Content Marketing Alphabet - 2017 Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]
Content marketing infographic featured image

21 min read

If my title encouraged you to read this sentence, you probably know what content marketing is.

If you don’t, this is a great starting point. This resource will help you to understand everything you need to know about content marketing. All this in the form of the alphabet.

Being a content marketer in 2017 is harder than ever before, and 2017 won’t break this trend.

Why?

The reason is clear – there’s way more than 2.000.000 new pieces of content published every day (2015). New topics and new faces in the world of content marketing arise on a daily basis and the competition is merciless. In 2017, it will be even harder to compete.

This post and the accompanying infographic will cover the most popular terms you need to know if you want to follow the today’s (and tomorrow’s) trends in content marketing.

So, let’s get to the point! 

For each letter of the alphabet, I’ll explain a single most relevant and the most important term related to content marketing that’s starting with that letter.

As most of the letters have several terms that could be accompanied with each letter, and it wouldn’t be fair to exclude them, I’ll mention them in the infographic below.

Infographics are usually easier to follow and read, but also limiting in terms of the amount of text. For the complete experience, I warmly recommend you to check both, the infographic and the post below.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. 

Content Marketing Infographic

If you’re reading this, hopefully, it’s because you want more of it. Infographics are great, but the text is for those who want to dive deeper. 🙂

I know you expect me to start with the letter A, but I want to go in an unconventional direction, so I’ll begin this story with the letter C (the infographic starts normally).

C is for Content

You’ve probably heard the most often used mantra in SEO – “Content is king”.

Although this might sound like a broken record by now, content, in all variety of its forms, really is the foundation of user engagement on the Internet.

In my humble opinion, I would add one important word to this term: “Quality Content is King”. There is no Content Marketing without quality.

We could discuss what the term ‘quality’ refers to in this context, but let’s stick with the definition that quality content is the content that provides value to the group of people it’s intended for.

It’s hard to engage or impress people with poorly written or shallow article, low-quality graphics or boring videos. Content is the heart and soul of whatever you do on the Internet.

After all, most of you will admit that you don’t want to spend your precious time on such content either.

The best content you can create and share is the one that changes the world.

I’m joking a bit here, but I’m not that far from the truth. Values bring changes, and if your content brings value, you actually will be changing the world.

Before you start creating your content, you must think about your target audience (as I did in this post).

If you manage to interact with your audience through the content you create, you will gradually build a strong bond with them. As a result, you will earn their trust, show them that you understand their needs.

Finally, they will have enough proofs that you (or your brand) are the right choice for them.

L is for Lead Magnet

Having a website without a lead magnet is like going to the 7-day trip on the tropical island, and staying in the hotel room 24/7 the whole trip.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Don’t miss the opportunity to “grab” your visitors (and potential clients) with an interesting lead magnet like relevant ebooks, courses, trials, demos, checklists, kits, templates, events, tools, webinars, free apps, tutorials, newsletters, etc. The list goes on.

Without lead magnets, visitors on your site are just that – visitors. With a lead magnet, they are your potential clients. The difference is obvious and huge.

Simply said, a lead magnet is a so-called ‘ethical bribe, a specific piece of value you give to a prospect in exchange for their contact information (email).

The main goal of any lead magnet is to collect targeted leads. Generally, there are no better leads than those who showed interest in content highly relevant to the service or product you sell.

Okay, let’s move forward from this point in a way normal people would usually start – with the letter A.

I’ll try to stay focused and not to skip letters (except L and C, which are already covered). 🙂

A is for Audience

There is no better way to promote a piece of content you created than sharing it with your audience, and by the audience, I mean your target audience.

You have to be aware that you are not creating content for yourself. Maybe you’re creating it for yourself TOO, but in content marketing, you create content for your target audience.

Focus on what your target audience really cares about. Ask yourself questions about them and try to think like them.

What motivates them? What are their fears? What about pain points? Remember, fear of losing something is often a much stronger motivator that a promise of gaining something.

