Content marketing is the sum of its parts—it’s successful only when the actual content is cohesive, engaging, and leads to a greater message that’s sellable. Regardless of how content marketing utilizes content, its main priority is to connect and form relationships with audiences and potential customers. Let’s take a look at some examples of how content and content marketing interact.
What do you mean content?
Content and content marketing operate in the same arena, but we can’t equate one with the other across the board. Understand content marketing as a way of utilizing content to connect a business with their audience and form relationships—they use content strategy to achieve practical goals, be it sales or customer conversion.
Or: content operates on the micro level; content marketing, on the macro level.
To know how to create content, you have to keep in mind how it will fit in within the content marketing strategy. When we talk about content we have to consider the following:
Tone and consistency. If content marketing and content creation go hand-in-hand, you have to develop a consistent tone and brand-language that both parties agree on. Your content creators should be in-step with how your content marketers plan to engage content, and your audience will respond to this cohesion.
Where is your audience coming from? We’re not talking about geographical locations—or even from what platform your audience is viewing content. Instead, as a content creator, you need to know how informed your audience is when they come to the table. What biases do they bring with them? What information do they value and what information is obsolete?
Singular purpose. Yes, you need to understand how content can work within a greater content marketing strategy, but the work must also stand alone. Content should still be relevant if it was only created for a singular purpose. Meaning, every piece should have a unique thesis, or CTA, that a one-time viewer can still value.
3 types of content
Content is limitless in scope—often the uncategorized, nuanced content has the most reaching effect. But let’s look at three types of content your content marketing team can utilize in different ways:
Entertain. Content and content marketing should never come across as heavy-handed. Part of the reason customers respond to a brand is because they’re able to join the story rather than have the story forced upon them. If your content entertains its audience, your audience is far more likely to be on board to the other facets of your content marketing campaign.
Inform. Or: avoid the fluff. Garner the trust of your audience with content that means something, that offers real, valued information. Content marketers rely on content far more when they trust its validity—that audiences can walk away more informed than when they arrived.
Expand. Along the same lines of informing, use your content to expose your audiences to other resources, other content. Even when it’s not part of your content marketing strategy, links to other established content gives you agency, builds trust, and can even form your audience to better value your business’s content.
Types of content for a content calendar
The goal of content creators should be to set-up content marketers for success. They prioritize content strategy first—how content connects with targeted audiences, how it creates value for the audience, how it’s published and maintained—but they should plan in a way that leaves room for marketers to succeed.
Content calendars show marketers what they’re dealing with over a relatively expansive period of time—and this can inform how they interact and promote content. Content for a calendar can vary on type alone. The content doesn’t have to be finished, but a general idea has been formed.
Types of content might include:
Case studies, Interviews, Q&As
Product reviews, Opinion pieces, Testimonials
Predictions, Trends, SEO content
Research, Whitepapers, Infographics
Podcasts, videos, Digital media
This strategy works two-fold: by embracing multiple content platforms, you expand the depth of your content; the creation process is more inventive based on the type of content you have scheduled for a given month. Also, your content marketing strategy will be able to predict and streamline how content will relate to the overall messaging.
Content calendars, consistency in tone and frequency, measuring audience engagement—these can be real boons for your content marketers. But don’t stop there. For example, Demandjump is a resource that centralizes your content strategy into one place. Their content management system can help content creators by automating the strategy and keyword research.