Content Marketing Beginner Guide: What is Content Marketing?

Whether content is the king, the queen or just the butler, let’s face it. One thing is for sure: the content marketing pig has been driven through the online world for years now, it was smeared with neatly many buzzwords, and still, seemingly put so few (felt) on content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

By means of informative, inspiring and entertaining content, the relevant target group should be addressed, without baiting them with intrusive or direct advertising promises.

In this guide, I want to highlight the benefits of content marketing, but also explain why content marketing is not everything.

The Benefits of Content Marketing

The saying “Content is King” is already old, but has not lost its relevance.

By means of this marketing form, only a specific target group should be addressed to be able to answer their problems and questions or to entertain the target group. Direct advertising has no business in content marketing.

This procedure has several advantages:

  • You do not “annoy” the consumer because you try to answer their questions and solve problems.
  • Through this form of marketing, the potential customer gains trust in the company.
  • The company (individuals may of course also) can profile itself in the eyes of its target audience as a real expert.
  • You will be found by the target group voluntarily – the litter loss is much lower than with traditional outbound advertising (TV ads, banner ads, etc.).

In the days when every hour, hundreds of advertising messages pierce people’s brains, it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out. Often wins the one who has the largest advertising budget. In content marketing, you will be found by your target group and can thus minimize high wastage. Later more.

Let’s start with a quick look into the story:

History

Content marketing is really old! At the time, nobody used the term “content marketing”. This was first circulated in 1996 by John F. Oppedahl.

But how old is content marketing?

I am by no means a historian and of course, had to use Google and Co. to research the history.

Some sources gave different dates when content marketing was born. Someone said that already in 1891 (!) August Oetker has sold his baking powder ” Back in ” with recipes for cooking on the back.

For some sources, however, the famous ” Guide Michelin ” is the birth of Content Marketing (a recipe on a bag full of baking soda is not that spectacular ;-)). The well-known tire manufacturer started in 1900, a hotel and restaurant guide, which is still world-famous to this day.

If you want to know more about the story, check it out here or watch the video:

What are the goals of content marketing?

Content marketing can be used for many different purposes. It can be used to …:

  • generate more traffic as well as new leads and position yourself as an expert

Content Marketing is a great way to show off your own expertise and know-how and to profile yourself as an expert in your niche with content that has real added value,

“Who writes that stays?” That’s how it could be expressed. Anyone who manages to deliver engaging, informative and/or inspiring content regularly stays in the memory of their target group and can thus expand their brand awareness.

  • to win fans for the product/company (promote customer loyalty)

The number of fans or loyal customers of a product can be increased by “cool” content.

Of course, many more goals can be tackled with this marketing discipline. For example, extensive case studies, a popular form of content marketing, often get backlinks, which in turn are very helpful in getting better rankings on Google.

Also, to create “social buzz” and to be able to address as many people as possible in a short time, content marketing strategies can be applied.

Or simply put, the goals can be summarized as follows:

Attract attention to your own business with great content.

How does content marketing work, and what does the implementation look like?

If content marketing is implemented only half-heartedly, the project can usually be put right back into the bin.

No, this discipline needs a strategy and a (longer) planning in advance. A quick shot can often be ineffective. The following points should be considered during planning and implementation:

1. Creating a strategy (Strategic Content Marketing)

In order to determine the right approach, we first have to put ourselves in the appropriate target group:

  • Which target group should be reached with the content?
  • Which type of content is well received by the target group?
  • What should the content providers to the information?
  • What content can be found in the competition?

The depth of implementation of the content marketing strategy should also be determined, as there are various possibilities:

holistic content

The website is entirely designed as a content platform; the product is in the background – for example, the coca-cola website.

embedded content

A content platform is built into the company website that regularly publishes new content, such as Eg via a blog, regular news, a forum etc.

one-time content

Here only once the content is created. White paper, infographic, interviews, etc.

Possible goals have already been mentioned in the chapter before. An important point that some companies still do not understand in my experience is getting new leads/customers through content marketing.

Strategy determination using content radar and FISH model

The various possible goals in content marketing can intersect under certain circumstances and thereby lose their effect.

In order to identify such obstacles and to find a clear direction in the content strategy, several models help in strategy-finding. one well-known model are the FISH model.

FISH model

The FISH model is about categorizing content types:

F stands for Follow Content and means to produce content that people find interesting, so they always want to have more of it. Buzzfeed, with its eternal TOP 10 List Posts pursues a strategy with Follow Content. The contents are relatively simple, but create a specific pull effect for many readers.

I stand for Inbound Content and means to provide high-quality and useful content to receive the readers’ e-mail addresses (lead generation). Case studies are often excellent for this.

