What Is Content Marketing (And How You Can Use It For Your Business)

Content marketing is a method that is used to sustain the readers’ attention in many different ways. By aiming to delivery consistent valuable information, you aim to deliver information that helps your buyers.

Instead of pitching your product or services, you aim to appeal to your buyers, hoping to be rewarded with business and loyalty.

Content As a Valuable Asset

Cornerstone content can also be used to direct users around the website and improve the number of page views.

Good content lures and keeps your readers on your website, giving them an extra reason to stay around online and trust your brand.

However, more often than not, businesses view content marketing sole as a practice of pitching an sales, to directly fuel their campaigns. Content marketing them becomes incorrectly interpreted as a form of hiring content creators, churning out content to get any form of attention from customers.

However, when doing so, they fail to invest in building the foundation of content marketing. Scaling the content marketing campaigns hence becomes a challenge, as there is no structure in place.

At this point in time, businesses struggle to continue forward with their campaigns, often resorting to hiring external help or mindlessly churning out content. What they will be in the need of, at this stage, is actually a content marketing audit.

Goals of Content Marketing

The true purpose of content marketing is to receive traffic and prepare to receive customers from organic searches. Search engines like Google love content and want to bring valuable content in to keep readers engaged.

Content marketing aims to capitalise on this ‘role’ and function of Google, by creating and channelling out content to bring readers onto your site. It’s a win-win situation – produce good content, and you can unlock Google as the right platform for your content to reach a wide audience.

Why Content Marketing?

Content marketing may be more time-consuming, less effective and more expensive at obtaining a lead, as opposed to other traditional marketing and sales methods.

However, the true value of content marketing lies in the ability to capture customers and turn them into loyal and returning customers. You want to create a niche, specific group of customers.

A customer loyal enough to bring compounded value to your business will give you a better return of investment in the long run. Hence, the goal of content marketing should never be able attempting to squeeze as much value as you can from your prospective customers.

Instead, it is about the long-term game.

Content Marketing As a Foundation

Content marketing is not only done on your website — it could also be paired with email marketing, social media marketing, advertising, press releases and many other channels. Content marketing is now the foundation of all your online marketing strategies.

It is impossible to market without great content.

  • Social Media Marketing. Content comes before your Social Media Strategy.
  • Website Development. A website’s infrastructure is only its backbone. You will require more padding or, figuratively speaking, ‘meat; for your website to be whole. This void can be filled and completed with content.
  • SEO. Search engine reward pages and websites that have content which answers their searchers enquires.
  • PPC. For paid per click ads to work, you need the relevant content available to try out different combinations of ad titles and body paragraphs.
  • Lead Generation. Many strategies of obtaining leads starts with good content as well as valuable insights. In order for customers to trust you with their contact information, you must first earn the right to be worthy of their trust. If your content appears questionable in credibility and is inaccurate, customers are less likely to trust you for the job.

How to Do Content Marketing?

When it comes to content marketing, your content needs to be valuable. While the term ‘valuable’ is subjective, there are some ironclad rules that most content marketers follow.

You want to retain an audience.

To do that, your content must have the following basic characteristics:

  • Credible
  • Educational
  • Updated

The Content Should Be Credible.

Credibility is the second pillar of trust. Content must be credible as it directly addresses the company’s image. This helps brand the company as a trusted and reliable source for the readers and potential clients. If your content appears questionable or inaccurate, clients are unlikely to trust you to give the right information, much less to complete their job.

Build authority by providing credence to your content and brand. Showing more authoritative content as compared to other competitors in the same field or specialisation will put your business ahead of them as you are scaling uncharted waters. There will be more rapport between you and your potential consumers naturally if you provide them with relevant and trustworthy. Trust is now a form of currency, which affects the consumer’s decision to purchase. 

This will encourage other trustworthy sites to link to you, which bolsters your credibility further and helps create a positive cycle that benefits both parties.

How to Make Credible Content?

