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Content marketing: Best Easy Guide (+ free course)

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Content marketing strategies

As Business owners, our primary aim is always to increase conversion rates. As daunting as this task usually is with traditional marketing, this post features everything you’ll need to spike these rates using a Content Marketing strategy. 

Below is a step-by-step guide to get you started. 

What is Content Marketing? 

With the publicity content marketing’s had the past few years, tons of online sources have tried giving a suitable definition. However, no other source defines it better than The Content Marketing Institute: 

… 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.  

This means that  

  • the concept of content marketing is long term.  
  • It focuses on building strong audience and customer relationship. 
  • It achieves this relationship goal by feeding them with quality and relevant content.  

This definition basically goes against everything we know about marketing. But as strange as the concept may sound to you, it’s not a new one. Content marketing goes way back to the era of comic books and storytelling.  

Ever wondered why Marvel controls such a broad audience even with some recent shitty movies hitting the cinemas?  

It’s because they already have the loyalty of these audiences. They caught their attention with relevant content (comic books) at a young age, and now it’s almost impossible to resist the movies. 

These guys understood the concept of content marketing early enough and utilized it.  

Well, lately, the tables have turned….. 

Everyone now wants a piece of the cake. 

And why is that? Because it works.

The concept of Content Marketing starts with generating high quality and relevant content to a specified set of audience. However, contents range from videos to ebooks, articles, podcasts, infographics, and so on.  

For Marvel, high quality and relevant contents were the comic books; the specified set of audience were the kids, teenagers, and even some adults. Yea, don’t deny it. 

For you, on the other hand, you’d have to figure that part on your own because it’s an essential piece of the puzzle. A simple market research would fix that.

Why do I Need Content Marketing? 

Trust me, this question popped-up at one point. I can literally hear you complain about the stress of going through all these when you can simply pay an influencer or run ads. 

But here’s the thing, people are basically fed up with ads and the promises that come with them. Some have even found a way around it by using Adblockers. Your predecessors literally ruined your chances at gaining reasonable traction with ads. 

Either way, Julia McCoy notes that: 

 a solid content marketing strategy can generate three times more leads than paid advertising. 

What content marketing literally does is create a connection and loyalty with your prospects through valuable content. They get so immersed with your articles, videos, podcasts, and ebooks that they hardly notice when you silently chip in your products. Even when they realize this, they do not care at this point because the bond has already been established. 

However, like you are used to, approaching prospects with ads straight up is more like coming in contact with a persistent marketer on your way back from work. 

Annoying right?  

So, each time you opt to run ads with unrealistic promises, you basically take the place of that persistent marketer on the street. 

Read Also: PRODUCT MARKETING: Overview, Examples, Strategy, Job Description, Jobs (+ free courses)

Content Marketing Strategy  

Content marketing Strategies are series of steps you take to research, generate, publish, and promote high-quality and relevant content. 

A strategy in place is pretty vital to the success of content marketing. Furthermore, one of the many benefits of content marketing strategies is that they afford you the ability to create the right content at the right time. 

Before the advent of the internet, content marketing methods were limited. All they had to go with were magazines, newspaper ads, and bandit signs. 

But, in the face of this limitation, the early founders tried to find a way out. They devised means of generating relevant and high-quality content with the tools at their disposal. This included picture placement in newspaper/magazine ads and CTAs, choice of pictures, and playing with words. 

Today we have tons of tools at our disposal, therefore quite a number of strategies in play.  Regardless, only one of these strategies effectively works for all businesses and products alike. There are really no such things as a niche-based content marketing strategy like some people are led to believe. 

How to do Content Marketing  

Considering the several complications with strategies on the internet, I have carefully outlined progressive steps to get you started on the right path. 

Research Relevant Keywords  

Before you start out with generating content, you might want to know the needs of your target audience.  Recall our use of the phrase high-quality and relevant content. It is almost impossible to achieve this without thorough keyword research. You literally win their hearts by producing content that aligns with their needs or solves their problems.  

Furthermore, in this line of business, you totally want to avoid generating content based on guts, feelings, or personal likes.  

Now when an internet user types a string into the Google search box, they unconsciously use keywords. These keywords give you an idea of their needs and help you build content around that need while chipping in your products as a solution. 