Figure out their attitude, lifestyle, and what drives their curiosity. More importantly, find out what do they desperately need, and how you can fulfill this need and fit it in your content.

B is for Blogger outreach

Why I decided for this term and not for terms like Bounce Rate, Blog, B2B, B2C, Blogging or  Bottom of the Funnel?

Content marketing is about creating and sharing your content.

And how to share your content???

Okay, you can post your content on your own website, your social profiles, Youtube, etc. But you definitely shouldn’t stop there. Instead, make sure you reach out to other people in your niche and show them what you’ve got. Do your networking homework!

Through reaching out to bloggers, you can find so many opportunities. Blogger outreach, when done properly, is the perfect way to get your content published on authoritative publications in your niche. In other words, at places where your target audience hangs.

Republish a piece of content from your blog, distribute infographics, build links using broken link method, or land a guest post. All these can be done through blogger outreach.

Things don’t stop here. When connecting with influential bloggers in your niche, you build relationships that will stick and gain you benefits for years.

The most important rule related to blogger outreach is to listen and observe. Get to know your prospects. Keep in mind that bloggers usually have their own rules and guidelines for publishing your piece of content on their site. Make sure you follow these guidelines if you want to be a part of this awesome and powerful ecosystem.

D is for Dynamic Content

Sometimes it won’t be enough to produce a quality piece of content and just to share it.

For service or product-oriented business, dynamic content is a natural next step in their content marketing strategies. I’m sure you’ve noticed some websites are showing the same purchase oriented call to action messages, even though you actually already purchased it. It’s a missed opportunity to serve personalized messages and increase the value of content for your customers.

By using personalized content you can target your audience smarter. Display one version for your first time visitor and a different one for those who already converted in the past.

The main purpose is not to bother those already in your sales funnel with same the content as the one who visited your website for the first time. This is possible when having lead intelligence gathered in the past.

Some services like Hubspot provide smart CTA for this purposes.

Oh, did you know that with targeted CTA you can convert to 42% more visits into leads than a basic CTA?

E is for Editorial Calendar

Whether you struggle with blogging consistency or not, having an editorial calendar is a must these days, and will be even more important in the future.

Imagine editorial calendar as your GPS navigation to the place where you want to be.

The main purpose of an editorial calendar is to keep your content creation efforts organized and to help you not to go off-track with the topics you plan to cover. It will also help you to get answers to questions like “What content will you create?”, “Which audience do you plan to target?”, etc.

You can only benefit from it, don’t ignore it.

However, don’t just create editorial calendar because it’s a popular phrase in content marketing, or because most people are using it! Once created, try to stick to it as much as possible. On the other side, if needed, be flexible and revise your editorial calendar when unexpected things come up.

There are many free, pre-designed editorial calendar templates available for download. If you aren’t using them by now, try them right away. You’ll be thanking me one day. 🙂

F is for Facebook/Followers

Wow! I managed to connect two terms in one! 🙂

When writing this post I had a hard time to decide which term to put in as more important in content marketing terminology for the letter F. I had doubts regarding terms Facebook and Followers. Then I put both of them down on a piece of paper and realized how perfect match they are. 🙂

You are probably aware and familiar with the fact that social networks are important in content marketing. This is true, especially for Facebook.

From a business point of view, it has become more than just a platform for publishing content and gaining followers.

With Facebook’s awesome audience targeting feature, through Facebook ads you can reach new prospects and followers and convert them to leads and, finally, sales.

Don’t waste this opportunity. When done right, Facebook ads are extremely cost-effective and affordable to most businesses.

Still, without awesome content, Facebook ads won’t do the trick.

Before creating the content for Facebook always ask yourself what your potential audience wants to see and how will they benefit from it. You aren’t doing content for yourself, are you?

Your content shouldn’t be about you.

Instead of constantly telling stories about your brand, make your customers (and your target audience) the hero.

Give them answer to the questions they’re asking, solve their pain points, demystify their fears and provide value.

G is for Guest Blogging

Is there a better method to ethically gain backlinks and traffic to your website than writing a guest post on some other blog/website? It’s what people use to call 100% white-hat SEO.