Credible content takes time and research to be achieved. It is nigh impossible to create trustworthy and well-researched content with just a cursory glance at a few relevant headlines.

However, the returns from creating credible content are, evidently, enormous. You end up being the leader in the industry and the first to make heads turn as you spearhead marketing campaigns. While it may be a long and tedious marathon ahead, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow might be worth your while.

It is also important to take note of the direction you will need to take, which will largely depend on the industry you are in. It is not a bad idea to model your strategy after current market leaders. After all, they are the living evidence of what works and what does not.

  • Neil Patel is one of the most recognisable faces and names in the Digital Marketing Industry. His lengthy articles filled with short sentences and screenshots seem to be the driving force behind his web traffic and success.
  • Neil Patel, as a source of information for digital marketing, faces a huge competition in the form of Moz and Ahrefs, which has a comparative advantage in the digital marketing tools that they provide, in addition to their regular blog content.
  • While there are many finance websites and blogs, MoneySmart has managed to position itself in a fine spot to tackle plenty of finance-related content without appearing disorientated or disorganised.
  • Similarly, TheSmartLocal has also positioned itself as a useful source of news for local Singaporeans, from anything about freebies all the way to worthwhile promotions. Effectively, they hold the title of being an advertising channel of their own.
  • For websites which are less similar to blogs, but are more like directories, one can consider modelling their website after SGCarMart, which managed to dominate the car industry and become a household name across the country.

The Content Should Be Educational.

The focus of marketing content is to build the company’s branding, not to advertise your products. Content marketing is about your audience, after all. Good content should provide values and information – introducing a new perspective or passing on new knowledge.

Help your readers know more about how your products can ease the problems they face in their lives. Alternatively, it can be purely beneficial information on the topic that they can benefit from with just a few simple lifestyle changes.

Make your content a share-worthy one and provide easier options in the form of social media buttons or infographics so that it will be easier for readers to share the content around.

Instead of dull numbers and statistics, try using a bar graph or an infographic instead! While this seems like common sense, you’d be surprised by how much images and visual representations of information can spice up the entirety of your page and capture the reader’s attention.

How to Make Educational Content

Before understanding how to make educational content, you must first understand your industry and search demographics.

  • What are your audience members searching for?
  • Is there a common issue or topic that is currently the talk of the town?
  • Are there any recent trends that you can leverage on or join?

Using tools such as Ahref’s keyword research tool or Google’s search function, you will be able to obtain some popular questions that are frequently making rounds on the internet.

Current events and latest news can be a good starting point for you to hop onto the latest trends. These are examples of high-volume questions, that may prove to be useful in starting your content creation.

The process is known as identifying ‘search intent’ or performing a ‘keyword research’. Educational content can meet the expectations of informational search intent. Planning your content extensively in advance can reward your website with more organic search traffic.

The Content Should Be Updated.

Updated content is required for your website to feel relevant. Depending on the industry, at times, even a one-year-old piece of information can be no longer helpful due to the rapid changes involved. If your sources or information is outdated, it is unlikely for customers to believe in your legitimacy of your content.

How to Create Updated Content?

Keep your posts up to date. It is the idea of working smart, rather than just hard. Repurposing old content will take you less time and effort than to produce a completely new blog post. Updating your old posts can even help you earn even more traffic back to your website.

Additionally, search engines like Google generally do not favour websites that are not regularly updated as the algorithm may consider it no longer relevant. The best content sites online update their websites with amazing content regularly – so it might be worth taking a leaf out of their book.

There are many ways you can achieve this. Updating can come in the form of:

  • Adding updated imagery
  • Adding updated statistics
  • Replacing dead or broken links
  • Adding more information
  • Optimising your post for keywords
  • Include new links to newer & updated content

In terms of content infrastructure and discipline, the following sites have reputable practices and writing style that many can model their efforts after:

  1. Buzzfeed
  2. Ehow.com
  3. Cracked.com
  4. Huffingtonpost

What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?