S means search and sales content. This involves material that is actively sought by the target group. This content should answer a specific question in the best possible way. Especially texts that are to be optimized for Google and other search engines should always be able to answer users’ queries.

H like highlight content. As the name implies, content should be produced here, which should provide for a specific “quake” in the industry of the company – e.g. new studies with brand new findings.

2. Topic Finding

In order to operate successful content marketing, the corresponding topics must also be researched. A first important step in finding an item is to examine wishes, problems and questions of the target group!

  • As an old SEO, I recommend, of course, keyword research using Google Keywordplaner ;-). But other (free) tools on the Internet can be beneficial in the topic research. Another recommendation is the website ” Answer The Public “. The tool usually spits out a large number of questions and topic ideas about its own search term (see picture – Example of the keyword “blog”).
Answer the public
  • Of course, social media platforms like Facebook are also very well suited to research the questions of their target group. Once the target group is defined for the first time, suitable Facebook communities can be researched and analyzed, where the famous shoe pressures the target group.
  • Video platforms like YouTube can also provide exciting topic ideas.
  • Competitive analysis with analysis tools. is also great for finding topics.
  • With the tool, Buzzsumo.com can also analyze which previous content formats have created a high “social buzz”. This tool is also handy for topic findings.
buzzsumo

Example of the term “Landingpage”. 
In the free version, the tool displays the ten content formats that were most frequently shared or reached the largest social buzz.

Once enough ideas have been collected, it’s a good idea to list the concepts in a summary table or mind map to filter out the most exciting topics. Mindmaps can be easily created with the tool coggle.it.

3. Content planning

If the strategy and the questions are up, we come to the content plan. When and in what form should the contents appear? The policy already determines which content formats should be created for the target audience.

A few examples of possible content formats:

  • blog posts
  • counsellor
  • Tutorials
  • FAQ
  • Wiki
  • Tests on products
  • News, rumours, announcements from the industry, etc.
  • infographics
  • Online Game
  • Self-tests
  • List Posts
  • Polls evaluations
  • case study
  • Pictures / graphics
  • Whitepapers for download
  • E-Books
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • checklists

A content plan is extremely important to keep track of which content has already been created, what is coming, and which topics it contains. This is how a content plan or editorial plan can look like with Excel:

For very large content plans with a large number of employees, the overview can very quickly be lost in Excel. But there are already online tools that can make the job easier.

Online Tools:

Divvyhq.com: To the website

Video to Divvyhq.com

4. Create implementation / content

Now it’s time to get started!

As soon as it comes to the implementation, it also shows how realistic you have planned. Beginners often misjudge the effort and then quarrel with the implementation. The most important thing in implementing large content marketing plans is to have some manpower.

If the editorship is too thin, there may be long waiting times for content production (e.g. from new blog posts). So should always be taken to have enough people (freelancers, permanent employees, etc.), to implement all ideas.

Only content that really sees the light of the offline or online world can also work :-).

Smaller projects can, of course, be implemented alone or in a small team.

If you try to beat the price when creating content, you must always be aware that the quality will suffer from it… If the content is not high enough, it may lead to rejection by your target audience.

So do not waste it on the wrong end. Good copywriters, who are supposed to write about a complex subject area, often start with a word price starting at 8 cents, since they also have to research the content creation accordingly. Correctly good copywriters with appropriate qualifications like to take sometimes 20-30 cents per word.

5. Content Seeding / Distribution

The content was created, the champagne corks but can not pop because no one sees this?

Then the content distribution should be roofed!

You can have such great content; if no one sees him, this will remain hidden forever in the dark. Pay attention, therefore to a correct promotion strategy. Where are the target groups located? Which channels do you use to reach them best?

Are there any influencers in the niche who might find your content interesting?

Then you should think about Blogger outreach.

And do not just rely on Google to attract visitors or promote your content. Have at least one or better several traffic alternatives at hand – like facebook or other social media channels.

6. Monitoring and analysis

Of course, analytics should be done to measure the success of your strategy:

  • How many visitors has this brought to the website (visitors track, e.g. with Google Analytics)?
  • How many likes and shares did the content get (Facebook – more social signals often indicate positive approval)?
  • How many people clicked on your ads or banners (How successful was your advertising campaign for the content)?
  • How many people commented on this post?
  • How many leads/customers could be gained through content marketing implementation?

There are many more ways to analyze. The fact is: those who do not track at all can not optimize their strategy, and so they can go nowhere and possibly pass the success. Do you want it?

Examples of great content marketing

I could now show you ingenious content marketing examples from big companies with a really fat advertising budget. But that would not be expedient since the few have such a large budget and opportunities (manpower).

