"Content Marketing Bible” For 2023 & Beyond For Beginners & Professionals

Content is the latest buzzword that nobody can ignore.
Written by
Neha
Published on
October 13, 2023

Content is the latest buzzword that nobody can ignore. Content marketing is the language of this buzzword. In layman language, content marketing is using the online channels strategically to fulfill marketing goals online but without spending on Digital ads. Hence, all the traction, acquisition, community trust, and successes with content marketing is earned. 

Every business, small or large, and even influencers and personal brand builders identify content marketing as the long term plan for successful digital marketing strategy.

In this article we will take you on a trip to nooks and corners of Content Marketing:

By the end of this article you will achieve the following:

  • A clear understanding of content marketing
  • As a novice content marketer what should you start with
  • What should be your goals
  • How to reverse engineer and create a content strategy to achieve your goal
  • & many other valuable things.

This article is a must-read for students embarking on their content marketing journey or even solopreneurs who are looking for a ‘Content Marketing Bible.’

What is Content Marketing?

The practice of producing and distributing worthwhile, valuable, and consistent material in order to draw in and keep a target audience is known as content marketing. Driving lucrative consumer action is the ultimate objective of content marketing. This activity could involve buying something, signing up for a newsletter, or going to an event.

Content marketing doesn’t promote direct selling of a product/service which makes it different from traditional advertising and many forms of paid advertising such as PPC. Instead, it focuses on building a relationship with your audience by providing them with valuable information that they can use to solve a problem or meet a need.

Benefits of Content Marketing

Content marketing has numerous benefits for your business that can uplift your brand. 

Increased Brand Awareness

Improved search engine rankings

Enhanced engagement with your audience

Ascending credibility and authority

Increased lead generation and conversion

Cost-effective marketing

Overall, content marketing can help you build a strong brand, improve your search engine rankings, increase engagement, establish credibility and authority, generate more leads, and drive more conversions.

Content Marketing: Information Flow of the Guide

Our practical, easy-to-understand and all-inclusive guide will help you formulate a winning content strategy. In this comprehensive guide, we will be breaking down ‘Content Marketing’ in 7 sub-sections to equip you with templates, explanations and working models.

  • Understanding your Brand and Target Audience
  • Setting measurable goals for your Content Marketing Strategy
  • Creating an informed content strategy
  • Detailing types of Content to create 
  • Writing quality content that resonates with the audience
  • Promoting quality content
  • Analyzing and tweaking/refining the content strategy

Understanding your Brand and Target Audience 

Understanding your target audience and brand is essential for effective marketing. Knowing who your customers are, what they need, and how your brand can solve their problems helps create targeted messages that resonate. It also helps build brand awareness, loyalty, and trust, leading to long-term success and growth. A deeper understanding of your brand helps you provide favorable solutions for the audience forging a trusting bond. In this section, we will cover nuances of ‘Defining your customer profile’ and ‘brand communication’ that will assist you in showcasing your brand to the world.

What is Customer Profile or Buyer persona?

Creating a profile that comprises of attributes, pain points, aspirations, and demography of your ideal customer is called a customer profile. To map this, you can either refer to an existing buyer of your product or service, or even if you don’t have an existing customer you can research on your competitor’s customer profile to map yours.

How to define your customer profile:

Step 1: 

Assign a name to your Customer:

Step 2:

Fill the basic demographic information based on these questions:

What is the gender of your customer?

What is his/her age?

Does s/he reside in metro city or tier 2 & tier 3 towns?

How much does your ideal customer earn, that makes him/her capable of buying your product?

  1. Gender:
  2. Age:
  3. Lives in:
  4. Annual income:
  5. Marital status:
  6. Education background:
  7. [Add custom field that is relevant to your business]

Step 3:

Psychometric assessment to understand the pain points of your customer, lifestyle, aspirations, goals, expectations from your product/service, fears, and social factors that affect their purchase decision.

  1. Problems they face:
  2. Motivators to buy this product/Dreamstate:
  3. Your customer’s long term goals with your product:
  4. Short term goals with your product:
  5. Push from buying your product:
  6. Pull to buying your product:
  7. People who affect their decision making:
  8. Past experience with similar products:
  9. Likes of your competitors:
  10. Dislikes of your competitors:

Step 4:

Mapping how aware is your customer about the problem & solution.