However, a great tool to get you started is Ubersuggest 

Find Related Keywords 

Take this like killing two birds with one stone. Most products or contents solve more than one problem. So, finding related keywords puts you in the position of meeting more than one need with your content. This in turn increases your conversion rates. 

On the other hand, using just one keyword could make your content sound stale. You need to create your content in a way that is clear and understandable to both google and readers. It helps your audience flow with your articles and helps Google understand what type of search intent to target. 

This is totally achievable by using related keywords. Ubersuggest can also help with this too. 

Get Spreadsheet for Each topic  

Remember your major objective for keyword research is to enable you build topics around the needs of your audience.  

At this point designing a spreadsheet is paramount. It helps you organize your findings which you would be needing for each topic. Ranging from target keyword to related keywords and every other necessary information for content generation. 

To skip this step of content marketing strategy could prove lethal because getting organized right before content creation is key to effective delivery. 

Read Also: Relationship Marketing: The A-Z Guide (+ Free Tips)

Create a Checklist for Each Content.  

Checklists may sound like clichés but for the first time, this cliché is one you cannot overlook. They help with organizing your ideas and structure.  

Furthermore, they also help with deciding specific subtopics to cover which helps you deal with your inability to remember ideas most times.  

However, this checklist should be embedded in your spreadsheet. Each topic carrying subtopics, links, and statistics you would want to mention.  

Save Your contents on Drafts  

Contents are not usually 100% perfect immediately after creation even though they look like it. Come back to the same article 2 or 3 days later, you’d realize this. There are two ways to go about this though; Proofread after two days or send it to a professional editor.  

This is pretty vital because contents with grammatical, logic, and other issues sends out a wrong message about you especially to new visitors. Remember the thing about first impressions. 

So, saving your content on drafts gets you ahead of issues like this. Tools at your disposal include Microsoft Office, Google docs, WPS, or any program you feel comfortable with.  

Just ensure you hold the urge to hit publish few minutes after creation. 

Get a Schedule for Publication and Promotion 

Consistency is a key factor in content marketing; more important than frequency. The thing with being frequent is, most times, the need to meet deadlines prompts you to overlook some mistakes or leave out vital infos that would have been of value to your audience. 

So, you would need to maintain a consistent schedule to enable you cover all your bases on each topic. A publish schedule could range from twice a week to every weekend or even every day of the week. That way your audience knows exactly when to come back for new content.  

However, one great feature about most publishing platforms like YouTubeBlogSpot, and WordPress is that they allow you schedule publish dates. So even when you finish a content before the proposed date, you can automatically schedule the content to publish without coming back to hit the button. 

On the other hand, posting about your new content before or after publication could make a huge difference in your conversion rates.  Tools like Buffer or Facebook help to make promotion schedules easier. 

Always Reach out To Influencers 

There is such a thing as Influencer Marketing, a basic addition to your post-content marketing strategy. It basically involves reaching out to top brands mentioned in your content, asking them to share your content. Although, follow-ups are usually slow at this point however the more people you contact, the higher your chances of getting your content shared.  

These people literally wield the power to make your content go viral. Another advantage is that they share your content with like-minded or related audience. 

However, while there’s nothing wrong with asking for a share, avoid pestering Influencers. A better approach would be to build a relationship with them. More like asking for something you could do in return for sharing your content. 

Read Also: Target Marketing: All you need to know

Do not Joke with Internal Links 

Ranking better on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is always in synergy with internal links (links to other content on your platform). When visitors click on your content from SERPs, an important factor Google considers is the amount of time spent on your content. It tells how relevant your content was.  

However, if they left as quickly as the link was clicked, it automatically affects your ranking.  

So, Internal linking helps you keep them a little bit longer, although not relenting in your efforts at creating high quality and relevant content. 

But starting out with a content marketing strategy from the scratch means you do not have existing content. This however fixes itself along the line as you keep creating newer pieces.  

A great tool for achieving this is the Yoast plugin on WordPress. It automatically suggests related pieces available on your platform. 

Free Courses on Content Marketing  

To further broaden your knowledge on Content marketing, I have outlined some free courses below;

  1. Content Marketing Course
  2. C.M Strategy Trends for 2020
  3. Content Marketing 101: A free Guide for Beginners or Pros
  4. Content Marketing: The Key to Successful Business 

Conclusion

Content marketing strategies take conscious time and effort to develop. Don’t expect explosive results to spring up from nowhere.

