Content marketing: how to start from scratch? And why is it worth it? Author Agata Piechota Read bio Expectations of the modern consumer are higher than ever before. Audiences are increasingly skeptical about the digital content they’re exposed to from brands, verifying every piece of information. To gain their trust, you must provide credible context for your offer. The best way to do this is with content marketing. But what’s there to know before taking the first step? And how do we do it at Elephate?The internet is used as a source of knowledge by generations and social groups around the world. And with the digital transition is significantly accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s no wonder that more and more businesses are going online in search of new buyers. According to data from Senuto, 7,691 new online stores were created from March to October 2020; in just a few months, the entire e-commerce market grew by 15%.There are many indicators forecasting the ongoing growth of online channels, and with it – the competitiveness of individual industries. A bargaining chip in the fight for customer attention can be high-quality content that corresponds to the needs of the target group. When capably crafted, your content will be encountered by recipients once they enter a query into the search engine. In this article, you will learn how to start taking conscious steps along the paths of content marketing to fuel your brand’s success. We also bring the Elephate perspective a little closer and explain our approach to content marketing.Content marketing: what is it?Content marketing involves the creation, publication, and promotion of content, the purpose of which is to attract the attention of a potential customer, among other things. It is a natural way to present a product or service surrounded by information that is interesting and useful from the reader’s perspective. Such activities should result from the assumed brand strategy and be consistent with the remaining marketing efforts.Content marketing builds the trust and commitment of recipients in the long term. Once published, materials will consistently attract interested audiences; all that’s required is the occasional update of information. This is where content marketing differs from traditional advertising, which brings quick and easily measurable results but requires ongoing content adjustment and recurring distribution payments.The synergistic combination of content marketing, SEO, and PRContent marketing is invaluable for SEO. After all, it is the content on a brand’s website that is optimized for search engines. Each phrase that is entered and each link that is clicked is attempted to find information. Thus, it is worth making sure the recipient finds an exhaustive response to their query on your website. That way, they will not feel the need to look elsewhere for information, paying more attention to your brand as a result.Content marketing is also an indispensable element of the company’s effective PR. Publishing expert articles and industry reports help build a competent and trustworthy brand image. It is good practice to include in the article the name of a reliable specialist within the field, which supports the process of building an authentic relationship with the target group. It can also encourage readers to familiarize themselves with the offer, which is how content marketing supports the acquisition of valuable sales leads. Recipients interested in inspiring content will be more likely to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with your brand’s activities.At Elephate, we focus on a synergistic combination of content marketing with SEO and PR elements. We believe that the best results are delivered by harmonious actions that create a coherent story about the brand. Case studies of our selected projects will help you better understand this approach.Social media contentOne should also not forget about the role of content in running company profiles on social media. Professional content will gain the interest of LinkedIn users, interesting commentary will prove useful on Twitter, and original graphics will attract the attention of Instagram viewers. In turn, a Facebook fan page will be the right place to start a lively discussion about a topic raised in your latest entry on the company blog. This is how content marketing can help you effectively engage the target audience through your own media – the only kind of media you can fully control.Why is content marketing worth investing in?There is no shortage of methods to increase sales and conversion rate thanks to content. Brands are particularly eager to turn to the company blog. And for good reason: when regularly updated, it is one of the most effective ways to increase website traffic and domain rank in search results.An article on a universal subject can arouse interest for many years. If you take care of the technical side, such as appropriate keywords and URLs, as well as the right volume and structure of the text, your content will be able to consistently attract readers.Content marketing will help you discover the human face of your brand, making it easier for others to identify with its mission. To build a genuine relationship with your audience, share content that is close to their reality. Perhaps a series of useful advice articles, infographics about industry curiosities, or a study related to current events in the country? Think about the type of communication that will be the most consistent with the image of your brand and most readily absorbed by its potential customers.Communication pays offThanks to content marketing, you can become part of social discussions on important topics. Even authors of websites that are not closely related to your industry will happily mention an interesting text addressing a current situation. Promoting blog content is a method of acquiring natural links that lead to your brand’s website, increasing the authority of the domain in the process. Your link-building efforts can also be further supplemented with guest posting. This means delivering articles to blog authors and editors of portals whose recipients could show interest in your expert content, leading to further recognition among your target group.Regardless of the form, content marketing efforts allow readers to understand what makes you stand out from the competition. By sharing engaging material, you will show that you are after more than money – you are an expert with a genuine interest in your field. It is therefore worth avoiding intrusive promotion of your services or products. Instead, focus on providing reliable information and helpful advice to bring real value to the lives of your audience. A sincere relationship with them will sooner or later translate into sales results.The numbers speak for themselvesAccording to HubSpot data, companies that run a blog are indexed by Google for up to 434% more subpages. This is a solid basis for boosting your online visibility and increasing the chance of