Setting up your Brand Communication guidelines:

Step 1:

Uncover your market position and have a clearly defined USP

USP means Unique Selling Proposition. This states the unique quality of either your product or service that makes you superior to your competitors. This should be communicated in the marketing strategy of your brand. 

Step 2:

Defining a Brand Story, Vision & Mission.

Beginning: What was the gap in the market or the struggles of the people which motivated you to introduce your solution.

Middle: What were the challenges you faced or the elements you brought together to make the solution a reality.

End: Brand Mission and Vision. This helps you define what is the transformation you are creating in the society with your product/service.

Step 3:

Having a name & compelling tagline:

If your name gives a clear idea of what the product or problem is, it’s a long term win for your brand. In addition, the tagline best works when it clearly entails the USP of your brand. Other ways to optimize your tagline can be making it catchy, or striking an emotional chord or tapping on the fear of you Target Audience.

Step 4:

Listing your brand values:

Ex: IKEA has these brand values at the centre of their messaging strategy:

Togetherness

  • Caring for people and planet
  • Cost-Consciousness
  • Simplicity
  • Renew & improve
  • Unique and holds personal meaning

Similarly you can list down your brand values for your company or your personal brand.

Step 5:

Identify Brand Personality

Identity: Ex: Reliable or Young Age

Tone of voice: Ex: Authoritative or Quirky

Language: Ex: Gen Z lingos 

Characteristics: Fun loving

Working Model Example: Coca-Cola

Brand Identity: Radiant

Language: Joyful

Tone of Voice: Enthusiastic

Characteristics: Optimistic/Fun-living/Socializing

Just like Coca-Cola, brands like Starbucks, Apple, IKEA, Mercedes, Amazon, and even local businesses, you can create your own brand identity. It’s also applicable to personal brand, based on how you want to be perceived as.

Step 6:

Build a Brand Suite with visual guidelines:

The following are the must-defined visual components:

  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Color Palette

Setting measurable goals for your Content Marketing Strategy 

It allows you to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate the value of your efforts. Goals should be specific, achievable, and aligned with your business objectives. We will be covering S.M.A.R.T model in this to help you refine your content marketing strategy.

Types of goals to set in Content Marketing:

Awareness KPIs

  • Website traffic
  • Media (video, blog, image) views
  • Likes
  • Frequency of visit
  • Impressions

Consideration KPIs

  • Clicks
  • Engagement
  • Time spent per session
  • Pages visited per session

Sales KPIs

  • Clicks to basket
  • Abandoned Baskets
  • Acquisition

Loyalty KPIs

  • Percentage of repeat purchase 
  • Community growth
  • Positive reviews

Anatomy of setting S.M.A.R.T Goals for your content marketing strategy:

The highlight of marketing online is that you can track the performance of your marketing efforts reported directly in numbers. That is why setting up correct goals can is a mandate for content marketers and business owners. You can do it the most efficient way by making your goals:

S - Specific

  • What is it exactly that you want to achieve?
  • Specify it based on one metric. 

Ex: Increasing blog traffic by increasing blog-posting frequency from 5 to 8.

M - Measurable

Use data targets to clearly define what would mean success for this goal.

Ex: Our goal is 10% increase in website traffic

A - Attainable

Refer to your past analytics and performance to set realistic expectations and not something overtly over the top.

Ex: The website traffic increased 6% last month when we increased the blog-posting frequency from 3 to 5. So it should ideally bring 10% increase in site traffic if we increased the blog frequency to 8 from this week onwards.

R - Relevant

Helps you attain the end goal of marketing.

Ex: If brand awareness is your end goal, then higher website traffic would mean increase in brand awareness. Therefore, it is relevant.

T - Time Bound

A specified goal with no time limit will either be procrastinated or will never make it to realization. That is why it is must to keep a realistic timeline to your goals.

Ex: We must attain this 10% increase in website visitors by taking those steps by the end of 30 days from now.

Creating an informed content strategy

71% of businesses that outperformed competitors in terms of content marketing has a documented Content Marketing Strategy in place according to a report in 2021.

Therefore, every business should have a documented content marketing strategy in place to boost the likelihood of success. 

Once the target audience and goals for content marketing strategy are defined, we will look to chisel a content strategy now. The factors we should consider while placing a content strategy are: defining channels, researching competitors, identifying content gaps, and defining metrics for success.

A well-crafted content strategy ensures that your content aligns with your brand, drives engagement, and achieves your business objectives.

