If you haven’t started a content marketing strategy for your business, you’re late to the party. This may not be news to you, but you might wonder, “Can I still jump in? Or did I miss the boat?”
Here’s the deal: The digital world is constantly evolving. New strategies pop up every day. But content marketing? It’s a classic. It’s stood the test of time. And it’s not going anywhere.
Take a look at the big brands out there. They didn’t become overnight sensations. Their success is built on understanding their audience, creating valuable content, and staying consistent. And you can do that too.
The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second best time is right now. So no, it’s not too late to start content marketing in 2023. Let’s explore why.
The Evolution of Content Marketing
Content marketing has experienced a remarkable evolution and continues to thrive in 2023.
That said, it’s not without its challenges.
In the past, SEO-heavy content could rank easily on Google without providing much value for readers. But with the rise of digital disruption and the need for personalized user experiences, content marketers are embracing new mindsets and skill sets. The needs of the reader need to be ahead of all else.
The format of content has also changed over the years. Short blog posts are so 2010. Today, content marketing includes formats like:
- Long-form content and guides
- Strategic SEO content
- Resources and interactive content
- Social media posts
- Short-form video
- Influencer marketing
Today, B2B and B2C marketers are investing heavily in all of these formats.
But, does it work? Data from the Content Marketing Institute shows that content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional outbound marketing. Not only that, it also costs 62 percent less.
Today’s world of content marketing may seem overwhelming to break into, but remember: you don’t have to start everything at once. Tap into your existing data and tech to understand what motivates your audience. Then, as you start building a content marketing strategy, let that data shape your future decisions.
So, Why Start Content Marketing Now?
Is it worth it to jump into content marketing now? Absolutely—as long as you remember, this long-term strategy will only deliver high-quality results if you’re patient.
Here are four benefits your business could see by the end of the year if you start content marketing right now:
- Increased brand awareness: By consistently creating and sharing valuable you can attract and engage with your target audience. This helps to build recognition and visibility for your brand, making it more likely that potential customers will remember and choose your business when they need products or services in your industry.
- Improved search engine rankings: When you create high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience and optimized with relevant keywords, search engines like Google are more likely to rank your website higher in search results. This means your business will have better visibility and a higher chance of attracting organic traffic from search engines.
- Build trust and authority: Establish your business as a trusted authority by sharing your expertise with your audience. Customers who trust your business are more likely to choose your products or services over your competitors.
- Generating qualified leads: When done right, content marketing will draw in your best customers. If you’re hyper-focused on your audience’s pain points, you can give them solutions and help them see where your business can help. These leads are more likely to convert into customers because they have already engaged with your content and clearly understand the value your company provides.
By investing in content marketing, you are laying the foundation for long-term success and growth.
Overcoming the Challenges of Joining the Content Marketing Crowd Today
Of course, starting a content marketing strategy from scratch in today’s world isn’t a walk in the park. It’ll take patience and grit to be heard through the cacophony of digital noise your audience is bombarded with daily.
When SEMRush asked content marketers what their top challenges were, these were the top answers:
- Attracting quality leads (45%)
- Creating more content faster (and finding resources to do it) (38%)
- Generating content ideas (35%)
- Generating enough traffic with our content (35%)
Let’s talk about the main challenges facing content marketing teams today, and how to overcome them.
Attracting Quality Leads
You can write about anything on your blog: but only the right type of content will attract good leads. Many marketers today need help pinpointing the right audience for their business or identifying what that audience wants to read or hear about.
How to overcome this challenge: Create a very clear ideal customer profile. Know exactly who you’re trying to market to, and you’ll be able to create content that they actually want to engage with. Align with your sales strategy to make sure the kind of people you’re attracting with your content are the ones who will make good customers in the future. Bonus: This will also help you generate new content ideas!
Creating More Content Faster
More is always better for content—as long as you’re not sacrificing quality for quantity. Remember: only the content that is really valuable to your audience will ever be seen.
