By TinyURL Marketing
Last updated on January 26, 2023
Content marketing, when done correctly, can take your business to new heights. It’s a challenging form of marketing, and one that takes a lot of creativity and savvy to pull off.
Earning new leads is one of the biggest challenges your business can face in a saturated online environment. It’s hard to get your business noticed, hard to keep people’s attention, and harder still to convince them to take the leap for your products and services. For many businesses, content marketing is the solution.
Content marketing can be a great way to stand out and prove your worth to your target market. Free and creative content like articles, explainers, videos or podcasts do double duty by establishing your credibility, and entertaining your target market, which helps your brand and business stick in people’s memories, helping turn viewers into customers.
Content marketing is a big investment in time and creativity, but it’s an effort that can pay off in spades. Investing time and effort in free resources and content for your target market helps build trust, brand awareness and goodwill, which can be just that edge you need to turn viewers into customers signed up for trials, services, and other avenues to conversion.
In this article we’ll take a tiny look at some of the important principles of content marketing, its pros and cons, and how to decide whether content marketing is right for you and your business.
Unlike other lead generation strategies, content marketing gives to prospective customers first, rather than asking for something right off the bat. It’s all about creating and sharing media that’s relevant and gives free value to your prospects, whether it’s entertaining, informative, or inspirational. Content can be anything, from videos, podcasts, to blog articles. If it’s got a marketing and business purpose, and can be read, watched, or listened to, then congratulations, you’re doing content marketing!
Content marketing has grown in importance over the years, with HubSpot reporting that 82% of marketers actively using some form of content marketing, and 40% reporting that content marketing as a very important part of their overall marketing strategy.
The average internet user spends almost 7 hours a day online, much of it consuming online content, and the amount of online video that people watch has on average, doubled since 2018. Making high quality content that’s relevant to your customers is a rife space to reach out to prospects in your target market. Longform content gives a chance to showcase your expertise and understanding of your customer’s needs, time to build rapport, and a stage to carefully build positive brand awareness while bypassing pesky ad-blocks and encouraging repeat engagement.
At the center of content marketing is offering free value to your would be customers to build goodwill. If the word “free” trips you up, then think of it as investing in your community and customers. Videos, podcasts, and tutorials all build goodwill and positive associations through a variety of ways.
Good content marketing transforms you from an impersonal brand to a welcome font of knowledge and entertainment. Content gives you more opportunities to connect and build rapport with customers than compared to more staid forms of marketing.
Content marketing is also a means for you to strut your stuff when it comes to expertise. Tutorials, videos, and other content can showcase your understanding of the needs of your customers, and how your products and services are the perfect solutions to their problems.
Well-made and memorable content is a great way for your brand to stand out from the rest of the pack. Well-paced content gives you the opportunity to build rapport and play to the strengths of your brand and product, without having to go all in on with a hard and fast pitch.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for building goodwill and brand awareness, but it’s also really difficult to get right. Creating worthwhile content takes serious work, requiring creativity, talent, and a genuine understanding of your market’s needs and wants.
The capital sin of content marketing is to be boring. You might need to be entertaining, or matter of fact, or practical, depending on the demographic and ideal customer you’re aiming for, but the one thing you can never afford to be is boring. Conceptualizing, producing and maintaining a steady stream of content needs a rare mix of dependable creativity, and if you can’t maintain that talent, it’s difficult to produce and maintain high quality content marketing.
Creating quality content takes time and resources, whether it’s spending a few days filming and editing tutorial videos, recording podcasts, or collaborating with guest writers or influencers. Creative talent also needs the right mix of tools and resources to make slick and polished content. It’s easy to tell if someone is cheaping out on their content marketing, and it’s not a good look for a business.
Making content that draws in your target market requires a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and wants. You can dress up your presentations and videos and articles with slick production values, but if you don’t understand how your products and services solve the needs of your target market, then it’s impossible to craft content that’s relevant and appealing.
All that said, content marketing is an increasingly important space worth competing in: around 40% of businesses rank it as a priority, which means your competitors are also trying to win your customers away by proving their worth through content.
Not every business needs to invest in a blog, TikTok account, or podcast. As we’ve seen above, creating and maintaining an engaging content marketing strategy requires creative effort and talent.
It makes more sense to invest in a content strategy if:
Content marketing gives you the chance to dive into all the ways that your products and services can solve problems and make your customers’ lives easier. Articles, tutorials, and videos give you a chance to dive into the complexities of the problems that you solve, and give you a chance to show off what you can offer.