How to map channels for your content marketing strategy?

Like a fitness freak goes to a gym, and a Food vlogger visits cafes and restaurants, people who fit in a well-defined group have their specific places they go to. Same is true for the digital world. Your target audience may have similar traits that make them use similar online channels. Also, it is not mandatory for you to post content on all the platforms. Instead post on fewer channels where most of your target audience is, and post quality content (we’ll define what we mean by quality content shortly).

Here is a table for your reference which maps the demography of the audience present on different social media channels.

PlatformMonthly active usersAge group of audience GenderFacebook91 Bn25-3457% male, 43% femaleInstagram2 Bn25-348% male, 48.4% femaleLinkedIn810 Mn25-3452% male, 48% femaleTwitter211 Mn18-296% male, 38.4% femaleSnapchat31915-2544.6% male, 54.4% womenTikTok1 Bn10-1939% male, 9% female

Apart from this you should also focus on the intent of the user while using these specific platforms. An nstagram user might be highly primed to buy a fashion product while a LinkedIn user is more likely to buy B2B products, upskilling programs, and so on.

Researching Competitors: Tools & Tricks

  • Quick Search - conversations around your brand. Perfect tool getting a quick overview.
  • Wappalyzer - This tool tells you for free the tools that are being used by your competitors on their site
  • BuiltWith - This gives you a clear insight on sales, lead generation, funnel, and ecommerce data of your competitors. Many of the features is available to use in the free plan.
  • WooRank - Gives an SEO audit not only for your brand but your competitors as well. It offers insights and scope of optimization in Technical SEO, Site performance & usability, keyword usage, backlink quality, and social media engagement. It comes with 14 day trial period offer so that you can explore first.
  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner - Provide the competitor’s landing page as input and it tells you relevant keywords used by your competitors. It’s a great free tool with many other features that lets you identify keyword trends s well.
  • SEMrush - One of the most popular tool among the content marketers, it has all the features that you need, but it is a paid tool. This is the Ultimate tool to discover Content marketing techniques of your competitors, even the organic ones. It also helps you with ideation, backlink research and so much more.

Conducting Content Research:

  • Google autofill can be used to see what people are asking around a topic
  • Answer the public, too, tells you about questions asked around a primary topic and an average estimate of users making that query
  • Google trends can help you uncover emerging trends in an industry and help you capture a trend early on
  • Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing and which kind of content is working out for them can be used to piggyback on the strategies you know will work
  • Platforms like Quora and Reddit where people post their genuine queries and talk about their pain points can be a direct & free insight into your TA’s life
  • Youtube is the second largest platform where searches are made, only after Google. You can search around a topic to see which relevant content has garnered most engagement and take inspiration for your content.

Conducting Keyword Research For Ranking Your Website On First Page of SERP:

  • Define a niche topic: Ex: Content Marketing
  • Your marketing objective: Sell my content marketing course
  • Try to ideate keywords that your TA is using to reach your kind of service: Ex: Learn Content Marketing, Content Marketing Syllabus, Content Marketing Certification Course
  • Use these keywords to begin your Keyword search on platforms like Ubersuggest & SEMrush.
  • Identify keywords with higher traffic per month (>250), less keyword difficulty, less SEO difficulty (<60), and low backlink requirement for ranking (<100).
  • Filter the keywords by omitting keywords that don’t align with your TA’s intent of buying your course in short or long term.
  • Collate these keywords together and build your keyword list that you will target for your website content.

Different Types of Content to Create

There are various types of content you can create to engage and connect with your audience. The type of content you choose to create should align with your goals, audience preferences, and brand messaging. In this section, we will be sharing blog templates and discussing models like FAB Model to help you with copywriting.

Long form & short form content

Long Form Content:

Contet with 2000 words and more is generally called long form content.

Ex: Whitepapers, articles, e-books, guides, long podcast scripts, webinars, event recordings. 

Advantages of long form content:

  • Performs better in search
  • Can easily be repurposed
  • Boosts credibility
  • Data shows that long-form content is more shareable 
  • Adds anchor to your content with in-depth discussion

Short Form Content:

Content with around 1200 words and less falls into the category of short form content.

Ex: blog posts, social media posts, short videos like reels and shorts, emailers, some landing pages, press release, chatbot scripts, infographics, etc.

