What Is Content Marketing? Definition, Goals & Functionality

content marketing goals

You are interested in the subject of content marketing. Then you are exactly right in our here. In this post, you get all the essential information about content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing method that informs audiences with valuable content, animate, and talks to. As part of corporate communications, Content Marketing pursues goals such as lead generation, reach, link building, or SEO or brand building. Subareas in content marketing are PR, SEO, social media, e-mail marketing, and content creation.

Further definitions of content marketing

Content marketing is a marketing technique that aims to engage the target group with informational, advisory and entertainment content to convince them of their own business and its service offering or brand and to win or retain them as customers.

Content marketing is the creation and sharing of media and publishing content to acquire and retain customers. It is also a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content.

From both definitions, one can define three main goals for content marketing.

  1. Positioning of the brand
  2. Customer acquisition
  3. customer loyalty

When defining the term content marketing, however, the opinions and comments of the experts differ. Depending on the perspective, branding- centric, SEO-centered, and PR-centered interpretations of the term content marketing have been developed over the years. 

Definitions from the SEO scene see content marketing as part of search engine optimization to link building. Definitions from the PR perspective see it as a means of public relations.

We understand content marketing as an elementary part of corporate communication.

Which types of content are there in content marketing?

Content marketing usually includes free content in the form of eg

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Software
  • Play
  • Testing
  • Survey
  • Studies
  • White Paper
  • Counsellors
  • E-Books

At events, you can not agree with each other, whether it is content marketing or not. But I think that events are at least a perfect way to develop content such as interviews, videos, recaps, etc. from it.

How does content marketing work? The content marketing process

Especially in the operational implementation of content marketing campaigns, one follows a content marketing process.

The content marketing process is divided into the following levels:

  • Analysis
    • target definition
    • Persona target group definition
    •  Thread search
    • Keyword Research & Analysis
    • Content Audit
    • Thread weighting
  • Content conception and planning
    • Idea development & topic finding
    • Content attribution
    • Content Mapping in the Customer Journey
    • prioritization
    • Creation design concept regarding UX
    • Creation editorial plan
    • briefing
  • Content production
    • Content creation
    • Validation and release
    • Creation landing pages
    • Tracking device
  • Content Distribution
    • Content Seeding
    • Content Promotion
    • Native Advertising
    • Content Outreach
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content Evaluation
    • Monitoring & Optimization
    • Content-Controlling
    • Lead Management
    • Final rating

The process should not be finished after a run. Depending on the amount of content to be published or content marketing campaigns, this process will run through again, starting with the development of ideas. Depending on the effort required to create content, it makes sense to consider more or fewer subtasks in the process.

A distinction must be made between the operational activities within the content marketing process and the content marketing strategy, which has to be lived and implemented holistically and interdepartmental within the company.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Content Marketing

The attention span of humans for new information also contents decreases due to the density of information year after year. If you look at the amount of data that affects us only by digital media every minute, that’s not surprising.

Advertising is particularly affected by this development, as people are only interested in product information in a small phase of their customer journey, and therefore are open to advertising. Besides, the widespread use of ad blockers comes in many new browser versions.

content marketing goals

Here, content is an opportunity to accompany or address customers across the entire customer journey. People can talk about content well before the actual product interest. Also, a free-range can be achieved via content. The distribution of advertising, however, always costs money.

Content should always be user-centred designed and produced. Advertising is usually provided by the company’s point of view.

In summary, here are the benefits of content marketing

  • Content marketing is user-centred
  • Content marketing works in all phases of the customer journey
  • Content marketing can generate an extensive free-range via viral effects

In summary, the disadvantages of content marketing

  • Direct sales via content marketing are difficult
  • Content marketing can be very complex due to the interplay of different disciplines

What is a content marketing strategy?

But before you get involved in these operational steps of the implementation, you should deal with the basic strategy.

A content marketing strategy sets the long-term plan for the design, production, and distribution of Inalten. There are two approaches.

  1. The core story is the focus
  2. The customer journey is the focus

In both content strategy models, both the core story and customer journey play a role. Only the focus is different.

Content marketing strategy with a focus on the core story

This approach comes more from corporate communications and serves primarily to build branding through content for their brand. 

According to Me the content, the strategy is oriented

  • your own goals
  • Creating value for the public
  • The conversion
  • An own opinion

The role of content marketing in the (online) marketing mix

A successful online marketing strategy requires a suitable mix of pull and push marketing methods. The target group (s), industry, and the market are vital criteria. 

Online marketing measures that are based only on push methods. Due to the different receptivity to advertising in the various customer journey phases mostly doomed to failure. 

Especially in the awareness and consideration phase, people are often not open to advertising messages, but looking for content that meets their needs for information. Here, content marketing plays out true strengths.

Difference content marketing strategy and content strategy

There is no consensus on the distinction between a content marketing strategy and content strategy. 

The term “content strategy” means the construction of structures and processes that should be implemented in the company to enable content marketing permanently. A content marketing strategy, on the other hand, is the overarching message to which the individual content marketing campaigns are subordinated, as well as the selection of content formats, distribution channels, and the like.