If you work in a complex field, or your products and services have a wide range of applications, then content marketing is ideal. Showcasing your breadth of expertise showcases your credibility, and can also educate your consumer about the market you operate in (and why they should choose you over the competition).
Understanding your market, your customers, and their interests gives you the foundation you need to plan an effective content marketing campaign. Remember that content marketing is consumer-oriented: if you want to make an impact and see meaningful gains, then give your customers the tools, knowledge, and insights they need to reach their goals.
Humor is a great way to make a good impression on an audience. We mean it—just think of the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen and imagine the same people writing a blog or running a branded YouTube account. Being engaging is half the battle in content marketing, and a knack for entertaining readers and viewers goes a long way towards memorable content marketing.
We only recommend this if you have a third party that can verify that your content is actually funny. The fact that comedy is deeply subjective is why we don’t suggest that just any business try this method out for themselves. Lots can go wrong and the wrong joke can land you in hot water, so be careful when playing with a playful brand voice.
If you’re starting off or already running a content marketing strategy, then there are a few things you can do to drive better results:
Knowing your target market is critical because you need to find the right voice and type of content to connect with them. A casual, informal tone to your content might work well appealing to gamers, but may do less well for B2B content marketing aimed no-nonsense corporate officers. We recommend looking at how examples of successful communicators in your field (ex. influencers with large followings) and seeing if you can build a voice in a similar but unique way.
If you want your content marketing to engage with potential customers, then you need to really offer value in your content, rather than tease them along with fluff. Creating knowledgeable articles, tutorials, blog posts or videos does double duty by building your bona fides and also pulling in engagement. If your content is a comprehensive and valuable reference, then a reader is more likely to make repeat views and share it with other people in your target market, building brand awareness and increasing the chance to make conversions.
Content marketing that opens with a sales pitch instead of, say, useful information will hurt you more than it’ll help. Remember that you’re trying to build good will with your target market, so lead with the quality of your content. Go light on the hard sell and product placement at the beginning, and save your sales talk for after you’ve earned trust and established rapport.
When the time comes to make your pitch, make sure you’ve got everything right. Align your CTA with the tone of voice you’re already using, and make your pitch memorable. Remember that content marketing is just as much about brand awareness and staying in the top of mind as it is about generating quick sales. Be memorable, and be valuable to keep the door open for conversion and repeat engagement.
Because content marketing is resource and effort intensive, you have to make sure that you’re getting bang for your buck. Tracking your marketing metrics is doubly important when it comes to content marketing so that you can gauge whether your carefully crafted content is a hit or miss, and adjust accordingly. Pay close attention to which resources your customers keep returning to, and what kind of content is most successful in leading to conversions.
If you’ve made it this far, here’s a little peek at the different ways that TinyURL can improve your content marketing:
Branded and customized links do better at earning trust and communicating offers than ugly URLs dripping with alphanumeric strings. Shortened links are also easier to remember and blend better with your content. Which of the two (hypothetical) links would you rather click on?
TinyURL’s dashboard is a great tool for link management and analytics. Content marketing depends on multiple channels to draw eyeballs to your content, and it can be confusing to track which channels, topics, and media are worth your marketing effort. TinyURL’s analytics dashboard lets you track your most important links (i.e. your CTAs), and then group them for easier monitoring and comparison. You don’t need to pop a blood vessel figuring out complicated web analytics tools, our streamlined dashboard puts all your important marketing stats right at your fingertips.
TinyURL’s link management tools make it easier for you to run A/B tests and other optimization experiments to discover that perfect blend of content and design. Simply set up two or more TinyURLs linking to the same destination, and see which channels earn you more traffic.
Content marketing is ideal for reaching out to increasingly media-savvy audiences that are easily turned off by more traditional marketing methods. While it demands a certain level of talent and resources to pull off well, the potential rewards in building brand awareness, credibility, and continuing positive engagement with your target market means content marketing should, more likely than not, be a part of your digital marketing toolset.
TinyURL gives marketers a trusted link shortening platform for creating elegant, branded URLs to go with your content marketing, as well as a simple but powerful analytics dashboard that puts all the important marketing metrics at your fingertips. Check out how TinyURL’s features can help your content marketing with branded links, link management, and campaign monitoring & analytics, and sign up for a free trial or premium subscription today.
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