The Content Marketing – Success factors & Examples 2020
The definition of content marketing: success factors and examples
Classic advertising, for the example above the line (television, print or radio) was one of the best ways to address your own target group relevant. As a company, however, the internet has given us countless opportunities to engage directly with our customers or other relevant target groups. The goal is to communicate creatively with relevant content people for our company through various channels, such as your own blog, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
At the same time, content marketing should support the essential corporate goals in the long term. Sessions and clicks as target achievement would only superficially reflect success here. In this article, we want to show you strategies and success factors and provide you with numerous examples of inspiration for your own content marketing.
So what is content marketing?
Answering this question also depends on your own point of view.
If you ask SEO what content marketing is, maybe they ‘ll say link building. Because website content, which was brought to the target group by good content marketing, receives links. And since good links are still one of the more important ranking factors, online marketers and SEO who establish content marketing with link building are largely right with this definition.
Of course, SEO is also interested in having content available at the end.
If you’re asking online marketing or social media manager, then content marketing is the production and distribution of content.
Phases in Content Marketing
Here is an exemplary process, how to approach the subject of content marketing step by step.
- Audience research: research into the needs of its own customers through tools such as like Facebook Audience Insights, keyword planner , Google Trends, Google Shopping Insights , Consumer Barometer or tools for defining personas or qualitative survey as survey monkey
- Planning and conception of content: Again, editorial plans may help.
- Production with the help of internal and external service providers
- project management
- Seeding, Pre-Seeding, Distribution, Pre-Launch, Post-Launch, Outreach and
- Performance Control: Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing
What do we actually market with content marketing?
Content marketing attracts attention to content that aims to make the target audience of a business aware of the sender.
Here are some media that can do that very well. What they all have in common is that they provide information free of charge that solves a problem of the target group or maintains it.
- Specialist articles, such as this article, how to properly link Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
- Infographics, such as this illustration of rental rates for individual cities of real estate Scout
- Web apps, like the chantalizer
- Whitepaper, like our SEO analysis whitepaper
- Videos, like this very impressive product presentation from Volvo:
But in the end, we do not market the white paper, the journal or the video. We market our business and its services and products through the implicit messages contained in these media or generated by the mere fact of providing them.
The difference between content marketing and classic advertising
Advertising emphasizes the products of a company or the company itself by expressing – sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly – positive qualities.
As a consequence, it makes allegations that can be summarized in such statements:
- “X tastes great and is easily digestible.”
- “X offers the best coverage for the least amount of money.”
- “X has the best smartphone camera.”
- “X is a technologically advanced company dedicated to protecting the environment.”
Content marketing primarily provides added value. This added value is intended to convey the positive product and company messages and thus make people fans and customers.
Examples of this methodology:
- Free diet plans for various sports from a sports food manufacturer
- Videos with stories for kids on YouTube featuring toys from the producer
- A free tool for determining color palettes from a graphics software vendor
- A card game with all Google ranking factors from the provider of an SEO suite
Content marketing is thus a far more subtle form of marketing. One gives before one takes.
A good tactic at a time when the claims of classic advertising are losing their effect. For example, because it lacks relevance because the targeting is unhappy, or simply because the chosen moment is the wrong one.
The difference between content marketing and PR
Content marketing is sometimes understood as a fancy new word for PR. Representatives of this view argue that – just like in PR – this is the pure communication between a company and its various stakeholders or target groups.
Although content marketing also communicates in a similar way. However, there is a significant difference to the PR. Clearly, content marketing has the goal of selling. This is how the content marketing institute defines content marketing as:
- Profitable marketing process. Successful customer service .
- Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that aims to create and distribute relevant and appropriate content with added value. The goal is to address clearly defined target groups in order to ultimately generate profitable customer activities.
Regularity in content marketing is good
The big coups in content marketing are mostly one-time actions. One hit wonder, if you like. They take place once, generate a lot of buzz and do not repeat themselves. It is clever and effective to regularly publish content in a specific context. Are you doing that well, your audience is waiting for a new edition of your content? So these content series become an institution.
Content marketing and SEO
The optimization of the position in the SERPs ( S earch E ngine R esult P ages) can one be objective of content marketing.
