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What Is Content Marketing & How To Start Using It To Grow Your Business


close up of a key on a keyboard where the words "CONTENT IS KING" is written on a pink background.

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is paramount. With two decades of experience under my belt, I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of content marketing. It's not just about creating content; it's about crafting messages that resonate, engage, and convert. Today, I'm diving deep into the essence of content marketing, offering actionable insights that you can apply right away.


Here's what I'll cover in this article:



What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the art and science of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It's about telling your brand's story in a way that resonates with your target audience, establishing trust, and building relationships.


Action Items:


  1. Audit Your Current Content: Take stock of what you already have. What's working? What's not? This will give you a clear starting point.

  2. Define Your Audience: Create detailed buyer personas. Knowing who you're talking to is the first step in crafting compelling content.

  3. Set Clear Goals: What do you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts? Increased brand awareness? More leads? Define your objectives.


Why is Content Important in Marketing?

Content is the backbone of digital marketing. It fuels SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Quality content helps you connect with your audience, providing them with value that goes beyond what you sell. This connection is crucial for building trust, loyalty, and, ultimately, driving conversions.


Action Items:

  1. Create Value-Driven Content: Always ask, "What's in it for them?" Ensure your content answers questions or solves problems for your audience.

  2. Leverage SEO: Use keyword research to guide your content creation, making it easier for your audience to find you.

  3. Engage on Social Media: Share your content on social platforms where your audience hangs out. Encourage interaction by asking questions and responding to comments.

an open book with a blue circle in the middle and the words "Marketing Strategy" written inside the circle. Other circles have the words SEO, CONTENT, EMAIL, Website and Links inside them.

What Does Content Marketing Include?

Content marketing encompasses a wide array of content types — from blog posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics to ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies. The key is to use a mix of formats to cater to different preferences and stages of the buyer's journey.


Action Items:

  1. Diversify Your Content: Experiment with different formats to see what resonates best with your audience.

  2. Plan Your Content Calendar: Consistency is key. A content calendar helps you plan, organize, and schedule your content effectively.

  3. Measure and Adjust: Use analytics to track the performance of your content. What's working? What's not? Use these insights to refine your strategy.


What Does Content Marketing Help With?

Content marketing helps with building brand awareness, generating leads, nurturing prospects, and converting leads into customers. It's a powerful way to differentiate your brand, showcase your expertise, and provide value to your audience without hard selling.


Action Items:

  1. Focus on Storytelling: Share stories about your brand, customers, or industry. Stories are memorable and can significantly boost engagement.

  2. Use Content to Educate: Create how-to guides, tutorials, and educational content that helps your audience learn something new.

  3. Incorporate User-Generated Content: Encourage your audience to share their own stories and experiences with your brand. It's authentic and boosts credibility.


Where Do You Start with Content Marketing?

Starting with content marketing can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Begin by understanding your audience, setting clear goals, and creating a content strategy that aligns with those goals.


Action Items:

  1. Conduct Audience Research: Use surveys, social media listening, and analytics to gain insights into your audience's needs and preferences.

  2. Develop a Content Strategy: Outline what you'll create, how you'll distribute it, and how it aligns with your marketing goals.

  3. Create a Content Repository: Build a library of content that can be repurposed across different channels and formats.


Content Marketing Examples


Looking for inspiration? Here are a few content marketing examples that stand out:


  • Blog Posts: HubSpot's blog offers valuable insights on inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

  • Videos: GoPro's user-generated content showcases the quality of their cameras in real-life scenarios.

  • Ebooks and Guides: Moz's "Beginner's Guide to SEO" is a comprehensive resource for anyone looking to improve their SEO skills.


Action Items:

  1. Analyze Successful Examples: Study content marketing examples from brands you admire. What can you learn from them?

  2. Experiment with Formats: Don't be afraid to try new content formats. What works for one brand may work for you too.

  3. Focus on Quality: Always prioritize quality over quantity. High-quality content is more likely to engage and convert.


Content Marketing for Startups

For startups, content marketing is a cost-effective way to build brand awareness and attract early adopters. It's about telling your unique story and demonstrating how your product or service solves a problem.


