What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to the process of creating content – articles, books, newsletters, videos, podcasts, and more – without explicitly trying to pitch a product or service, but to educate and entertain readers.
It’s about creating content that’s entertaining and helpful first and profile-raising or promotional second. Any deviation from that would result in your content being ignored by the readers you’re targeting.
Why are Companies Using Content Marketing?
Companies are adopting content marketing because the world of marketing has completely changed. Buyers are no longer responding to ads or promotional content like they used to.
26% of desktop users and 15% of mobile users have ad blockers installed on the devices (LINK: https://www.adweek.com/digital/iab-study-says-26-desktop-users-turn-ad-blockers-172665/). The Asia-pacific region (of which Hong Kong is part) takes the lead as the region with the highest number of ad blockers, having sustained the lead for the past two years.
More alarming is that about $35 billion of ad spend is lost yearly as a result of so many people using adblockers (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics).
In addition to blocking ads, people are ignoring emails and tuning out messages with promotional intent. No one wants to be pitched to — instead, they like it when companies try to make it fun and helpful to them.
In the end, a majority of customers want to be educated on the qualities and key aspects of a product or services, and after that, left alone to make an informed decision on their own.
That’s the new world of marketing for you.
It’s simple: You have to stop sweating about what customers are interested in and instead become what they’re interested in.
Benefits of Content Marketing
We’ve established that content marketing is vital in helping your business or brand reach your target audiences in more organic and engaging ways. But what benefits does this present for you exactly?
- Increase in Sales
- Improve SEO
- Improve client or customer retention
- Magnify your reach
- Enhance your online reputation or qualify you as an authority leader
Content Marketing Case Studies in Hong Kong
The trick behind running a successful content marketing campaign is simple: focus on creating high-quality content and then use your creativity to drive it to the masses.
We’ve shortlisted a few companies that used creativity and technology to increase their organic reach through nothing else but content marketing.
Toyota Macau: 360 View Interactive Video
Stats show that online users would rather watch a video on Facebook than dig through huge blocks of text content carrying the same message.
No one understands this concept better than Toyota Macau. Instead of taking the usual route of listing their car features, they made a video that provided a 360-degrees view of their car’s interior.
This allowed online users to look into the car from any angle and recognize some of its details. It was an excellent opportunity for the company to nurture potential customers and leave a positive impression of their brand.
Fujifilm: “Photo by Photo” Posts
Fuji Film was finding it hard to engage with its followers and establish a long-term, sustainable relationship with them.
They decided to research, and that’s when it occurred to them their clientele comprised of hipsters mostly.
Their agency helped them come up with a string of “Photo of Photo” posts that covered stories surrounding different photos, cities, travel experiences, and life in general. Their followers were able to participate, and the results were epic.
They were able to improve their organic reach times 30 and get their sales through the roof.
Facebook instant articles are sold as being ten times faster than mobile web articles. Plus, readers are 30% more likely to share them as opposed to mobile web articles.
All that CSL 1010 had to do was take advantage of this technology. They would connect with a Key Opinion Leader, Fong Kin Yi, who would go on to share her stories with CSL 1010’s audience.
The fast and immersive experience created by Instant article made more and more readers to engage with their content. They’ were impressed by it, and that’s how the company got to receive its breakthrough.
Integrated Approach to Content Marketing
Every thoughtful content marketing strategy revolves around four buzzing world – paid, shared, owned, and earned media.
Each of these approaches plays a crucial role in any solid content marketing strategy. As a marketer, you must figure out how to balance all the four buzzwords.
That should form the basis of any content marketing strategy aimed at enhancing your online authority and exposure.
Any of your web property that’s under your total control falls under “Owned Media.” It refers to any form of web content that’s unique to your brand.
Examples include your website, blog, and social media channels. Blogs and social media are viewed as extensions to your website, while all the three are your extensions to your brand.
