7 Content Marketing Tips for Beginners

May 17, 2022

Inside this article:

With over 4.95 billion people worldwide who access and use the internet and millions of consumers online at any given time, there are endless opportunities for your brand to connect, engage, and win over consumers. The question is, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition and successfully reach your target audience?

This article features 7 valuable content marketing tips to keep in mind when you’re building your marketing strategy. Whether or not you’re new to content marketing, every brand or business can reach and grow an audience with the right content–here’s how to do it.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing refers to the process of planning, creating, publishing, distributing, and sharing content to reach and attract a target audience. As a brand or business, this content strategy can help you increase brand awareness, increase sales, connect with a community, and engage prospects and customers.

Some examples to include in your own content marketing strategy:

Basically, content marketing includes creating any type of content that educates, informs, or entertains your target audience and helps them meet their goals. The most effective examples of content marketing strategies lead to long-term relationship-building rather than fleeting and transactional interactions because you have a clearly defined audience, and you're able to deliver content they care about.

What are the benefits of a content marketing strategy?

Content marketing isn’t a short-term strategy. You can’t expect to see results right away. The benefits you should be looking to achieve should be measured over the long-term, and ongoing, so you can continue to refine your approach. A documented content marketing strategy has a myriad of benefits such as:

  • Reduced marketing costs: Content marketing can be incredibly cost-effective, particularly if you only have a small marketing budget. Unless you’re promoting your content via native advertising, the main cost is the content itself (production time/resource), while the main distribution channels (search and social) are free. If you get your content strategy right it can be a great way of winning prospective clients at a low cost per acquisition (CPA).
  • Increased brand awareness: People will form an impression of your brand as they consume your content. Therefore, if they find what they consume helpful or informative they’re likely to feel more positive about your brand and product–they might also share the content with their network thereby extending the reach of your message. If your potential customers see your content published on external sites and appear in their social newsfeeds, they may also perceive you as a more credible, established source in your industry.
  • Stronger brand loyalty: Great content can also increase customer loyalty and commitment, particularly if users begin to rely on your blog or social accounts as their primary source of information. In this situation, your content is also providing users with a reason to return to you and your channels in between purchases, which helps to cement the relationship.

Learn how to create a content marketing workflow here!

7 Effective Content Marketing Tips for Beginners to boost content marketing efforts:

Know your audience and their pain points

Before you start creating any content marketing, knowing and understanding your audience is critical to developing a strategy that will help to attract, engage and build their trust. Understanding who your target customers are can help to build content marketing personas, developed from a mix of demographic and psychographic data on your current and prospective customers.

If you don’t have any existing data, you could create a survey of your subscribers–or purchase an existing industry panel. This will give you a good idea of who they are, what interests them, how they relate to your brand and your competitors, what their challenges are, and how you can help.

Here are some key data points you may wish to collect on your personas:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Job title
  • Location
  • Salary
  • Media consumption habits
  • Pain points
  • Motivations
  • Interests

Using this information, you can build out a picture of your main personas–aim for three total–and then start to explore how you might address their needs (it will likely differ by persona).

Create a content creation strategy

A content marketing strategy can be developed in a variety of ways. Every company's strategy will be different because each audience will require a different approach.

To develop your strategy starts with the following questions:

  • What are my goals / what outcomes do I want to achieve?
  • Who are my personas and how would I prioritize them?
  • What are my competitors doing? How will my content be different?
  • Which channels make the most sense for my brand or business?
  • What type of content does my target audience prefer to consume (blog, podcast, video, etc.)?
  • What does success look like: in 3, 6, and 12 months?

Creating a strategy can help you, in the long run, to identify what is performing well, what's underperforming, gaps in content, and give you a chance to reset your strategy if it’s not working.

Develop a content calendar as part of your content strategy

A content calendar is a visual way of making sure you stay on track with your content schedule and eventually meet any key performance indicators. It can be as simple or complex as you need it to be depending on the size and scale of your content program, team, and the volumes of content you’re looking to publish across channels.

