It Isn’t Brain Surgery: Content Marketing Theory 101

By: David Tile | Founder @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: December 23, 2019

So, you have a strategic plan for your content marketing. Well, actually, maybe you don’t. You’re not alone. Content marketing is a difficult practice to master. Even marketers with years of experience still have their heads spin trying to keep up with everything. So, things only become trickier when you’re just starting out.

As tough as it seems in the beginning, the world of content marketing theory isn’t that hard to get into. We’re here to help you understand the basics to get you started and why content marketing helps businesses.

Content Marketing Theory 101

What is Content Marketing?

We can’t really talk about content marketing theory without first explaining what content marketing even is. Content marketing is a strategic way of creating and promoting content with the goal of retaining customers from your target audience. Of course, a lot of work goes into creating your marketing strategy. This is particularly true because content marketing consists of both generating awesome content while also thinking of clever ways to promote it to your target audience. 

Get That System in Place

The first thing you ought to do for yourself is to make things easy with a content marketing system. Simply put, a system is nothing more than a detailed guide on everything you plan on achieving and creating. Systems vary from company to company, but they each include several key components that can’t be skipped.

We broke our system into three separate pillars:

  • Strategy (research)
  • Create (content)
  • Amplify (promote)

As you can see, each pillar supports the other and work together to strengthen your marketing. Think of each pillar as a fundamental piece to your business. Your strategy is the skeleton. It’s the very essence of your business and the foundation on which you’ll build your content.

Content creation, the second pillar, is like your business’s anatomy. All the content you create, down to the blog posts, gated content, and visuals are organs in your business. You’ll want to fill your website with impressive content to entice new visitors and provide an incentive for customers to stick around. 

The final pillar, amplify, is what people think of when they think “content marketing.” It’s… well, the marketing side of things. The amplification of your content is how you promote it to your target audience. Which routes will you take to convince consumers that you’re the brand for them? 

A content marketing system is the basic first step businesses need to take. However, as you can see, each pillar branches off into several different sections. Each section is an equally important part of your pillar, all of which come with their own set of rules and methods to follow before you master them. So, you can see where all the work comes from.

Why is Content Marketing Important

We would need an entire article on its own to talk about the importance of content marketing. But, we’ll give it a whirl here. 

First, content marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing methods. Not only does it save money, but it also generates three times more leads than the original methods. Additionally, if you take a look at Demand Metric’s infographic, you’ll see that 70% of customers feel closer to a company due to content marketing. 82% of customers also feel better about a company when they interact with custom content.

Furthermore, Impact BND discovered that small businesses with blogs experience a 126% increase in their lead growth. This makes sense when you think about how the world is moving. Given the explosion of online content, consumers are more interested in unique content online.

What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?

  • Lead generation. The right kind of content marketing will target a specific audience in your niche and bring them to your site. 
  • Consistent sales. Content marketing has the ability to bring in consistent leads for years. Evergreen content and engagement with customers are good jumping points.
  • Building an audience. Over time, your content marketing will bring in customers and viewers to your site and social media platforms. 
  • Customer education. When you do your research and focus on customer pain points, content can (and should) educate customers. If customers know they can rely on your content for useful tips, they’ll keep coming back.
  • Thought leadership. The more relevant, valuable content you publish, the more your business looks like a thought leader in its niche. 

These barely scrape the surface of all the benefits of content marketing. Once you nail down your strategy, you’ll see a collection of benefits come in for years.

How Can You Implement Content Marketing?

In a bunch of ways! That’s one of the benefits of content marketing, you can cash in on views, readers, and customers in a variety of expert ways. As you saw in our third pillar, you can use a wide variety of methods to promote your content. For now, let’s take a look at just a few samples. 

Forums

Here’s an example of how we spread the word about our company while also providing valuable information to potential customers.

Quora is a terrific way to address pain points in your niche, get to know the community, and generate buzz about your content. We target questions pertaining to our niche and spend some time answering relevant questions. In this way, we can:

  • establish thought leadership
  • gently nudge viewers to our content
  • boost trustworthiness with valuable content
  • stay active in our niche’s community

These are just some of the impacts Quora answers make. Over time, even if you don’t generate a ton of traffic, it always bodes well to engage with readers. Keep in mind that strategies like this will maintain authority while increasing page views and building relationships.

Brand Voice

Another great way to use content marketing is to develop your brand voice. When you establish your brand voice, consumers and site viewers have something to look forward to. You’ll be able to stand out in a crowd and build a name for yourself. 

A distinctive voice can also help you entice customers to visit your site, follow through on purchases, or engage in posts. It might take a while until you develop your brand, but it’s important that you find a voice and stick to it. Remember, notable brand voices also show prospective customers that you’re proud of your company.

Infographics

Did you know that in the last few years alone, the search volume for infographics has increased by 800%? Infographics are just one of the ways you can create individual content on your blog. They summarize information in a digestible and creative way. They’re also another way for you to show off your voice.

Infographics also make awesome marketing tools because site viewers can download them or come back to them when needed. Plus, customers are visual creatures; they want information in bites. Infographics present ideas in a way that consumers won’t get bored with.

Have a look at these cool examples from Visme. Here’s an infographic that beautifully describes the anatomy of a professional website.

Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can use content marketing to your advantage. Our third pillar includes the different ways you can promote content. Each comes with its own set of benefits, all of which can help retain customers from your target audience.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing theory is an important term to understand. An important thing to keep in mind is that content marketing comes with a certain degree of trial and error. In theory, some of these strategies may seem like the right way to go, but when you put them into practice, your results may reveal otherwise. 

Understanding the basics of content marketing theory will give you the ability to implement the right methods for your business.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 

 

Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.