For me, it’s definitely one of the best and cost effective methods with the strongest impact on the long-term results.

Try to reach out to all the influential bloggers in your niche. Find out the metrics (DA, TF, CF) their sites have, how much organic traffic they’re getting, how many different keywords are they ranking for, how many Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest followers they have, etc. This way you can build relationships, do networking and create connections with the best experts in your niche. Later you’ll be able to leverage these connections to promote yourself, and at the same time, provide value to the blog you’re being published on.

H is for #

Who still didn’t hear of or used # in #contentmarketing?

If you didn’t, it’s the last moment to start to using it.

#hashtags are the way for you and your target audience to interact with each other on social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram together in a single stream of messages, which can be easily tracked by searching for an appropriate hashtag.

Think of hashtags as a categorizing tool. They are simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it – like #guestpost or #SEO. Put these hashtags everywhere in your #socialmediaposts to increase the reach of your updates.

I is for Infographic (like mine above) 

Visual content has always been more attractive to the human brain than its textual counterpart.

Try to include infographics into your editorial calendar and you will accomplish at least two goals – better interaction with your audience and the breakdown of the boredom of having just one type of content on your blog.

J is for Join

Be active on your blog, social media channels and relevant forums where your potential customers converse. Find groups where you will be proud to participate, share your know-how, get involved and make your presence known.

K is for KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

Admit it, you probably thought that Keyword is the right term for the letter K in content marketing.

Thank you, Google, for this, but SEO is no longer just about keywords.

Yes, it’s still an important term and it was even more important in the recent past. The time of over-using, or even abusing keywords to rank better on Google, or other search engines, died or is going to die soon.

The time when it was enough to force the use of keywords as anchor text is gone. Instead over-optimizing your content with keyword stuffing, focus on creating relevant and high-quality content. Keywords will appear through the content anyway, but this time in a natural way.

Using this approach, you will create content that is not just optimized for search engines, but fun to read and interesting to real people (your audience).

That’s the reason why I decided to skip the term ‘keyword’ here. Well, I decided to skip it, but I wrote the whole paragraph about it anyway. Funny me. 🙂

So, the right term for K is KPI.

KPI is not a strictly marketing related term. Numerous companies use KPIs for performance measurement; to evaluate employees or an activity success.

In marketing, we are using KPIs as a tool for tracking progress toward marketing goals. Successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry standard metrics.

Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), blog traffic sources, homepage views, the number of followers, sales revenue, cost per lead, customer value, inbound marketing ROI, traffic-to-lead ratio, lead-to-customer ratio, landing page conversion rates, organic traffic etc.

Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing.

L is for Look at the beginning of the post 🙂

 

M is for Marketing Funnel

Because I skipped it with the letter F, I won’t repeat the same mistake here. Maybe I could’ve used it with the letter S like Sales Funnel? After short consideration, I decided to go with this version, as I have something spectacular for the letter S already, so the funnel goes here. 🙂

Oh, this is not the funnel you’re using in kitchen or garage. 🙂

The marketing funnel is the process of converting the visitor into a paying customer.

Not all visitors will become your customers. But, you can try to increase the percentage of those who will.

Marketing funnel consists of three main stages (somewhere you will find five, six, seven or more stages). For this purpose I will focus only on these three:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

These three stages are remarkably important for content marketers.

Why? Because for every stage of the marketing funnel, you have to create appropriate content. The better you address questions your target audience has in various stages of the marketing funnel, the higher will the percentage of visitors converted to customers be.

Numerous analyses have been done in this field. Generally, for a visitor to become a paying customer, there must be a certain level of trust reached. 

The purpose of a marketing funnel is to gradually build trust at these visitors towards your brand.

First, you have to determine who your custom audience is (who has problems that your product/service can solve) and give them the content which will raise their interest. This will make them aware of who you are and what you do.

The purpose of content that is optimized for the consideration phase of the funnel is to provide your target audience with proofs why you are better than your competitors. This content will be different from the content optimized for the awareness phase.

