Content Marketing for Absolute Beginners

 The Content Marketing (CM) Ecosystem

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action [1].

Why is CM so important today? [2]

Content is a fundamental part of all forms of marketing. Today, 93 percent of companies prioritize delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it. This is because content is an effective way to reach prospective buyers and drive revenue.

Establishing a regular cadence of blog posts, white papers, videos, ebooks, and other content can help prospective buyers understand how your products and services can solve their problems. It also helps you build loyalty and retention with existing customers. A strategic content program can lead to market leadership and real business growth.

Content marketing is particularly important in B2B where buying is complex and sales cycles are long. B2B buyers often conduct extensive research prior to buying because they need to know they can trust a company before making (often expensive) purchases on behalf of their businesses. The right piece of content can be an important factor that leads a prospect to choose one company over another.

Benefits of CM [1,2]:

  • Grow brand awareness
  • Drive organic visitors
  • Generate sales leads
  • Build trust
  • Earn customer loyalty
  • Create demand

The 3 key elements of effective CM are:

  • Move your audience
  • Earn your audiences attention
  • Have a spark
The Most Important Steps to Move Your Audience [3]:

Check iFans to explore more:

You must earn attention in order to move your audience.

You are not entitled to anyone's attention just because you have a service/product to offer.

The good news is that every topic can be interesting if it is relevant.

Content is worth consuming if it is being read, listened, watched or shared.

Have a spark: you should have a passion for what your content stands for.

Pull in & hook the audience with a story, humour, or fascinating fact.

Stay focused: your goal is to get to a specific objective to the purchase.

Establish context for building your professional brand.

Create a domain within a self-hosted WordPress site.

WordPress is easy to use, scalable, robust & flexible.

Do not use social media as your platfrom.

Avoid ads on your website - it is a very small revenue stream, cheapens the site and slows it down.

Invest in website security 24/7 monitoring to prevent hackers from compromising your site.

Visibility [1]

Get things in the open and be amazed at what happens. Visibility might mean simply listing everything – literally everything – your content team has in progress and is planning for the next month.


After you visualize the work, you’ll probably realize too much is going on. The next logical conversation centers on the question, “What can we stop doing?”

Not doing things can seem like giving up or missing opportunities. Instead, express it as an Agile value – experimentation – to guide your content marketing.

The idea is to accept that you can’t design a perfect plan. Audiences are unpredictable, as are competitors and the volatile digital world we live in.


When experiments show promise, it’s time to move to Agile marketing value No. 3 – iterate.

When you embrace iteration, you expand on proven ideas, adding value, beauty, and functionality steadily over time.


As you might imagine, the above values work better with a broad spectrum of perspectives. Agile is based on the belief that the people closest to the work and the audience consuming it should decide how that work gets done.

In a nutshell, Agile means better collaboration. Put another way, a content creator with a computer locked in a basement office simply won’t be as successful as a collaborative team with an audience-centric perspective.


Agile processes are often associated with speed and productivity, but I saved efficiency for last because it’s not the primary focus of real Agile practices. The power of Agile frameworks comes from simplicity or maximizing the amount of undone work.

Let me say that another way because it bears repeating: Agile teams work hard to do less.

If you’re successful in maximizing the amount of work you deliberately choose NOT to do, you are rewarded with an increase in the amount of work you can get done. That’s one of the most counterintuitive things about process, but it’s indisputably true: Work on less and you accomplish more.

Authentic content marketing, referred to by some experts as a “new revolution in marketing,” is content that tries to genuinely be of service to its readers and its industry without trying to manipulate its audience. Anything that seeks to trick consumers is the opposite of authentic.

What's Attention Marketing, & Should You Use It? [4]

Attention marketing is the concept that marketing is all about capturing and engaging your audience's attention. This is usually done through non-invasive means, like social media. With attention marketing, you'll focus on how to capture someone's limited attention.

Did you know that the cost of acquiring consumer attention has increased dramatically (seven- to nine-fold) in the past two decades?

It might not be surprising to hear, but overall our collective attention span has been narrowing.

You might be wondering, "What does this mean for marketers?"

As marketers, it's our job to attract people to our brand. We need to deliver almost magnetic-like messaging to grab our audience's attention. 

Defining a Target Audience for your Content Marketing Strategy [5]

A marketing target audience is the defined set of people that you want to capture and engage with your content marketing activity. They are the people that you genuinely believe and understand are likely to become paying customers. With this target group, you can refine a content marketing strategy that really works and offers excellent ROI.

Your target audience will have certain characteristics in common. Specifically, they will have similar demographics. They will likely have similar professional backgrounds (especially in terms of B2B marketing). Their needs will be largely aligned with one another. They aren’t exactly a homogenous group, but they definitely have stark similarities.

Fundamentally, a target audience is specific. It’s not enough to use a broad umbrella, such as Millennials. You need to drill down to the group that’s the bullseye of the target. This is important or your marketing message will be too woolly or broad for anyone to actually get on board with.