Your goal should be to fill the internet with as much owned media as you possibly can. The more you fill the internet with your brand’s owned media, the more you’ll be increasing your online brand presence.
As the name suggests, paid media refers to any form of content that you pay for to display. It refers to content marketing tools such as PPC and display advertising.
Running a content marketing campaign that focuses on paid media requires a well-thought-out plan and proper execution clubbed with a compelling call to action (CTA) that smartly addresses customer benefits.
Any form of user-generated content falls under earned media. It refers to the comments, reviews, tweets, photos, mentions, and videos that users leave behind after interacting with your brand.
It’s the online equivalent of word-of-mouth, the most trusted form of content. Customers seek it for decision making.
Of all the three media content that you have zero control over, it’s the most difficult one to crack.
Shared media overlaps with earned media, but generally, it refers to your social media activities. The only difference is that it extends beyond your target customers to your relationship with other business owners and influencers.
Are the influencers sharing your content? Are you sharing their content? How active are you on LinkedIn groups?
It’s basically about your network, the influence they have, and how much you can benefit from it.
Essential Content Marketing Goals You should be Pursuing
Cross-selling and up-selling
Imagine commanding a huge audience but not making enough sales. Your website is doing a bang-on job driving enormous amounts of traffic, but there’s nothing impressive about the conversion you’re getting. What do you do?
Simple: you go back to the drawing board and make necessary adjustments to your content marketing strategy. Figure out how you’re going to tailor your content to draw interest and hook in your target customer base.
Your focus should shift to email marketing, newsletters, and more social media marketing. You have to keep sending regular emails and social media posts as you gradually warm them up to take action.
Customer loyalty and retention
The more online users read your brand’s content and gain from it, the more the perception they have concerning your brand shifts. The more they start casting your brand in a positive light – and it’s not about credibility but likability.
Use informative and entertaining content to provide value that’s outside your product offerings.
You can use content to raise more awareness around your brand. At the same time, you can use content to influence decisions and get even more people to consider purchasing your products and services.
Good content is educational and less pitchy. It encourages engagement without making it appear like the only thing you’re interested in is promoting your products.
In other words, your content must be 80% answer-oriented and helpful. As for the remaining 20%, you can use it to self-promote by reminding your readers that you have a product or solution that they might find useful.
Things have changed. The stilt and clunky manner that businesses conducted themselves a while back no longer carries the same effect.
Customers want to do business with people, someone with feelings and empathy. Remember, your ultimate goal isn’t just to crank up sales. You want to end up with loyal customers and brand advocates.
Content offers you a chance to show your face. It provides you with an opportunity to share your knowledge and opinions, and give your target audience a chance to engage you.
In so doing, you’ll be creating a personal bond with your audience, thus giving them a chance to feel like they’re part of your brand – and that’s how you win over your customers as brand loyalists.
Generation of leads
Your website attracts hundreds or even thousands of readers. People are aware of your brand and what it’s involved with, but that’s not enough.
You want to convert them into leads. You have to figure out how to make them download your eBook or white paper in exchange for their contact information.
In this case, you’re using content as a lead magnet. You can use pop-ups and ask them to submit their email addresses to continue reading. In exchange, readers get to be allowed to download your eBook, white paper, or be granted access to your premium article section.
One of the reasons you’re involved with content marketing is branding. This is a common goal among marketers.
Writing relevant and useful content to your target audience is especially important for niche marketing. You can easily target a relatively large community by sharing your knowledge and understanding of the industry through content.
The more you create high-quality content and share around, the more people get to know about your brand and what it’s involved with; the more you can also influence their perception of your brand and put out your ideal image.
Types of Content Marketing
Here are the different types of high-performing content that you can use to market to your target audience and even get them to engage with your brand and boost sales.
Articles or Blog Posts
Articles are the most popular type of content – and it’s for a good reason. They’re what you use to improve your SEO performance and increase your organic reach.