Simplifying the goal: Content with added value will also receive high-quality links if properly seeding and outreach. Since links are an important ranking signal for search engines, they can positively influence the position of the website that contains the content.
Other important ranking factors are:
- User experience through, among other things, good information architecture and mobile-friendliness.
- Click-through rate, time on site and bounce rate (directly influenced by the user experience).
- Holistic content, that is individual topics that merge into one big theme. The times of the single, important keywords are over, according to Searchmetrics.
Google Updates – Online Marketer Nightmare and User Blessing
Through updates to the algorithm and the introduction of Rankbrain , Google has reshuffled the cards several times in the past.
The Panda update, where content rating reached a higher level. Before the update, the evaluation of the pages took place manually. Now artificial intelligence takes over this task. The motto “Much helps a lot” has become obsolete after this update. The new motto is: ” High quality helps a lot”.
Other minuses on the list of pandas:
- A lot of advertising in the visible area.
- Poor matching between content, title and visitor’s search query.
- Many pages with poor quality content. For example, spelling mistakes, poor text quality or simply false claims.
- Many pages with few original contents .
- Keyword stuffing, that is the deliberately high spread of a keyword in a text.
- Poor crawlability of the page.
- Many duplicate contents ( duplicate content ).
- Pages that quickly scare off the visitor, resulting in a low visit time (Time On Page) and a high bounce rate.
The proliferation and use of mobile devices in many cases force us to plan and produce content and related marketing for use with the smartphone.
For our websites this means:
- Provide utmost benefits to mobile users by including location-based services
- Short charging times to make sure
- Ensure good readability through sufficiently large fonts and readable fonts
- A mobile good usable navigation deploy
Objectives of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a very versatile tool. Do it right, it supports for example:
- the acquisition of users
- the binding of users
- the construction of reach
- the engagement- optimization
- the conversion optimization
- the increase of customer loyalty
Basically, content marketing can be used to achieve so many goals that the scope of this article would be blown up with ease if all were listed here.
To achieve the goals of a content marketing campaign, of course, different campaign strategies are needed. For example, a campaign that aims to increase customer loyalty is unlikely to increase outreach.
The conception of content must therefore always be done with the goal in mind. This article for example aims to improve the position of the 121WATT blog in the SERPs in addition to the free information.
A legitimate goal that ultimately only works by providing relevant information on the subject. Since you found this article, we seem to have succeeded.
The machine (Google) is satisfied and has ranked this article accordingly. Hopefully, the human (you) will also be satisfied because he has found the answer to his question about a comprehensive definition of content marketing.
Content and the Customer Journey
Based on the classic customer journey, a visitor passes through several stages on his way to the customer:
Attention → Interest → Consideration → Purchase → Loyalty
At this stage, our traveler is in different situations regarding information and decision.
Here a need is triggered. At the same time, the target persons become aware of which of their problems the product can solve. If that is not the case, it is over here.
Content should attract attention at this stage by clearly identifying the issues to be resolved.
Effective content in this phase :
Example: As an ambitious videographer, I discover in my YouTube Suggests a video about the test of a slider, with which camera shots can be realized at a manageable price. Of course, I’m interested in that, because there are hardly any possibilities to do smooth camera shots without them.
If a customer’s interest has already been aroused and he/she takes into account the solution of their own problem, more information must be forthcoming. Details on product features and uses are a good way to deepen your interest.
For example, the description of the video I’ve seen about the Camera Slider includes a link to a landing page. It includes detailed product information and the ability to subscribe to a newsletter that includes weekly tips for better filming.
The phase shortly before the purchase. The prospect is basically ready to buy, but not completely convinced. If it is a software product, a demo or trial version is a good way to dispel any last doubts. For hardware products must be convinced with arguments.
Incidentally, retargeting can also be used to support the recovery of visitors and upselling.
Effective content in this phase :
- How-To Articles
- Reviews / comparisons
- Guide to application
Example: On the landing page of the manufacturer of my future Camera Slider convincing me how-to videos that show how to apply the product in such a way that produces exactly the results that I want to achieve.
The goal of the customer journey. The purchase. It should be as quick and easy as possible. But that’s more of an issue for conversion rate optimization.
