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Zach Roop, Digital Marketing Manager at Dometic
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DemandJump has become a crucial extension of our marketing team, providing game changing insights to fuel and propel all aspects of our digital marketing efforts. The DemandJump platform is a must have, we are seriously impressed.
Tim Lavinder, Director of Ecommerce at Hotsox
By embracing DemandJump's approach to SEO, we have been able to increase our organic rankings within just 2 weeks of implementing recommendations. This helped us see a 22% increase in organic search month-over-month.
Robert Jacko, Vice President Digital, E-Commerce, Marketing at Homage
DemandJump's consumer behavior insights uncover the most important topics, questions, and keywords your team should be focusing on and identifies competitive gaps where you can gain traffic share immediately.
Writing content is the easy part, getting it in front of your target audience is the real trick. With DemandJump's one-click content outlines you will know exactly how to structure the content to ensure it ranks - fast! Streamline Content Creation with:
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Over 2,300 years ago, the famed Athenian philosopher Plato wanted to explore the nature of reality. That’s a huge topic to delve into, and it presented Plato with a challenge: How do I even begin to explore this topic with my students and others? He knew it was always better to tell a story than to ramble off with philosophical language, so he chose to engage one of his students in a storytelling exercise about people who had spent their entire lives imprisoned inside of a cave, unable to see anything but the shadows cast on a wall by objects in front of a fire. Their reality was limited by their experience… Could that be true for us living in the real world, as well?
By showing his ideas rather than telling them, he was able to communicate to his target audience clearly and bring them to a new understanding. At its heart, this is the exact same conceit involved in content marketing, today’s most powerful tool for any marketer looking to cut through the noise and build meaningful connections with their target audiences.
Through well-executed content marketing strategies, today’s marketers can borrow another tactic from Plato’s toolbox and truly meet their audiences where they are by appealing to them on every side of the rhetorical triangle: by resonating with their emotions, by engaging their intellects, and by appealing to their values. Through creative storytelling in the form of written content, resonant graphic design, and audio and video pieces, marketers can entertain, inspire, educate, and help their ideal customers find real solutions to real problems. That means more leads, more sales, and more growth for brands in any industry targeting any audience.
That’s more than any billboard ad or Super Bowl commercial can hope to do, and it’s possible only through a keen understanding of the right brain and the left alike; it’s equal parts art and science, and the most winning content strategies create full-fledged journeys that map to the real-life experiences of customers seeking to solve a problem. For your brand, that problem could be as simple as a customer needing a great new sweater, or as complex as a customer needing a software application that will unlock their business’ siloed data and help them grow with confidence.
When it’s done right, content marketing makes your customers the heroes of their own stories—and makes you that all-important mentor that gives them the nudge in the right direction. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to become the Yoda to your brand’s Luke Skywalker and drive real, measurable growth along the way.
First stop: What is content marketing and why is it important?
Content marketing is an inbound marketing tactic that makes use of valuable content in order to provide potential customers with practical insights and authoritative perspectives. For starters, it might be helpful to differentiate between outbound marketing and inbound marketing:
Content marketing is perhaps the purest expression of inbound marketing because it treats every experience with your brand not as a pitch—"Buy our product now because it’s cheap!”—but as an opportunity for your brand to help potential customers see things in a new way or solve a problem. At its core, content marketing involves three key elements:
Each one of those three elements requires plenty of guesswork, creative chops, and scientific testing sensibilities in order to create content marketing strategies and campaigns that your audiences can find, that they will appreciate, and that will lead more of those audience members to become leads and customers.
Content marketing is important because it introduces your brand to audiences in a context that they are more likely to appreciate and value. In the age of social media and the Internet, the average individual consumes so much content in a given day that the world has become very noisy. Where a person 100 years ago may have seen a handful of advertisements throughout the course of a normal day. They may have heard a few ads on the radio, seen a few in the newspaper, or encountered some on the city streets as they went about their day.
But consider this: Today’s digital media consumer might see an average of 5,000 advertisements every single day. That’s a lot for anybody to process, and it usually just leads to people not processing ads at all.
It’s no longer enough to throw out cold marketing messages and hope your best potential customers see them, digest them, and take action on them. It’s not that advertisements don’t work anymore; modern targeting means outbound marketing certainly has a place in marketing to this day. But the highest-performing brands have learned to let their best customers come to them in a time of need. With search engines and social media platforms working overtime to collect user data and understand what people want when they fire up their phones, that means brands have to be smart about increasing the chances of showing up for their audiences in those key times of need.
By building out interconnected webs of content—blog articles, social media posts, eBooks, infographics, podcasts, videos, and more—marketers can make sure that they play a central role as their audiences go through their journeys towards making a purchasing decision. All together, these content campaigns can help brands make sure their websites show up first when their potential customers are searching for an answer to an important question. They can empower those customers to learn more about the various resources available to help them solve their problems, and they can work to create trust along the way.
