Content Marketing Questions and Answers

What is content marketing?

Basically, content marketing is sharing your knowledge and expertise in exchange for being able to make a future sale.

Who is using content marketing?

Some of the biggest and best companies in the world use content marketing, have a look at coca-cola's decision to invest content marketing

What form does content marketing take?

Content is published in the form of website copy, mobile content, blog posts, e-books, webinars, white papers, checklists, videos etc... Forrester, the Gartner Group and IBM are all strong practitioners. Just google their brand names. 

Is content marketing purely an online activity?

No, content marketing has been around since the dawn of commerce. But self publishing and social media have made it far easier and cheaper. 

What's the connection between content marketing and permission marketing?

Permission marketing is getting permission to market to an audience. It was coined by Seth Godin, and indicates a radically new basis for the relationship between buyers and sellers of complex products and services

What the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers. The most successful inbound marketing campaigns contain the key components of a content marketing strategy: first, inbound marketing content is created and published using the medium of choice (blog, video, white paper, eBook, etc.). Second, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) increases the rank (SERP) of the content and makes it more accessible. Third, social media allows the content to be spread amongst people via networks. 

Why is a content marketing strategy so important for inbound marketing?

Creating advanced content for inbound marketing is one of the most important activities in your entire budget. Buyer behavior has changed drastically over the past few years: consumers are now using the web to research products and services before they buy. You must start educating your audience early in the sales process so they learn about the benefits of your solution and trust your business. Without content to deliver throughout your website ecosystem (including the social channels), you will have very little value to offer your target audience, and there will be no digital assets to reference in your lead nurturing emails. By providing white papers, special reports, videos, tips, checklists and webinars, you can reach perspective customers early in the process and gain their trust. 

How can content marketing help with lead nurturing?

Content marketing tools can be used as offers designed to capture your prospect’s email address, phone number, company size, biggest challenge, which you can use to “nurture” these prospects over time.

What is the cost of content marketing?

The effort and cost to create a 4-6 page digital download can be compared to the cost of creating a six-panel, colour brochure. It requires purpose, design, copywriting, layout, revisions and the final production (adding it to your website). Design for new pieces of advanced content is budgeted at a minimum of 18 hours. Creating two per quarter (8 per year) equals 12 hours per month (144 hours per year). To create the quality and quantity of new content you will need, a copywriter or editorial manager (preferably with a journalism background) will plan a schedule and editorial calendar. To create the content they will talk to select contacts within your organisation.   Planning, preparation, interviews and copywriting takes 4-5 hours on average per post. Based on six blog posts to be written, optimised and published with images, meta data, links and tags to your website, this equals a minimum of 30 hours per month (360 hours per year).

What about content marketing and SEO? Should I focus on keywords? 

The new SEO equation looks something like this: Content Marketing + Social Media + Technical SEO = Google’s Sweet Spot. Google now rewards original, problem-solving and/or entertaining content. This means, to be found, companies must publish quality content frequently while keeping search engine optimisation in mind.Don't trade bulk for quality when it comes to content; you have an obligation to evaluate the usefulness of your content to readers. Make it a habit to trim out the fat, replacing fluff with good stuff. Increase your traffic by offering interesting information, quality product or service descriptions, and helpful advice that solves problems. Though it may be tempting to focus merely on search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies that are geared toward increasing rankings rather than providing a quality website, just remember that readership time on your site will decrease as a result of poor content. Search engines won't be tricked, and neither will visitors. If your visitors are not impressed with your content, you'll never win the war of the words on the web. Great content is clear, simple, and easy to understand. Does your content meet those criteria? Or does it require explanation from sales people? Readers won't act on information they don't comprehend. Cut the fat and KISS--keep it simple, stupid. Communicate effectively by using smaller bits of information in clear, concise language. Pay attention to chunking, headers and subheads. 

What about commissioning additional content from professional writers?

Professional blog writers can be employes to write additional posts each month for your website based on your budget and content marketing strategy. These posts will be written to complement your in-house articles. Most importantly, they increase the frequency of the new content being added to your website. The cost for purchasing 8 additional blogs per month (2 a week), including the optimisation and web updates, is between £600 and £80.

Is email marketing the same as content marketing?

Yes, as long as it is relevant, email marketing is a great way to keep your customers and followers informed and engaged on a regular basis. When you offer helpful and relevant content, your prospects choose to opt-in to your information by converting on your website forms. We recommend a minimum of one email communication per month to maintain these relationships. The design, programming and management of an email process takes no less than 6 hours per email (72 hours per year). 

What makes great content?

You need more than just useful information to keep readers coming back for more; great content needs to be both helpful and compelling. Successful content marketing strategy requires with great writers who can craft a story and tell it well. When reviewing prospective writers, ask them for content that goes beyond just useful information. Screening freelance writers' work carefully is important: ask for samples of their work. Hire only the best writers, and you'll be doing your readers, and your business, a favour.