Content Marketing 101: Your Complete Guide

The digital landscape has gone through drastic changes over the last decade. Traditional strategies for marketing and advertising are quickly becoming a thing of the past as cell phones and social media platforms command more of our attention. These changes have affected the way we make our buying decisions; people want a consumer experience that feels engaging and personalized.

In the fast-moving world of marketing, standing out as a business is no easy task. It’s more essential than ever for businesses to have a strong social media presence in order to connect with their potential and existing customers. For your business to thrive, it needs to adapt.

Welcome to content marketing.

Whether you’re familiar with this term or not, your ability to master this skill matters to your business. Fortunately, you’re in the right place. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to create fun and compelling content that will catch– and keep– the attention of your ideal clients.

Content marketing is a key tool that you should implement in your client acquisition and retention process right away– let’s break down why, and how to get started!

What Is Content Marketing?

According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of content marketing is: “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”

For many business owners, the best way to connect to their audience is through teaching, giving value, and creating a trust bridge towards a purchase. This can be done through valuable content. That way, when you release a product or a new service, they know you are a trusted source of information and solutions.

Why Is Content Marketing So Important?

Content marketing helps your customer feel supported through their buying decision, rather than simply being the target of a sale. No one wants to feel like they’re getting bombarded with pressure to “buy, buy, buy,” as it pushes them away. It’s actually a brain function that moves people into safety-and-retreat mode, and can kill a sale almost immediately! Providing valuable and compelling content creates a bond between your customer and your brand that disarms the “escape mode” and establishes trust.

There’s a fine line between content and advertising, and it can sometimes confuse people. Content delivers value! Plain and simple. It could be informational value or even entertainment value. This is why Instagram reels and TikTok are so popular right now. Many companies combine the information and entertainment to teach– while building that trust factor!

An excellent rule of thumb is to give away content that people would pay for. The more you give, the more perceived value you get. This is how you build a brand that your potential clients like AND trust.

Types of Content

There are several types of content you may want to create, depending on your business and target audience.

Website: Your website should connect with your audience and provide opportunities to learn, understand, and connect. Remember, marketing is your chance to solve a problem that addresses a pain point– to which you are the solution. Making your website into a content hub where your audience is heard and seen (rather than a ton of facts) can be a perfect way to establish a better relationship. Also, when you’re focused on content, you improve your SEO ratings!

YouTube: The world’s second leading search engine is a perfect place to show off what you know! Consistently creating valuable content on YouTube is effective because people go there to find videos that will help them learn. Video creation is time-consuming, so make sure it’s something you want to start (and continue!) doing. I teach people about content repurposing all the time, and usually I have them start with long form content (a longer video) that can be reused, chopped up, and shared.

Social Media: Having a solid social media strategy can help a brand stand out. The top social media platforms right now are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Having a plan to share your content on these platforms can be a powerful way to grow your visibility. Remember, most people consume hours of social media daily!

Infographics: These are long form graphics that contain valuable information. They might be carousels on an Instagram feed, a blog post on your website, or even a graphic on a YouTube video. These infographics can include statistics, how-tos, guides, or a combination of these elements.

Podcasts: According to The Infinite Dial 2021, US weekly podcast listeners averaged eight podcasts in the last week. Only 11% of US podcast listeners older than 12 listened to only one podcast in the last week. Most (21%) listened to about five, while 19% listened to anything from six to ten podcasts per week. This is a great platform to get right into the ears of a receptive audience.

How to Start Content Marketing

Gary Vaynerchuk once said something so valuable, and it shifted how I create content: “Don’t Create Content, Document Your Process!”

Creating new content all the time is exhausting and not really time-effective. One solution is to document your process as you work through projects, or show behind the scenes– or even just explain the “why” behind what you do. Most importantly, content marketing helps you be seen and understood.

People want to connect with a person as opposed to a brand, which is why brands such as Nike use spokespeople to showcase their products. Human connection also primes your potential customers for an easier purchase, practically crushing their objections before they get to the buy. It makes the runway shorter, and it’s why many companies see a huge return on their marketing.

It might not feel natural to start making videos or showing up consistently on social media. Once you create a strategy, get some coaching, and start implementing it, a consistent online presence will feel easier.

Essential Tools

Technology is advancing so fast, and it’s easier than ever to create right at your fingertips! But, which apps are the best? Which ones are easy to use if you’re not tech-savvy, and which really meet your needs? When it comes to creating content, you’ll want apps and software that either save you time, money, or a headache!

There are many tools and forms of software to help you stand out as a brand. Your content is what shows you off as the expert who will help your potential clients get the results they desire. These are my top suggestions for essential tools that you need in order to create great content.

Tool #1- The Voice Memo App

You don’t have to be sitting in front of your computer if you have a great idea– you can whip out your phone! It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it helps you capture moments when you’re not at the computer.

Any time you have thoughts that you haven’t had the chance to write down, grab the voice memo app and record it.

The second way you can use your voice memo app is to get professional audio while you’re recording a video. This is a little-known hack that can improve your audio quality, and even help you repurpose your content into a podcast! You can even record your next book as a dictation and then transcribe it.

The voice memo is a resource most people underestimate!

Tool #2- The InShot App

InShot has made editing videos for different platforms extremely easy. From cutting clips, trimming, editing sound, adding music, including text and stickers, and even making your own videos, this app is very handy and user-friendly.

There’s many video editing apps out there; I’ve personally tried several, and InShot is still my favorite. It’s $14.99 per year, making it an inexpensive app that’s easy to use. It doesn’t include advanced editing techniques like splitting the screen or adding custom graphics, but you’ll be able to edit a video in minutes.

Tool #3- Later

This app for scheduling on social media can save you hours!

Later is an industry leader for scheduling, as they have been one of the initial softwares to do this type of work. It saves you a ton of time by pre-scheduling your feed posts and stories. It also has an informational blog to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media.

This app frees you from the constant hustle and bustle of social media, and you can feel at ease about your content for the week. That way, you can be more focused on engaging with people on social media platforms.

Tool #4- Canva

This is hands-down the best tool for creating your graphics for social media, branding materials, client materials, freebies, video editing, and so much more. Canva has the ability to make anyone a graphic designer.

With pre-made templates for just about anything, Canva helps you stand out as a brand in minutes. It has grown extensively as a graphic editing platform where you can even edit videos and create presentations, websites, and printed materials. One of my favorite tools is the background remover– with one click, it allows you to position a photo anywhere on a canvas and create really dynamic graphics!

As a business owner, Canva can be one of the most useful tools in your deck. At a low price that ranges from $10-$14 a month, it really can’t be beat. Check out my video on how to use Canva.

Tool #5- CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) software that brings it all together will let you focus on sales!

Once you have the tools to generate content, you can’t forget that you also need to find a provider for your landing page creation, email sending, and customer relationship management.

While there are several options for this type of software, my tool of choice is HighLevel. With this system, you can build landing pages, send emails, SMS messages, and even create pipelines for your potential leads– all in one place! This tool will help you with everything from email marketing to building funnels, as well as having a snapshot of client acquisition and your potential monthly revenue.

It’s one of the most robust tools out there, allowing you to organize your business and create stunning landing pages to help you sell your programs and services.

All in all, the tools you are using for your business mean nothing if you don’t have a thoughtful strategy in place. Make sure you have daily accountability so you can achieve meaningful goals for yourself and your business.

Once you begin applying strategic content marketing, bringing clients will be more fun than ever before! There is nothing more rewarding than the feeling of giving in order to receive. Get started with your content marketing plan today!

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