Similar to any goals and objectives of a company, creating a strong content marketing campaign requires in depth SEO-analysis and churning of content aligned to the SEO strategy.

Having a strategy is key.

Content marketing is most effective with keyword optimisation, and this can only be done after thorough keyword research. Creating content leveraging on these target keywords will bring you greater SEO results and help you achieve your goals.

A system is then required to ensure each article or piece of content is being maximised to its fullest capacity and that business owners get the most value out of every piece of content created.

Not only do these keyword optimised articles increase your SEO ranking for the webpage, but they also bring targeted traffic to you that can potentially translate into clients and sales.

Content Analysis

The first step is to choose a topic to write about. Having an end goal in mind of how you want to value add to your clients through your content can determine how you are going to write about that topic.

Create a skeletal structure for your content by writing it out in bullet points to create an outline. It gives the writer a clearer sense of direction of what to write about and expand on.

Use online tools to help you find out more about the keyword landscape.

(Screenshot)

Content Consolidation

Your content needs to be tied together in a secured manner. This way, visitors won’t be turned away by how messy and sparse the information is. Instead, everything will be consolidated into a neat and accessible package for their viewing.

When it comes to content consolidation, sheer willpower and force will not be able to do the job any better than strings and nails. But you will be able to tie everything in a neat, nice bow with a cornerstone article.

Cornerstone articles are an essential part of content planning. Google generally does not enjoy having multiple pages from a single site showing up on page one for the same keyword. It is also not SEO-healthy for multiple pages to be competition for the same keyword as they will end up competing with each other, which ends up being counterproductive.

First, identify the keywords you want to target in your niche market using market research. For established sites, the simplest method and most cost-effective way to optimise your content is to use Google Search Central to see what keywords Google has already ranked you for in the top 100.

Next, create your cornerstone pages circulating around the keywords. Cornerstone pages should contain foundational content. It should not have a timestamp in particular and should seek to be as timeless as possible. This makes it highly accessible for years to come and makes it easier for Google to find and recognise your cornerstone article.

Other good practice for cornerstone content includes:

  • Compelling headlines
  • Relevant engaging content with valuable information
  • Good balance of images and words
  • Linking to high PageRank pages

Ultimately, search engines will want to provide the best results possible for whatever the user is searching for. The process is such that Google will send traffic to your website due to a keyword.

If visitors end up staying on your website for less than a full minute, it signals to the search engine that your content is severely lacking in visitor engagement. This would undoubtedly cause your keyword ranking to drop.

To appeal to Google’s good books, seek to provide content that can decrease the ‘bounce rate’ of customers and increase their time spent on your page and website.

Content Linking

Internal linking structure cornerstone content
Internal linking structure cornerstone content

Internal link structure is formed by creating anchor text links from other pages/posts on your website. These anchor text links are optimised for “long-tail version” of the keyword you want your cornerstone page to rank for.:

As a rule of thumb, try to create one cornerstone content for each keyword you are targeting, then cleverly make use of an internal link structure to support and pass link juice to your cornerstone content. Lastly, push your cornerstone content to as many sites as possible, including social sharing sites, social media as well as blogs catered to niche markets.

Having a good link building strategy can greatly help in pushing the page authority (PA) of a site up greatly. You can find out more about creating your own content marketing campaign.

Content Creation

Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined target audience. You want to be able to drive profitable customer actions from your content, and it may vary from industry to industry. The F&B industry, for example, relies heavily on local SEO and location-based searches. Hence, good content could be a main differentiating factor in the F&B industry.

Businesses push out good valuable content under their name and brand to establish credibility, authority, and relationship, such that they are the only logical choice amongst their competitors if the clients need help.

Content created not only has to be informational and beneficial, it has to be engaging to the readers to gain their attention. Engaging content is one of the main factors for SEO — search engines have placed heavy emphasis on traffic engagement and bounce rates to determine if a site is valuable to their users.

