Content marketing: the complete guide!

published on 27 May, 2022 by

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Content marketing has become essential for companies. Eskimoz Studio builds content strategy with high added value for you.

Definition and objectives of a content strategy

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that aims at attracting visitors to a website by publishing content with high added value, useful and relevant to Internet users. It is a non-intrusive form of marketing: it is the quality of the information provided by the company or brand that attracts the attention of consumers and encourages them to contact the company and/or make a purchase. The raison d’être of a content strategy lies in the ability of a company/brand to demonstrate its expertise in its field and to respond to the issues of its target audience.

Content marketing is different from brand content, the latter being product-oriented, while the former is customer-centric. In content marketing, we don’t talk about what we sell, but about what we do for the customer and the benefits he can get from it.

What are the links between content marketing and inbound marketing?

Content marketing is part of a more global approach called inbound marketing. As opposed to outbound marketing, Inbound consists in capturing prospects in a natural way and converting them into customers, without using aggressive or intrusive methods (whereas Outbound uses techniques such as canvassing, cold calls, invasive advertising or street marketing). The acquisition of prospects is done through appropriate content, which implies setting up an adapted content marketing plan. Other methods are then added to achieve the desired objectives: SEO, SEA, nurturing, automation, etc.

“Traditional marketing talks at

people. Content marketing

talks with them”.

Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity

Why is content marketing essential?

Content marketing has become a must-have approach because it meets the expectations of 21st century consumers. With the development of the web and the multiplication of players in the market, buyers have become more demanding – and more volatile. They no longer buy blind: they seek information, consult customer reviews, exchange with professionals, and want more personalization in the messages they receive. Content marketing is the best way to meet these new needs: a content strategy allows a company/brand to be visible on digital media, to show its expertise and added value, and to position itself as a leader in its sector. These are the objectives to reach.

90% of Internet users search on the web before buying

27M pieces of content are shared every day, worldwide

90% of organizations use marketing content

What content marketing can do for you

Content marketing as a confidence builder

The implementation of a content marketing strategy allows a company or a brand to respond to the major commercial challenges of our time. At a time when consumption is moving massively to the web, digital marketing is no longer an option: it is a necessity for any player wishing to gain market share or simply to maintain its hard-won positioning. But digital content marketing also has another, more fundamental virtue: it creates trust and, in doing so, profoundly changes the relationship between the professional (the one who sells) and the consumer (the one who buys). With, at the end of the day, a large number of benefits.

The benefits of content marketing

Visibility

By regularly publishing content optimized for SEO (natural search engine optimisation), your content marketing strategy helps you strengthen your digital presence by improving your visibility.

Traffic

Quality content is more likely to rise to the top of search engine results. It helps drive traffic to your business website.         

SEO

The volume and quality of content produced in content marketing impact the SEO strategy: good content, in large numbers, can improve SEO.

Prospects

High-value content attracts qualified prospects to your website, who are interested in your products or services and likely to contact your sales team.

Customers

Content marketing is part of a broader strategy to convert prospects into customers. Certain types of content are specifically designed to optimize this crucial step.

Leadership

With an adapted content marketing strategy, you demonstrate your expertise and position your company/brand as a leader in its industry and market. You need to be inescapable.

Notoriety

The user experience provided through your content, as well as its distribution on various digital media, develops your reputation and gives you an important competitive advantage.

Loyalty

Content marketing doesn’t stop at the door of the sale: it continues its work by building customer loyalty. They can buy other products/services or become your ambassadors.

Sustainability

Content marketing builds a sustainable acquisition and conversion strategy that will continue for years, even if you stop producing content overnight.

95% of Internet users look exclusively at the 1st page of results on Google

86% of marketers believe that content marketing is a lever of performance

3 times more leads are generated thanks to content marketing

Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.

Andrew Davis

Content used in content marketing

A marketing strategy based on creating content

As its name indicates, content marketing is based on a content creation process. Content must have several characteristics: it must be relevant (regarding consumers’ expectations), have an informative value (rather than a promotional one), provide tips and tricks (educational dimension), and have an emotional aspect (make people want to read it, attract their attention, provoke an emotion, etc.). Moreover, the notion of “content” is not limited to blog posts, newsletters, and other textual formats: we are talking about videos, infographics, or contests as well. It is by mixing content types and formats that we deploy efficient marketing.

Types of content used in marketing

Here are the main types of content used in a content marketing strategy.

Blog posts

Published on your company blog, articles (short or long) show your expertise on targeted topics and reinforce your digital visibility.

White papers

These long and in-depth contents (also called e-books) effectively demonstrate your expertise. They are especially adapted to the conversion stage.

Case studies

By evoking the particular cases of your customers, you highlight your product/service while insisting on its concrete benefits.

Surveys and polls

These formats are distinguished by their educational dimension: the reader learns more about your field of activity and your positioning.

