8 Content Marketing Best Practices You Need to Know in 2023
Updated: Jan 15
Whether you're an online business or an on-ground one, you've probably heard of content marketing and how businesses across the globe are using it to rank on Google and drive traffic, and sales – among other things.
You may have even attempted to dabble in content marketing but not everyone has the time or resources to enter the vast world of content.
Although the focus on content began decades ago in the west, namely the United States and Europe, it's now making its Yeti-sized footprint in the Middle East.
It's literally taking the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by storm with no plans of calming down.
Everyone wants a piece of the content marketing cake. But only a few know the best practices that come with this type of marketing.
In this article, I'm going to dive into what content marketing is, the most widely-used types of content, and those elusive content marketing best practices.
What is content marketing?
As its name suggests, content marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on driving actions and generating leads through content.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) explains content marketing as "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."
Meanwhile, HubSpot describes content marketing as "the process of planning, creating, and sharing content with your target audience. It helps you generate brand awareness, convince customers to take action, and drive revenue."
You're probably wondering:
"But we've been doing marketing for decades! What's new?"
What's new is that, unlike traditional marketing, content marketing is measurable and more importantly it connects with your target audience.
A company that creates content isn't just throwing words, images, and info graphs in space and hoping for the best.
No. Content marketing is about understanding who your target audience is, and what they want, and delivering it to them.
Companies use content to educate, entertain, inform, and of course, sell.
This type of marketing isn't just for big brands. In fact, it helps smaller businesses and brands establish authority and build connections.
Even solopreneurs are using content marketing to reach their target audience.
And if you're wondering why everyone is intent on content marketing these days, well the answer is: It works!
Types of content
So what is content, really?
The blog post you're reading right now is content.
The posts you publish across your social media channels are content. That newsletter you read from a company you admire, that's content.
Content is literally everywhere.
But more importantly, it's distributed based on audiences.
And there are best practices to consider when delivering content to your audiences. And we'll get to that in a minute.
First, we need to debunk a top content marketing myth.
You see, the popularity of certain types of content over others has led people and businesses alike to believe that content marketing is just one thing. Or rather that it's just writing blog posts.
I'm here to tell you: That's not true. I have listed all the types of content I can think of that exist in the world of content marketing below.
Types of Content:
Blog posts and articles (Yes! Like the one you're reading now!)
Webpages (Your website's homepage, service, or product pages)
Marketing and sales emails
Social media posts
Video content (Yes!)
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine marketing (SEM) or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns
Templates and checklists (usually downloadable)
These are the 18 most popular types of content that businesses, large and small, use to attract clients or customers, drive traffic, and generate leads and sales.
Content marketing best practices
Now that we've got that myth out of the way, let's dive into those content marketing best practices for 2023 and beyond.
1. Delve deep into your target audience
Content marketing best practices necessitate that you understand who your target audience is.
Are they men between the ages of 25 and 40? Or women between 40 and 55? Or are they teens in the United States and Canada?
Even if you have a wide audience base, segment them into closely related groups. Use data such as demographics and behavior to analyze your audience's needs and create content accordingly.
Create buyer personas for each group. Ask questions and find answers for them. What are these customers' needs, problems, and struggles?
The more questions you answer, the better your content will be and you'll know where to distribute it.
2. Use visuals
Using visuals such as images is of growing importance in content marketing. The thing is, your readers are people. And people are attracted to images before they can begin reading the text.