However, good thing you’ve gone through this post. All that remains is the implementation.

But to get you sorted out on confusing areas, you can reach out on the comment section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Demarketing Ads: Types, Strategies, Examples and Case Study

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demarketing ads

To many, the term demarketing ads might not ring any bells but such ads can prove invaluable in navigating some tight corners in marketing. Demarketing essentially refers to every and all wilful efforts and strategies made to reduce the demand for a product, especially in a situation, of which there are many examples, where the demand for such is greater than the producer’s ability to supply.

Perhaps, the most effective effort of demarketing is the use of advertising. Advertising is a paid-for, non-personal communication that appears on any mass media, aimed at selling an idea, product or service.
Although some authorities also consider purposely refusing to market products as demarketing; we are however more concerned with active and paid demarketing.

This article sheds some light on demarketing ads as a concept; looks at the types, strategies and examples of demarketing ads. It also answers the question of why demarketing ads are important in the business world. To effectively implement this, you would have to read our post on marketing management

Demarketing Ads

Demarketing ads are advertisements put out to discourage (but not destroy) demand for a product at a particular time. To the uninitiated, such ads might seem dangerous, counterproductive and wasteful. It is, however, important to note that behind every demarketing ad is the intent to cause some favourable effect.

Conceptually, demarketing is not new. The term has been in use in the academic world since the 1970s when Kotler and Levy coined it. In that Harvard Business Review article, Kotler and Levy described a phenomenon that hitherto had no name.

Of course, the concept of demarketing begs the question of reason; why would producers want to actively reduce sales of their products when the natural order is to sell as much?

One of the commonest reasons for demarketing is to remedy a situation in which demand exceeds the producer’s ability or desire to supply. This might be due to poor or non-existent distribution channel. Also, when selling in a particular region registers very little gain, demarketing becomes necessary in curbing the emergence of another competitor.

Sponsors also use demarketing to help consumers make healthier and more responsible buying choices. In a situation where resources need to be conserved; or where the product causes health complications, demarketing becomes necessary.

There is also the idea that demarketing is ultimately cheaper as a marketing strategy. Hoarding goods to create scarcity (a demarketing move) also increases the market value of the product.

In their 2010 MIT paper, Mikl´os-Thal and Zhang posited that in a situation where marketing costs were non-existent; the producers faced no capacity constraints; scarcity did not increase the value of products and; the seller had no competition, demarketing would still be necessary to control buyer’s perception of product quality

Types of Demarketing Ads

There are three major types of demarketing ads, namely:

General Demarketing Ads

When the sponsor of the advertisement aims to discourage all customers from demanding the product, they use demarketing ads. Governments looking to conserve scarce resources or dissuade citizens from purchasing potentially dangerous products often use such ads.

Anti-alcohol ads like the ‘Parents are Monsters’ ad on CNN; the anti-cigarettes ads like the ‘Download Cancer’ ad sponsored by American Cancer Society and the ‘Smoking Isn’t Just Suicide. It’s Murder’ ad by the Chilean Corporation Against Cancer are example of the general type of demarketing ads.

Similarly, electricity and water advertisement advising consumers to turn off the light or tap are general demarketing ads. An example is the Colgate ‘Every Drop Counts’ commercial of 2016 .

Selective Demarketing Ads

Such ads target specific types of people with the aim of discouraging them from buying a certain product. This could be in order to protect loyal customers who may be affected by sudden mass interest in a hitherto niche product.

Despite the Fair Housing Act in the US, many complaints were lodged against certain ads which claimed (by stating or implying) not to be interested in catering to the needs of low income earners or families with children.

Ostensible Demarketing Ads

Although, artificial scarcity can be created with company policies and what not, putting out advertisements to that effect can really send home the point. This type of demarketing ads tend to however create cases of panic-buying, especially if it is an essential product.

Amazon and Modcloth advertise products on their websites with phrases like ‘only 2 left in stock’ and ‘back in stock’ which consumers interpret as ‘you’d better get it now’.

Demarketing Ads Strategies

Price Discriminating Demarketing Ads Strategy

Producers can structure demarketing ads so that certain people pay more than others for the same product. especially with online ads that require you to click to purchase.