Landing Pages

These very specific contents designate the pages on which Internet users land when they click on links. They boost conversions.

Testimonials

The “itw” formats can be neutral (intervention of an expert) or promotional (interview with a client or a collaborator).

Checklists

Very popular, checklists are valuable organizational tools that attract the attention of Internet users and encourage sharing.

Product sheets

Essential for e-merchants, they serve as SEO boosters, landing pages, and informative content for prospects.

Infographics

These visual contents give clear information through an accessible format that requires limited attention. Hence, their high virality potential.

Videos

Videos are easily consumed from any medium. No wonder, video content is THE most popular content format!

Webinars

Online conferences (webinars) allow you to offer expertise through a format that encourages interactivity.

Podcasts

Increasingly present in content marketing, podcasts are important vectors of expertise and brand awareness for companies.

Slideshows

This conventional format is experiencing a digital renaissance in the form of PowerPoint or SlideShare presentations.

Newsletters

The newsletter remains one of the most popular formats for companies to follow-up prospects and build customer loyalty.

Social publications

This type of content covers all forms of publications on social networks (posts, tweets, live videos, stories…).

Press releases

This type of content is dedicated to corporate communication and allows you to convey a message (news, reaction, promotion…) and boost visibility.

Templates

Templates are particularly popular with Internet users looking for practical information. They are also valuable engagement levers.

Games and quizzes

Fun content (quizzes, contests) helps you collect strategic information and get to know your audience better.

Content produced as part of a content marketing strategy must follow a certain number of rules: it must be adapted to the web (fast reading, consultation from mobile devices, short attention span…) while respecting the indexing requirements of search engines. Thus, a marketing content must be structured in a certain way (“inverted pyramid”: the most important information must appear first), use HTML tags, contain outgoing links, etc.

The keys to building a content strategy

Content, but above all a strategy

Content marketing efforts rely on the creation of relevant and high value-added content to attract the attention of prospects. However, this is far from being enough! Like any marketing strategy, a content-oriented approach must take into account a number of parameters, and its deployment must follow several fundamental steps. Without a well-established action plan, you risk not reaping the fruits of your efforts and generating frustration, because you won’t see the results of your investments. Because, yes, content marketing has a cost, and therefore necessarily a ROI!

Stop selling and start helping your prospects!

Zig Ziglar

How to get started with a content marketing strategy?

The steps to follow to practice content marketing.

Identify your audience 🤓

A successful content marketing strategy involves addressing the right audiences – those who will read your content. It is therefore essential to start by identifying your targets and creating “personas”, sketches of your ideal prospects, which you will have in mind when choosing your themes and topics.

Create content 🎨

Based on the topics that interest your targets, you will create content that addresses their issues, provides them with information, and subtly draws their attention to your company/brand. These contents differ according to the identified buying paths, but also according to the type of audience you are addressing (B2B or B2C).

Establish a schedule 📆

For your content strategy to work, you need to adopt a regular publishing rhythm and stick to it. The ideal is to establish a writing and distribution schedule: this allows you to know precisely who should write what, when, to which target, and on which channels.

Integrate SEO 🎯

Content creation and SEO go hand in hand. Optimized content contributes to the increase of traffic on your website, and therefore to your visibility. When you consider that 90% of internet users don’t go beyond the 1st page of results on Google, this gives an idea of the importance of positioning.

Promote content 📺

What’s the point of writing content if it’s not accessible to internet users? In content marketing, distribution is the corollary of writing: you have to think about the right publication medium for a given content and promote it as much as possible once online (newsletter, social media…) in order to reach a wider audience.

Measure the performance 📈

Like any marketing strategy, this one requires regular milestones. In other words, to measure the performance of your marketing actions using the relevant KPIs (traffic volume, bounce rate, conversion rate, number of downloads…) according to your activity, your objectives, and your target.

Practicing content marketing in B2B and B2C

Your strategy will be different depending on whether you are addressing professionals or individuals.

B2C content marketing

  • Short buying process
  • Novice/knowledgeable
  • Blog posts, infographics, videos, fun content…
  • Accessible and educational language
  • Single decision maker and user
  • Short customer relationship
  • Affect-based decision-making
  • Sensitive to the benefits in terms of fun and entertainment
  • Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram

B2B content marketing

  • Long buying process
  • Knowledgeable/expert
  • White papers, case studies, testimonials, surveys…
  • Technical and direct language
  • Multiple decision makers and users
  • Long-term customer relationships
  • Decision-making based on reason
  • Sensitive to performance and profitability benefits
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube

70% of marketers focus on content quality rather than quantity

51% of companies publish content daily

62% of organizations outsource their content writing

Examples of successful content marketing strategies

Content marketing in all its diversity

Content marketing can be adapted to all types of companies and brands, in all sectors, whatever the target audience. Strategies can be extremely diverse, whether it’s the formats chosen, the content proposed, the distribution channels used, or even the tone adopted to address its audiences. In fact, anything is possible in terms of content strategy: you just have to find THE right way to talk to your audience, the one that resembles the company/brand and that corresponds to its positioning. To illustrate our point, we have selected four examples of successful content strategies, implemented by major brands, and particularly inspiring.

