The term ‘content marketing’ is the new buzzword in digital marketing. Everyone knows that it’s more effective that most forms of digital marketing – such as banner adverts – however, what is it really? How is it done?
Content marketing is not copywriting
First up, there’s a common misconception that copywriting forms the basis of content marketing. In other words, that copywriters produce the articles that are used in content marketing.
However, copywriters only produce content for marketing material such as adverts and sales letters. Think about the copywriter as a salesman but instead of them sitting in front of a client and selling them their products, the way that they sell their products is through the copy that they write.
Digital copywriters are very similar to traditional copywriters – just in the same way that digital marketers have an undeniable similarity to traditional marketers. However, there are marked differences between online and offline copywriters. As Maria Veloso says in Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy Every Time:
“… [digital] copywriting is distinctly different from any other kind of advertising copy and offline marketing communications.”
So, what is content marketing then?
Content marketing is about telling stories
Modern day consumers want more than just information. Individuals of this generation are accustomed to having easy access to:
- Information, as well as
They are well versed in the tricks that digital marketers employ. These consumers cannot stand annoying marketing. The more advertising lines they see in a piece of copy, the quicker they stop reading it. This means that storytelling is a great idea for any digital marketing campaign.
Why do we say this?
People adore stories. They are excited to read about what is similar to something that they’ve experienced. Storytelling can be a very useful tool for content creators. This is because stories can influence people’s emotions and get those precious likes and shares.
As the name suggests, ‘content marketing’ is about using content in order to market your business. Where it has the advantage over other forms of digital marketing is that content marketing provides much more space in order to convey the business’ marketing message to the customer as opposed to a small banner advertisement or advertorial.
Don’t think that only articles qualify as part of content marketing. This type of marketing can also take the form of infographics, videos and podcasts. In fact, the great thing is that you can use the blog post that you create as the basis for the other forms of content. This means that you content gets longer legs and you can repurpose it. This means that the money you’ve spent on your initial content generation goes further.
How to write a phenomenal story for your content marketing
People don’t enjoy reading copy which is abstract. This means that when telling a story, do so from your own point of view or, alternatively, another person’s. This will make it more likely for these types of stories to bring about empathy in your readers.
Design the storyteller to look as similar to your clients as you can. Give them the same problems and worries. This tactic would be perfect for a digital marketing campaign where the main character:
- Talks about the product or service, as well as
- Answers the questions that people may have.
Longing, humour, admiration or even fear. Tell a story which elicits an emotional reaction in your audience.
Offer a scenario that solves a challenge
Take people’s fears, doubts as well as insecurities and demonstrate to them how your product can deal with the problems that they are facing. People usually trust such ads with testimonials from professionals.
The content that you generate must be SEO optimised. This means that the person generating the pieces for a company’s content marketing must be given the list of keywords that a website is wanting to rank for and must weave these naturally into the copy.
Remember that Google ranks websites highly which mention a particular keyword multiple times. The most natural way that this can be done is by putting together a blog on your website so that multiple articles can be generated on the site and that the keywords that you want to rank for can be inserted naturally into the text.
If you stuff your text full of keywords – in others, every sentence has the same keyword that you’re trying to rank for – Google will see this and will penalise your site for doing this. This technique is classified as a Black Hat SEO Technique.
Remember that first of all, you’re writing for your readers. Put yourself if their shoes: if you read a paragraph that has a certain term repeated, ad nauseum, you’ll more than likely be turned off reading the particular piece. So if you don’t like it, what makes you think that your readers will enjoy it? Insert your keywords into the text when it’s appropriate. If you can insert more – without anything sounding like gibberish, that’s great – but if you only manage one or two insertions, this is ok too.
Content marketing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It gets much easier when you break it down into its components, examine each one and see what needs to be done. When you do this and master the concept of using content to market your business, you’ll see your marketing ROI grow exponentially.
Check out the Digital School of Marketing’s Digital Copywriting and Content Marketing Course to learn more about content marketing.
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