Companies like Bolt (Taxify) use price discrimination strategy, selecting a popular location as your destination might incur a larger fare than a less popular location near it. Dell sold the same computers for different prices depending on the kind of customer you registered as. Pay-per-click ads also been touse price discriminating demarketing ads strategy.

Bait and Switch Demarketing Ads Strategy

Advertising two products in such a way that consumers are persuaded to buy one instead of the other is regarded as bait and switch demarketing. One product is advertised in an unattractive way (usually, with an unattractive price) just to push consumers to buy the other. This strategy is often unethical and illegal.

Read More: Ansoff marketing matrix explained: Practical examples, theories and strategy

Phone companies like Samsung and Apple often advertise their expensive flagship phones alongside cheaper higher mid-range phones in order to sell more units from the mid-range line. Consumers often come away feeling they are getting the bang for their buck.

Stock Outage Demarketing Ads Strategy

Stock outages are very advantageous to sellers because it gives them the opportunity to make increment in the prices of goods. Also, consumers tend to buy more when they think that scarcity is impending.
Starbucks’ ‘unicorn frappuccino only available for a few days’ ad on its website caused Starbucks to see a lot of orders from customers and the drink quickly sold out within the first day.

Crowding Cost Demarketing Ads Strategy

This demarketing ads strategy is usually employed during festive periods like Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas where such sales events like Black Friday are held. Ads are put out to target people who are willing to pay more to bypass the teeming crowds expected on such occasions.

Differentiation Demarketing Ads Strategy

This involves publicly announcing unlikely marketing decisions targeted at the 4Ps of marketing, namely price, place, product and promotion. In this demarketing ads strategy, ads might announce an increase in price, unfavourable condition in a particular place or with a particular product or altogether refuse to market their products.

Demarketing Ads Examples

More real-world examples of demarketing ads include:

  • ‘Are you Pouring on the Pounds?’ ad by New York City Health Department aimed at discouraging consumers from buying popular sugary beverages.
  • ‘Secondhand Smoke is Firsthand Death’ ads targeted at parents who smoke, encouraging them to quit buying cigarettes and so doing, stop endangering their children.
  • ‘Cancer Cures Smoking’ ad by the Cancer Patients Aid Association.
  • ‘Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself’ ad aimed at discouraging consumers from buying alcohol.
  • Anti-marijuana ad by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Partnership for a Drug-Free America (now known as Partnership for Drug-Free Kids).

Demarketing is the conscious act of unselling a product by reducing the desire people have for it. Demarketing ads can be a useful marketing tool if used properly.

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MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM: A Detailed Guide

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Marketing information system

Somethings in life are very essential and one of them is information. So, just like you need the information to carry on normal day-to-day activities; business owners and marketers need information from the marketing information system to optimize their activities. So, let’s dig into this subject.

CONCEPT OF MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM

Basically, the marketing information system is designed to serve as an aid in the marketing activities of a company. It’s a system that’s designed to gather, store, analyze, and send out market information to marketers regularly and continuously. Changes in the marketing environment are dynamic. Hence, marketers need to stay up to date with these changes. So, they can make wise and evidence-based decisions.

Read more: Marketing Management (All you need to know)

COMPONENTS OF MARKETING INFORMATION SYSTEM

The components of the marketing information system are an interconnected framework; that interact with one another to continuously feed the marketing information system. So, they are essential for the proper functioning of the marketing information system. And they are as follows.

  1. Internal intelligence system:

    This component of the marketing information system provides information to marketers from the internal records of the company. Every information gathered by a company in its daily operation is handy for the marketers. For example, sales records of sales representatives can tell marketers a lot. And examples of marketing information that can be gathered from such are, periods of highest sales, location with the highest sales, etc.
  2. Market intelligence system:

    This informs marketers about the current sitrep of the market. Hence, using this sitrep they will know the necessary adjustment to make. Examples of the marketing information here are current market trends, competitor’s pricing, new products, and their effect in the market, customer appealing promotion strategies. Sources of these could be by purchasing competitor’s product, interviewing the channel partners like retailers, obtaining relevant government data.
  3. Marketing research:

    This component of marketing information involves more activeness than the aforementioned. So, in an attempt to garner more details about a marketing environment or solve a brand problem in the market. A company conducts market research that can involve primary or secondary data collection. For example, questionnaires, surveys, etc.
  4. Marketing decision support system:

    These are applications that enable marketers to analyze the big data they have gathered from other components of the marketing information system. So, they automate the statistical calculations and some even predict the direction of the market based on some predictive algorithm.

