Content marketing is an umbrella term that refers to many marketing strategies in which you’re using content to build a relationship with your audience. You share helpful information with your target market and establish yourself as an expert, and then you start making useful offers.

How Education-Based Marketing Works

First, choose a niche that you’re passionate about. Spend time getting to know people who are interested in that niche. Join forums and online groups so that you can learn what they want, how they think, and how you can benefit them.

The quality of your content is all-important. If you can’t write content that’s high-quality, original and engaging, you can hire a ghostwriter to create it for you. The important thing to consider when it comes to content creation is that it must offer tremendous value, whether it’s informational, problem-solving, or simply entertaining.

The next question to ask is how you’re going to publish your content. You have a number of choices. These include blogging, social media, article syndication (where you put articles on other sites) and video marketing. Each publishing channel you use has a link that leads back to your main site.

Remember that content includes more than just written articles. It includes images, photos, videos, audio files, and anything else that your audience can consume.

When to Use Content Marketing

Content marketing doesn’t get you quick sales. It builds a long-term relationship with your market. Gradually, they come to see you as a trusted expert. You become their go-to person for the information they need.

It works best for specific niches that are hungry for information and not already saturated. For example, it would require a mammoth effort to get anywhere with most broad professional topics. Go for small niches that are intimately related to your practice. If you can find enough people desperate for information in small niches like these, then you have a potential target market for content.

The Benefits of Content Marketing

The greatest benefit of content marketing is that it builds trust. You brand yourself and your site as the place to go for answers. Once you’re a recognized source of the high-quality information people need, your services basically sell themselves.

Education-based marketing is great for people who don’t consider themselves sales-oriented. There’s really no hard sell involved. This is an inbound marketing strategy where you put the content out there, and it brings people to your offer.

The Downside of Content Marketing

The only real downside – and this can be quite a downside – is that creating content is not always easy or cheap. You have to become a true expert and create it yourself, which takes time, or you have to invest money in expert writers. There are shortcuts to creating content, but the content has to be exceptional.

How to Succeed at Content Marketing

The key to success with content marketing is to approach it in the spirit of giving, not selling.

Share your information with an audience that’s hungry for answers. Focus on communicating and building a relationship. The more value you give, the better you can expect your returns to be.

Action Steps

  • First, take a break to do a little brainstorming. For five minutes, focus on making a list of topics related to your niche that you’re a true expert in. These should be things that you can create content about that is either informative, entertaining, or solution-focused.
  • Next, narrow these topics down to 3 core categories that you think will both resonate with your core audience and that you find really juicy. If you have some topics that you can’t help talking to others about or services that you love so much you’d do them for free, you’re definitely on the right track.
  • Finally, brainstorm some article topics and headlines that related to your top three areas of focus. If you’re ready to get serious, put them into an editorial calendar like this one from Digital Marketer, and lay out your content plan for at least the next few weeks.

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resources below!

When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional services like yours.

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Looking to level-up your content game?

The free Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing from Moz has you covered.

From finding the right team and coming up with ideas that’ll resonate with your audience to successfully promoting your content and scaling your content efforts up over time, they take a holistic look at the field of content marketing that is perfect for establishing yourself as a thought leader in your profession.

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