Success content marketing: 4 marketing examples

Knowledge at the service of customers

The famous toothpaste and toothbrush brand maintains a blog that offers content categorized according to the different needs of its costumers (developing oral health knowledge, improving the aesthetics of one’s teeth, being proactive), in various formats.

The famous toothpaste and toothbrush brand maintains a blog that offers content categorized according to the different needs of its costumers (developing oral health knowledge, improving the aesthetics of one’s teeth, being proactive), in various formats.

Colgate doesn’t just sell a product – it leverages its wealth of knowledge to provide its audiences with quality, informative and useful content in large numbers (over 1,500). In doing so, the brand has made content marketing the foundation of its digital marketing strategy.

A multi-target content strategy

The content marketing approach implemented by Red Bull is a perfect example of a successful multi-target strategy. On its dedicated content site, The Red Bulletin, the brand covers subjects as varied as sports, culture, arts, fashion, lifestyle and going out – themes that are sometimes very far removed from its core business.

In doing so, Red Bull is not trying to make us forget that it sells energy drinks but wants to develop its visibility on a large number of themes… to be everywhere at once! A digital strategy that takes up the main lines of its “traditional” advertising strategy.

Long and qualitative content

Buffer is a publishing platform for social networks. The brand has adopted a slow content strategy: long, in-depth, high-quality content that adds a lot of value to their readers, published with a reduced frequency (2 or 3 articles per month).

The result is a well-maintained blog, which shines by the richness of its articles, the quality of the information provided, but also by the transparency of its approach: the contents evoke without modesty the internal organization, the business processes, and the experiments within the company.

Marketing through humor

Zomato is a true “Cinderella of the web”: a small Indian food review website that has transformed into a mobile restaurant app with 65 million monthly users. This transformation is partly based on a marketing strategy that mixes innovative communication and entertaining content published on social networks.

In particular, the brand creates original visual content that weaves together food and popular culture, with a good dose of humor. This content is obviously very popular with users, as Zomato’s Twitter account is followed by 1.3 million people.

Upcoming trends in content marketing

Content marketing, a strategy for the future

Like all digital-based approaches, content marketing is constantly evolving. Tools are evolving, methods are changing, distribution media are transforming, SEO levers are becoming more complex, audiences are becoming more demanding… Even if 78% of marketers see content marketing as the future of their profession, implementing such a strategy represents a constant challenge in terms of adaptability. In this sense, it’s essential to remain attentive to the evolutions and to anticipate the major trends to come, in order to better integrate them into existing strategies and reach an ever-wider audience.

What will be the face of content marketing in the years to come?

Live video

The live video format is enjoying considerable success on social networks, especially Facebook and Instagram. It is likely to grow and become a pillar of content strategies.

Audio content

Voice search is making spectacular progress. Tomorrow’s content will have to adapt to this search mode by offering answers in audio format (podcasts and others).

Interactive content

Interactivity is a source of engagement, and content is adapting (quizzes, contests, webinars, and live videos…). This is a trend that is expected to grow rapidly.

User-generated content

UGC (User-Generated Content) is increasingly used by brands, and for good reason: user content is a powerful generator of trust for consumers.

Personalized content

An efficient audience segmentation will allow, in the future, to address the targets by personalizing the content as much as possible. So that each reader feels put forward!

Long content

“Slow content” is progressively imposing itself: longer and more in-depth content is tending to replace “snack content” representatives. For the benefit of consumers.

Frequently asked questions

📺 What types of content should be produced in content marketing?

The answer depends on several parameters: your industry, the size of your company, the type of product/service offered, the competition, the target of your content… For example, you should know that we do not address prospects in B2B and B2C in the same way, which implies proposing quite different content types.

💪 Should you outsource your content marketing?

Embarking on a content marketing strategy implies taking on many challenges: you need to have the resources and skills in-house, to know how to manage your budget, to constantly come up with new ideas, to devote time and energy to it… Outsourcing therefore has its advantages: it is the assurance of being able to rely on the know-how and skills of a specialized and available team.

🤓 What are the targets of content marketing?

Compared to “classic” marketing, content marketing allows you to reach more specific targets through content tailored to their needs. To do this, it is necessary to start by defining “personas”, sketches of your ideal targets (according to your business sector, products/services offered and your objectives), to whom the content will be intended.

Sources of figures: Demand Metric, SEMrush, HubSpot, Point Visible, The Manifest, Havas Group, Brafton, Aberdeen

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