Content Marketing 101: The Ultimate Guide

It’s no secret that traditional marketing approaches are starting to lose their effectiveness. That’s why content marketing has grown in popularity since 2010. An effective and engaging content marketing strategy allows you to create quality and valuable content that will elevate your brand and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Whether you’re revamping your current content marketing strategy or creating one from scratch, here’s everything you need to know about content marketing and how to create a strong and effective plan.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing high-quality and relevant content (written, visual, audio, etc.) for a targeted audience in order to increase brand awareness, generate leads and sales, connect and engage prospects.

Why is Content Marketing important?

Content marketing has become a popular way for businesses to reach potential buyers and prospects without interrupting their online experience, but it’s important to remember that content marketing is meant to be educational; not promotional.

Successful content marketing allows home builders to connect with and educate prospective home buyers as you build trust and relationships. By offering this type of educational content, builders encourage conversions by giving home buyers the information they need to make educated decisions. This is especially vital for new home builders to achieve since buying a home is the largest purchase most Americans make and the more information homebuyers have, the more confident they’ll be they have chosen the right builder for their home.

Benefits of Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most practical and effective marketing strategies. Here are a few of the benefits:

Strong brand awareness and reputation

Consistently creating great content helps to improve brand awareness and reputation. Each piece of content gives your brand more exposure to potential customers. As you produce and distribute this quality content, your customers will begin to rely on you as a primary source of information.

Improved SEO

Simply put: without content, search engines can’t optimize and rank websites. Quality content provides search engines with the relevant keywords and inbound links they need to crawl and rank your website. The more valuable content you create, the more likely your website will rank highly on search engine result pages (SERP).

Increased website traffic

Creating valuable content will direct customers to your website where they can learn more about your company, homes, and communities.

Increased social media followers and traffic

Ever wonder what to share on Facebook? With a working content marketing strategy, you’ll create a well of great content that provides material to share on your social platforms. Over time, as you distribute your content on your social media platforms, you’ll gain more followers and more traffic from social media.

How to create a Content Marketing strategy

By applying a content marketing strategy, you can make sure your efforts are effective in reaching your target audience and converting them into leads. Here’s what you need to develop a content marketing strategy for your brand:

Define your goals

Knowing your goals for your content marketing strategy will inform the type of content you produce and determining how to measure your results. Figure out what your goals are for developing a content marketing plan. Here are some types of goals you can consider for your content marketing strategy:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Increasing social followers
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Improving search engine ranking
  • Growing your email subscriber lists
Research your audience

The purpose of creating a content marketing strategy is to provide valuable information to your audience, so knowing who you are reaching is important. Research your target audience and find out what their main pain points and motivations are. Find out which social platforms they use and the type of content that resonates most. You can conduct polls on social media, through email, or even on-site surveys.

Perform content audit

Performing a content audit is an important step in developing your content marketing strategy. Start by evaluating your current system to see the types of content you’re already creating that’s performing the best and identify any gaps that will help you decide how your new strategy will meet your goals.

Check out what your competitors are doing and the problems they are solving for their audience. Discover what topics they’re covering and if there’s anything they’re missing. You can adapt things you like to fit your audience and strategy.

Choose your content channels

Despite popular belief, you don’t need to be on every social channel. If your target audience isn’t using a specific channel, creating content for that channel is a waste of time. Instead, focus on the channels you know your audience is hanging out at and slowly expand from there as needed.

Decide on your content

Choose the type of content you’ll be creating. Keep your target audience and personas in mind as you narrow down the types of content you’ll produce. Some questions to ask include: what challenges do they encounter? How does your product solve their problem?

Some types of content you can create include:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Email marketing
  • Templates
  • Ebooks
  • Testimonials
  • Branded tools
  • Webinars
  • User-generate content
Create and distribute content

Create and distribute your content across your platforms so your audience can engage with it. To make sure you’re consistently producing content, create an editorial calendar to help your team stay on top of the creation process.

You can also repurpose or reuse the content you’ve already produced. Refresh these pieces by updating the content with new information, converting a blog post into a video, or simply republishing content.

Analyze and measure results

Managing your content marketing strategy is an on-going process. It’s important to continue to analyze and measure your results so you can find out what’s working and make any changes to improve your efforts. Compare your results to your goals and see if you’re achieving them. Here are some indicators you can measure:

  • Primary: number of converted leads, cost-per-lead
  • Secondary: blog or email subscribers (these are important to track because these channels can produce qualified leads that may result in sales late on)
  • User: these indicators may not result in leads or sales but are still important to track. They include page/video views, social followers, social engagement metrics like reactions, comments, shares, retweets, and pins.

Content marketing is right for every business. It goes beyond writing a couple of blog posts and a social media post or two. An effective content marketing strategy can help you achieve your marketing goals. If you need help putting together a winning content marketing strategy, get in touch with us.