They also allow you to make the most out of your shoestring marketing budget. If anything, they’re a cheaper substitute for costly adverts.
According to Forbes, websites that run an active blog section are 434% more likely to be indexed and ranked in the SERPs than sites with no blogs.
Audio Podcasts and Videos
The podcast is another type of content that’s fast gaining popularity among online users. People listen to podcasts when they’re driving or in the middle of doing something else.
There are programs that you can use to convert your video content into audio. This offers you a chance to record video and audio content in one sitting, without necessarily having to do them separately.
Cases studies refer to the stories you tell about how a particular customer or business benefited from using your services or products. Typically, people use case studies to highlight the applications and uses of their products and services.
Consumers enjoy reading case studies because it helps them to understand your products and solutions better.
E-books offer long-term value to your leads and customers. An excellent E-book is not about the pages it has. But the value it carries.
As a marketer, you can use e-books to provide useful information and valuable insights that seek to address some of the needs and challenges your users have.
The more readers find your e-book valuable, the more they’re inspired to trust you.
Find a way to encourage your customers to put a positive word about business out there. Ask them to review your products and services so that other customers can know what to expect when they do business with you.
Sign up with sites such as YELP and let your customers know that they’re allowed to review your services on this platform. Remember also to make good use of Facebook, Google reviews, and any other platform that accepts reviews.
Email Marketing and Newsletters
Email marketing information offers you an opportunity to collect contact information from your customers so you can start targeting them through regular emails.
It’s what you use to stay in constant touch with your target audience as you gradually nurture them into taking action.
With email marketing, you’re free to broadcast your message whenever you feel like it. It also comes with guaranteed delivery.
Infographics offer you a chance to educate your target audience using simple, eye-catching media content. Their visual content format allows you to display data content, including statistics, better.
A well thought out and planned infographic will also attract other bloggers and make them link back to you – a tested strategy for gaining backlinks.
With infographics, you have to begin by choosing a topic that’s suited for this type of content format. Typically, infographics can accommodate any piece of information. You can use it to explain a complex concept, present statistical facts, or offer a product diagram.
11 Steps to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Set Your Goals and Mission
Start by preparing your mission statement. You need this statement to figure out what’s important and what’s not – so you can know where to direct the bulk of your marketing effort. A mission statement will also help you to stay on track and cut on all the distractions.
Here are the things you need to outline in your mission statement:
- The audience you’re targeting
- The best content to target them with
- How they’re bound to benefit
In other words, your mission statement should define your audience, highlight all the benefits your content managing strategy presents to them, and, most importantly, help you figure out what type of content is best suited for that particular type of audience.
Step 2: Establish Your Key Performance Index (KPIs)
You’re not planning to run the content marketing campaign blindly. You have to keep track of your progress every step of the way.
KPIs are the key metrics that you use to measure your goals. It’s what you use to determine what you’ve achieved so far.
You choose KPIs based on the goals you have. What do you plan to achieve in terms of sales, revenue, SEO, traffic, and so on?
Step 3: Know Your Audience
You should know your audience inside-out to know what type of content appeals to them most.
You can start by collecting their demographic data – age, location, income, and gender.
The next thing you want to do is to dig into their interest. Google Analytics (GA) should be your friend in this – open GA and go to audience ~> Interest ~> overview.
You should be able to see the market segment that your target audience fits in best.
Facebook is another excellent source of information on your audience’s interest. After opening up the page, head to Facebook page insights, and you’ll be provided with more information on your customers’ interest.
Before you jump on anything else, it’s critically important that you create your buyer’s persona.
Use demographic data and customers’ feedback to flesh out the personas.
Step 4: Assess Your Position (Content Audit)
We want to assume that you’re not starting from scratch. You already have content out there – be it on your blog, social media, website, video streaming sites, podcast media, and so on.
At this point, you want to look deep into this content and figure out what content has been inching you closer to your marketing goals.
You’re basically performing a content audit.