Example- Blog posts

Even simple blog posts can be successful and increase reach/awareness. So List-Posts are often suitable to wrap a topic exciting. Such posts are usually read and shared very often.

List posts are articles that write about a certain number of tips or assertions. Such as For example the website Buzzfeed.com. There are daily new list posts, such as. “30 signs that you are almost 30” or “12 puppies that are in the snow for the first time”.

Even though more and more people are despising such click-bait headlines, the success of the Buzzfeed.com operators is right. Such seductive headlines are clicked more often, and everyone has to decide for themselves whether they can address their target group or even want it.

Common mistakes

Especially beginners stumble over the following mistakes. Anyone who has never considered content as an information medium, but only as a pure means of transport, will have to rethink something. This makes marketing easier for bloggers and journalists, as they (usually) already have experience creating informative/entertaining content.

Let’s start with the TOP 6 popular errors in Content Marketing:

1. You do not know your target audience

Who are you writing for? Who do you want to achieve with your content? Where is this target group, and how do you reach it?

If you do not pick up and target your target group, it will be hard to reach them. Also, a Buyer Persona can help you get to know your audience better.

2. You do not know your competition well enough

How does the competition behave on the market? For which topics are these particularly active? How do they get their traffic?

Are there already established competitors in your niche, can be derived from these very much. Are you actively promoting this on an online site and relying on Google for traffic? Then you can with the tool SEMrush to find out which keywords these are found particularly well and about which these visitors.

3. Not enough resources (time and money) for content planning, creation and promotion If the voluntary trainee (voluntarily = without pay) outpour a 100-word news a month, it really can not be described as a sophisticated content marketing strategy.

If you save on content marketing, you can do that in my opinion.

Only those who have enough resources at their disposal can achieve real success. For small projects, it is enough to rauszushauen 2-3 posts a month in places. It does not always have to be paddled. Even small campaigns can be successful and reach (realistic) goals such as higher visibility, more visitors.

4. You expect immediate results

When the questions with the resources are clarified, then the expectation of possible results should be defined. Content marketing is often designed for a medium to long term period. Just because a guidebook post and a short how-to video were released does not mean that the numbers of visitors and leads have to go through the roof right away. No, content marketing needs one thing above all: a lot of time and patience until the first significant goals are achieved!

5. The sale is in the foreground

Here are particularly eager to bring their content marketing project to the wall! “Oh, come on, the post has taken so much time, let us” at least “add a few links with our best products/services, to explicitly point out once again how great we are!

Arrrrgggghhh! That’s not how it works.

The reader will completely lose confidence if you feed him with copywriting. Many people will then view a guide text as clumsy advertising with no added value. The information or entertainment factor MUST be in the foreground. Advertising can be at a website wonderful about the point service / my services. Be brought to the man/woman. Keep your content clean and free of direct advertising.

The added value is too low you do not

pass on any significant knowledge Example: Two simple tips to get rid of the annoying mother-in-law are just not enough, if you want to stand out from the crowd – it would be best always much more content and information out like your competitors – only then can you stand out and be perceived faster.

21 ideas for new content on your website

But write about what, if the topic is easy to trough you? What text do you write if you have a writer’s block or ideas for a great post? The following tips will help you to create great content that will also interest your readers:

  1. Conduct interviews with people in your industry. Attempts to attract people, such as well-known bloggers, from your industry for an interview whose reach is particularly high. The better known the person is for your interview, the higher the attention for the interview will be!
  2. Podcasts: Reading makes you tired ;-)! To prevent your visitors from falling asleep on your website, podcasts help. You could e.g. record an interview (see point 1) instead of writing it down in a post as a podcast. This makes each interview more alive and more human. Do not forget that we are all human and are not insensitive robots.
  3. Youtube: Did you know that YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world? With a vast, detailed video, you can share your knowledge, news or whatever with many people.
  4. Interesting product information, eg. For example, the differences between different types of beers, schnapps varieties, etc., which not everyone knows, can become real crowd-pullers on your website.
  5. Always be inspired by other websites. Think about what topics on other blogs on your website could be interesting as a post.
  6. Can you tell an exciting story about you or your business? Something personal is always very well received by many readers.
  7. Is there any news from the industry? Try to report on new insights or current events from your niche as quickly as possible.
  8. Also, swim against the tide and have a provocative opinion on a current topic; This tactic can generate quite a bit of attention. However, caution is advised, too much provocation can backfire ;-).
  9. Do you have questions from your readers? Just treat these questions in your next posts. Analyze your audience carefully and see what topics are interesting for them. You can also do this through surveys.
  10. Reports from trade fairs or similar congresses. Many bloggers even write so-called “recaps” of trade fair visits to keep their readers up to date on the latest trends.
  11. Identify a problem and solve it: Yes, the classic content idea. Search in forums for the most common questions of the community on a specific topic and answer these questions on your website.
  12. Write a sophisticated guide that is much more detailed than a regular post.
  13. Write a guide on how NOT to proceed.
  14. Create a cunning post, with, for example, 50 tips and tricks for a higher income.
  15. Did you make a great discovery in your niche? You’ve found something that no one else knew? Well then publish a case study and prove your discovery.
  16. Report myths and expose them as true or false.
  17. Write an article about the most valuable resources, such as the best WordPress plugins.
  18. Reports on how it works behind the scenes – How do you work? What are you doing to motivate you? What does your daily routine look like?
  19. Report and show upcoming trends from your niche. What will change? Are you able to make forecasts?
  20. Write a “HOW TO” list: Explain step-by-step how to do it, such as how to make an OnPge optimization website or how to install WordPress.
  21. Reviews of current, exciting products are always read. It is even better if you create a video for an exciting product: On YouTube and other video portals, there are tons of “unboxing” videos on many different technology gadgets, such as televisions, mobile phones, etc…

