In today’s busy world, digital content marketing is essential to capture the attention of your target audience. It is the age of information, and people rely on the internet to find information and services more than ever before. This trend is only growing. That’s why you can’t ignore your web presence. But what exactly is digital content marketing?
Digital Content Marketing is the process of creating and publishing content across digital mediums to draw in target audiences and meet marketing goals.
What is Digital Content?
Digital content is any content that is published in a digital medium. It refers to websites, apps, online video advertising, banner advertising, blogging, ebooks and downloadable pdfs, podcasts, social media posts, email marketing, and more.
How Can Content Marketing Benefit Your Organization?
Chances are, your organization already benefits from content marketing. Everything created by your marketing department is content-based. Digital content marketing uses the same basic methods as a normal marketing campaign, but it’s tailored to the digital environment. There are three main reasons it is important to include a digital content marketing strategy as part of your overall marketing efforts:
- Digital content marketing becomes increasingly important as technology use and internet access continue to grow worldwide. This is a trend that will keep rising in the next decade. It is better to lay a foundation for this now, instead of playing catch-up with your competition a year from now.
- The world wide web is exactly that: world wide. Digital marketing is the quickest and most efficient way to expand your reach locally, nationally, and globally.
- There has always been a gap between brand image and brand identity in marketing. Your digital presence can bridge this gap. No longer do you have to rely on a few sentences to create an image. Your website, blog, and social media accounts give you so much more control over how you are viewed in the marketplace.
What are the Key Aspects of Digital Content Marketing:
There is a lot that goes into this style of marketing, but there are some basic aspects that make up the bulk of the work. If you really want to make sure your strategy is solid, these are the key aspects you need to focus your efforts towards:
Blogging as a form of advertisement takes a lot of planning. Blog posts are usually between 600 and 1,200 words, and a new blog should publish at least once a week. If you don’t publish with a set goal in mind, you’re throwing money down the drain.
Not only that, but your content should be coordinated across the board. Social media strategy needs to align with your blogging strategy, and your blogging strategy should be based from a solid SEO strategy. So, you need to have a plan in place outlining core goals and guidelines for creating content across all mediums.
Content writing is an art, especially if it involves SEO. A good content writer understands the key aspects of writing engaging content. Engaging content encourages interactions with your website. This increases your reach, establishes authority in your industry, and is an excellent opportunity to more closely define your brand identity and image.
What is a blog without social media outreach? Unread.
Blogging is a great way to nurture relationships over time with your target audience, but social media is one of the most essential tools for reaching that audience across the web. And, while blogging helps with reach and engagement, social media is by far the best tool you have for this objective.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing is the practice of optimizing your website and blog posts to be indexed and returned as search results to potential consumers. Much like social media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for reaching your audience.
SEO uses carefully researched keywords placed throughout website and blog content. If you follow basic SEO best practices, your content will show up in search-result returns when that keyword is searched by a potential consumer.
Choosing the right keywords is just like writing good content: take your target audience into account. If you use the right keywords, you will attract the right audience. Honestly, it does little good to use keywords that don’t reach your target audience. You may get a lot of engagement on your blog and social media, but will that engagement convert? Probably not.
How to Create A Solid Digital Content Marketing Strategy
Obviously, digital content marketing is not something you jump into. Moving through the steps in the righter order will keep you from making mistakes or having to revise your strategy halfway through implementation.
Here are the basic steps that will keep you on track to rock your digital content.
Step 1: Research Your Target Audience
Chances are, you already know your target audience well. But do you know their web-browsing habits? What are their peripheral interests related to your industry? To create a solid plan, you need to know:
- Where your target audience engages in the social media landscape
- What kind of content your target audience engages with across the web
- Key intersections between target audience interests and industry-related topics
Step 2: Search Engine Marketing Keyword Research
Yes, search engine marketing is so important it should begin at your second step. You actually begin SEM research when looking into the browsing habits and peripheral interests for your target audience. Keyword research is used to inform your overall strategy, so it needs to begin early in the development phase.
Honestly, SEM is not something that can be explained in a couple of paragraphs. If you want to do it right, you need to hire an expert or outsource to an agency.
Step 3: Define Your Quarterly Focus and Goals
Consider your key goals for content marketing. Do you want to increase reach, conversions, engagement, refine your image, or something else? Digital content marketing helps with all of these factors. Choose one or two to focus on for the quarter and tailor your strategy to fit your choices.
Choose your focus based on the overall needs of your marketing department and the current strength of your web presence. There’s no point in focusing on reach if you don’t have enough website content to encourage engagement or conversions.
To coordinate your campaign across digital mediums, make sure everyone on your digital marketing team understands the following:
- The core objectives of your quarterly goals
- Your brand identity and the gap between identity and image
- How you plan to meet your quarterly goals
Once you set these things in place, you’re ready to put it together and form a strategy.
Step 4: Bringing it All Together
Now that you’ve researched the web and search habits of your target audience and defined your core goals for the quarter, it’s time to begin putting an actual strategy together. This requires a lot of careful planning. To create a good strategy, you need to:
- Combine all of your research
- Use what you know about target audience interests and SEO keywords to create a blog post schedule for the quarter
- Coordinate your blog post schedule with social media strategy and pinpoint times within the quarter where you can run cross-platform promotions.
- Determine what tools you will use to automate as much of the implementation as necessary
- Keep an eye on the future as you plan so you can easily integrate new types of digital content later on
This is a very basic look at the process of creating a strategy based on your research. Once you have a solid plan in place, you’re ready to really begin.
Step 5: Implementation
You may need to hire some employees to implement your strategy or consider working with an agency who can handle both strategy and implementation. Either way, you will need:
- An SEO specialist to monitor your progress and also perform site SEO audits
- A blogger with SEO-writing knowledge to write your blog content
- A social media expert to create and publish posts
- A web developer to solve technical issues with your site and design new elements
- An analytics expert who can measure and track progress and ROI
- A project manager to oversee everyone’s work
As you can see, digital content marketing does not happen overnight. If you really want it to work, you need to hire a good team our outsource to an agency.
Step 6: Analyze, Evaluate, Refine, Repeat
The final step is quarterly reviews of your progress. Evaluate your numbers and use that information to see where your strategy is and isn’t working. From there, refine your strategy and the process of implementation. Then, it’s time to do it all over again for the next quarter.
It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It
Take your time in setting the foundation for your content strategy, then build on it by expanding the digital content you offer. If you start with a blog and social media, incorporate video and images. When you have established authority with your content, begin offering downloadables, podcasts, email newsletters, and other forms of digital content. Start small and build as you go.
It seems like a lot to invest in, but this is the way marketing is going. People rely more and more on the internet to find information. If you aren’t there, you’re going to miss out on potential sales and lifelong customers. It is better to make the investment now and put your infrastructure in place. Otherwise, you may find yourself scrambling to catch up with your competitors down the road.
Have you used digital content marketing for your business? Tell us about it in the comments below!