Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Beginners

If you're new to content marketing and want to learn how to use it for your business, keep reading.

Understanding the Process and its Impact on Customer Acquisition

If you're new to content marketing and want to learn how to use it for your business, keep reading because in this tutorial, I'm going to walk you through a complete guide to content marketing for beginners. Stay tuned. Alright, let's start with the basics and talk about what content marketing is. Simply put, content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content to attract and retain customers. This means creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, or whatever, promoting it, and leading people towards a profitable action. If you've never bought into the idea of "content that sells," this concept might not make sense or might sound cliché. To help you better understand, I want to tell you about this piece of metal. This is a jungle gym gymnastics bar for kids that I recently bought. In order to understand why I bought this product and how content influenced me to buy it, let's rewind. Over the past year or so, the city of Toronto has locked down three times.

Finding the Best Home Climbing Equipment for Kids: A Journey Through Content Marketing

This was the second time they closed down playgrounds. When you have young children being forced to stay at home, they literally climb everything. So my wife and I started researching. We searched on Google for things like "best home climbing equipment for kids." We read some articles and scrolled through different types of products. Well, this slide would get boring quickly, and we already have a bunch of tunnels. Then we saw this: a mini jungle gym. Now we were heading in the right direction. So we went back to Google and searched for "best jungle gyms." We read through some more blog posts, narrowed our search down to items we might want to buy, watched some videos, only to realize that our oldest child would be too big for the toy. So, we went to Amazon to look at more options, found something like this, read the reviews, and then bought it. We had a problem, searched for solutions, and content from blogs, videos, and reviews led us through our entire purchasing journey.

Integrating Your Products into Purchasing Journeys with Content Marketing

And if you think about why and how you made your last purchase that wasn't a necessity like groceries or clothes, I bet content was involved along the way. With so much information available at the tip of our fingers, we as consumers will be influenced by content. Now, the content we read and watched was from multiple sites and creators. And the Amazon seller who got our hundred bucks just happened to luck out. But through the power of content marketing, you can intentionally integrate your company and products within these purchasing journeys. Let me show you an example of what we've done at Ahrefs. If you're unfamiliar with our company, we sell a suite of SEO tools. And in that suite is a keyword research tool called Keywords Explorer. So let's say you decided to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy and you wanted to find a keyword research tool to use.

Content Marketing For Beginners: Complete Guide

Exploring Keyword Research Tools and Tutorials for Effective Content Marketing

You might go to Google and search for "list of keyword research tools." You click on the first result, scroll through the list, click on a few here and there, but you're still not ready to make a purchase because you realized... "I don't even know how to do keyword research." So you go back to Google and search for "how to do keyword research." Sure enough, you recognize one of the names from the previous article you read, plus they're ranking high in Google. So you click through to their guide. You skim through the guide and you're impressed. You're also introduced to our tool, Keywords Explorer. But you have to head out to the gym, pick up the kids, and get dinner prepared, so life goes on as usual.A few days later, you decide to look for more keyword research tutorials. So, you go to YouTube and search for "keyword research." Sure enough, you see that same brand that just won't quit.

Content Marketing: How Engaging Content Converts Visitors into Loyal Customers

You click on the video, and you're impressed by the likes-to-dislikes ratio, so you look at the comments and see a lot of positive ones. So, you keep watching. Mesmerized by the presenter's wisdom, you start taking notes and figure out how to do keyword research. Throughout the time you spent learning how to do keyword research, you learned how to do it using our tools. So, not only have you been exposed to our brand and products numerous times through free content, but you've also been brought into our ecosystem through various searches simply because we were there when you needed us. So, naturally, you'd be more inclined to purchase our tools because you've been educated on them. Content marketing helps to create awareness and attract potential customers to your content. Your content engages them and builds credibility for your brand. It converts visitors into customers, allowing you to build a loyal following.

Maximizing Customer Retention and Revenue with Content Marketing Strategies

For a software product like ours, it helps retain customers because they learn how to do new things with our tools, leading to increased usage. Best of all, your revenue compounds because, unlike advertising where your ads stop appearing the minute you stop paying, content that surfaces where and when your customers are searching is consistent. It's important to note that no matter how good your content is, if your products aren't up to scratch, then content won't save you, at least for the long haul. So, with all the flexing out of the way, let's talk about how you can do this for your business. Now, the two main parts of content marketing are to create content and distribute or promote it. Whatever you create should have the goal of attracting and/or retaining customers. Let's talk about the content creation side of things. Your content can be in various formats, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, online courses, infographics, free tools, templates, ebooks, and checklists.

