Content Marketing Basics: What Is Content Marketing and How To Do It

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 22, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated March 22, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Content marketing is a central component of many successful marketing strategies. Used by many large corporations, it has proven effective in building customer loyalty. Content marketing helps develop and maintain compelling brands and is also beneficial to customers and clients. In this article, we explore what content marketing is, the benefits content marketing offers, elements of a content marketing campaign and its importance to other types of marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a technique used by companies and organizations to create and share valuable information that attracts and maintains a target audience. Content marketing focuses on ensuring that the target audience or customer acquires information that they find useful or valuable. This establishes the company as an authority on the subject, products and services offered, increasing visibility. Additionally, it builds a trust between the business and its customers, which results in increased loyalty. Content marketing relates to the four basic steps of the buying cycle:

  1. Awareness: Customers become aware of a problem or need.

  2. Research: They conduct research or begin looking for possible solutions to their problems or items that will help them fill a need.

  3. Consideration: Based on their research and information gathered, they compare different products, options and services to decide which is the best choice based on price and value.

  4. Purchase: Customers commit to a decision and complete the purchase.

Content marketing addresses the first stages of the buying process and helps the customer by educating them and giving them tools to make an informed decision. It is non-promotional and does not mention the product or service specifically. However, it does provide valuable information to help consumers make educated decisions within your industry.

Related: 7 Ways to Market a Small Business

Benefits of content marketing

Content marketing is a strategy that takes time, effort and research. However, there are benefits to using this method, including:

  • Increased brand visibility: By consistently providing viable information to potential and existing clients, a brand stays in the minds of the consumer, increasing brand awareness and recognition.

  • Attracting new customers: By providing quality content, you can attract new customers to your brand because it offers service and information that is valuable to them.

  • Retaining current customers. Existing customers will continue to seek a brand as an authority within its niche as the company's knowledge and awareness of consumer needs are established.

  • Reducing marketing costs: Although creating quality content for a target audience is time-consuming, it is highly cost-effective over time. It can result in attracting more customers and retaining current clients by establishing credibility.

  • Increasing revenue: Over time, a business will become recognized as an expert within its industry, creating an increase in revenue. Businesses can slowly build customer loyalty and establish a consistent brand identity by showing the value they can provide to customers.

Related: 15 Marketing Jobs That Pay Well

Parts of a content marketing campaign

An effective content marketing campaign will look different for each company based on the products and services offered, the goals and the target audience. However, you will want to ensure that you focus on the eight key components of most content marketing campaigns listed below:

  • Establish a consistent brand identity.

  • Identify objectives.

  • Define a customer persona.

  • Conduct research.

  • Recognize customer need.

  • Create quality content.

  • Communicate with the focus market.

  • Evaluate and adjust.

Establish a consistent brand identity

Use established branding guidelines to be consistent across all platforms and promotions. You want your brand voice, image, message and content to be constant and compatible with your established identity to keep your focus audience and maintain credibility. Creating and maintaining a consistent brand can help customers recognize your company quickly.

Identify objectives

You should have set objectives that help you determine which parts of your content marketing campaign work and where you can improve. Try to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that can measure the effectiveness of different strategies in terms of numbers and data. Consider if you want to increase brand awareness, attract new customers or generate more online traffic for your website. Then, identify how you will measure these aspects.

Define a customer persona

A customer description is a profile of your typical consumer and can include information like age range, gender, family status, location, household income and educational background. Doing this will help you focus your content. For example, if you sell high-end jewelry, your customer persona could be people with incomes above $75,000 per year.

Conduct research

To gain insight into customer needs, you will want to conduct some research by using customer feedback, historical purchasing trends and behaviors, surveys and even information from third parties. Performing this research can help you determine your customer persona and the effectiveness of your brand.

Recognize customer need

Often referred to as the customer journey, or journey map, this is the story of your typical customer and how they interact with your brand. It is a brand's ability to empathize with customer needs, and it can help you focus on how consumers react to the buying experience to optimize your marketing strategy.

Create quality content

Generate quality content that informs the customer and helps them meet their needs by providing valuable information on solutions to their problems. Offering this information can help you establish trust and build a consumer base in your niche.

Communicate with the focus market

Create a focused list of social media platforms and other outlets such as radio, print or visual media to help you reach your target market.

Evaluate and adjust

Develop a method to measure the success of your content marketing initiative, and evaluate whether your goals are being met. Adjust your strategy to help reach or surpass your objectives. This is a cycle that you can evaluate regularly to help you optimize your efforts.

Related: Marketing's Promotional Mix: Definition and How To Use It

How content marketing is important to other types of marketing

Content marketing is beneficial to the rest of your marketing strategies because it helps position your brand as a leading authority and develops strong customer relationships. It serves as a foundation by establishing credibility and creating a culture of trust among your potential and current customers.

Content marketing serves as a way to connect with customers by communicating your understanding of their needs. Educating the customer to help them through the purchasing journey exhibits true care for their buying journey, and proves that your brand has a vested interest in them.

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