What is Content Marketing: The Only Guide You Need to Succeed in 2022

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Content Marketing

 

90% of marketers that currently invest in content marketing expect to continue spending on the channel in 2022 and 66% expect to spend more. And video is at the forefront of content marketing, with 86% of businesses using video as a content marketing tool. 

So while building your content marketing plan, you not only need to focus on ideating, creating and executing consistently, but you also need to give video content a generous proportion of the weightage. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a fortune on video marketing to do so. Use a video editor like InVideo to get started and export watermark-free videos even with the free version.

To help you out in your content marketing journey, we’ve created this guide that tells you everything about the subject and how to use it to take your brand to the next level. Here’s what we'll cover: 

- What is content marketing
- Types of content marketing
- How to create a content marketing strategy
- Pro tips for content marketing

What is content marketing

Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to a target audience.

If your brand has an online presence of any form, you’ve probably heard of content marketing. Businesses use content marketing to achieve several business goals, including but not limited to:

- client acquisition
- brand building
- educating the target audience
- lead generation
- improving customer retention rates

Each business may have its own content marketing goals, but they share one common goal: positioning their product or service as the most valuable option for their target audience. 

For instance, if you’re selling an AI-based book-keeping SaaS, you need to position your product as the most suitable one for the decision-maker of the accounting department at small businesses.

You can do this by creating content that resonates with your target audience (the accountants) and distributing content on channels where you’re most likely to reach them (such as LinkedIn).

For instance, here’s an excellent explainer on content marketing from Sam Oh of Ahrefs:

Types of content marketing

Since there are multiple ways of creating and distributing content, you’ll need to focus your efforts on creating content that works the best for your brand. For instance, if you’re a B2B business (i.e., your target audience is a business, not an individual), you might want to spend more on explainer videos and case studies than on memes. 

While the effectiveness of marketing assets may differ based on your industry and target audience, some channels like video, blogs, and social media work for almost any type of business. 

It might take some experimentation to find the types of content marketing that your audience responds to the most. In the meantime, you can start working on the most popular types of content marketing channels like video and influencer marketing. The most popular types are popular for a reason—they seem to work for almost all industries and brands, provided you do it right. Let’s take a look at what these are: 

1. Video marketing 

Videos provide content marketers with a large playing field. 81% of consumer traffic in 2021 was attributable to videos, as per Cisco. Whatever industry you’re in, there’s a good chance your target audience is consuming video content regularly.

Don’t take our word for it. Companies like Coca-Cola and Reebok are using video to their advantage, and you can too. Even though big companies use video marketing, it’s far from expensive. Even non-profits use videos because they can generate decent ROIs without breaking the bank.

Video marketing is about communicating your brand’s value through video. You can do so by creating product walkthroughs, testimonials, educational videos, and videos that highlight use cases of your products among other things. For instance, FreshBooks frequently posts testimonial videos on their YouTube channel:

To understand what kind of video works best for your marketing efforts, you will first need to create a video marketing strategy and establish your goals as well as the best channels for your business. Then you will pick the type of video that will help you best achieve those goals. Here’s a detailed video on making more sales with video marketing that should give you more insight: 

Creating marketing videos isn’t difficult when you use InVideo. You can use InVideo’s marketing templates to create videos on the fly without any professional-level video editing skills. It’s a quick process: select a template, replace video elements like footage and text, and export your watermark-free video or directly post it on a social media platform.

2. Webinars

66% of B2B buyers watch a webinar before buying a product. Webinars are an excellent way of tapping into video’s growth as a marketing channel. There are two reasons why webinars are an excellent marketing asset:

- Webinars allow interacting with your target audience live. The attendees can ask you questions, and you can provide actionable solutions positioning your product or service as the ideal one. 
- Webinars have a long shelf life. You can record and upload webinars on YouTube for interested persons who weren’t able to attend. It will also work as a resource for people who search for a relevant keyword on YouTube and put your brand’s name in front of a larger audience.

Here’s an excellent example from Duarte where the hosts outline several use cases for their technology:

The webinar has over 20,000 views. If you’re a B2B marketer, you know how valuable that is.

Interested in marketing through webinars? You’ll first need a good-quality presentation. After all, the presentation will occupy a large part of the screen during a webinar. It’s only natural to make it as engaging as possible. 