Choosing the Right Content Format for Your Target Audience and Distribution Channels

As long as there is demand from your target audience for that type of content, pretty much anything is fair game. The type of content you choose will depend on the topic of your content piece. For example, a recipe would work well as a blog post and video, but it probably wouldn't be great as a podcast. An interview with Gordon Ramsay could work as a podcast, video, or even blog post, but it probably wouldn't be very valuable as a checklist. As a general rule of thumb, start with one format that works for you and rinse and repeat. Then, consider exploring another channel. For us, we started with blog posts and then eventually branched out to videos as our team grew. Creating content alone isn't enough because content isn't the same as content marketing. Unfortunately, the notion of "if you build it, they will come" couldn't be further from the truth. That's why it's important to have an idea of where you'll be distributing this content.

Maximizing Your Content Distribution Strategy: Common Channels and Effective Tactics

Some common distribution channels would include search, which can be done through search engine optimization or paid ads, social media networks, forums and communities, or email newsletters. For example, if you have a recipes site, then you'd probably want to optimize your content for Google search, YouTube, and/or Pinterest because these are channels where lots of people are actively looking for recipes every month. If you have a site on golf, you might want to consider YouTube, Google Search, and forums and communities because these are all places where your target audience would actively be looking for information on the topic. Again, a general rule of thumb would be to pick 2 to 3 networks to work on and get really good at them. For Ahrefs, our two main content distribution channels are Google search via SEO and YouTube. Our website gets over a million visits from Google Search every month and had nearly 600,000 views on YouTube in March.

Maximizing Blog Content Distribution: The Risks of Relying on Social Media for Viral Success

Because these are two channels we've been able to get great results from, let's spend the rest of our time on how to create and promote content on these channels. Let's talk about blog content first. The two most popular distribution channels are social media and search. When you create content with social media as your primary distribution channel, you're taking on a lot of risk. Getting your blog content to blow up on social media is very unpredictable. While there are tools that can help you see how many times a post gets shared, you don't know why they were shared. Did they do outreach to get influencers to share their content? Do the creators of that content already have large existing audiences? Or are all of these shares fake because they were purchased to inflate popularity? There are way too many variables, which is one of the reasons why we stay away from trying to create "viral" type content.

Mastering Keyword Research: The Key to Consistent SEO Traffic for Your Content Marketing Strategy

Plus, social media traffic tends to start with a big spike, but it ends up flatlining, leaving your content dead in the water. As for SEO traffic, it's much easier to create predictable and consistent results that will stand the test of time. And there are three basic steps to this process. The first step is to find topics that are relevant to your business. This step is often referred to as keyword research. To get started, use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer and enter some topics that are broadly related to your niche. Assuming you have a site that sells an online course on parenting, you might search for "parenting" and "toddler." Next, go to the Questions report, which will show you keywords phrased as questions as well as the search volume for those keywords. Questions are often problems that your target audience may be facing. Since you're selling an online course, you'll want to look for topics that are closely or at least somewhat related to your product.

How to Create SEO-Friendly Content that Meets Searcher's Needs and Promote it Effectively

Something like "how to discipline a toddler" might be a good fit since you sell a parenting course. The next step is to create the "right" type of content. Google tries to surface the most relevant content for any given query. The "right" type of content from an SEO perspective is one that meets the searcher's needs. This is called search intent, which represents the reason behind a searcher's query. You can determine this by looking at the top-ranking results or, if you're using Keywords Explorer, you can hit the SERP button to see the top 10 pages along with their SEO metrics. In this case, they're all informational blog posts where many have gone with the "tactical" angle. So you'd probably want to go this route too to have a fighting chance at ranking. The last step is to promote your content. Promotion can take many forms, and it's best if you go with an inside-out approach, meaning start with channels closest to you and then move outwards to reach new audiences.