Instead, you need to hone in on the finer details. This will include key information such as geographical location. Then you’ll further refine it by identifying demographics including age, gender, education, income, language and profession. You may then go even further to consider lifestyle factors and personality traits.

Key takeaways:

Audience implies a broader eco-system by building relationships with social media (leads, prospects, existing/past customers, fans of your products/services). Use social media to grow your business with new connections. 

Authority Content [5]

Authority Content is the act of consistently creating and distributing helpful information and stories to gain attention, engagement and trust, for a clearly defined audience, with the objective of identifying who will benefit from your products and services.

First of all, notice that Authority Content requires consistent action. Doing one round of videos or blog posts, for instance, isn’t enough. Your content needs to be shared, steadily and consistently. That doesn’t mean spending thousands of hours generating content. It’s not about quantity, it’s about consistency. If you only produce 12 pieces of content this year (and I’m going to show you how to easily repurpose it into way more than that), you’d be far better off releasing this content at the rate of one a month, rather than publishing it all in one go.

Notice also that the information you’re creating and distributing is helpful. This is a big change for some old-school SEO practitioners. So, if that’s you, start getting yourself into a mental attitude where you can let go of some old habits. Producing content is no longer just about satisfying Google; your content must be high quality with answers to the very specific questions that your clients and prospects are asking.

Great content marketed effectively will give you people’s attention. A consistent flow of in- formation that is genuinely useful and relevant will help you establish engagement. Authority Content takes it one step further and also seeks to gain the trust of that audience by attracting only those who are really going to benefit from your product or service.

The fact is, your products and services aren’t for everyone. Sure, you might be able to help a large group, but no solution is a perfect fit for everyone. This is really key, because as determined as you are to sell your product or service to the people who will benefit from it, you must be equally determined not to sell to those who aren’t a good fit.

The Internet is just too transparent to get away with taking people’s money and leaving them to discover that they probably would have been better taking a different route. If you sell someone on your product or service but don’t meet their needs, word travels quickly. As a result, your ability to gain the market’s trust and elevate yourself as an industry authority will be severely limited.

The Bottom Line: 

You should become an expert that your audience can relate to. This ties back to authenticity and the human voice. You are the voice of authority.

Action Content: Turn Fans into Customers [7]

Dive deep into persuasive writing content & landing pages. 
Actions could include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Asking your readers to comment on a blog post
  • Asking your readers to share an article or podcast
  • Asking people to participate in a poll or survey
  • Encouraging people to download a free video training course
  • Persuading people to subscribe to your email newsletter
  • Convincing people to follow you on social media
  • Enticing people to hire you
  • Getting people to buy your product

Naturally, you’ll want to start off with small requests. Get people used to taking your advice and following your instructions.

What makes it so great?

  • It’s useful. The headline suggests you are about to learn something important. The question-style headline also helps attract attention. People wonder whether or not they do indeed know the answer. They think, “This might be too important to miss.”
  • It’s authoritative. Sonia Simone’s years of working in the copywriting and content marketing world turned what could have been a shallow answer into an extended clinic in effective writing.
  • It takes a stand. The content exposes people to one of our core philosophies at Copyblogger: Really good content is unsurpassed at building rapport, delivering a sales message without feeling “salesy,” and getting potential customers to stick around.
  • It’s laced with action. You might not see it at first blush, but this piece of content motivates readers to check out the educational resources Copyblogger has to offer — from the My.Copyblogger free membership site to the paid offers like Authority and Content Marketing Certification.

The success of this content wasn’t accidental. There was a plan: the content primes people for when we actually do make an offer.

It is all about opening opening the doors you did not know existed.

A Marketing Acceleration Platform [8] augments efforts in analysis and delivery, leveraging machine learning algorithms to continuously analyze traffic, identify opportunities for new or existing experiences, and dynamically serve the most relevant content to each individual.

The world of content marketing is moving at a breakneck pace. Change now occurs faster than ever, and if you don’t keep up, you will get left behind. In fact, the rise of video marketing proves it.  From 2012 to 2014 the role of video in the buying process jumped from 29% to an incredible 70%! And today, more B2B companies are using video content than ever before. That 70% is now probably closer to 100! With so much competition, you need to identify what works well in the world of video, fast! Failure to recognise what it is your audience really want will severely limit your efforts and undermine the impact of your content.

  • Google say that video alongside mobile has the strongest impact on changing consideration


  • 42% of B2B buyers are using their phone as part of their buyer journey


  • 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read text


  • 50% of B2B decision makers spend 30 minutes consuming video content as part of the buying process

Key Takeaways

  • Have a CM site where you can interact with authority.
  • Approach with CM offers to teach or present.
  • Three CM points: keep an open mind, stay mindful and stay agile.
  • Create relationships with everyone.
  • Cultivate your network to maximize potential.








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