The same thing goes for the last phase of the funnel too.

Imagine, the year 2007.

Me and Steve Jobs are selling the same iPhone. From who will you buy it from??? I know your answer – me too. 🙂

Why?

I failed in making efforts to convince you, my target audience, that I have the product you need (maybe even better than the iPhone was back then). Steve Jobs and Apple did that. They were doing their marketing for years and covering all the phases of their marketing funnel.

This is just a micro example of a marketing funnel. It’s hard to tell everything that matters about marketing funnel in one paragraph. This is probably the most important part of every content marketing process. You can get more information about marketing funnel and more samples here.

N is for Newsjacking

This term refers to the practice of leveraging so-called breaking news.

When you come across a big news story (for example Trump winning the elections) that can be connected to your niche, try to find a proper way to cover it with your own helpful spin.

trump

Creating content on currently popular trends, and somehow connecting these trends with your brand is a good way to go viral.

Do it, be agile, see what’s trending, and think in a creative way. Don’t wait until it’s covered by someone else.

This type of content not only addresses your audience interests but also creates a reason for people to remember your brand. What’s also important – search engines value fresh news and timely relevant content which will, in most cases, result in rewards in SERPs.

O is for On-page optimization

Content marketing and on-page optimization go hand in hand.

Why do we even bother with on-page SEO? In a few words, we need to tell search engines what’s some page talking about. Well-optimized pages will have better chances to rank higher on Google. Of course, over-optimization is not welcome here either.

First, the URL.

The best results are achieved when having the target keyword in the URL.

Don’t use URL that is automatically created by your CMS of choice (for example WordPress). 

Not having the keyword in the URL won’t kill your SEO, but it’s not ideal. URL length is also an important part of On page optimization. It’s not a rule, but shorter URL tend to rank better.

Next, the title tag. Your title tag should contain the keyword. All birds already now this. 🙂

What also matters is the location of your keyword in the title. Put the keyword as close to the beginning of your title tag as you can.

Another important fact – put your keyword in the first 100 words of the content you’re publishing on the site. This tip is important because it’s believed that Google puts more value on content that appears at the top of your page. Don’t forget that this doesn’t have to be forced. Don’t write content for search engines.

Today, Google is smarter than ever before. But it is not all about Google.

Imagine that you are writing content about cars! Would it be natural if you mention cars at the very end of the article? A human reader would be really confused with not knowing what the article is about until the end of it.

The same is with Google. Google is trying to imitate humans. 🙂

Add outbound links to your content. With outbound links, you are helping Google to better understand your page’s topic. Of course, always add links that are highly relevant, from authority sites and closely related to the niche you are writing about.

Using LSI keywords (synonyms and closely related words) is also important. Help Google to better understand your content.

For example, if you are writing about clothes for dogs – try to be as much specific as you can. Google will be confused and won’t know how to rank you if you use the term ‘clothes’ without saying it is clothes for dogs. You would be too, wouldn’t you?

For related LSI keywords use Google to help you. Use terms related to the one you want to rank for which appear on the bottom of the Google search results:

ALT tags for your images on the website are also important. Google can’t read images with the same precision as humans can. That’s why you should tell Google via ALT tags what each image is representing in the language it understands.

P is for P&P – Publish & Promote and not for Publish & Pray

Most of ‘wannabe marketing experts’ will tell you “Publish great content, build a few backlinks to the page and rankings will appear”.

NO THEY WON’T.

Fresh content without promotion is still just content. Go for it and promote it. Great results won’t come just from publishing. Instead, make sure you tell the world what you’ve created.

As I previously mentioned under term for letter C, don’t forget to move your publishing focus to quality over quantity.

Search engines like Google don’t reward big sites with lots of content. They reward sites with the BEST content (in other words, content with the most quality backlinks pointing to it, with high engagement and with most relevant social signals).

When you’re working on your next post, keep in mind that you’ll need to promote it.

If you want to motivate people to opt-in for a lead magnet on the content page or to share your content – you’ll have to agree with me – your content should be ultimate.