Here’s a great explainer on how you can create a good quality presentation:

Webinars don’t require heavy editing. You should still add some branding elements, though. For instance, notice how Duarte has added a logo reveal at the beginning of the video. It may seem complex, but it’s fairly easy to do with InVideo. Just pick one of the logo reveal templates and merge it with your webinar video. You can also add an engaging intro using a template such as this one:

Use this template

Webinars are long and mostly suitable for YouTube. However, you can still post snippets of the webinar on social media platforms like Instagram. Pick a valuable 15-second snippet from the webinar, beautify it, and make the resolution Instagram-friendly.

You can do this using InVideo. Trim the 15-second snippet and put it on the InVideo timeline. Add transitions, effects, animations, and any other elements you think will make the video more engaging. Export the watermark-free video or directly post it on Instagram.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is big in 2022. It’s also more difficult for marketers because there are many more influencers today than there were five years ago. Here are the questions you’ll need to answer:

- Do you approach influencers with a massive following or a micro-influencer? 
- What’s the expected ROI of the campaign, and on what basis will you attach the results to this campaign?
- How will you track and monitor the campaign?

Once you have these figured out, you can look for influencers. Whether you work with influencers with a large follower base or a micro-influencer depends partly on the type of influencers your competitors are collaborating with.

It’s by no means a necessity to select an influencer of the same size, but taking a sneak peek into their collaborations will give you better insight. 

When done right, influencer marketing can bring significant benefits. For instance, FabFitFun attributes its 300% YoY growth to influencer marketing

FabFitFun started influencer marketing campaigns in 2014 with their first influencer Giuliana Rancic, and they haven’t looked back since. Since then, they have worked with over 10k+ influencers. 

Here’s FabFitFun’s collaboration with Ayesha Curry that you can look at as an example:

Today, most influencers produce videos themselves, and your involvement in editing is minimal if any. However, you can also post a collaboration with an influencer on your social media, where you’ll have more flexibility in terms of editing.

Want to create high-quality videos for an influencer marketing campaign? Try InVideo. Whether you’re an influencer or a brand trying to beautify a video to post on your social media, InVideo can make your job easier. You can add an intro, text, and background music within minutes and export your video. 

4. Podcasts

Podcasts have emerged as a powerful marketing tool because they allow targeting a niche audience. But many businesses are yet to tap into podcasting, which Wikipedia defines as “radio on demand.” Since not enough businesses are investing in podcasts, it’s a relatively less competitive place for brands, at least for now.

Major brands like Microsoft are trying to engage an audience through insightful and valuable audio content. But let’s put the large corporations aside and talk about a non-corporate entity that has managed to do well with its podcasts.

Neil Patel and Eric Siu (CEO, Single Grain) come out with one episode every day for the podcast they host called Marketing School. Both Neil and Eric run their own marketing companies. They don’t expect to generate leads from podcasts, but their end goal is to become thought leaders in the digital marketing world.

The podcast has been running for six years and has over 1900 episodes. Given the time they have invested, it’s fairly safe to say the ROI on podcasts is decent. Here’s an episode you can listen to and see what they talk about:

If you want to become a thought leader in the industry through podcasting, you’ll need to get the basics right. You’ll need a good mic and a recording room where there’s no echo. You’ll also need to come up with a niche you want to talk about in your podcasts. 

Remember that podcast audiences tend to want very niche content when you’re brainstorming ideas for podcast episodes. For this reason, it’s also important to have sufficient knowledge about the niche and check if it’s broad enough to allow creating dozens of episodes.

Once you have the basics figured out, it’s time to start recording. There are a few things you need to be mindful of. This video explains everything you need to know before starting your podcast:

5. Blogging

Blogging is one of the most popular types of content marketing. 89% of B2B companies use blogs for content marketing, as per a Content Marketing Institute report

Though popular, blogs can take a while to grow and bring any significant sales. You’ll need to put a good amount of SEO effort into the blog if you want to cut through the competition and get noticed. Once you’re there, though, your blog will sell for you while you’re sleeping and yield 13x more ROI than competitors who don’t have an active blog.

NerdWallet is one of the best examples of how blogs can result in an incredible ROI. The personal finance affiliate market is the place for all things personal finance, investments, and trading, among other things. 

The company was listed on the stock exchange at the end of 2021 and made the founders a ton of money. All this, from an affiliate blog. 

Curious about NerdWallet? Here’s a case study that illustrates how they managed to succeed:

Want to run a successful blog to market your product or service? Start with the customer in mind. Produce blog content that will offer lots of value rather than focusing on making it ROI positive from day one. There’s a good chance that you won’t see much traction for the first six months or a year, especially if you don’t double down on SEO.

