Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing – All you need

content marketing

Tools are great, but Content Marketing success is about the wizard, not the wand”

There are tons of tools available for each kind of Digital Marketing to help you ace your product  marketing. However, content marketing is not about the tools and techniques. It is all about how well planned your strategy is and how gracefully you execute it.

But have you ever wondered, what is the need of Content Marketing when there are all those other types of digital marketing that can be easily executed using free and paid tools available. And above all, why do these already well known brands like P&G, Microsoft, Cisco systems and others need content marketing.

Here is why:

  • Increased Sales
  • Cost savings
  • Better customers who are more loyal
  • Content as a profit centre

Now, the question that arises here is :What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing

Traditional marketing is fading away day-by-day. Therefore, to be successful you need to enter a new era of Marketing, that is promising to be successful in the present as well as in Future.

Era of Content Marketing!

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing 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.”

Thus, content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign. Andre Davis is hundred and one percent right when he says “Content builds relationships, relationships are built on trust.Trust drives revenue.”

Importance of Content Marketing

Content is said to be the atomic particle of Digital Marketing. Content Marketing is important because it helps you build trust, develop relationships, improve conversions and generate leads.

The following statistics prove the importance and effectiveness of content marketing.

infographic for importance of content marketing

History of Content Marketing

The term Content Marketing was first devised by John F. Oppedahl at a journalism conference in 1996. But, be that as it may, humans are creating content for as long as they have existed. One could go as far as to argue that cave paintings were the first attempt at communication through content.

historic content

The history of written content and advertising probably goes back farther than you think.

Johannes Guttenberg invented the printing press in 1440, which led to the creation of pamphlets and brochures that marketed products. In 1732, Benjamin Franklin published the “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” a book designed to promote his burgeoning printing business. 

These examples are the first representations of the core idea of content marketing: By distributing helpful content to your audience, you can help them recognize the need for your product or service.

In present days, brands are creating content in many formats, using many different tactics. Every day, millions of new content assets are published, and digital content has become a dominant way for brands and consumers to be heard online.

Steps to create a complete strategic content plan

Content marketing is not just creating and distributing content. The aim is to develop a strategic approach to content mapping that allows you to reach and engage clearly defined audiences, and so generate profits.

The following steps can help you to develop a detailed and in-depth understanding of Content Marketing, that will ultimately help your business grow to new heights

1. Audit you existing content

In an era of mass content creation, a content audit can help you stand out. Considering there are approximately 1.6 billion websites and more than 70 million blog posts published each month, there is an unfathomable amount of information for your audience to click on. The creation of content without knowing what works for your audience and your brand is a waste of time and resources.

Take a look at all your existing content and analyze your data sets to understand how it is currently performing. What kind of content attracts your audience? Further, what content brings you the best results? What do you need to improve?

2. Establish your content marketing goals

In order to maintain clarity, make sure that every piece of content you create builds toward meeting those goals and organizes them in a hierarchical order. Identify your long- and short-term goals for Content Marketing before moving on to those related to your overall vision and mission. 

Framework for setting your Goals

In order to succeed, you must see each goal as a challenge. Measure your goals using an indicator of  0 – 100% and make them collaborative and transparent.

Moreover, assess goals according to new conditions and adjust them if they become irrelevant

You might be comfortable with the SMART framework, but the CLEAR framework can help you to be more dexterous in a fast growing environment.

content creation smart vs clear

3. Determine your Audience

Great content is the best sales tool in the world. But this is to keep in mind that your audience does not only represent your buyers. Audience is a set of which buyers are only a subset coinciding with other kinds of subsets.

Red Bull is an excellent example of a brand that creates ads for its audience and not only for its buyers. Red Bull’s marketing team does not focus on the product but on the target audience – clearly the young and enthusiastic people. This approach encourages loyalty that stretches far beyond buying the drinks.

“Red Bull is a media company, that happens to sell energy drinks”

Dietrich Mateschitz

Empathy Map

Described by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in their book Business Model Generation, Empathy Map is a collaborative tool that helps you better understand your target audience. 

The empathy map focuses on the approach that by adapting your customer’s perspective, you can step back and re-design a better content marketing campaign.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole”

Theodore Levitt

Knowing the prospect’s current problem, the solution they need, and the result they envision will enable you to create content that will close the deal on them becoming your brand advocates.

4. Develop an editorial calendar

You gain a better understanding of what resources you need to allocate to your content, and how workflows are taking longer than expected, so you can adjust your expectations.

  • Prioritize your actions
  • Find relevant topics
  • Use an editorial calendar to organize your work

5. Plan Content Production

The purpose of each piece you plan to create should be considered before you begin the content creation process. To develop long-term relationships with your clients, make sure your content covers every part of the customer journey.

Awareness Stage

This includes content that tells your brand story, educates, informs and entertains your audience. These pieces are mainly centered around questions your leads may have at the top of the funnel as they become more aware of the problem and its solution.

Consideration Stage

Help the prospect in understanding why they need assistance regarding the problem present in front of them.Guide them about how others have solved similar problem in past and discuss what steps are necessary and vital for the solutions

Decision Stage

Case studies, client reviews, and specific analysis of the work you have done in the past can be helpful at this stage, as users compare you directly with other providers, to decide what is most suitable and best for them.

Other, steps to keep in mind while planning the content creation are:

  1. Diversify your content
  2. Create SEO friendly content
  3. Repurpose your content
  4. Take advantage of user generated content

6. Plan Content Distribution

Marketing can be through owned media, paid and earned media. 

Moreover, other important considerations you need to keep in mind while planning content distribution are:

  1. Create an integrated omni channel experience to keep your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind.
  2. Identify the most relevant channels. Specific social media analytics and demographics can assist you in doing so.
  3. Automate social media posting to save resources and ensure accuracy in timing

7. Analyze your Content Performance

Analyzing your content performance is the best way to understand what type of content is connecting with your audience, and then determine what pieces to generate next. Your audience will give you clear signals about what attracts their interest the most, making it easier for you to come up with new content that intrigues them.


Content marketing is a long term relationship, and to build trust in it one has to work hard, and most importantly, in a strategic manner. Content is not new to the human race, but strategic content is the art as well as science that requires focus and research about both the market trends and human psychology.

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