Learn How to Improve Your Google SEO and YouTube Content Strategy with These Tips

You might start by posting on your social media accounts and sending new content to your email newsletter. Then you may want to branch out to communities you're involved in, such as Reddit, Quora, or social groups that allow link sharing. Finally, you'll want to do some blogger outreach to get backlinks. This is what you'll need to do to get your pages ranking higher on Google. Now, we have only scratched the surface of Google SEO here. If you want to learn more, check out the playlist in our description for our completely free SEO training course. There, you can learn how to get organic traffic from search month over month. As for YouTube content, there are three main ways we select topics. The first way is for YouTube organic search views. To do that, go to Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer, select the YouTube tab to get YouTube search data, and enter a broad keyword related to your niche. Next, go to the Phrase match report.

Maximizing YouTube Content: How to Target Your Audience and Boost Engagement

Since YouTube content is almost always informational, you can skim this report and look for relevant keywords to your business. For example, "parenting styles" might be interesting because, again, our hypothetical site sells an online course on parenting. People searching for this would probably be interested in it. So, I'll take that keyword and type it into YouTube search. Again, I'll look at the top 3 videos and see if there are any commonalities and do my best to create a video that matches searcher intent. We have a full video on doing YouTube SEO, which has been a major factor in our channel's growth, so I'll link that up in the description. The second way is to create content on unique topics that might draw in your target audience. We do this because YouTube is both a search and social platform. Because there is that "social" aspect to YouTube, their algorithm rewards videos that attract a lot of clicks that lead to high watch times.

Maximizing YouTube Views: 3 Effective Ways to Create Compelling Content

By creating content on a popular topic in your niche that no one else has really talked about, you can potentially get a ton of clicks. If your content is good enough, people will watch it for long periods of time, leading to YouTube promoting your content to similar audiences. Now, coming up with your own ideas will depend on your creativity. However, a simple formula you can use is [main topic] plus [main attractor]. For example, we created a video called "Link Building with Google Ads." Our main topic is "link building," which is a popular SEO strategy, and the main attractor is "with Google ads." That's because no one was really talking about how to use Google ads to get backlinks to your site. So, we created our own case study where we shared all the details with complete transparency. The third way is to create a series. Series work well because they're meant to be watched in sequential order. This can lead to overall longer watch times across your entire channel.

How to Increase Your Video Watch Time on YouTube for Maximum Exposure and Product Promotion

The longer people watch your content, the more YouTube will promote your videos. The biggest benefit is that if your content integrates your offerings in an organic way, there's a significant amount of exposure to your products. For example, our SEO for beginners course teaches how to do SEO, and naturally, we use both our free and paid tools in it. This series has accumulated well over 10,000 hours of watch time in under 2 months. To put this into perspective, that's about 426.6 days or 1.17 years of continuous content consumption. Potential series ideas might be courses, case studies, building something in public, or if you want to go with more of an entertainment angle, vlogs and shows work well too, depending on your niche. As for the promotion side of things, YouTube does a great job of promoting relevant content on their homepage and sidebar suggestions.

Content Marketing: A Long-Term Investment That Continues to Bear Fruit Over Time

However, if you don't have an existing audience, it can be tough to get that initial traction.I won't get into that here because we have full tutorials on how to get more views on YouTube when you're just starting out, as well as a video on how to get more subscribers, which will teach you a lot about how YouTube works. Again, links are in the description. Now, content marketing isn't exactly a fast process. It's an ongoing one.I think this is why people often avoid it because we're used to the idea of immediate results, so we turn to things like advertising and direct mail. There's nothing wrong with more traditional methods of marketing, but content marketing is unique in the sense that it continues to contribute to your bottom line over time. So, I want you to think of content marketing like planting seeds. If you want to grow an apple tree, it can take up to 8 years for it to bear fruit. But that same tree will continually put food on the table for years to come.

Maximizing Results: Don't Wait to Plant the Seed - Free SEO and YouTube Marketing Courses Available

The longer you wait to plant that seed, the longer it'll take to start reaping the rewards. If SEO interests you, then I highly recommend taking our free SEO course for beginners. Or, if YouTube is the channel you want to focus on, then check out our playlist on YouTube marketing. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to like, share, and subscribe for more actionable marketing videos like this one.I'll see you in the next tutorial.

The best of humanity is the one who is most beneficial to others. When someone has passed away, their deeds are severed except for three things: ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge, and a righteous child who prays for their parents.