Of course, the longer the traffic stays and navigates your site, the more relevant your site is to them and more willing the search engines will reward you for engaging their users by ranking your webpage higher. This can be easily achieved when your content is matched with search intent, for it to reach the public’s eyes.

No matter how good your content is, it would not be useful if Google does not point visitors towards your website’s direction.

Content Refresh

Content Refresh is an extensive edit of your existing online content. From your articles to your FAQs, your downloadable content, your landing pages, and contact-us pages all get a deep-dive and a fine-tooth comb.

The idea is to give them a new face and look, hence the term ‘refresh’.

Editing and updating it with a new quote or updated references and statistics.

Content Audit/Prune

Content audit or pruning involves different actions based on the situation you are in.

It is always good to have a content audit every six months. It allows you to know more about your content and the traffic it is associated with. No point having great content but no one to read it.

Content pruning often revolves fixing or removing error 404 pages, while redirecting the useful websites around with a 301 redirect.

Why Content Marketing, and What Channels Are There to Market Your Content?

After creating your content, it helps to have a strong content distribution channel, so you get your message to more people and you generate more traffic to your main website.

A great content marketing strategy involves distributing the content to as many platforms and channels as possible.

  • Direct Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Podcasts
  • Blog Posts
  • Guest Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Video marketing

The above list of channels, when used together, provides a strong distribution channel for your content and sends social signals back to your website.

Each content marketing format is unique in terms of its niche. It can reach different set of audiences and requires different levels of commitment. There are certain content tactics that work most effectively if you can deliver new content frequently, such as blog articles, podcast and videos.

Content formats which require lesser consistency but will still benefit from periodic updates may include Webinars, Social Media Infographics and Ebooks.

The right type of content to create and market would depend on your industry and target demographic. In general, blogs and websites are the safest options to fall back upon. To keep up with the increasing demand for content creation, websites can collaborate across and beyond their industry for Guest Blogging.

Once you have created valuable, SEO-optimised content, use these platforms to push your contents to more readers.

Over time, it will yield significant traffic and potential clients over to your site, making your site more valuable in the eyes of search engine and ultimately pushing up its SEO ranking.

The Sure-Fire Way to Create Great Content – Factors to Consider When Creating Content

User-Friendliness

Search engines love reader-friendly content. Make your page scannable to allow fast readers to scan for solutions and information. Methods such as writing a list, using a mixture of headings and subheadings, bolding, and highlighting important parts of the content can help your site appear more reader friendly.

Contents appearing on your page must be relevant to its tags and title, else search engines will be quick to find out and penalise your page.

Relevancy

Relevancy also extends to the type of content generated. Write what your audience wants to read and know more about. Not only does this help with your SEO ranking, but it also builds your credibility as a reliable source of information that the audience can trust.

Timing is also another important aspect that plays into relevancy. Provide updated details for your article to remain relevant to organic traffic.

Provide value to readers.

One of the surest ways for continuous traffic is to create value. Search engines love sites with repeated traffic which is a result of the webmaster value-adding to the readers. This tells Google the content on your site is valuable and it probably needs to reach out to more people, thus ranking you higher.

Remove Duplicated Content

With the recent updates in Google algorithm, many sites with duplicate content are being penalised. These sites are penalised in the sense that search engines will not display similar or identical content to searchers — as a result, their page will not appear.

This can heavily affect the search engine optimisation (SEO) result of any site and cause web-masters to be only half as effective as they can potentially be. To avoid this heavy penalty, ensure that your content does not constitute spam or duplicate content and try to be as original as possible.

Hiring a Good Content Marketing Agency Singapore

Content marketing can be a great way to implicitly tell your clients your level of expertise by showcasing and distributing content to users of the web.

It strengthens your positioning in the market as an authority in your field and allows you to build more trust with your customer base.

With a strong system and implementation in place, we can create a powerful leveraging system for your content marketing strategy, ensuring that we get the maximum value out of every article we have created.