll begin to look through a different lens and start to see new and inventive ways to create content.

1) Infographics

These are those long, vertical graphics displaying graphs, charts, statistics, and other information. The major selling point with infographics is their long shelf life. If one is effective, it can continue to circulate through social media and other websites for years. It's not always the cheapest route though, especially if the SEO specialists you hire aren't just designing the infographic, but are also providing strategic planning, research, and copywriting. Then, once created, you need to decide on the most appropriate way to promote the infographic to other media members.

2) Webpages

There's a big difference between simply throwing content up on your website, and content marketing. A webpage created without a concern for content marketing is, essentially, a waste of space. Whether you consistently provide useful and engaging content to your target audience through your blog, one of the more affordable SEO services, or you craft clever and telling case studies that give something useful to visitors, the content must do enough to gain their interest and, hopefully, their business.

3. Podcasts

Podcasts offer new levels of visibility and many companies are finding a following through platforms like iTunes. Podcasts also provide a welcomed break from written material and they're capable of reaching the right audience at the right time, and in the way they prefer. Like with any content development, think creatively while keeping your target audience's interests in mind. You must think like a radio show producer and deliver relevance instantly, then continue to deliver it frequently. From there, it's about making your podcast easily accessible through your website, email signature, iTunes, etc.

4) Videos

Like podcasts, video production is a tool that SEO specialists have yet to come even close to using to its full potential. In the past, that was due to relatively high costs, but now, that's all changed. Professional-level equipment is more affordable than ever, making a high-quality aesthetic easier than ever achieve. The other thing about video is that it has the power to change the fortune of your company's future overnight. However, the video production industry is flooded with amateurs posing as pros, so you need to choose wisely.

5) Books

Some think of books as self-serving entities. However, marketing-savvy people use them as specialized tools with multiple purposes. For instance, while there's always a need to create content worth reading, a company may release a book with the intention of driving people to their website as well. There's a misconception out there that only established professionals can publish a book. Now, self-publishing is easier than ever and anyone with something to say can get their work out there. The best part: Even if you don't manage to attract many readers, the book can always be used as a marketing tool. If you have a book and want to learn more about using it for marketing, check out our SEO consulting services.

Remember: Those aren't the only forms of content marketing. Any SEO company in the US can tell you that it's a somewhat liquid art form. Its techniques and tactics are always changing. The campaign specifics will dictate the type and tone of the content marketing.

Why Content Marketing is Crucial?

We could go on and on about the different types of content marketing, but it's more important to gain an understanding of the why than the what. To understand why content marketing is so critical for your business, we need to go over the buying cycle:

1) Awareness

This either refers to the time when customers become aware of your product or service, or when they realize they have a need, a problem, and your product provides a solution.

2) Research

Armed with the awareness of a solution, the customer will then do research to learn more about how it will address their specific needs. They're on the hunt for information that will help them make their decision when they're at the point of purchase.

3) Considerations

Now, the customer starts comparing products or services from different vendors and their respective prices. Trust these SEO specialists, during this period, it's crucial to let the customer know how, exactly, your product or service coincides with their needs.

4) Buy

Finally, this is the point when the customer feels they've accumulated enough knowledge to decide which product or service best fits their needs and budget, and they make their decision. If you or the SEO experts you hired have done a good job so far, then this should be a happy time for your company.

In the latter stages of the cycle, you may find that more traditional marketing methods are the most appropriate. However, when it comes to raising brand awareness and providing informative content, content marketing is key.

The thing about content marketing is that it provides a unique opportunity to put in all the work before any actual exchange has even taken place between you and the target customer. It's a chance to begin building trust by giving away something with value so that when the customers eventually reach out to you, much of the leg work is already complete. Then, by the time you all sit down together, it'll just be a matter of hammering out the little details and filling out some paperwork.

Another huge advantage of content marketing for companies and SEO specialists is the potentially remarkable return on investment. Often, it doesn't take a tremendous amount of time or money to see results. In fact, some companies find much of their success over time from just a few articles, making it one the most affordable SEO services around.

Those are just a few of the advantages of content marketing. It can also be leveraged across multiple digital channels, it provides more content for social media marketing purposes, and is a huge contributor to SEO success through its generation of organic inbound links and supply of quality content for search engines. Content marketing is so critical that many SEO specialists build their entire campaign around it.

How do I Start?

Many companies find that they're either too busy or simply ill-equipped to handle content marketing themselves and it's not uncommon to look elsewhere for these types of SEO services in NJ or anywhere for that matter. However, if you are capable of doing it in-house and you're somewhat new to the craft, start with blogging. Like anything, it can seem difficult, even alien at first, but with some time and practice, you'll get better. There are various websites out there that can help you learn the craft of content creation, whether it's intended for your website or blog. Just remember, well-optimized writing and headlines will help, but those aren't the only things that define good content, and they're definitely not the most imperative to its creation. We're not the only SEO company in the US that'll tell you that.

The first question that probably pops up now is, what exactly constitutes valuable content? The answer: The kind of content that people want to seek out, rather than avoid. It really all comes down to how it's ultimately received by the audience. Obviously, the goal is always to connect as much of your target audience as possible with information that they can use, information that they need. But there are other variables.

That should give you a basis, a foundation for what content marketing is all about. Now, let's break the process down further, get into the methods of the madness, and go over some of the affordable SEO services available to help.

What Is Quality Content?

You know when you're reading some piece of content and, suddenly, just getting through it starts to feel like a 9-5 job. That's content marketing gone wrong. So what's content marketing done right? It's simple. When you genuinely want to read something, when you actually want to get through to the end, that's quality content. Now, the next level up is when people are actually willing to pay for the content; that's premium content marketing. It boils down to giving your visitors and potential customers authentic, meaningful, useful information.

What's the Secret to Making Content Valuable?

The secret to making content valuable is to put in the necessary time and energy to inject value in it. We know, that seems redundant, but there's really no other way to put it. The campaign specifics will depend entirely on the industry and the kinds of products or services you offer within it. The bottom line is, don't just use content as a chance to advertise. In fact, our NJ SEO experts advise to skip the whole advertising angle if it doesn't have some real value to the audience.

If you're uncertain about what kind of content would provide something valuable to the audience, you could try asking some current customers about what they would find helpful or interesting. And remember, these are existing customers. So you don't just want to inquire about what would be useful to them right now, but also what would have been useful when they first started looking for your products or services in the first place.

Get Mobile and Get Out There Already!

The secret to making content valuable is to put in the necessary time and energy to inject value in it. We know, that seems redundant, but there's really no other way to put it. The campaign specifics will depend entirely on the industry and the kinds of products or services you offer within it. The bottom line is, don't just use content as a chance to advertise. In fact, our NJ SEO experts advise to skip the whole advertising angle if it doesn't have some real value to the audience.

Yes, mobility. Look around. Chances are, if there are even a few people around, someone's on their smartphone. Mobile devices have exploded in popularity in recent years. People want access to all kinds of content, anywhere, anytime. That's why creating mobile-friendly content, friendly to both users and search engines, is so critical nowadays.

The truth is, most SEO companies haven't even begun to tap into the potential of real content marketing. In SEO, things change quickly and frequently. Often, a lot of the companies that make an attempt to get into content marketing fail to adapt to search engine updates, technological advancements, and changes in user behavior.

What it all means: Whether you or your SEO specialists are just making the jump into content marketing or you're rehabilitating and refreshing your current content strategy, now, armed with this new knowledge, you'll have a serious advantage over your competitors. Happy hunting!

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