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How content marketing works. Some ABCs

You have probably asked yourself this question if you’ve landed on this blog. Why would you (or anyone else) pay some people to write articles and then distribute them on social media? What happens behind all that drafting and that sketching?

Content marketing is about creativity,  also about strategy. Actually, it’s more about strategy than it is about anything else. It’s about those things you said you would never try and that you’ve been cataloging as “marketing bullshit” for many years before it dawned on you that all the fuss about the online is probably not for nothing.

First of all, content marketing is (or should be) a lot more than simply writing articles for a blog. It is a process that combines statistics, analysis, research, and creativity. In fact, the process of writing is almost always surpassed by target audience analysis, company persona or competitors. Here’s how we do content marketing, a little more in detail.

The Process

Understanding the specifics of the product.

The product can be a packaged good, as well as it can be a mobile app or a cloud-managed gateway connector. In our case, as we tackle content marketing for technology startups, it’s primarily about the latter.

If we take a mobile app, for instance, we will start by identifying its Value Proposition, derived from its main features and the problem it solves for its customers.

Identifying and analyzing the competition

Although this should not be a lengthy process, it’s nonetheless essential. Positioning on the market (be it online) is always determined by the way in which competitors do it. What do they advertise as essential features? What is their core message? More importantly, what are they doing wrong that you should avoid?

Analysis of the competition is undergone both content-wise and search engine wise.

Search Engine/Content/Social media research

A consistent amount of preliminary research should focus on content already existing online. Specific keywords and phrases are identified as essential and then researched for, in order to establish their importance and ranking in Google. In other words, preliminary research helps to identify what people look for most when it comes to your product.

Designing and implementing the content strategy

After the message, goal and target audience have been identified, a consistent content marketing strategy needs to be set in place content-wise. Blog posts, infographics, white papers, PPT presentations are all designed in accordance with the overall strategy. Publishing regular, good quality content needs to become a habit, crucial for achieving online awareness and, ultimately, sales leads.

Content distribution

social media marketing

Content creation is essential, but, for people to acknowledge its presence, online distribution is crucial. Therefore, depending on the marketing goal (gaining awareness or sales leads – or both), juicy, useful content will be posted on the main social media channels. Likewise, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora or Facebook will be used for engaging the target audience and for setting yourself as a sound, experienced voice in the online community.

Monitoring the results

Analyzing how people react to your messages needs essentially is a constant part of the process, from the very beginning. By using the right analytics tools (Google Analytics, KissMetrics, CrazyEgg and a simple Excel spreadsheet), you can monitor an overall reaction to your product, as well as the details of your everyday traffic.

Watching user/website traffic should be an ongoing process, meant to assess all the marketing efforts deployed. Tracking down the keywords used for editing certain pieces of content and the social media channels is useful for understanding which methods work best for generating ROI. Likewise, setting up the right conversion funnels in your Google Analytics account helps you understand how many visitors actually convert to users or, alternatively, why conversion isn’t occurring.

And this is, in a few paragraphs, how content marketing works. The wonders and marvels of well-performed content marketing strategy can be numerous once you understand how the online needs to be part of an integrated marketing approach of your new idea. If we haven’t done it, here’s some statistics that may.