Your content calendar will keep track of various dependencies and is a crucial part of any successful content marketing strategy. Most will include:

  • Project timelines.
  • Due dates.
  • Formats.
  • Channels.
  • The name of the team member in charge of production.
  • Content specifics such as keywords.

Source: Trello

Having a calendar will help you manage your blog, video, and social media content, plan and track performance, reschedule, and other activities to keep your content strategy in check.

Create valuable content

You must create valuable content if you want to build a loyal audience. To be valuable, content must address the needs of your target customers, be fresh, original, and relevant, and be consistent with your brand and messaging.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when creating your content:

  • Does it include original data, quotes, or information?
  • Is it written or presented by an expert or authority on the topic?
  • Is it visual, or is there a better way to visualize it (e.g. via infographics)?
  • What’s the best way of telling the story–via words, video, or both?
  • Does it address a key customer FAQ? What’s the intent of the user who would consume it?
  • Is there real value to be gained from consuming it, or does it overly spruce your brand and product?

Creating content that benefits the user and is unique from what they will read on other blogs will help you stand out. Where possible, find a new way to address old information.

Repurpose your content

To get the most out of your content creation, look for ways to repurpose or reuse what you already have. For example, if you have a blog post of tips, why not turn it into a slideshow or checklist that you can share on your Instagram account and link back to your site?

Or, like Vogue, if you have very visual content on your website, repin it as a board on Pinterest.  Atomizing content in this way makes the original articles more discoverable, and it helps you to reach audiences who would otherwise miss out on your blog if they didn’t find it via search.

Repurposing content for distribution should be combined with a good updating strategy–don’t let your content date, instead ensure you’re featuring the most up-to-date information on your blog. 

Map content to your marketing funnel

Having a large library of content, and content producers on hand to create content is great, but you really need to be thinking strategically about your content marketing to get the most out of it.

This means ensuring that your content marketing efforts are aligned to your marketing funnel and plan. To do this, you should map your content to the different stages of the buyer journey. For example, you may create an industry interview podcast to attract an engaged audience, whereas you’d use a specific white paper to drive lead capture to a particular product category or campaign.

In order to do this mapping, you need to have the analytics set up and in place to be able to track your users and their interactions with your brand and content across channels and platforms. You might find that certain posts are the most shareable, whereas other types increase the desire to learn more about your pricing and subscription model. Testing different types of content over a period of time is the only way to know if it’s worth investing in ongoing.

Keep up with current trends

Finally, if you want to keep your content marketing strategy fresh and relevant, you must stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends to ensure you’re producing content on the most relevant topics. Unfortunately, content creation isn't evergreen. You cannot simply create a content strategy and never revisit it. A successful content strategy requires research, knowledge of social media trends and a content marketing plan. You can research and track trends in a variety of ways but it’s something you should do regularly.

  • Make use of social listening. Check social media for trending topics or hashtags.
  • Search and track keywords: Keep track of opportunity keywords.
  • Speak to your customers & experts: Only those out in the industry can tell you what’s really going on.

Don't be afraid to try new things. After all, you might discover an entirely new topic–or group of topics–with which to connect with your target audience.

Take, for example, how the F1 team connected with current fans during 2021 thanks to its active presence on TikTok and willingness to create content that differs from what others were sharing.

Use these effective content marketing tips for a killer strategy!

Two essential qualities of a great content marketing strategist are both to problem-solve and to keep learning new things about your audience and channels. 

Content marketing isn't rocket science, but it does require some perseverance, creativity, and an analytical mindset. 

---

Lily López is a Content Writer and Marketer at Envato by day and a Spatial Design student by night. She has worked with several global clients for the past 7 years developing projects involving Content Operations, Data Analytics, Copywriting, Outreach, and Voice-over productions.  When not working, Lily can be found hanging out at the nearest flea market.



---

Want to get Surfer Certified?

All you need to do pass the exam with 85% or higher, and complete the practical activation task of writing a blog post of 1500 words within Surfer's Content Editor!

If you're successful, we'll send you an official Surfer Certificate that you can share, and a badge for Linkedin!