Maybe the biggest conclusion of this post is the new term I came up with: “High-Quality Promoted Content is King”.

Here’s the proof:

content is king

Who is the king now? 🙂

Q is for Quora or Q&As sites

Quora, but also Reddit, community sites, niche forums and similar websites which enable user interaction, are perfect places to look for inspiration when you want to craft a piece of content that will drive engagement.

What I mean by this is simple – these are the best places to find your target audience’s pain points, fears, emotion triggers and to gather information on what’s bothering them.

Marketing on Quora is fairly simple. If you, your content, or your product can solve someone’s problem, your Quora answers can drive a decent amount of targeted traffic.

If the answer helps people and provides value it appears near the top of the thread. You probably  know what this means – more visibility and more traffic for you.

The best part of a promotion through Quora is that answers there often rank well on search engines. Since it’s a popular site, rich with backlinks and good content, Quora answers can even become the top-ranked result.

Quora is also a great place to find competitor insights. See what people like and don’t like about your competitors, and use that information to improve your own brand.

R is for Remarketing / Retargeting

If you’re doing paid advertising, but not using retargeting, you should start right now. Stop reading this article and go for it. 🙂

If you need more information on how to do this – keep reading.

Have you heard about the pixel? Pixel is a short code provided by advertising platforms (like Facebook or Google Adwords) that you put on your website It’s the code you should “blame” for making the remarketing possible.

It allows you to track users who visited your website and then enables you to display targeted ads on other online outlets for that user.

The purpose of retargeting is to remove friction, as it’s a well-known fact that an average person needs to have 7-10 contacts with some brand before making a decision about becoming a paying customer.

Visibility generated through retargeting can encourage your potential clients to make a purchase or complete an action, thanks to ads which are helping that your company remains in their minds.

S is for Social Media Channels

Are you using social media channels? If yes, why?

If you answer is: “Everyone is using them! We should use them too.” – then don’t do it.

If you ask me, there is no better or cheaper way to interact with your audience. Facebook/Twitter ads are much cheaper than Adwords – so, why not use them?!

Get active on social media. Don’t simply use it to push out your content. When you do share your content, make sure you use appropriate hashtags that enable you and your readers to interact with each other.

T is for Tools

Whatever you do in your life, people created tools that make the job easier. Content marketing is not an exception.

Content marketing is all about telling a story to your audience. But there is a long way to go before the story can be told.

First, you need to get to know your audience and yourself. In this analysis phase, your life will be much simpler with tools like Ahrefs.com, Majestic.com, Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMRush.com.

Then you’ll want to get familiar with the existing content in your niche. Tools like BuzzSumo or Ahrefs Content Explorer make this part of the job much easier and faster.

When you come to the content creation phase, you’ll see that even here, work can be done faster and more enjoyable using appropriate tools. You’ll need to find a way to come up with content ideas that your audience is interested in. The best way is to find places where your audience spends time and check what they are discussing the most. This includes relevant niche forums, Quora, Reddit, social media etc. Help yourself with tools like CoSchedule, AnswerThePublic, Mention.com or Media ToolKit.

Content distribution phase is especially interesting. Whether you want to promote your content to influencers in your niche, to bloggers or to any other audience, tools like Pitchbox (highly recommended, awesome blogger outreach platform and our first pick, the tool we use on daily basis with our campaigns), NinjaOutreach, Buzz Stream and Outbrain will make you organized and significantly faster.

During the whole process of running a content marketing campaign, you need to be organized too. The selection of tools is especially wide here as you can choose from spreadsheets like Google Docs, various to-do list apps (Any.do, Wunderlist, Remember the Milk), universal project management tools (Asana, Basecamp, ActiveCollab, TeamWork, Jira, Podio, Wrike, Trello, Breeze.pm), to specialized content marketing platforms like Hubspot, Curata, ScribbleLive, NewsCred, Percolate or Kapost.

