The world is changing. For business owners, one of the most undeniable shifts during recent years has been the rise of content marketing. We’ve seen it change from an innovative trend to an industry standard.
If you stop to really think about it, do you know any major brand today that isn’t trying to produce some form of consistent, engaging content for its audience? Probably not.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Semrush, 97% of business owners stated that content was an integral part of their overall marketing strategy in 2021!
And for good reason.
Content marketing has the potential to help your brand stand out as an industry authority and set your business up for long-term success.
If your organisation has ground to build in this area, or if you just want to make sure you’re staying on top of the latest tools and resources, you’ve come to the right place.
But, first, let’s discuss the basics.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is an approach to marketing built around strategic production. It also includes the wide distribution of content (think blog posts and social media posts) tailored to a specific audience.
A strategy like this requires a shift beyond the direct promotion of your products.
With content marketing, the goal is to establish your organisation as a steady source of useful information and expert insights. In other words, readers need to see value in your content and learn to associate it with your brand.
Prioritising content marketing is incredibly valuable because of its ability to help you grow and build trust with your ideal customers. In the end, content marketing is crucial for audience engagement, and over time, it’s a brilliant tool to help build brand loyalty, develop quality leads, and increase conversion rates.
Content marketing for SaaS brands takes on a whole new level of importance. Since SaaS brands operate fully online, content marketing is a key cornerstone in their marketing strategy.
“In reality, building a brand that stands for itself and will allow you to continue to acquire customers effectively is a key element for winning in the market — and content is the best way to accomplish this.”
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tools brands use to create valuable content for their audiences.
Show, don’t tell.
Your business will struggle to demonstrate authority if you use graphics with poor resolution or that can only be used in specific formats.
Audiences expect high-quality images that illustrate key points, give value, and further solidify important examples you’re sharing.
But that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
According to Venngage, 36.7% of marketers believe that creating engaging visual content consistently is one of their top struggles.
Seconds count when trying to gain an online viewer’s attention and vector images can help you make the most of each one.
Vector graphics offer resolution-independent images that can be resized without losing quality.
This is possible because these graphics use vector-based images rather than pixels. A computer generates vector images only when they’re opened. This makes them scalable, consistent in quality, and easy to store.
These versatile images are an excellent option for brand collateral, such as logos and signage. They’re also perfectly suited for app and website interfaces, creating infographics, and more!
Another advantage of using vector graphics is their well-earned reputation for being easy to work with.
But, they still offer lots of options for creativity, too.
Vector image designs allow endless possibilities to experiment with photorealistic, surreal, vintage, and modern aesthetics.
No matter what story you’re trying to tell with your brand, there’s a vector image design that can help.
Another easy way to illustrate content visually is to get your hands on a screenshot tool, like Awesome Screenshot.
Screenshots are tremendously valuable as you can use them to demonstrate how something works, share a visual example of a point you’re making, or even walk readers through step-by-step tutorials.
Content writers and agency services
Your brand’s unique story and expert takes are some of its greatest assets.
Sharing it in the most compelling way matters.
Well-equipped and implemented written content can impact nearly everything. It can improve website maintenance, blog traffic, search engine optimisation (SEO), audience nurturing, conversions, and beyond.
Creating engaging subject matter is time-consuming, but also vital to growth. That’s why it’s no surprise that some brands prefer opting for content writing services instead of producing content in-house.
Working with a content writing agency is becoming more common among business owners every day. Content agencies provide vetted writers, quality assurance, and, best of all: efficiency. They’re quickly becoming indispensable to anyone who needs professional, engaging content on a consistent basis.
Most business owners know all too well that identifying and retaining talent is a huge challenge.
Some content writing services make this easier by allowing business clients to choose and try out specific writers.
Or they can take advantage of fully managed packages in which all possible roadblocks between you and high-quality finished content are handled by the agency.
These agencies can take on recruiting qualified writers, managing content release calendars, and overseeing the editorial and revision process. This will free you up to concentrate on all of the other management tasks on your plate.
No matter what type of audience you’re seeking to engage, there’s an ideal content writing service with your name on it.
Other services offered by content writing agencies may include:
- Ebooks: Transform your ideas into an ebook that’s easy to distribute;
- Ghostwriting: Experienced authors can help adapt your ideas into engaging content;
- White papers: Provide written expertise on complex and important issues;
- Content briefs: In case you want to write content yourself, agencies can provide detailed guides that can help your writers understand what to cover in each piece;
- Keyword research: Uncover the best ways to optimise your content with expert insight.
Content writing agencies can take on tasks like blog writing, press releases, and technical content, too, to create more room on your plate.
By outsourcing content writing services to produce publish-ready pieces for you, you can focus on more important tasks, like growing your business.
If you decide to opt for in-house writing, consider hiring a few experienced writers in your niche to keep on staff part-time or full-time. Or, if you’re on a budget, reach out to freelance writers on a per-project or retainer basis.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you have a topic list, keyword list, and content briefs ready to go so writers can batch out your content well in advance. You could also opt for a professional B2B SEO agency like Amplifyed to get better results.
