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What is Content Marketing?

January 24, 2020 - Zak Averre

Being a content marketer and telling your relatives what you do for a living can be difficult to explain. I’ve had people think I just write blogs or scroll through news feeds all day, or even think I sit an office all day stamping little Copyright logos on things. Content marketing is so much more than any of these. It’s the planning, writing, editing, images, and everything else that comes with the territory. It’s a marketing role that feeds into every aspect of a project including SEO, PPC, design and development. Marketing Guru Neil Patel has even claimed conversion rates are almost six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters. Still not sure what content marketers do? Allow me to explain. 

Research and Targeting

Before the first word is typed a content marketer does research. Competitor research, brand DNA, writing styles, demographics, are just some of the exercises undertaken with any given project. Writing content for a client is all based on understanding the user. Who needs this information/ What do they need it for? Are they looking for a specific product or service?

These are just some of the questions you need to answer as a content marketer. To understand the user, content marketers will often build personas. These personas are semi-fictionalised characters that represent demographics interested in the brand. These personas have a wealth of information such as age, gender, income bracket, media used, favourite brands, backstories and more. This practice is similar to dreaming up a character for a novel but with the express purpose of providing content marketers with a perspective to write from. This in-depth study of a target market also provides more platforms to understand their target audience. If your persona predominantly uses mobile than quick, short copy with lots of imagery is ideal. For someone working from a work PC, an article rich in content and reliable information is the winner. 

This research is key and personas along with countless other tasks allow content marketers to target and refine their copy before a single line is written. 

Focused on the Funnel

Once we have a content strategy in mind, content must be tailored to the website’s needs. A homepage needs to provide just enough information before moving the user on to product pages or enquiry forms. A blog should be entertaining and personal, appealing to the needs of the user searching for answers. A white paper is a long-format technical document filled with information and statistics for B2B clients. Marketing content requires understanding to know where all these pieces fit in and when to write them. 

The funnel is a useful image that helps content marketers. Starting from discovery, the funnel details the journey a user takes to a sale, booking or enquiry. Blogs are great for starting the funnel journey with links to good products within. Landing pages, however, are all about completing that transaction so short, punchy copy that communicates the user’s needs is a must. 

Content marketers familiarise themselves with a website and its funnel before deciding how content should be composed. 

Supported by SEO

Writing naturally is often lauded as the key to winning rankings on SERPs. However, getting to the top of a Google search is impossible without using SEO tools. Content marketers will often research long-tail and short-tail keywords before writing to pepper throughout their copy. This allows Google to index the page and score the content high on the natural value of the insight as well as keywords. 

SEO also helps content marketers discover the perfect time and place to publish work. A lot of work will be generated weeks in advance to allow it to be indexed by search engines before the relevant date passes. Valentine’s Day is a perfect example of this. Blogs about Valentine’s gifts abound in the weeks running up to the 14th of February and suddenly die off afterwards. This is by design as content is as much about keeping in the hype loop as social media management

Informed by Experience

Finally, writing content requires experience. The right tone, style and word choice is something that takes years to master. Content marketers will pick through copy to either simplify or embellish as necessary. Once it sounds and looks right, the content is ready to go forth and answer any query. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about content marketing or would like to generate your own content marketing strategy contact us now. At Fifteen, we’ve established a reputation as innovators and disruptors and we aren’t afraid to help you come up with a digital strategy that will take the world by storm. 

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