Action Items:

  1. Leverage Your Unique Angle: What makes your startup different? Use that to inform your content.

  2. Focus on Problem-Solving: Create content that addresses the specific problems your target audience faces.

  3. Build Relationships with Influencers: Collaborate with influencers in your industry to expand your reach.


Content Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can use content marketing to establish thought leadership, build a personal brand, and drive business growth. It's an opportunity to share your expertise and insights with a wider audience. The difference between you and the startup is that YOU are the brand. Many entrepreneurs are serial entrepreneurs and therefore, it's best to create content around yourself and what makes you an entrepreneur. This way, if you shift gears into a completely different niche, your brand remains intact.


Action Items:

  1. Share Your Expertise: Write articles, create videos, or host webinars on topics you're knowledgeable about.

  2. Network Online: Use social media to connect with other entrepreneurs and potential customers.

  3. Offer Value First: Provide actionable advice and solutions before asking for anything in return.


Content Marketing as Strategy

Content is at the heart of all your marketing efforts. Therefore, content marketing should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy. It aligns with your business goals, supports your brand messaging, and addresses your audience's needs and challenges.


Action Items:

  1. Integrate with Other Marketing Efforts: Ensure your content marketing efforts complement your SEO, social media, and email marketing strategies.

  2. Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your content strategy based on performance data and changing market trends.

  3. Focus on Long-Term Goals: Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay committed to your strategy for long-term success.



email promotional banner with the Content Tool on the right side and a woman excited holding a laptop and feeling like a Rockstar for being able to create a year's worth of content in under 20 minutes.


Why You Need to Start Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy Now

The digital landscape is crowded, and standing out requires a solid content marketing strategy. It's not just about creating content; it's about creating the right content for the right audience at the right time.


Action Items:

  1. Start Small: You don't need to do everything at once. Begin with one or two content types and expand as you go.

  2. Be Consistent: Consistency in quality and publishing frequency helps build audience trust and engagement.


Embarking on your content marketing journey might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach, it can transform your business.


Remember, content marketing is more than just a tactic; it's a commitment to providing value, building relationships, and engaging with your audience on a deeper level.

How AI Can Help You Create Higher Level Content


Let's talk about how AI is totally changing the game for content creators. Imagine having a super-smart assistant that can sift through tons of data to figure out exactly what your audience digs.


That's AI for you. It's like having a crystal ball, showing you trends and gaps you wouldn't spot on your own. And the cool part? AI tools can help brainstorm ideas, cook up catchy headlines, and even whip up draft posts. This means you get to save a bunch of time and pour your energy into getting creative and personalizing your content.


But wait, there's more. AI isn't just about making things faster; it's about making your content smarter. Thanks to things like natural language processing, AI can help make your writing more readable and SEO-friendly. So, not only does your content hit the mark with your readers, but it also climbs the search engine ranks. In short, AI is like the secret sauce that helps you create content that's not just good but great, helping you stand out in a sea of digital noise.


Whether you're a startup looking to make your mark, an entrepreneur aiming to build your personal brand, or a seasoned business seeking to solidify your presence, the time to start is now. Use the insights and action items shared in this guide as your roadmap. Experiment, learn from your successes and failures, and always keep your audience at the heart of your strategy.


Embrace the journey, and remember, the world of content marketing is ever-evolving. Staying informed, being adaptable, and consistently delivering value will set you apart in the digital landscape. Let's make your brand not just seen, but heard, felt, and remembered.


And if you need a little help, I've created this ChatGPT prompt powered tool to make developing a solid content strategy easy and painless and under just a few hours.

With a simple copy & paste, you could have a solid content strategy for your business in no time. The tool comes with a 90 min detailed tutorial where I take you through every single step of creating a complete and powerful content strategy!


Click the image below to learn more:


email promotional banner with the Content Tool on the right side and a woman excited holding a laptop and feeling like a Rockstar for being able to create a year's worth of content in under 20 minutes.

And if you'd like to sign up for my Content Strategy Live Event on March 30th 2024 at 11am EST, simply drop me a line at klaude@klaudefurlong.com - It's FREE and you get some cool resources you can use immediately to start levelling up your biz!


And if you'd like to learn more about AI and how you could use it in your business, schedule a call today and let's create a customized plan just for you.


Click the button below to schedule the call:





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