Our goal after the purchase. The loyalty of the customer. Now we want to get him to be loyal to our brand and to buy again. Be it more of the product you have already purchased or a new product that will be released in the future. The very success of subscription products depends on the loyalty of their customers.
Effective content in this phase :
- E-mail Newsletter
- customer Magazine
Example: After the purchase of my camera slider, I receive an e-mail from the manufacturer, who asks me for my satisfaction and offers me to sign up for an e-mail list, which in future will be updated on the product, such as accessories, and new releases informed.
Visualize the customer journey for your industry
With this tool from Google you can view the exemplary customer journey for different countries and industries based on the channels used.
Each indicated acquisition channel has a different proximity to completion. In this example, you can see that social media is further away from the purchase than, for example, an email campaign.
Take into account, however, that the customer journey takes place over several devices. For example:
- Someone sees a video on a product for a smartphone.
- Later, at home, he remembers it and searches for it on the notebook at Google and finds an article about it.
- The next day, he researches on the tablet for a comparison test.
- In the evening he buys in his notebook.
Important: Every customer journey is different. Their history depends on product, entry phase, persona and other criteria.
The content itself
Content is assigned to one of three categories in content marketing:
Content that is produced on a regular basis and that your target group is usually aware of through a search. Articles like this one for example. Among other things, help content should be used to guide new visitors to a website.
Help content, through its added value and content, also represents the core of a brand or contributes to building a brand identity.
Of course, there are a lot of formats that you can use to reach your content marketing goal. They are as diverse as the net itself, so you are maximally flexible.
Cartoons, Case Studies, Quotes, Charts, Courses, Quizzes, Live Chats, Checklists, Memes, Virtual Events, Plug-Ins, Predictions, Opinions, E-Books, Magazines, Facts & Figures, Infographics, Wikis, Videos, GIFs , Sweepstakes, Audiobooks, Games, FAQs, Presentations, Webinars, Best Of Lists, Microsites, Apps, How To, Tools, Product Reviews, Email, Podcasts, Newsletters, Comparisons, Conferences, How To Articles, Roundups, Q & As , Interviews, white papers, survey results, AMAs, templates, workshops
Almost all are based on three basic formats. Whether alone or in combination.
To describe in detail what can not be expressed with static or moving images. Here the written word helps to convey complex topics in depth and in detail. A format that sometimes only works if the target group also has the time and leisure to consume it. This text is probably a good example.
As photographs or graphics, they stand alone, with text or in the text. They convey facts with little data volume and can be recorded quickly. That pleases the machine and the people. Images can work for themselves or support the text. The only format that can not be significantly enhanced by images is the video. In all other cases: To make it work, images must be pure.
The supreme discipline of content marketing. To produce more complicated than text and picture, but with a greater impact. Videos can be consumed by the audience on all devices that are also used for online viewing. They keep the viewer’s attention for a longer time, as he really has to do nothing but watch and listen. Complex facts can be presented even better than with texts. Videos also encourage further research.
4. Other media
Text, image, and video are well-known and have long been established forms of representation. But that does not stop the possibilities of content marketing. More and more new media can transport your content in the present and in the future. So you can not get past the topic of virtual reality and 360-degree videos at the moment. Although marketers are just beginning to discover the possibilities, in the future this medium will certainly gain a foothold in online marketing as well.
The central element of our content marketing strategy is a touchpoint matrix. This determines which information units we play on which channels in predefined content formats. For example, a content marketing video becomes a text (the transcript of the video), a picture gallery (screenshots from the video), a podcast (soundtrack from the video), and a series of short clips of the video for Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or other networks.
The content audit – what you already have and what you should change
The content audit gives you an overview of your content inventory and its quality. He is a very important step ahead of the development or reorientation of a content strategy.
You may be surprised by what you have already produced and what can be incorporated into your new strategy – unchanged or after a little adaptation. So why produce twice?
It’s also a good idea to schedule content audits.