Photo editing tools
There is, arguably, no tool more powerful for communicating your brand’s message than an effectively used photograph.
Stock images and graphics are simply not enough to enable your audience to meaningfully engage with your brand.
Use photo editing tools to create professional pictures and branded images that naturally draw the eye in.
Professional quality photographs of your staff, space, products, content, and services in action are essential visual storytelling tools.
Fortunately, business owners have more photo editing resources at their disposal than ever before.
Photo editing platforms, like Picsart, offer the ability to enhance the quality of the photo itself by cropping, resizing, and upscaling the image resolution. You can also use services like this to remove backgrounds, add unique text or stickers, and optimise photos for use on social media.
Altering photos for reuse, adding and removing elements, or combining them with other photos is another way to illustrate a key concept.
It’s also important to note that a well-designed photo editing interface is worth seeking out. Efficient, time-saving features like batch editing are worth their weight in gold.
As the reach of your content marketing strategy grows, so does the importance of having a highly functional, optimised website. This works to improve the accessibility of your content and unify your brand image. Not to mention the ability to capture more organic leads from search, too.
Depending on your industry and the scale of your business, your website may be the first (or only) face of your brand that your audience sees. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure it’s beautifully designed, unique to your business, functional, and stocked with useful content.
Your organisation’s website is also an essential place to house your omni-channel marketing strategy.
That’s why it’s important to create a seamless experience for your customer, no matter how they choose to interact with your brand. Logos, signage, social media activity, email marketing, and print advertising can all play major roles here as you intersect them with your website.
Consistent messaging and design across your blog posts, email marketing, and membership pages will also help build a feeling of familiarity and trust.
In fact, Luxury Presence, a company that specialises in luxury real estate website design, embodies a solid omni-channel content marketing strategy that’s worked wonders for their real estate agents.
These professionals face the daunting task of attracting wealthy clients interested in expensive properties that typically don’t sell easily. Their work requires major marketing efforts to promote listings in a highly competitive market.
Luckily, content marketing has become an invaluable tool to help them reach their sales goals.
No one knows your business’ needs better than you. Some of the resources presented may suit your organisation’s immediate needs better than others.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide which tools you’ll use to engage audiences to promote steady, predictable growth in today’s marketplace.
There are also other highly influential forms of content marketing you can employ including platform-specific social media marketing, video content, paid ads, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, and more.
But, remember, the content tools you choose pale in comparison to what matters most — and that’s thinking deeply and often about what your customer needs and how to position your business as the solution to their problems.
6 steps to create an effective content marketing plan for business development
Whether you need to establish a content marketing plan for the first time or refine your existing strategy, here are six key steps to follow:
Define your audience
For content marketing campaigns to be successful, it’s essential to define your target audience and hone in on its pain points, or motivations for purchase or engagement. What problems do your customers have and what solutions can you offer them?
Set clear goals
What types of growth and development are most important to your business right now? Do you need to increase brand awareness? Develop customer loyalty? Draw in strategic partners? The answers to these questions will help you fine-tune your content marketing strategy.
Make sure the goals you choose have a related key performance indicator (KPI) you can track. KPIs, such as session length, bounce rate, and unique visitors will allow you to measure how well the content you are providing is reaching and connecting with your target audience.
Choose content types and channels
Discover where your audience lives online and dedicate your marketing efforts to those channels. Be sure to also take a look at the types of content they typically consume and the topics they search for so you can craft pieces with their needs and habits in mind.
Hire an SEO strategist or conduct ample research to identify user intent, competitor content scores, and keywords. Use these insights to craft an SEO strategy your writers can refer to so they can create optimised content based on your target audience’s search habits.
Analyse and adjust
Once a customer encounters your brand, they should gain access to a treasure trove of specialised content. When created effectively, this content should help you boost conversions and build audience rapport.
As engagement grows, monitor your KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your content and look for areas where you need to make changes. Rinse and repeat.
While resources and trends come and go, some principles remain the same.
Long-term growth and success can happen with careful planning, implementation, analysis, and intentional adjustments.
Applying this mindset to your content marketing strategy will help you develop and maintain the edge you need to stay ahead.
Whether you’re in need of head-turning images, compelling written content, or a well-organised online hub for all of the moving parts of your brand, choosing the right content marketing tech stack, agencies, and writers can help you make it happen.
Combine this with a positive attitude, research, and a willingness to always learn something new, and you’ll begin seeing your content marketing investments pay off big-time.
And that’s it for today, friends. To your success!
About the Author
Ioana Wilkinson is a freelance content writer and SEO strategist for B2B and B2C brands specialising in Business, Digital Marketing, SaaS, Tech, and Mental Health. Born in Transylvania, raised in Texas, and transplanted to Barcelona, Ioana’s most recent move has taken her to sunny Mexico.