The list is not over here, as there are many other tools you can use to make your work better, more accurate and faster. I’ll just mention a few more like Google Analytics (because you want to know what’s going on on your site), Grammarly (knows grammar if you don’t), Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Drip (for email automation), Buffer, MeetEdgar, HootSuite (make them promote your content instead of you), Evernote (your personal notebook) and Spokal (for content marketing automation).

I know, I know. You’re probably asking why there are no graphic design tools mentioned?

It’s simple. There are just too many of them to mention. Another reason is that we prepared a special list of 100 graphic design tools and resources you can get for free. Make sure you download it. 🙂

U is for User Experience (UX)

For content marketing, the term user experience is all about taking care on how to present the content to your visitors in an optimal way.

You should have a deep understanding of your target audience and you need to figure out how content can extend and enhance their user experience.

Be engaging! Use short paragraphs. Break up the content with headings, imagery, clear fonts, and use white space. Try to focus on creating user-friendly content. Every piece of content should be created with the end user in mind.

V is for Video

Maybe in the near future, we will sing the song “Video Kill The Text Star”.

With faster internet connectivity, more powerful devices and an audience with a growing hunger for a “moving” content, the importance of video increases rapidly.

Don’t miss to include video in your content marketing mix. Video content is critical for the ones who want to catch their prospects’ attention.

Video, when done right, increases trust and helps you come across as human.

Creating and distributing video across the channels can be challenging at first, but it’s a powerful method worth the effort.

Create intro video about your business, tutorials, slideshows, Q&A, gifs, tips or anything else that is appropriate for your audience.

Video content doesn’t always have to contain an obvious sales message. Instead, use video to build and nurture your relationship with the audience and to encourage sharing via social media.

Videos are perfect for awareness phase of your marketing funnel. Research by Forbes/Google from 2015 showed that more than half of senior executives at large companies shared videos with colleagues at least once a week.

With video, you can trigger another popular term for letter V – virality.

Great video will become wildly popular across the web and social media channels through sharing. Often, you don’t know if the video (or any other content) will become viral until it actually does. It will bring you new followers and potential customers.

W is for Web Analytics

Web analytics is not a tool. It’s a collection, reporting, and analysis of website data with one goal – to help you improve your website and online marketing.

You have to be familiar with your website visitors and their behavior on your site. Who are they, what are they doing or what they are trying to do, how long they stay, which pages they have visited the most and how did they spend their time there, what was their next move, where they came from, etc.

When you know these details, you can tailor your content better and improve results of your marketing efforts.

Wait, Wait, Wait – Oh, it’s also under W 🙂

I have one more term to mention under the letter W. I just can’t resist and not to mention it. There is one expert in digital marketing world which I appreciate a lot – Brian Dean. He inspired me to mention the WASP method.

No, I won’t write about it yet, but it will be a perfect opportunity to update my post and term under the word W. Stay tuned and follow us. 🙂

X is for XML feeds

Among many other uses of XML, in content marketing XML feeds can be used for automated content distribution, exporting product catalogs to advertisers, pushing content through RSS clients, etc.

Y is for You

When writing content for your audience the first rule is to use the first person. You are always “I” and the reader is “You”. As I’m doing wright now. I’m writing this piece of content for You. 🙂

Z is for zZZ

Ok, it’s time for me to go to sleep. Enough with the content marketing terms for this post.

 

Did you know that 89% of marketers are using content marketing as their marketing strategy?

However, ONLY 19% of them think that current efforts are successful. Are you one of this 19 %? Hope you are. 🙂

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article – I’ve created an INFOGRAPHIC for those of you who are more visual than textual persons, and just want a TL;DR. 🙂

But, in the INFOGRAPHIC part, I also mentioned other terms that are not explained in the article. They are also important terms related to content marketing so make sure not to ignore them.

Enjoy! 🙂

Share This Infographic On Your Site

Martina Stricak

Martina is a co-founder of Diversis Digital and Point Visible. She is a digital marketing addict with years of experience, who also enjoys graphic design, both @work and in her free time. And yes, she loves to travel.
To travel a lot.

©2018 Point Visible. Point Visible is a part of Diversis Digital.

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