When you think about content marketing, the first thing you envision might be online or web content marketing. But while the rise of the internet and social media have definitely been a boon to content marketing, the practice itself hasn’t always been strictly connected to the internet.
If you’re going to focus on web content marketing, it’s important to understand how it differs from other forms of content marketing and the best way to go about putting together a web-based content marketing strategy.
First Things First: What Is Web Content Marketing?
The general definition of content marketing, from the Content Marketing Institute, is as follows:
- 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.
With the above definition, content marketing can take a lot of forms. It can be a printed newsletter that you hand out to people when they visit your store, or it can be a magazine with interesting articles you put together and mail out to subscribers. It can also be short films, informative posters, and pretty much any other type of material that contains useful or engaging information.
Web content marketing has a narrower definition. With web content marketing, you’re still focusing on creating valuable content and getting it out to your audience, but your publication and distribution methods are all online.
With web content marketing, you’re likely to use SEO tactics, social media, and email to promote and distribute your content. The content itself will take a web-based form, such as a blog post, YouTube video, or SlideShare presentation.
When Should You Focus on Web Content Marketing?
If you want to have any sort of presence online, you’re going to need to use web content marketing. If you create a static webpage that’s never updated and that doesn’t really contain any information about your company aside from your name and maybe a contact number or address, you’re not going to pull people in.
Of course, this brings up the question “does every business need an online presence?” In many ways, the answer is yes. These days, the majority of people start their searches for products or information online. Even if a person ends up buying in person from a small business, it’s pretty likely that they heard about that business from a web search.
So it’s important to have some amount of web content marketing, even if you don’t think of your brand as an internet or web-based brand.
What Are Some Examples of Web Content Marketing?
Web content marketing includes anything created by a brand that’s useful, informative, and — most importantly — available on online. Here are a few standout examples of creative web content marketing.
- Charmin’s Sit or Squat. Most people have been out and about and in need of a public restroom. But finding a restroom is only half of the challenge. The other part is finding a restroom that’s clean. Charmin toilet paper created an app that aims to solve the problem of finding a nearby, usable restroom. Users of the app can leave ratings, commentary, and reviews on area restrooms. Facilities that are sorely in need of a cleanup end up with a red “squat” rating, while neat and clean ones get a green “sit.” The app is definitely a creative approach to solving this all-too common problem.
- Grow by Acorns. The Grow blog is created by Acorns, an app that helps people get started with investing by automatically investing spare change from transactions. Given that Acorns is a financial app, it makes sense that the goal of Grow is to help people improve their financial well-being. The blog posts tackle topics such as debt repayment, setting saving goals, and setting up side gigs. It also has inspirational stories from entrepreneurs and self-made millionaires.
- Headspace blog and YouTube channel. Headspace is a meditation app that’s also pretty good at web content marketing. It not only has a blog that’s full of useful posts on managing stress and anxiety, it also has a YouTube channel with videos that introduce people to the practice of meditation.
How Can You Put Together a Web Content Marketing Strategy?
You’re interested in jumping into web content marketing, but what are your next steps? First, you want to put together a strategy, or a step-by-step guide to all things related to your web content marketing efforts. To create your strategy, you’ll outline a goal, brainstorm tactics for content promotion and distribution, and determine what type of content you’ll create.
Here are some tips to help you put together a workable web content marketing strategy:
Set your goal.
What’s your goal (or, put another way, what do you hope to get from web content marketing)? Ideally, your goal will be something you can achieve and measure.
“Become the best at web content marketing” isn’t a goal. “Increase website traffic by 10 percent and conversions by 2 percent by the end of the quarter” is.
Choose your audience.
When creating a strategy, it helps to know who you’re trying to reach with your content marketing. Having a target audience in mind will answer a lot of questions for you, such as, “Should we create videos or blog posts?” and, “Should we post on Facebook or Instagram?”
In short, when you know who you’re trying to reach, you’ll have a good idea of the best ways to reach them.
Think about content.
Once you’ve selected an audience and set a goal, it’s time to brainstorm the type of content you’ll put out into the world. You can play it safe and start a blog, or you can go the route of Charmin and create your own special-purpose app.
The most important thing to remember is that your content needs to provide value to your audience, and it needs to be useful in some way.
Decide how you’ll distribute and promote content.
Choosing your content is just part of the process. Next, you need to think about how you’ll get it out into the world. With web content marketing, you have a few promotion options:
- SEO techniques that push your content to the top of search engine results pages.
- Social media promotion (sharing your content through your own social channels and partnering with influencers who share it).
- Email (If you have an email newsletter, then you already have a content promotion tool.)
Create a schedule.
How frequently will you create, post, and promote content? Developing an editorial calendar will help you ensure that you have a steady stream of web content. Having a schedule for posting and promoting content is also helpful.
After some time has passed, such as a week, a month, or a quarter, take a look at how your content marketing is doing. Are some posts more popular than others? Do some promotional tactics work better than others?
Knowing the answers to those questions will help you decide what to do moving forward, and it can help you fine-tune your web content marketing strategy so that you always get the best results possible.