A slat window with the number 101 on it
A slat window with the number 101 on it

Content Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know to Start to Grow


Read on to learn everything you need to know in this comprehensive content marketing 101 guide.

About 90% of marketers use digital content to approach their customers. With a strong content marketing strategy, you can boost brand visibility, website traffic, and more.

What exactly is content marketing, and how can it benefit your business?

Read on to learn everything you need to know in this comprehensive content marketing 101 guide. After reading this guide, you can determine if it's time to invest in content marketing.

Discover a new way to boost your business with this content marketing guide today.

What Do You Mean By Content Marketing?

First, let's answer the question that's likely on your mind: what do we mean by content marketing?

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable, branded content. You can use content marketing to attract ideal customers to your brand. Helpful, engaging content can help you build long-term relationships with your customers.

Using branded content, you can educate, inform, inspire, or entertain your customers to learn more about your business. In time, brand trust will grow. Consumers who begin to trust your brand might feel more prepared to shop from your company.

In fact, 46% of shoppers will pay more for trusted brands. The more they appreciate, recognize, and believe in you, the more they'll buy.

Content marketing can drive three times as many leads and higher brand engagement than advertising. Generating brand engagement can lead to brand awareness, recognition, and recall.

Investing in high-quality, personalized content can help you connect with consumers. You can start building stronger relationships, which can lead to loyal customers. A 2% boost in customer retention can reduce costs by 10%.

The key terms here are valuable, branded, and personalized. Personalized content is created with a distinct buyer in mind. You can appeal to the consumer's needs and interests to show them you're available to help.

You can diversify your content strategy with different types of content, including:

  • Blog posts/articles
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Guides
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • Social media posts
  • Guides
  • Emails
  • Polls
  • Quizzes

Diversifying your content can help you appeal to consumers at different points in the buyer's journey based on their interests.

The Benefits

a person in a red shirt holding up their smartphones screen that has a Nike label in the exact red

As we cover the basics of content marketing, it helps to understand how it can benefit your business. Here are a few ways a strong content marketing strategy can support your growth.

Brand Visibility

Consumers will only choose your brand if they realize you exist. You can use content to generate brand awareness. As people see your content more often, awareness will grow into recognition.

When creating content, maintain brand consistency (including voice, tone, color palettes, and font styles).

You can use multiple distribution channels to maximize your opportunities for generating awareness. Eventually, you'll remain at the forefront of the shopper's mind. If they want to purchase your products in the future, they might remember seeing your branded content.

Appeal to Customers

You can use content marketing to appeal to your ideal customers with personally relevant content.

For example, you can appeal to the pain points your customers are experiencing. Try storytelling to connect with customers on an emotional level.

The responses you get will help you learn from your customers, too. Their input could provide insights that can help you improve your content over time.


Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website content rank higher on Google or other search engines. Higher rankings can help you generate website traffic and brand awareness. It can also help you appear more credible within your niche.

Posting content regularly will keep your site full of fresh content. Google prioritizes fresh, unique posts when determining rankings.

Establish Credibility

Consumers want to choose brands they can trust. You can communicate your experience and expertise within your niche using thought-provoking content.

Demonstrating your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT) will help you establish your credibility. Gaining brand credibility can encourage brand trust, leading to sales.

Generate Leads

After reading your content, consumers might feel more comfortable about your brand. They may give your business a try as a result.

You can add a compelling call to action (CTA) at the end of your branded content to encourage leads and sales.

Getting Started

A hop scotch game on blacktop

After reviewing this content marketing guide, consider developing your own content marketing strategy.

First, define your target audience by creating distinct buyer personas. Consider the pain points your customers have experienced and how you can solve the problem. As you gather audience research, build a list of keywords relevant to their search behaviors.

You can use your content research to determine what topics to cover through your content.

Next, map out the buyer's journey. You can create content for each stage of the journey to lead consumers toward a purchase decision.

For example, you can create expert content, whitepapers, educational content, and research reports for customers in the Awareness stage. Consider videos, podcasts, or comparison white papers for those in the Consideration stage. Appeal to consumers in the Decision stage with live demos, product literature, case studies, or trial downloads.

Start creating content and planning your distribution strategy. For example, you can share content on your blog, through social media, or via email marketing.

If you need help putting your content marketing strategy into action, consider working with an experienced agency this year. With help, you can use content marketing to improve your ROI and grow your business.

Content Marketing 101: Start Reaching New Customers Online Today

Developing a content marketing strategy will help you expand your reach to new customers. Use the tips in this content marketing 101 guide to get started. Otherwise, consider partnering with an experienced agency this year.

Want to develop a content marketing strategy for your own business? ThoughtLab is happy to help.

Contact our digital marketing agency today to learn more!