I would instead formulate the differentiation as follows:

A content strategy deals primarily with the conception and production of content as well as the establishment of editorial processes in companies. A content marketing strategy deals with all phases of the content marketing process, including distribution and evaluation.

Who are the target groups for content marketing?

The target groups, in most cases, result from the goals that were previously defined. These can be determined, for example, as persona profiles. When creating a persona, you should make sure to provide meaningful information for later content seeding. Content audiences are not always just potential customers.

Content marketing has three main goals.

  1. Brand positioning (brand building / strategic goal)
  2. Customer acquisition & lead generation (tactical target)
  3. Customer loyalty (strategic goal)

To achieve this goal, you can basically differentiate between a strongly lead-oriented approach and a brand-building strategy approach.

The lead-oriented approach follows an inbound marketing strategy, whereby the potential customer is to be made the intermediate step of the lead to the customer.

When considering the goals of content marketing, it makes sense to distinguish between short-term/tactical goals and long-term / strategic goals. Content marketing campaigns primarily pursue short-term goals. A content strategy the long-term.

Short-term content marketing goals include:

  • Generate reach via content distribution via social media/word-of-mouth
  • Generation of social buzz
  • Creation of co-occurrence, co-citations and backlinks
  • New visitors

A content marketing strategy has as its main objective long-term goals:

  • Community building
  • Structure of the own communication system 
  • Building a brand/authority
  • Creating trust
  • Optimizing the reputation
  • Structure of owned media/own communication channels
  • Findability on Google & Co.
  • Regular readers or visitors
  • Improvement of completion rates
  • Binding of influencers
  • Long-term loyal customer relations
  • Recurring visitors

The long-term goals should always be in focus. And here we speak in periods of several years, not months. Then comes back to the beautiful word “sustainability” into play. This means you have to step into the pre-investment and sometimes wait a long time for the branches to bear fruit.

How do you define goals in content marketing?

When defining a goal, it is essential to focus. What do you want to achieve with content marketing?

  • Do you tend to follow PR or marketing goals like reputation or market positioning?
  • Do you primarily want to create backlinks and gain visibility?
  • Alternatively, is the generation of social buzz the declared main goal?

This focus is essential concerning the content and media formats to be created. Specific media formats, such as videos, are more suitable for distribution in social media than for the generation of links or backlinks.

A successful content marketing campaign will usually bring in all target areas, but a target focus is recommended in the content design.

Content Marketing Goals & Key Figures

The definition of goals and corresponding key figures is indispensably linked with the measurement of success and evaluation or evaluation. 

Content should entertain consumers, help, impart knowledge, inform, build relationships, and inform about products. The purpose or goals of content marketing for us as a business are reach, tie, build trust, and sell.

Accordingly, there are also very different ratios depending on the content.

Possible metrics for the Sell goal can be:

  • Assignments
  • Request / contract rate
  • Orders

Possible key figures for “establish contact” can be:

  • Leads
  • Lead-rate
  • Downloads against contact data
  • Download rate

Possible metrics for “bind” can be:

  • Number of returning visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Length of stay
  • Page impressions
  • Scroll-depth
  • Comments
  • Received newsletter subscribers
  • Number of new friends on Facebook
  • New followers on Twitter

Possible measures for “reach” can be:

  • Number of social shares
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of visitors

Difference between content marketing strategy and content marketing campaigns

Content marketing campaigns are usually single high-quality, planned content actions that pass through a content marketing process (see below) at best.

 In the best case, these campaigns are embedded in a content marketing strategy. Content marketing strategies primarily pursue long-term business goals, while content marketing campaigns pursue short- to medium-term goals.

Importance of Content Marketing: Hype or paradigm shift?

The subject of content marketing is not a short-term hype, but a long-overdue trend reversal in marketing. For decades, people were bothered with advertising, whether they wanted it or not. 

Especially in the 80s and 90s, advertising has taken on inflationary proportions through new advertising-financed print magazines and TV channels that have led to advertising blindness and ignorance. 

The new medium Internet could not change that either. The marketing concept of producing advertising material and placing it on advertising media, which was the focus of marketing until now, has lost relevance and works even less on the Internet.

Content takes over more and more the actual role of the advertising medium as a means of initial contact and emotional appeal. Content is the focus of PR, social media marketing, SEO and e-mail marketing.

  • PR  thrives on good content
  • E-mail marketing  works better with good content
  • Social media marketing lives through emotional content on Facebook, Twitter & Co.
  • SEO  without good content is no longer working or the users and thus Google loves good content
content marketing

How are SEO and content marketing related?

The relationship between SEO and content marketing is extraordinary, as search engines such as Google play a significant role in many purchasing decisions. For example, the recently released  State of Demand Generation Report has shown that just under 80% of the surveyed B2B marketers begin the search process in search engines, in particular, Google.

content marketing

For B2C topics, according to a  study by Interconnected World, 44% start the search process on search engines like Google. The complexity of the product also plays a significant role here. 

The more complex and expensive a product is, the more important objective information about quality and content becomes and the less critical the price becomes. 

However, due to its poor scalability, content marketing should not be used exclusively for SEO goals such as link building. Also, more in the contribution of content marketing is no link building & SEO!

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