How to overcome this challenge: This challenge is something that your team will probably always have in the back of their minds, it’s not something that you’ll decide one day is “solved”.
However, having a consistent strategy can help. Be strategic about your content schedule, but leave room for spontaneity too. This allows you to maintain a steady stream of fresh and relevant content.
Remember to establish a realistic publishing schedule that aligns with your resources. Consistency is key, but it’s better to produce high-quality content at a manageable pace than to overwhelm yourself and sacrifice quality.
Generating Enough Traffic With Your Content
Algorithms and trends can be fickle beasts, and navigating the latest algorithm changes can be a big challenge, even for seasoned content marketing teams. (An upcoming major change in the way Google works is SGE, or Search Generative Experience, and many content teams are worried about the impact it will have on their organic traffic.)
How to overcome this challenge: First, don’t immediately panic if you see sudden traffic dips or changes. Volatility is normal. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and closely monitor algorithm changes. Adaptability is crucial in content marketing. Embrace the shifts and pivot your strategy accordingly.
Write with the reader in mind, and be strategic in your choice of keyword phrases to help search engines understand your content. Don’t sacrifice readability for the sake of SEO. Strike a balance between search engine optimization and providing valuable content to your audience.
Getting Started With Content Marketing? 5 Tips for Successful Latecomers
So, you’ve decided to jump on the content marketing bandwagon in 2023. While the digital landscape is constantly evolving, latecomers still have plenty of opportunities to succeed in content marketing.
Get to Know Your Target Audience Intimately
Talk to your audience like they’re a good friend coming to you for advice on a problem they’re facing. To really help them out, you need to know their circumstances, pain points, and needs.
Conduct thorough market research to gain valuable insights. Use tools like Google Analytics or social media analytics to gather data about your audience demographics, interests, and online behavior. Turn the data into insights which help you create more valuable content.
Develop a Solid Content Strategy
A content strategy includes the goals you want to achieve, the types of content you want to embrace, and the available resources.
Don’t overcomplicate things—start with an MVP version of your content strategy. For example, start with goals—do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive conversions? How many people will be part of producing content, and what will their main roles be?
Once you have your goals, create a content calendar to plan and organize your content production. Consider the different stages of the buyer’s journey and create content that caters to each stage.
Leverage Different Content Formats
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s no different when it comes to content marketing.
Don’t limit yourself to just one content format—content marketing is so much more than just writing blog posts, or other forms of text-only content. Record a podcast, produce a video, conduct webinars, or create infographics. Different formats appeal to different audiences and can help you reach a broader range of potential customers. For example, SEMRush found that articles with seven or more images get the most backlinks, and articles with at least one video generate 70% more organic traffic than those without.
Just remember to optimize each content format for search engines by including relevant keywords and metadata.
Promote Your Content Strategically
Creating great content is only half the battle. You need to promote your content effectively to get the most out of your content marketing efforts. Where does your target audience socialize online? Which social networks or platforms do they frequent? That’s where you want to engage and build a following. Who are the thought leaders, industry experts, and influencers relevant to your offering? Reach out and build partnerships with them. Leverage email marketing to nurture leads and drive traffic to your website. Repurpose and distribute your content across different channels to maximize exposure.
Analyze and Optimize Your Results
One of the key advantages of digital marketing is the ability to measure and track your results. Use tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or others to monitor the performance of your content. Identify which pieces resonate with your audience and drive the desired outcomes.
To take it one step further, connect your CRM to your marketing stack to see how your content impacts actual sales.
Once you’ve done this, you can use this information to optimize your content strategy and make data-driven decisions moving forward.
Maybe you kick yourself for not starting a content marketing strategy last year, or 10 years ago. But remember: the next best time to start is right now.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, there are always opportunities to create valuable, engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
By implementing a strategic content marketing plan, you can boost your online presence, drive organic traffic, and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry. With consistency and a focus on providing value, you can use content marketing to empower your sales process and get more inbound leads to your business.
So, jump in! Start your content marketing journey today and unlock the potential for success.