The Basics Of Content Marketing For Newbies

Updated: April 20, 2019
by Ray Alexander

Content marketing is about sharing content with users and indirectly promoting brands, products and services. So what is 'content' in marketing online? It can be in a text format such as a blog article, a video format such as YouTube, audio such as a podcast, or visual content such as an infographic or banner.

The Basics Of Content Marketing For Newbies

Then what is NOT content marketing? Strictly speaking, when an entire message is purely and directly to promote something, it's hard for us to call it a content marketing method.

For example, a message that reads "Matcha Kit Kat is so tasty. It really tastes like a combination of matcha and chocolate. This is the best stuff!" The content does not really have a value in itself. The first time visitors may be persuaded by the message to buy it, whereas people who've already tried the product doesn't have to be reminded of it that way.

But as soon as another element is added to it, the content itself starts to have a meaning. You might write a Matcha Kit Kat review. You might compare the flavor with a few other Matcha chocolates. You might microwave it, add some ketchup to it and see if how it tastes like. Whether it's interesting enough to draw the consumers' attention or not, the content now has a value in itself. The content will be promoting not only the Kit Kat but anything that's involved with it - it can be promoting the microwave oven and ketchup as well as yourself and your blog or YouTube channel. In other words, the content builds loyalty and credibility.

Characteristics of Content Marketing

As mentioned earlier, there are mainly 4 types of content marketing; in text, by video, by audio or in graphics. And each time has its own benefit and it's entirely up to each content marketer to choose which format according to their skills and preference.

  • Text Format: Undoubtedly, the most popular content marketing method is in text format. According to Hosting Facts, over 4 million blog posts are published on the Internet every day. If it's a popular method, then it's competitive. An SEO technique is so important for content marketing bloggers for that reason in order to rank in search engines.
  • Video Format: YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, and according to MerchDope, almost 5 billion YouTube videos are watched every single day. A basic SEO technique is required to determine the title, description and tags but the actual content can be as dynamic as anything that you can imagine.
  • Audio Format: Audio content marketing is not restricted to podcasts, but it includes audio books, internet radios, as well as content through smart speakers. It is a convenient format for end users; people can listen to it in the car, while commuting, in outdoor spaces.
  • Visual Format: Visual graphic content appeals to users instantly, and therefore it can give more impact than any other methods. It includes infographics, banners and image-based social network marketing such as Instagram and Pinterest. Also can be in cartoon/comic book format.

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Why Is Content Marketing So Important?

Because the web space is so competitive. Whether you choose to blog, vlog or run a campaign on social media networks, content marketing methods provide you a chance to be self-expressive and be different from others.

Especially in text format, it's up to you to decide how you write. Factual and impersonal writing style can be useful, but there's no personal engagement value in it. Content marketing allows you to be emotional, friendly or funny to build a stronger bond with your readers.

And it won't end there. Your interesting content will be passed around. Your immediate audience may share your content on Facebook and their friends may 'like' it. Your audience may tweet your content and someone else may retweet it, and so on. Other webmasters may link your page, which will bring up your page authority level.

So how can you create even better content?

Create Better Content

Here are a few ways in which you should consider making your content even better.

#1 Content Design

Content Design

A website that's created using an outdated platform - old theme or old site-builder does not only have a poor visual design in users' eyes but because an old script may be used, it tends to load slowly. It's bad for user experience and it's bad for SEO. Design plays a major role in content marketing to generate leads and convert more visitors into customers.

#2 Image Placement

When creating a text content (=blog), it's important to place high quality but adequately optimized images. Because text-only information can be harder for the readers to digest and the inserted images will help amplify the content. Remember, the images themselves are part of your content marketing.

An alt tag attached to each image will also help optimize for search engine ranking purpose. Images should be adequately spread every several paragraphs, but not too many.

#3 Good Title Header

The title header should be relevant to the actual content so that it will drive the right audience, and it should also be exciting or interesting enough to catch as many audiences. At the same time, the header should contain the keyword for SEO purpose. It can be challenging to come up with a thought-provoking title header that also contains the keyword, but this is one of the most important elements of the content marketing strategy.

#4 Reduce The Number of Ads

Advertisements placed on your website may be an essential source of income but too many ads will be intrusive and can disconnect from your readers. The ads should be relevant to your content, and be placed adequately to maximize the effect. A webpage that's crowded with ads can be considered spammy by search engines and less likely to rank well.

#5 Good Color Coordination

color combination

The whole purpose of content marketing is to send the right message to the users and make them want to keep coming back for more. The color combination should be easy on the eyes. Unless the content is a specialty, red on black is associated with horror, for example. The color coordination does play a vital role in supporting compelling content.

Ask Audience For Feedback

No matter how you think your content is the best shot, it's the users' opinions that matter. By asking them for feedback, you might find a variety of options that you would never have come up with on your own. Feedback can be collected by;

  • Email: If you have a list of subscribers, send out an email requesting feedback, or
  • Survey: You can cast a survey on your site, or over social networks.

Related Post: ResponseSuite Survey Builder To Generate Leads

Your feedback request should be brief, and you should clearly state that the purpose of the request is to enable you to help them by offering better content. Optionally you can offer a freebie in exchange for the feedback.

Once you have heard your audience's opinions, you should have a good idea of exactly what you should change to improve your future content. You might want to share the feedback results with your audience on your website or on social media, so that they know your followup plans and progress.

The Basics Of Content Marketing

Do you have any other content marketing strategy ideas or suggestions? Please feel free to share your experience and thoughts by leaving your comment below.

About the Author

ASD. Recovering alcoholic. LGBTQ+ advocate. Semi-retired. 15+ years of web-designing experience. 10+ years affiliate marketing. Ex-accountant. I'm nice and real. Ask me if you need any help in starting up your home business.

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  1. Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.

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