Use screamingfrog.com to log your content and analyse it. The next thing you want to do is assess the usefulness of the content and find out if it served its purpose. Lastly, you want to identify all the gaps or the content sectors that need to be improved on.
Step 5: Come up with a List of Most Suitable Channels to Market your Content on
To this point, you must have gotten a sense of where your audience likes to hang out most. For a start, you don’t have to work on all platforms, but to single out 1 or 2 platforms that perform best. Those are the platforms to focus on.
Again, GA can help you out with this – Go to Google Analytics and click on Acquisition ~> Social ~> Overview.
You’ll be provided with a list of social media platforms that your content is being shared. Buzzsumo is another brilliant tool for this.
Step 6: Decide on the Type of Content that Suits Your Audience Best
You have to decide on the type of content that will be part of your content marketing strategy. Blog posts should be among the content that you choose. Ideally, your blog content must be valuable, actionable, and shareable.
Buzzsumo can help you map out your posts and come up with more content ideas for your blog posts.
Step 7: Identify Resources and Allocate them
After you’ve identified what content is better suited with your target audience, who to target, and what platform to focus on, the next thing you want to do is make sure you have all the resources you’ll need in order.
Here’s a list of things to look into:
- Find out who’ll be tasked with the role of producing and managing your content. Unless you’re planning to take the DIY route, you need a skilled and experienced copywriter and content developer for this.
- What human, digital, or physical tool do you need for this?
- How’s your publishing workflow? Do you have a schedule? And how regular will you be publishing the content?
Step 8: Create a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is supposed to guide you on when exactly you should be publishing your content.
It will also assist you with planning, besides keeping you on schedule. It’s even more critical when you’re working with a team and are looking for a way to keep them organised. Google calendar should be your friend in this.
Step 9: Create Content
This is where you fold your sleeve and get to the dirty bit of the work. You need content, and the only way you can get it is by creating it.
By now, it’s only normal that you’d have figured out some content ideas. You have options aplenty when it comes to this. You can start with ‘how-to’ articles or make a listicle of some of the things that you suspect your readers might be interested in.
Step 10: Distribute and Market
Your content is only of use to you when you’re able to get it to the right audience. Don’t rely on users finding it. Instead, come up with a strategy on how to get it to them.
Here are a few pointers on how to go about it:
- Schedule the posts: Schedule the post for automatic sharing on social media. The first step would be to share it immediately, after which you want to make good use of drip sharing tools such as Missinglettr.
- You have the option of distributing your content to subscribers through email marketing.
- Make good use of influencers, particularly those that you mentioned in your content.
Step 11: Track Results
Remember the KPIs we mentioned earlier on? Now it’s time to put them into use. Find out how your content is contributing to your goal.
How close are you to achieving your goals? This should help you know what to adjust or where to direct much of your focus.
- Go through your Google Analytics account and analyse the results you’re getting.
- Use social analytics tools such as Buzzsumo to find out how your content is performing on social media.
- Look for conversion analytics tools such as OptinMonster to find out how your site’s visitors are converting.
Essential Tips for Successful Content Marketing
What does it take to run a successful content marketing campaign?
Responding to Your Customers Pain points
Running a successful content marketing campaign means responding to your customers’ concerns and pain points.
It’s a strategy that works for small businesses with simple customer buying journeys. But it could also work with complex situations.
Learn to see things from the perspective of the customers you’re targeting. What problems and questions do they have? That should be the direction your content takes.
Collaborate with other Industry Players
Content marketing is only useful when you’re doing it right – in an integrated way. Your content must be relevant in the first place.
This requires a more coordinated, planned, and collaborative approach than many businesses are employing.
Your content can come from various sources, departments, and so on. It’s upon you to figure out how to use the different sources and combine them with what you have to come up well-organised, planned, and researched content for your audience.