The audit analyzes the existence and quality of your content. In principle, he can have different goals. For example, this one:
- A general assessment of the quality of existing content
- Identification of content with high bounce rates or low retention time
- A detailed classification to take advantage of opportunities at any time by quickly finding the appropriate content
- Identification of content to a specific strategy fit
- Identification of gaps in the overall structure of the content: what is missing to make the communication as a whole round?
- Identification of content that matches a particular station of the user journey
- Optimization of the information architecture of a website or its subareas
and much more
A content audit also requires a precise definition of the target audience that fits the audit objective. Only in this way can an effective result be produced that becomes so clear which content can have the best effect.
Incidentally, the personas already mentioned help you in defining the target group. They are something like imaginary representatives of an entire target group with their needs, goals and their media usage behavior.
The course of a content audit at a glance:
- Target group analysis and market research
- Research of topics, platforms and influencers (high-reach authorities of the respective area)
- Complete content inventory
- Classification of content according to quality
- Development of optimization approaches
- Develop ideas for new content
- Derivation of concrete actions
- Quality measurement (manual and machine)
Of course, there is a lot more to say about a content audit. But since it is so much, we will describe the exact process in one of our next articles.
Your insurance: the content marketing strategy
Content marketing is not easy. Without a strategy, successes are pure luck. But since most of us have neither the time nor the money to work happily on the trial and error principle, a clear strategy must be established before the first word of the Basic article is written on your topic.
The content marketing strategy regulates:
- Content production
- Content publishing
- Content control
- Success measurement (ROI) of content marketing
Such a content battle plan will help you elsewhere. He binds you to the goal that you want to achieve. As a result, you are forced to follow other paths than usual if they are necessary to achieve the goal.
Content marketing is teamwork
Let’s not talk about team sizes here. The skills required to run content marketing can be spread across a few or many people. The key is that those you need are actually represented.
Your content marketing team covering the full theme should, if you’re serious, model those skills:
- Conception so that the content fits the goal
- Editorial staff to write content that ignites and benefits
- SEO to make the content visible
- Development to make apps and websites work
- Design to make the content look good
- Web analytics to measure success and drive campaigns
- Project management to handle everything
It is always a good idea to separate project management from specialist topics. A personal union of PM and a specialist leads ultimately to the fact that the resulting egg-laying Wollmilchsau will lose the desire by consistently rubbing it pretty soon.
Do you love me? – Your own attitude towards the brand and the product
Do you really like what your company sells? Do you enthusiastically tell anyone who might be interested in your product and find it difficult to stop in your flow of words?
Good. You really seem to love your product. That’s still the best motivation for good content marketing.
80% of content marketing success is your own attitude.Frank Hohenleitner, Director SEO and Content Catbird Seat GmbH
Seeding and Outreach in Content Marketing
Bringing your content gold pieces to the interested people is half of the success. And yes, most of them are said to agree, “Sure. This is important. Otherwise, nobody will see it. ”
Therefore, plan the seeding and outreach for your content very accurately and conscientiously. Only in this way will the success set, which you have worked for so far.
Seeding is the planned distribution of your content through channels. It is distinguished from the outreach, which means the distribution through relationships and thus persons.
In this phase, prior to actual seeding, you’re talking to people and companies that will propagate your new content after its release through its existing influence. It can start with including you as an expert in the production of your content. This, of course, makes it easier to get distribution support from them afterward.
Hereby you generate attention and reach organically. Placing your content on social media platforms enables you to share with your audience. That’s why it’s so important that your content does not look like advertising.
If your content is good enough, assuming you have a corresponding fanbase, this initial spark should be enough to generate a lot of reaches.
If you spend money on placements, you can use paid seeding to spread your content more quickly and only with the budget capped. Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Instagram ads, paid postings and other networks.
This form of content distribution takes place on a personal level. This requires a network of people who have some influence and reach in your industry. These people should be informed about new content. With pleasure also with the request to share this.
As always, when dealing with people, you should be very careful. Influencers should therefore not be bothered with inanimate standard texts, which they already receive in large numbers in this form anyway.
Deepen your knowledge about content marketing
Content marketing is versatile. As you now know, it covers many areas. Newcomers, therefore, look with awe at this marketing discipline and wonder where to start.
I hope this article has given you a good, first overview. In discussions about the topic, you can now have a say and understand the most important terms.