Read more: Download 500+ business plans for any business

MARKETING INFORMATION AND MARKETING RESEARCH

As you already know, marketing research is a component of the marketing information system. And it’s that component that helps gather information about the marketing environment. However, for marketing research to be handy and high yield is should have the following features.

  1. Searches for relevant data:

    Good marketing research should search for relevant data. For example, if the research is through a questionnaire, the questionnaire should ask the relevant questions. So, a good way to achieve this is by asking yourself what problem will this question help solve while designing the questionnaire.
  2. Should be systematic:

    This entails that every process of marketing research should be orderly planned and orderly executed.
  3. Should be objective:

    Marketing research that has lots of error isn’t just a waste of resources it can also cause a big loss for the company in the future. And lack of objectivity is a cause of this. So, to be high yield; marketing research should be objective.
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CMO (Chief Marketing Officer): Definition, Job Description, Skills, Salary

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CMO

Whether to achieve market penetration, brand promotion, or any other marketing goal of a company. It’s apparent that the role of a marketing team is pivotal in a company. And just like every other C-level position of a company the Chief Marketing Officer is in charge of the marketing team. So, what should you know about this position? The job description, the skills. Let’s iron out your questions with this post.

WHO IS A CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER (CMO)?

A CMO (chief marketing officer) is the C-level executive who is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and monitoring the marketing activities of a company. So, the position of CMO is vital to every company. Because they are the guys that know ins and outs, pros and cons of the market a company wants to function in.

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER’S (CMO’S) JOB DESCRIPTION

Basically, the CMO’s job description involves overseeing the marketing team’s activities and reporting to the CEO of the company. The list below shows a customizable template of a CMO’s job description.

  • Set marketing goals and objectives
  • Research on the target market of the company
  • Keep the marketing strategies of competitors in check
  • Create, plan, implement the company’s marketing strategies
  • Work with the sales team
  • Review and analyze companies marketing strategies for improvements
  • Know the latest technology and best practices

Also, in some companies, sales management is incorporated as part of the job description of a CMO.

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER’S (CMO’S) SALARY

The CMO’s salary varies based on the company with big companies giving out the big pay. So, basically, the salary of a CMO is dependent on the company’s budget. And the range for the CMO’s salary in the US varies wildly. With top CMOs earning as high as 15 million USD per year. However, on the average the CMO’s salary in the US is just over a hundred and seventy thousand USD per year.

Read more: Download 500+ business plans for any business

THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF A CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER’S (CMO’S)

The marketing environment is dynamic, affected by many factors that can throw a company off if they are neglected. The chief marketing officer is the C-level cooperate executive whose functions interact most with the market environment. So, they, the chief marketing officers, need some essential skills that will keep their company in the industry and also keep them as a CMO in the future.

  1. Constant consumer observation:

    The consumers are a major force in the market. Even loyal customers are easily by better products that satisfy their needs. So, the smart CMO should always keep watch at the interest of consumers in his industry. Because this will help him make the right decisions in his marketing activities.
  2. Data aficionados:

    Data about the market and about every of the company’s marketing activities are very important to the CMO. Because they are needed for better judgement in the next marketing activities of a company. Also, CMO that’s a data aficionado can easily defend any of his marketing activities in corporate meetings.
  3. Innovation and creativity:

    Creativity and innovation make marketing activity unique. For example, when most big companies go into experiential marketing, they rarely copy an old idea that has been done by another company. Copycatting a rival suggests the mediocrity of your company in the minds of consumers.
  4. Flexibility in tech adoption:

    Technology has proven itself, several times, as a facilitator of activities. Therefore, a smart CMO must realize the power in every new technology and how it can foster his marketing activities. Hence, dropping old ones when necessary and picking up new ones.
  5. Resilience:

    Depression can manifest as a result of failure in a marketing activity. As a CMO, marketing is a war and your job is to make your company the best in the market. So, in an attempt to do this you can lose some battles, and win some. However, make sure you win the major battles and to do this, your resilience should be top-notch in the face of failure.
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