Creating a blog on your website is easy. Most platforms like WordPress will let you build one in a few minutes. Once you’ve set up the blog, here’s what you should remember:

- Quantity is important. The more content you produce, the sooner you’ll turn ROI positive. However, quality > quantity.
- Hire good writers and pay them well. You can hire in-house, but freelance writers are more cost-effective.
- Don’t overlook SEO.
- Have a content strategy. Don’t produce content without a framework. You need a strategy to narrow your focus down to your target audience. Here’s a great resource to learn more about blog content strategy:

- Don’t build your blog in a silo. Create a content hub that contextually enriches your blog. Learn more here:

Remember that different things work for different businesses and niches. Learn all you can and just start. There’s no way to bypass the experimentation phase. Keep learning as you go, and you’ll start seeing results eventually.

6. Emails

Emails have long been one of the most powerful ways of inbound marketing. It’s a way for marketers to touch base with customers in all parts of the sales funnel. With email automation, sending snappy emails consistently is easier than ever, but the challenge? Email copy.

Countless marketers are sending your customers emails. You want to stand out, and you can, with video email marketing. Video amplifies the message your email wants to convey, makes it easy to communicate complex messages, and improves conversions. You can easily create videos for your emails using InVideo’s online video editor

Video email marketing still needs written copy, though. Written copy is the basis of your email given that emails were originally text-based. However, video can supplement your message strongly and provide recipients an engaging email experience. Don’t take our word for it:

- Including the word “video” in your email can improve open rates by 6%
- Including videos in emails can bring more people to your website because videos boost click-through
rates by 65%

It’s fairly easy to embed a video into your emails. Here’s an explainer:

However, it’s always good practice to make videos smaller so viewers can load them quickly.

Once you have your video ready, you need a solid email copy. Here’s a great example where Shopify markets itself as an ecommerce platform that requires no design or coding skills:

example of Shopify markets itself as an ecommerce platform

Source

The email copy is brief, speaks directly to the reader, and clarifies right off the bat what the email is about. That’s how you want to write your email copy. Next, weave the video into your copy to make it easier for a prospect to understand what you want to explain.

7. eBooks

eBooks are an excellent way for brands to build authority and authenticity. Given that 63% of customers prefer buying from an authentic brand, eBooks could be a great addition to your marketing toolkit.

To create an eBook, you need to start with a problem in mind. What’s the one core problem your customers are trying to solve? Look at your customer support records, comments on your YouTube videos or blog posts, and a relevant subreddit to find a question your target audience wants to answer. Then:

1. Come up with a chapter-wise outline to provide a detailed answer to your target audience’s questions. 
2. Write in-depth content rich with important quotes and statistics. 
3. Hire a designer to design the eBook as per your brand’s feel.
4. Add calls to actions.
5. Start distributing your eBook on social media, email, and other channels.

You don’t need any fancy tools for creating your eBook. You can use a tool as simple as Canva, here’s how:

8. Courses

Courses are like eBooks. They’re geared towards solving a problem your target audience has. While eBooks can address a wide range of areas, courses usually help your target audience learn a skill.

Many major brands like Ahrefs (it has its own academy) create courses. Why, you wonder? Well, courses are a form of product-led content. When you take an Ahrefs course on Blogging for Business, for example, you’ll learn blogging, but you’ll also learn how to use Ahrefs for blogging.

Addressing the target audience’s questions is key, but it’s quite likely that your competitors are trying to do the same thing. To make your course stand out, you need to make it easy to understand and engaging.

For that, you can use a video editor like InVideo. Add animations to explain concepts better, add text to annotate where required for improved explanation, and cut and trim videos to make them concise.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how you can create a course for your business:

You’ll still need to distribute the course once you’ve created it, though. You can share the course on social media or recommend it to people asking similar questions on Quora and Reddit. However, you can also make the course available on YouTube, which can give your course a lot of exposure on an already popular platform. To create videos for your course, you can take the help of a tool like InVideo so that you can stay on point with your branding and create content quickly and easily. 

9. Case studies

You’ve done keyword research and found tons of blog posts answering your audience’s questions. It’s a saturated channel. But how many of those brands are creating case studies? Probably only a handful.