As you can see, there are many ways to create great and creative content. First, think about what your audience is looking for information and then create matching content that will satisfy your visitors.

FAQs

Why is content marketing so in demand, and what is the difference to stale marketing?

We are garbed every day with more than 6,000 advertising messages. The conclusion: The consumer shuts off faster, he recognizes better and better advertising and is increasingly challenging to achieve.

Content marketing is the exact opposite – with this marketing discipline, one’s client finds one as one answers the questions to the searcher. The customer is looking for you and will (hopefully) find you according to the content that you have targeted this audience! Hammer, right?

What’s the difference between Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing?

Advertising banner, TV advertising or similar is also often referred to as Outbound Marketing. This is associated with a large budget, a high loss of litter and a large number of people, which is annoying.

As previously described, a successful content marketing strategy will find you and your customers without annoying them. So the customers come to you of their own free will.

Only if the customer is with you and has collected the information, then what happens?

There is no clear dividing line between content marketing and inbound marketing. However, in my opinion, precisely inbound marketing is used here and attempts to generate new customers and later even fans or loyal followers.

So are methods such. For example, active social media campaigns and newsletter actions are used to generate leads from as many people as possible.

Why do content marketing and SEO work so well?

As I said: Content Marketing is often used to answer the questions of a specific target group in the best possible way.

And what does Google want on the front (organic) places?

Right: the best answers to the questions and problems of the target group.

If you can do it with, for example, a blog post on a topic to give the best possible (and most detailed) answer, your chances are not so bad to be rewarded by Google for good rankings. Of course, there are many more ranking factors – but good content is an essential foundation for better rankings on Google.

For whom is content marketing suitable?

Do you have an online shop, a website or any other kind of online presence and you want to have more visitors?

In that case, content marketing is, in most cases, very suitable, as people are particularly looking for answers online and can be answered with targeted content.

Creating content is not difficult; it’s often time-consuming and costly. However, you do NOT have to have a budget like Hornbach or Coca-Cola to gain new leads and customers (see examples above).

Why content marketing can not be THE panacea in online marketing

Content Marketing will always be “just” part of the overall online marketing concept. As before, other online marketing disciplines are exciting, such as: As social media marketing, paid ads and many more to get more traffic to your site.

Who only focuses on content marketing and other disciplines such. Neglected SEO, will always get even a small part of the online marketing cake.

Also, success in content marketing is never guaranteed. No strategy, bad planning, harmful content, and more can make your campaign unsuccessful. If you just focused on content marketing, this is especially bitter.

Therefore, I strongly recommend using several online marketing channels!

Of course, content marketing is still a damn cool pig, but above all, it requires resources and patience, as success is not always easy to expect.

The most important steps summarized again:

  • Strategy (what should be achieved, who is the target audience?)
  • Subject research (which topics interest the target group?)
  • Content Planning (When does which content appear, who creates the content?)
  • Content Creation (Implementation: Now it’s time to get down to business)
  • Promotion (How is the content posted or how is it brought closer to the target audience?)
  • Monitoring & Analysis (measure success and adapt strategy if necessary)

The definition of the target group is particularly important – who should be addressed with the content, and where does it stay?

What type of content works best with this audience?

Exactly these questions should always be clarified in advance. Otherwise, success (such as more leads) will be pure coincidence.

What is your opinion about content marketing?

Please Comment 🙂

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