Advantages of short form content:

  • Bite sized information to consume
  • Growing demand
  • Facilitates quicker conversions
  • Easier & less time intensive production.
Types of Content based on formats

Blog posts

Easier to build a set of authoritative content in your niche & attract readers for more variety of content.

Long Form Articles

Ultimate guide topics with in-depth coverage have higher shareability as mentioned earlier. These can be an ultimate guide. One such long form article produced by Moz runs to 17000 words. It’s a great way to get social shares and brownie SEO points for that as well.

Original Research

This again has great shareability and it invites tones of inbound links. If link building is on your priority, try conducting a research and then uploading a report.

Video

Visual is the most favorite of internet users and 40% of millennials are known to trust video for gathering information. Using video in content marketing, businesses capture 66% more leads in a year.

Infographics

84% of Infographic users find this content format effective for gaining traction and shares. The key to perfect infographic content is to make it interesting and reliable. It’s easy to use data/statistics, processes, or creative elements for infographics. Also, a blogpost can be repurposed to design an infographic on the same.

Images & GIFs

These two running rampant on every social media platform. And let’s be honest, even blogpost without images would be look like a bland book. And not everyone likes reading picture-less books, right? Images are  a must to include in your content marketing strategy as human images, memes, GIFs, quotes, takeaways from a blogpost, still images used as reels, and so on.

Case Studies

This content format helps you win the trust & credibility and it places you as subject matter expert. It is a niche specific content that deals with reality and the acknowledges the problems that your TA faces in real life and showcases the solutions that turned out successful for a set of people and might help your TA as well.

Presentations

Making insightful or informative presentations and sharing on Slideshare helps you drive internet users to your website and it increases brand awareness as well by capturing the Slideshare user base. 

FAB model for Copywriting

This is one of the simplest yet powerful writing technique used by Experienced Copywriters to generate leads. FAB stands for

F - Features

What does your product offer? Or what does it do?

A - Advantages

Which problems does it solve or how is it better?

B - Benefits

How does it help the users in their life or what is the transformation that the user experiences?

Example:

SkillCamper’s bootcamp style learning offers ultra-efficient skillbuilding so that you can transition into a career smoothly with 3X the salary.

Feature: Bootcamp style learning

Advantage: Ultra-efficient skillbuilding

Benefits: Smooth career transition with 3X salary

Writing quality content that resonates with the audience

Writing quality content can be divided majorly into 3 segments:

  1. Researching your target audience to understand:
  • Understanding which stage of customer awareness journey they are on: Problem aware, Solution aware, Your product/service aware, Most Aware.
  • Pain points 
  • Motivations
  • Hesitations from trying your product
  • Attraction toward your product
  • And the daily lingo of your TA

2. Producing content tailored to your Target Audience:

Awareness stage of the customer tells you how much information you need to feed your audience to lead them towards acquisition.

Pain points & motivations help you identify the points that should reflect in your marketing copies as your TA can readily connect with it.

3. Healthy mix of Content formats:

Maintaining the quality of content and providing a mix of different content formats on minimum 3 distribution channels is suggested by Subject matter experts for content marketing.

Distribution of Content

If you tried to sell potato chips in a gym, you pretty much know what would happen. That is why selecting the right channels for distribution is important and a consistent flow of content must be maintained to build a community and achieve longer term Content Marketing goals. You can use social media, email marketing and SEO to increase the visibility of your content. 

Not only that, recycling old content by repurposing and refreshing is a tactic that can take great loads off your shoulders once you have a good content base that you have posted for few months at least.

Analyzing and tweaking/refining the content strategy

In the end, no plan is perfect to begin with. This is also true for your content marketing plan. That is why it requires constant endeavor to analyze the performance based on S.M.A.R.T. goals and making changes as necessary towards what is working for you.

You can refer to the KPIs (Key performance indicators) we discussed earlier based on the marketing goal, for analyzing growth and fall and optimizing your strategy for it accordingly.

Parting words…

We know it is a lot to take in at once. Learning content marketing is no joke even for adults, let alone outperforming your competitors. But with proper industry level training & guidance from subject matter expert you can be a Content Marketing Wizard and start your new professional journey with high-performing skills. If you wish to switch career to Content marketing, or apply it in your own business, SkillCamper’s 4-week hands-on workshop on Content Marketing is your way to perform 10X better than other newbie Content Marketing professionals.

Check out the programs now!

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