attracting new customers. Blogging brands also obtain 97% more links to their sites.Properly conducted content sections and optimized product descriptions are able to drive thousands of undecided customers to a website. The vast majority of Poles start shopping online by Googling a phrase not related to any brand; according to the statistics of Interaktywnie.com, as many as 86% of Polish shoppers start their journey in the search engine. Not fighting for their attention with thoughtful content marketing would be an enormous missed opportunity for retail businesses.It’s never too late to startAccording to a PARP report from October 2020, 93.5% of Polish companies already have their own website. However, only less than half of them engage in search engine activities, and merely 35% choose to invest in PR. But what does this mean for you? Running a creative campaign in online channels can enable your company to naturally gain an advantage over the competition. Strong rankings on Google, increase in organic traffic, the loyalty of existing customers, and constant influx of new faces; are just some of the benefits that synergistic and consistent content marketing efforts can bring to your brand.Where to start: the content marketing strategyThe best starting point for any successful content marketing activity is a consistent content marketing strategy that has been derived from preliminary operations. It is worth analyzing the content that is currently on your company’s website and evaluating the efforts of the competition. A lot of valuable conclusions can also be drawn from the examination of a brand’s web mentions. The best course of action will be determined by popular keywords related to your industry.Define your target audienceThe answer lies in understanding the needs and expectations of your customers. Once you learn more about their interests, lifestyles, and world views, it will be easier to prepare engaging content for them down the line. Cater your communication methods to their preferences, taking into account the time and manner of browsing the web. When choosing the style and tone of speech, consider your audience’s age, level of education, and place of residence. In-depth research and analysis using professional tools will allow you to collect valuable data on these criteria.You will likely find that your target audience is quite diverse. It may be helpful to select a few model representatives, also known as personas, that you will be trying to reach. Give them names, define their gender, lifestyle, hobbies, and personality traits, and plan compelling content for them. Remember to select the appropriate channels to publish your content.Set goals for activitiesYou should be guided by specific goals when writing down the individual elements of your strategy and scheduling the activities. For instance, by determining which indicator, also known as KPI, is most applicable to your company, you will find it easier to focus on key areas of development. It will also allow you to decide whether the activity in question has brought your brand closer to the desired position, or if perhaps you should take a step back and consider a different approach.Above all, your strategy should reflect the mission and values of your brand. Think about the story you want to tell through the content you publish, then write its subsequent chapters. Also bear in mind your long-term business goals, and definitely do not forget about financial matters; planning, creating, and distributing content requires time and money. You may find that you need professional outside support.How can a content marketing agency help your company?By hiring a team of specialists, you will receive a fresh perspective and valuable distance towards the position of your brand. A professional agency can not only help your brand accomplish the results you ask for, but also prepare a comprehensive content marketing strategy tailored to your business. Using their experience, an agency will efficiently identify areas that need addressing. A detailed analysis of the situation will result in the recommendation of changes and preparation of guidelines to steer your website to success. Simultaneously, an agency will propose solutions that match your goals on an ongoing basis, choosing the right tools and techniques to achieve them.Your cooperation with an agency may end at this stage. You will pass on the recommendations to internal employees and entrust them with the next steps. However, if you care about the sustained growth of your indicators in the rapidly changing landscape, you should consider continuing the relationship with a proficient content marketer. They will not only skillfully implement individual solutions but also monitor their results and flexibly adjust the strategy.What should a brief for an agency include?If you decide to outsource content marketing, you should write down all the necessary details and provide them to the potential agents in the form of a brief – this document will serve as guidelines during the cooperation. It is worth presenting the values of your company, its most important products and services, and a customer profile. Data on your brand’s position in the market and the industry in which it operates will also be valuable. Take the time to introduce your biggest competitors and refer to their activities: perhaps there are some that you find inspiring, and others that you wish to avoid. Remember to mention any marketing activities undertaken by your company up until that point.The key element of a content marketing brief is clearly defined expectations. In return, an agency will better understand your brand and select the right tools to help you achieve your goals. It is also worth including an indicative budget and timeframe for implementation – both parties will benefit from it. Being aware of the available resources, a specialist will be able to propose an optimal plan that is realistic and tailored to the needs of your business. The more insightful the information provided to an agency, the more personalized the service.An honest message generates sincere interestContent marketing can help your brand get the edge in an increasingly competitive market. In a time when internet users have learned to skip ads and avoid paid search results, other routes of reaching and responding to their needs are gaining importance. By sharing valuable content, you will receive the attention of potential customers, which in time will translate into loyalty.Even if you haven’t yet experienced disinterest in your brand, you should remember that in a dynamically changing network, nothing is a given. Search engine algorithms are constantly upgraded to provide users with the most attractive and relevant information. Thoughtful content marketing has already created many unlikely leaders who managed to steal the show with an irresistible story.For good reason, it is said that customers buy with emotions. Let’s provide thrills with our content and give them a reason to keep coming back for more.