What is content marketing?
If you are currently running your own business (full-time or part-time), you might have heard of content marketing before. Even so, you still might be unsure of how to implement this type of marketing to help you get leads or customers online. This blog post will not only share with you the most common types of content marketing but also real content marketing examples of how other businesses are getting customers or leads just from the content that they have planned and created.
In simple words, content marketing is using some forms of content to attract leads or customers to purchase your products or services online. Some people also call this inbound marketing as it means customers coming to you rather than you going out and getting customers (outbound marketing).
Why business owners should use content marketing to attract customers?
With the introduction of helpful content update by Google on the 18 Aug 2002, there is never more important in our times that creating helpful content for your target market is the ultimate way to follow if you want people coming your way to purchase your products or services.
Customers, nowadays are accustomed to looking for information before they make a purchase. Regardless of whether you are selling physical products like water bottles, or highly personalized services like life coaching, you would need to produce content to educate your target market as the first step of inbound marketing.
The good news about content marketing for business owners is that there are many types of content marketing you can use. If you prefer to write, you can start with blog posts or articles. If you prefer to show and tell, you can leverage YouTube or Tiktok. If you prefer to just speak, you can use a podcast. If you prefer to create digital assets like software, apps, animations, graphics or music, you can do so as well!
Before we move on to the next section, gone are the days that you just need to advertise to as many people as possible and you will get sales. Customers nowadays are smarter, hungrier (for more information to make decisions) and easily annoyed by interruptive advertising. Hence, if you can make clever use of content marketing to your advantage, then you will have no issue getting customers coming your way! Read on to find out more!
Sidenote: Why affiliate marketers should also use content marketing to get sales?
Just a side note, not only can business owners make good use of content marketing to bring in sales, but affiliate marketers can also use content marketing to bring in commissions!
With more people searching for information before they make purchases, it is time for affiliate marketers to produce content to educate and build trust with the consumers. Only once the trust has been built, you will see people following you (in the form of subscribing to your YouTube channel or subscribing to your mailing list). Then this is the time when you will see conversions when you recommend products in your e-newsletters, blog posts and YouTube videos.
The two content marketing platform that I would recommend for affiliate marketers are a website (powered by WordPress) or YouTube channel.
If you are unsure about showing your face in videos, you can create videos that contain images and other short clips without showing your face. For more information, you can refer to this online course.
Content marketing is the ultimate SEO technique
Many businesses invest a lot of their budget every year into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because people coming from search engines to your website is one of the best sources of traffic. Imagine you have an article teaching people how to choose which type of yoga is suitable for beginner and you can be sure that people who click on this article from Google and land on your website is very keen to learn yoga as a beginner. And if you are teaching yoga, then wouldn’t it be a wonderful scenario?
The reason why I state that content marketing is the ultimate SEO technique is that once you have published very useful content, people will come to your site and eventually share your content with their friends. This approach is far better than spending money and energy to build backlinks from other websites!
My suggestion is to invest your time in producing very useful content rather than getting others to link to your website.
The main challenge here is how to create very useful content that your users will share with their friends. This requires a lot of thinking, and talking to your team/customers but it is definitely worth the time and effort in long term.
The 4 most common types of content marketing (with examples)
Let’s start with the most common type of content marketing, which is writing articles or blog posts.
1. Articles or blog posts
Writing and publishing useful blog posts on your website is a very good way of attracting leads and customers for your business.
OneBluePrint helps to uncover an individual unique blueprint by using the ancient art of life profiling tool – Zi Wei Dou Shu (in Modern Context). Besides Zi Wei Dou Shu, the founder also publishes blog posts that relate to the topics of Fengshui and Chinese traditions.
The blog post, 19 Actionable Bite-Sized Feng Shui Tips For Every Room in Your Home has brought them good results. If you look at the blog post, you will notice that it contains a list of practical tips that anyone can do to improve their Fengshui in their homes. This type of blog post is known as a list-type post. A list-type blog post helps readers in absorbing the information much faster.
Applying this concept to your business or website, are there any topics (or areas) that you can think of to create a list-type blog post? It will definitely help your target market to find you online.
Another thing we can learn from the above blog post is that the website also has a ‘share’ feature on the left side of the screen. So this means if your readers find the article useful, they will want to share it with their friends too. This creates a viral effect without the business owner having to ask or spread the words themselves.
Not every business can use video as an effective content marketing strategy but if you can use it well, it will bring you tons of qualified leads and customers without investing time in writing blog posts.
When it comes to content marketing using videos, the first person I think of is Master Chris Leong, who is a bone-setting specialist in Malaysia. I first came to know about him is through a video that shows how he treated a person with a frozen shoulder on the spot within a few minutes. I have embedded one of his many videos below so you can take a look and see what I mean:
In the above video, you can see the ‘before and after’ effect in a short span of 1 minute. This is the kind of effective content for your target market. Imagine people with frozen shoulders what would they do after seeing this video?
In your area of business, do you also have a ‘before and after’ effect that you can show your prospects or leads? If yes, then capture them in video form and share them on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Tiktok. These are the most popular platforms right now to host video content to attract customers.
3. Online tools / Software / Apps
Another common content marketing type is the creation of online tool/software/apps to help your target market in any way.
For example, Shopify is an online eCommerce platform where anyone can start an online shop using their platform and they have created various online tools (Shopify called them Generators) for existing and future online shop owners to use. One such generator is called the Business Name Generator – where which will help you generate business name ideas.
Another tool that Shopify has created is called the Refund policy generator, which will help to draft a refund policy for you to use in your online shops.
How it will benefit Shopify is that whenever someone uses the refund policy generator, he/she needs to enter his/her email so as to receive the customized refund policy template. Shopify can then use this chance to introduce its free trial option to get the subscriber to start an online shop!
Using the same concept, are there any online tool ideas you can think of that will benefit your current target market? if so, this is a very good chance to get someone to develop it and strategize the usage of the tool in your customer acquisition funnel.
Do not underestimate the power of the online tools, if you have a very useful tool that people like, that online tool might end up the most visited page in your entire website! And not to mention, could bring you more leads and customers 24/7!
E-newsletter is another popular method to use for any business to gain subscribers. These subscribers may not be your customers yet but they want to receive updates or relevant tips from you regularly.
One example is the Eu Yan Sang website, which offers a $5 discount for your first order if you subscribe to their mailing list. Once someone signs up for their mailing list, Eu Yan Sang will also send them periodical offers and product updates. This is another channel for sales and the best part is you do not need to pay to send emails to your subscribers. Email marketing is one of the best digital marketing methods especially if the subscribers trust and like you.
However, not all businesses can utilize this method successfully.
It is not easy to get website visitors to subscribe to your mailing list if you do not have something valuable that the visitors want. The following are some examples that you can try to give to your website visitors to encourage them to sign up for your mailing list:
- Discounts and coupons, if you sell products or services on your website.
- Free chapter(s) of your book, if you are a coach or consultant.
- Free trials for your products or services (tutoring etc).
Now is your turn to make content marketing works for you!
I hope you now have a better idea of what is content marketing and how you can probably make it work for your business!
If executed well, the content marketing media (article/video/software/mailing list) will give you the highest ROI (Returns On Investment) because it will continue to work without you actively promoting it. And it does not cost you any additional budget for the media to continue to work for you! For books on content marketing, you can check out my review on the Content Marketing Handbook here.
Alternatively, you can also get my content marketing coaching, and let’s work together to help you create an effective content marketing media.