Case studies are proof of success your product or service has achieved for your clients. They’re a more comprehensive version of a testimonial. A case study includes the following elements:

- Client introduction
- Problem your client was facing
- Your solution
- Client’s position before and after implementing your solution

Here’s a great tutorial on how to write a great case study for your brand:

10. Whitepapers

Whitepapers are an in-depth, persuasive marketing asset that solves a problem. There's a slight similarity between eBooks and whitepapers. Both solve a specific problem for a customer and promote a certain product or technology. 

However, unlike eBooks, whitepapers are geared towards an advanced audience. They’re usually written for an audience that’s problem-aware and require you to share at least one piece of information.

For instance, a brand may require you to share your email address before you can download a whitepaper. This way, whitepapers can help you collect a prospect’s information for, say, building an email list.

If it’s your first time writing a whitepaper, it’s highly recommended that you read a few articles on how to create them. Alternatively, here’s a great video that shows how to write your first whitepaper:

11. Memes

Over the last few years, memes have become a popular method of marketing your brand and give it an entertaining feel. It’s not just startups that are sharing memes on their social media. Major brands like Gucci have been using memes since several years now:

Memes solve a key problem that brands face with ads. Ads can feel intrusive. When you see an ad, you’re probably waiting for the “skip” button to appear rather than the ad’s content. However, memes are entertaining. Prospects like to read the meme’s content because it’s entertaining. Weaving your product into memes can get your brands more exposure.

Meme marketing has been growing and it’s likely to continue to grow as brands try to become more engaging and authentic. If you want to learn more about meme marketing, here’s a great resource:

To create memes quickly and easily, check out InVideo’s meme templates that you can customize for your brand and create meme videos within minutes.

Now that you know about the different content marketing formats, let’s take a look at how you can create a content marketing strategy for your business. 

How to create a content marketing strategy

There are many moving parts to a content marketing strategy. You need to put pen to paper and lay down specifics about those parts to create a content marketing strategy. We’ve created a list of things you should do to create your content marketing strategy to get you started. Remember, though, that this is a starting point and an inclusive list.

1. Who are you producing content for?

Don’t produce content for a general audience. You need to produce content that resonates with a niche audience to narrow down your competition and stand out. You can always write for multiple niche audiences, though.

For instance, if you’re selling an inventory management SaaS, your tool may be helpful for retailers and restaurants, but might not fulfill the requirements of a manufacturer or a wholesaler.

While ideating content, you should keep your target audience in mind and speak directly to them rather than a general audience. Here’s an excellent resource if you need help figuring out your target audience:

2. What do you want to achieve with content marketing? 

Start with the end goal in mind. Though increased revenue seems to be the most intuitive goal, you can use content marketing to achieve many other goals like nurturing leads or educating your customers. 

Instead of putting out content without knowing what it’s supposed to achieve, gear your content towards specific goals. Having your goals figured out right off the gate helps track them.

If you need help figuring out your content goals, here are some common goals content marketing can help you achieve:

- Lead generation
- Increase website traffic
- Educate the target audience about a problem 
- Create a knowledge database for existing customers
- Establish yourself as a thought leader

The list is inclusive, of course. You can pick more than one, but don’t pick too many and overwhelm yourself. 

3. Pick the type of content you want to create

Since there are plenty of options here—videos, blogs, influencers—you’ll need to select the type of content you want to create. Don’t spread yourself thin creating content everywhere. Pick a few you think your audience will engage with and deliver top-notch quality content.

When picking the type of content, here’s what you should consider:

- How much do you want to spend on content marketing?
- What’s the average ROI for a specific content marketing type in your industry?
- What are competitors doubling down on?
- If you’ve invested in content marketing before, what type of content marketing did your audience respond to the most?
- Do you have any existing content channels where you might be able to gain initial traction faster?

Pick one type of content marketing to start. Invest time in putting the systems in place for consistent content production. Repeat the process for 2-3 more types, but never too many.

4. Keyword research

Now that you know the who, why, and how, let’s talk about the what. Keyword research is the digital marketing equivalent of researching the customer’s problems or want of information. It involves looking at what keywords people are searching for and the intent behind searching for a certain keyword.

For instance, when someone searches “sharing files on cloud” on a search engine, they’re looking for easy ways to share files they have stored on the cloud. If your product offers this or a similar product, you might want to dig further.

Start by looking at the keyword volume and keyword difficulty for a search engine. Ideally, you’re looking for high-volume keywords with low difficulty.

Example of Keyword ideas

In this case, “share files in cloud” and “sharing files on cloud” seem like good keywords.

Note that you’ll need to research keywords for different platforms separately. If you’re creating video content, for instance, you’ll need to research keywords people are searching for on YouTube.