In other words, content marketing is important because it transforms any brand into an authority that will be there to provide insights whenever a potential customer starts looking for them. That takes the old-school marketing approach of shouting loudly in hopes of being heard and turns it into a new-school methodology for giving the people exactly and only what they want—quite the first impression to leave on any new customer.
A content marketer works to understand their ideal customers, identify the digital platforms where those customers spend their time or look for answers to problems, and create and distribute content to educate and empower those customers. For some brands, all of those jobs come together in a single content marketer role. Others utilize a wide variety of marketing experts and creatives to work together on content marketing initiatives. These roles can include:
While large organizations may have the budget to support this many content marketing professionals, it’s very common for a smaller team of professionals to share the many important duties highlighted in this list. Whether you’re starting with a strategist and a designer, a couple of writers, or one SEO expert, it’s okay to start small and grow as your content marketing efforts begin to have an impact.
The beautiful thing about the work of a content marketer is that it proves itself; as you produce more content and get it out to your audiences, you’ll be able to measure the return on investment on every tactic and focus on what works best for your brand and your ideal customers.
Different types of content include written content like blogs and eBooks, visual content like videos and images, audio content like podcasts, and more. You can also categorize content in terms of the various platforms it is used on:
While there are many digital marketing examples to be found on this list, that’s just one way to come up with a list of 3 types of content. It’s important to note that content marketing isn’t limited to the digital realm. An editorial in a local newspaper that shares your brand’s opinion on an important issue is just as much a content marketing example as a video published to your Instagram account.
Likewise, there are tons of specific types of content for a content calendar for any brand. So, what are the types of content writing and publishing your brand might utilize? Here’s a not-so-exhaustive list of the most popular forms your individual content pieces might take:
When you cross-reference these two lists of types of marketing content, you could easily come up with 105 types of content—or hundreds more, depending on how you like to organize things. The key to all of this is to put yourself into the shoes of your ideal customer.
What type of content are they most likely to engage with? Maybe if you’re offering a service solution and many of your customers ask similar questions about the specific issue your brand can help them with, developing blog posts that answer those questions is a good place to start with content creation. Do you sell a product that helps do-it-yourselfers with their projects? How-to videos can provide immediate value for prospective customers while showcasing the utility of your product.
It doesn’t matter how many types of content there are; what matters is that you give your specific audience the content they want in the format that’s most desirable for them.
Each piece of content your brand produces has a distinct role to play in your broader content marketing strategy. Just as there are many ways to categorize different types of content, it’s helpful to imagine each piece of content serving an important function at the different stages of a prospective customer’s journey towards making a purchase with your brand:
While there are many content marketing strategy examples you can follow, the best content strategy template for your brand to adopt will at least in broad strokes include pieces of content at each stage of that journey, all connected together through interlinking that gives readers the opportunity to continue diving deeper.
For example, if your content campaign includes a blog post at the Awareness stage that answers a critical question your customers might have, that blog post should also link to your social media profiles or invite the reader to sign up for your marketing emails. You might share a link to a case study you have that is useful for readers at the Consideration stage of their journey, and that case study might offer a whitepaper that pushes an interested reader into the Decision stage and converts them into a lead.
Whatever the individual pieces of your content campaigns might look like, the key is that each one should link to other pieces in the funnel so there’s always something else for a potential customer to do if they’re interested. Keep in mind that while it’s easy to think of a customer journey through your content as a straightforward march from Awareness to Decision, the random nature of the Internet means a new customer could enter in from a social media post they saw at the Consideration funnel, or at the top when a blog post shows up in search results.
No matter where your customers enter your content funnel, make sure they’re always able to find the next step easily—and that all roads end at the Decision stage.
The red thread running through all of this information about content marketing is clear: The best content marketers understand their ideal customers inside and out. The better your brand can be at understanding the needs, feelings, and values of your customers, the more likely it is that your content marketing efforts will resonate with potential customers and serve as a great first word in a new relationship. Like the people living in Plato’s cave, through your content you can meet your audiences where they are and show them something they’ve never seen before. That, in the end, is what content marketing is all about.
Wondering where to start? You’re not alone. Even the most experienced content marketers are always looking for whatever tools they can get their hands on to give them better insights not just into their customers’ heads, but the strategies of their competitors and the landscape of content in their industries. That’s exactly why we created DemandJump, a content marketing platform that cuts through the noise and tells you exactly what your ideal customers are asking and looking for on search engines—and what your competitors are saying to those customers.
From our intuitive consumer insight reports, to our content outlines that make it easy to write blog content that your customers will love and find at the top of search results, to our cross-channel analytics that give you a complete look at the customer journey through each stage of your content funnels, DemandJump takes the guesswork out of content marketing.
See it in action for yourself with a free seven-day free trial and supercharge your content marketing efforts with DemandJump.