Neil Patel’s definition of content marketing is, in my opinion, the best. He defines content marketing as “a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.”
Within his definition, there are a few keywords that people often forget about when putting together their content strategy and goals.
- Building a relationship
I think the first misconception is that content marketing will immediately bring in new leads or revenue. I fit into this bucket when I first started doing content marketing. However, that’s extremely rare. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint, which can be frustrating at times, but it’s the nature of content marketing.
The more quality content you create, the more it snowballs. For example, we created a blog called “5 Music Festival Trends of 2019” for my company. It was a blog over the summer that was aimed to hit on the trending topic of Music Festivals. Oddly enough, it didn’t get many views over the summer. However, since October, it has been our most successful blog and ranks in the top 5 on Google for “Music Festival Marketing.” It continues to gain more views month over month, proving the snowball effect of content marketing.
Building a relationship:
In class, we talked about the 90/10 rule – 90% of your content is education, and 10% is promotion. I completely agree with this strategy. I get frustrated with brands that are regularly just sending me promotions. I usually unsubscribe because it’s not valuable to me. It needs to be educational, helpful, or provide an interesting perspective. One strategy that we have recently added into our blogs and content overall is always adding a CTA to something more promotion within the material. Once we can get them to our page, we can increase the chance of converting them.
Providing relevant content can be tough to execute. It means that you have to know where the person reading your content is on their buyer journey. Do they know you? Are they a current customer? Are they already shopping for your product or service, or do you need to convince them that they need it? Nothing is worse than getting an email or an ad for something you’ve already purchased. In class, we talked a lot about using different channels for specific stages in the See, Think, Do, Care journey. Once you can understand your customer journey, you can better align your content with those stages. The other part of being relevant is providing your content on the right device for that stage in the journey.
In our mobile marketing class, we talked a lot about the shift towards mobile-first content. To ensure that your message is getting to the right person, at the right time, through the right channel, you need to know your target audience and how they interact with content. Do they prefer mobile, desktop, TV, etc.? You can create great content, but if your audience doesn’t see it then it doesn’t matter.
Consistency is critical for your content strategy. Whether it’s posting on social media, blogging, or sending emails, the regular cadence of your content matters. As a marketer, this is the one part of Neil Patel’s definition that I know is extremely important but also can be tough. It’s easy to get discouraged if your content isn’t working right away. That’s when consistency matters. If you are creating relevant content for your audience, you have to be consistent to see that long-term growth.
Content is a real commitment, but it has a snowball effect that can be extremely powerful for your company. Make a plan before you start to ensure that you will meet the 4 keys to success.