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FREE online course: Content Marketing Fundamentals 

What is Content Marketing?

13 lessonsFeb 15, 2019


Who is this course for?

Hello there! My name is Ashley Segura and I am the VP of Operations at TopHatRank, a search and social agency in Los Angeles. I'm really excited that you're joining us for this Content Marketing course and hope you get a lot of takeaways from each lesson.

We'll be reviewing quite a lot of material to help prepare you for the SEMrush certification test. Each module reviews various aspects of content marketing, like reaching your target audience, meeting your marketing goals through various content vehicles, and competing with top players in your industry. By the end of the course, you should feel confident in the creative content that your team generates for attracting your ideal consumer.

What is Content Marketing?

Now, before we dive into the inner workings of content marketing and how you can use it to complement and promote your brand, we first need to understand what content marketing really is.

Let me tell you! Content marketing is a form of indirect marketing. It's about garnering real interest from online users. We're not explicitly promoting a product, service, or brand, but instead provoking awareness and interest that maybe, just maybe, will transform a reader into a subscriber, lead, or buyer… eventually. Think of it as an individual or a business trying to present themselves as a thought leader in their industry: an entity that is authoritative, trustworthy, and offers value. Content can help build that authority, trust, and value.

What kind of content do content marketers usually produce?

Most of the time, content marketing falls into the creative scope, in the form of blog posts, social media posts, and videos. The content might be created and promoted by the brand itself, or it might be something created by someone else in the industry who created relevant and relatable content worth sharing with their own followers.

However, content marketing itself is much more than content distribution (which we will talk about in Lesson 11). There is a method to the content marketing madness!

Why should you focus on content marketing?

This style of marketing is both creative and data-driven, benefiting both businesses and consumers. For businesses, it is a long-term process that establishes and strengthens their relationships with their target audiences, cultivates engagement, and encourages brand recognition and loyalty.

For consumers, it's about the value received from, and the trust being built with, the company through the content. The better the content is, the more reason consumers have to choose one brand over another.

What does a content marketing strategy look like?

A prime example of successful content marketing by a well-known brand is Red Bull, who generates content for their audience, not for their buyers. When Red Bull puts out a campaign, you'll notice that they don't focus on their actual product, but rather on related subjects that their audience is interested in, such as extreme sports.

The goal is to target young, active people who enjoy going on adventures, playing sports, being outside, and so on. If the brand creates content around being physically active and adventurous, you can imagine that physically active and adventurous individuals will be drawn to the product and eventually evolve into loyal customers. Makes sense, doesn't it?

How do you measure content marketing efforts?

So, where does the data come in? There is so much value in data - from the numbers that educate and influence the content creation process in the beginning, to the metrics pulled after content distribution.

Businesses set content goals and then use traffic, engagement, and conversion figures to analyze and refine efforts to improve their strategies and their ROI. Without data, they are unable to measure what's working and what's a complete and utter waste of their time, money, and resources.

Content marketing basics: Lesson Summary

That's all for Lesson 1 - the basics of content marketing. After all, understanding these core concepts is essential for the strategy portion. In the next lesson, we'll dive deeper into implementing content marketing in your business. But before moving on, be sure to follow along on social media, and if you have any questions as you make your way through the course, please feel free to tweet them to me directly, at @AshleyMadhatter, or to the SEMrush experts at @SEMrushAcademy. See you in Lesson 2!