5. Plan production and resources

Now that you have everything figured, it’s time to bring all parts together. Once you know the marketing assets you’re going to produce, you’ll need to look at the volume of production based on the available budget.

After you’ve figured out the production volume, prepare a calendar of when those assets will be produced and go live. Then, you’ll also need to plan resources based on the calendar. 

For instance, if you’re creating videos, you’ll need to schedule time with the actor and cameraman. You’ll then need to schedule a few minutes to refine the final product. An editor like InVideo can help you quickly edit and export high-quality videos.

6. Publish, distribute, monitor

Publishing is fairly easy and usually takes only a few clicks. For instance, after you’ve edited your video with InVideo, you can directly publish it to several social media platforms. 

Once you’ve published the content, it’s time to distribute the content. Distribution involves putting the content in front of an audience through various channels. For instance, if you’ve produced an explainer video, you can distribute it on social media, blog, or via email.

The final step in the process is to monitor the effectiveness of each piece of content. Doing this will give you an insight into content that performs the best for your brand. You’ll need to look at engagement metrics, conversation rate, and traffic, among other things, to gauge a content piece’s effectiveness. 

For instance, here’s a great tutorial on how to measure content marketing performance with Google Analytics:

Once you have your strategy mapped out, it’s time to get started with execution. However, you should always follow content marketing best practices. In the next section, we give you pro tips for acing your content marketing game.

Pro tips for content marketing

Searching for content marketing tips will give you a ton of results with a long checklist. It’s easy to feel intimidated by long lists, especially when starting out. Below, we give you pro tips on content marketing that are easy to implement and won’t spook you at first glance.

1. Establish clear goals

Focus your content marketing efforts on achieving your goals. A skewed view of what you’re trying to achieve by producing content can result in a poor ROI. For instance, if your goal is to drive revenue through content, you’ll need to keep a close eye on analytics. You can write top-notch articles, but if they don’t convert, you’re not really achieving anything.

2. Start with a content marketing strategy

You’ll need to invest a good sum of money in content marketing. Don’t do it with a blindfold on. Create a content marketing strategy so you can focus on providing value to your target audience while pursuing your commercial interest. Strategy is key to execution, optimization, and success; don’t skip it.

3. Prioritize visual content

It’s no secret that visual content works. Humans are visual beings and learn faster by seeing than by reading or hearing. This is why visual content is also more engaging and yields higher ROIs.

Videos are a great example of visual assets that are engaging and linkable. Here’s an excellent example of a video editing guide created by the team at InVideo:

Compare that with a blog post on YouTube video editing mistakes. Which one would you prefer to learn from? 

4. Don’t be focused on selling

Do you expect content to drive revenue? Probably. Should you sell the product or service explicitly? Salesy copy is a turnoff. Instead, try to create product-led content. Product-led content strategically weaves the product into the content by positioning it as a solution to the target audience’s problem.

Ahrefs produces some of the best product-led content for its YouTube channel. For instance, Sam Oh talks about how to get your first 100 backlinks and also shows how you can look at a website’s backlink profile using Ahrefs: 

5. Use analytics to monitor performance

Don’t produce content and call it a day. Keep checking how it’s performing both by itself and relative to other pieces of content. If you identify a content type or channel that seems to offer significantly better results, try to increase production in those areas.

Analytics will tell you how far along you are in terms of achieving your goals through content. If you use a robust analytics tool, it will also produce reports that will provide granular insight into content performance.

For instance, if your content is bringing a lot of traffic, but the conversion is fairly low, you’ll need to put more effort into conversion rate optimization (CRO). These inputs can feed into your strategy for the following period and help you achieve your content marketing goals faster.

Wrapping up

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways of marketing your product or service digitally. There are multiple assets you can create and channels you can pick, but if there’s one thing that will determine the success of your content marketing campaign, it’s content quality.

Produce content that’s relevant, engaging, and optimized for conversion when necessary. While you can produce several types of assets, using the most popular ones are key to getting your brand out there quickly. 

For instance, producing video content that’s more engaging and valuable will get you results far quicker than an eBook of similar quality. Even if you’re a small business or a one-person marketing team, editing video is fairly easy with InVideo. If you need help at any point, we have a resource-rich YouTube channel you can refer to.

 

This post was written by Arjun and edited by Adete from Team InVideo

Create gold-standard videos in minutes with InVideo's online video editor. Join 7M+ users across 195 countries and create engaging videos on the go.

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