A Beginner's Guide to Content Marketing: The Terms You Need to Know
As a current or wanna-be business owner, you’ve probably stumbled across the words “content marketing” a thousand times. For as active as you are on social media, you could give a loose definition of the term in conversation, as you know that content marketing is an approach that distributes information to an audience. However, you’ve never taken a deep dive into this in-depth strategy in order to drive customers to interact with your brand (or the brand of your dreams!)
According to The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing, by definition, is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent, content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In other words, instead of using traditional marketing, such as print advertisements, billboards, and TV commercials, content marketing allows you to provide your audience with useful information that helps current and prospective clients solve their unmet needs. By producing engaging content that displays your expert knowledge on a subject, you will drive sales organically—without the sales pitch.
To help you develop a successful strategy to share content with your audience, I’ve listed and defined some simple content marketing terms below. When acknowledged in a content strategy, these terms will build the foundation of your content marketing campaigns to attract your dream clients and drive brand sales.
Ad Promotion: We’re starting out easy. Promotions are a great way to inform potential clients about your products and/or services and how to access them. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all have promotion options that are relatively cheap and use analytics to push your advertisement to your ideal clients.
Buffer suggests testing out promotions on different platforms to see what works; run an ad for several days to see if it’s a channel worth investing more in.
“Spend $5 per day on Facebook or Instagram ads for a little more exposure.” - Buffer
Analytics: This can feel like a challenging concept, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the analytics, or data and statistics, for your content can help you decide what content speaks to your audience and what content needs to be delivered in a different way. According to Huffpost, analytics can help you answer questions like, “What is your target audience talking about? What are the wider trends of the day? More specifically, how are they interacting with your company? Are they sharing or liking what you post?”
Using data analytics tools like Google Analytics or Sprout Social can help you make quick, informed decisions based on the communication between your customers or clients, the public, and your brand.
Audience:These are the only people you need to care about. Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. These are the people you want to market to. To figure out who your target audience is, first you must think about the following factors: age, location, gender, income and education level, family status, occupation, and ethnic background. Once you’ve narrowed down the demographics, dig a little deeper into these personal characteristics: personality, values, lifestyle, interests/hobbies.
Let’s just say, if you are a Target loving mommy-blogger, your grandma probably won’t be within your target audience—although you love and appreciate her constant support ;)
Blogging: The use of a blog on your brand’s website is a great way to share information on a topic while informing your audience of your expertise.
Plus, adding blog posts filled with keywords on a topic will boost your Search Engine Optimization so that your brand is easier for your target audience to find (more on this later!)
Buyer Persona: HubSpot said it best, “A buyer personal is a semi-fictional representation of your idea customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Start creating a buyer persona by giving your ideal customer a name. Then, give her/she background and personality based on the demographics of your ideal audience and your existing clients.
HubSpot defined buyer persona as semi-fictional for a reason—your buyer personas mimic real people, you may have just not met them yet.
Call-to-Action: You’ve given your audience information, now decide what you want them to do with it. Listen up—us humans aren’t as smart as we lead on. Some of us are able to digest information but aren’t sure what actionable steps to take to use it to our advantage. That’s where call-to-actions come in handy. Once you’ve given your information, attach a simple statement to the end of your content to get an immediate response from your audience. Simple phrases like join us for a free month or send me specials noware emotionally-charged CTAs that your audience won’t be able to resist.
Plus, you can use CTAs everywhere! Add them at the end of blog posts, social media content, email campaigns or wherever else you want your audience to engage with your brand.
Conversion Rate: This definition goes perfectly with call-to-actions because a conversion rate is the percentage of people who take a desired action. For example, you are running a paid promotional advertisement on Instagram. 1,000 people visited your website from the ad and 50 people bought your product. 50/1,000 = 5% conversion rate.
So, what is a good conversion rate? This question has no single answer.
A good conversion rate for your brand is simply one that is higher than you had before.
Copywriting: In simple terms, copywriting is the process of writing advertising and promotional materials. American Writers & Artists Inc. urges us to think of copywriters as “salesmen in print.” Copywriters write marketing materials for websites, social media, emails, brochures, and more.
If writing isn’t your strong suit, hiring a copywriter (like me!) is a great way to boost your brand in a way that speaks to your audience and converts them into clients.
Engagement Rate: This one is easy! It’s the rate at which people interact with your content. Likes, comments, and shares all count towards your engagement rate. Here’s an example of how to calculate your engagement rate for a piece of content:
100 + 10 = 110
110 / 1,000 x 100 = 11% engagement rate.
Here’s a breakdown of engagement rates according to Scrunch.com:
· Less than 1% = low engagement rate
· Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
· Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
· Above 6% = very high engagement rate
Influencer: Influencer Marketing Hub explains that an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
Influencers can be celebrities, content creators, bloggers, or industry leaders with expertise in a particular niche that they actively engage with. To break it down further, influencers fall into 4 different categories based on their social media follower count.
Mega influencers have more than 1 million followers.
Macro-Influencers have between 10k and 1 million followers.
Micro-Influencers have between 1k – 10k followers.
Nano-Influencers have less than 1k followers.
The smaller the influencers, the better the engagement rate tends to be. The newest trend is for brands to work with influencers in the nano and micro categories, as their followings are more loyal and likely to interact with posts.
Infographic: These nifty guys are visual images that represent data (and are a big 2019 content marketing trend!) Charts and diagrams are great to convert into infographics because they represent information that is easy to understand at a quick glance.
Customizable infographic creators like Canva and Powerpoint are accessible tools that everyone can use to create data-driven content that is easily digestible.
Keyword: Think about your latest Google search. What information did you want to find and what did you type in the search bar to discover the information you needed? The words you typed into the search engine were likely keywords, single words or phrases typed into search queries to find information. The more keywords you use on your website, the more likely it is that your website is at the top of search engine results.
PRO TIP: blogging about your niche is a great way to include keywords to gain traction on your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): One of the most overlooked arms of content marketing, but possibly the most important. SEO is the process of using keywords to optimize your content, usually website content, to get organic traffic from search engine results. Search engines frequently scan websites to understand what the site is about, and grasp on keywords to understand the full-picture of the brand.
To slay your website SEO, first make a list of keywords that are most relevant to your brand. Then, plug in those keywords wherever you can to increase your content optimization. When I was first starting out as an SEO content strategist, my manager told me to replace pronouns with keywords. So, instead of a sentence like, “It is good for marketing to your ideal audience” you could say, “Content is good for marketing to your ideal audience.”
The more keywords used in your written content, the more traffic will be driven to your website.
Unfortunately, content marketing is not as straight forward as it seems. However, these definitions will help you gain a broader understanding of how to strategically utilize content marketing to boost your brand awareness and gain an organic following.