Having a Content Marketing Framework
There’s nothing like a silver bullet in content marketing. Every strategy you come up with has to be tailored to your needs and goals – nothing like a one-size-fits-all solution.
There are so many content marketing models and frameworks that you could use to develop a solid content marketing strategy. Each of these models is unique in its own way.
It’s the same story with your business – no two businesses are the same. Nor can they be effectively marketed with the same content marketing strategy.
Establishing Roadmaps and Maturity Models
A staged approach, where you followed a pre-laid content marketing maturity track, will help you take actions that are targeted for tomorrow.
They’ll provide you with a clear view of things to come. They’ll even help you come up with a content marketing budget that you’ll be using tomorrow.
In other words, it’s a strategy that’s geared for the future.
Taking an Integrated Content Marketing Approach
Your content marketing strategy needs to be customer-centric. You have to begin by developing a holistic view of the customers you’re targeting.
The outcome dictates everything you do in terms of customer experience. By improving customer experience, you do not just impress users, but search engines as well.
Refining Your Audience Selection
Audience selection is usually made through buyer personas. Of course, there are other models – like working with archetypes.
However, you can not rely on empathy or what your intuition tells you about your target audience. If at all possible, you have to involve your customers in the persona segments.
While at it, you have to remember that these personas won’t always be the same. They’re continually evolving, and it’s upon you to keep on refining them.
Understanding Consumer Networks
Your consumers have a network of their own. By marketing to them, you’re not just targeting them, but putting on a show that may impact how their network also reacts to your marketing message.
Understanding consumers means understanding their networks, as well. It goes beyond social listening or understanding the consumers. It’s about channel enablement, and understanding those linked to your target audience – internally and externally.
Top 7 Content Marketing Agencies in Hong Kong
MediaOne is an industry-leading content marketing agency in Hong Kong that focuses on helping brands ditch jargon and figure out how to scale up by connecting and engaging their audience on a more entertaining and educational level. MediaOne offers to arm businesses with the creativity, authority, and oratory experience that they need to be understood. The company operates with content specialists that promise to help you with the following:
- Keyword Research
- Persona Modelling
- SEO Content
- Distribution Analysis, and so on
4/F the Gardens 3, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay Hong Kong
Phone: +852 9226 4438
Wild at Heart
Wild at Heart is a globally-known digital marketing agency with a reputation that precedes them. The company has been working with both starting and established brands in helping them crank up their online traffic and increase their social engagement.
Their digital and content marketing solutions are tailored to your business goals. They’re the content marketing experts in Hong Kong that strive to ensure businesses get to warmly connect with their target audience though nothing else but well-planned and thought-out content.
Address: Room 301, 3rd Floor, Dominion Centre, 43-59 Queens Rd East, Wan Chai Hong Kong
Mark&Ting is a boutique digital marketing agency based in Hong Kong. The agency is managed by a team of multi-talented digital marketing professionals well-known for delivering tangible results to SMEs, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
New Narrative has earned a reputation as the go-to content marketing solution for corporate entities looking to enhance their reach and stretch their profit margins.
The agency works with the most experienced and qualified team of content creators. Clients seek them because they have a knack for telling stories in a captivating tone that online users resonate with best.
8/F 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town Hong Kong
Phone: +852 8192 7768
Buzzfever has been helping both small and medium-sized companies maximise their online presence by coming up with customised digital marketing solutions that seek to address the specific needs of the underlying business. The company offers the following list of services:
- Social media marketing and analysis
- Bespoke web design and development
Address: Rm. 906, 9/F, The Galaxy, 313 Castle Peak Rd, Kwai Chung Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3956 9683
Fimmick is a household name in the digital quarters of Hong Kong, having first stepped into the scene in 2008. The agency prides itself on its dedicated team of professional digital marketers committed to delivering all-rounded creative and data-driven marketing solutions to the people of Hong Kong.
Address: 1/F Hung To Centre, 94-96 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3622 5388
How Much Does Content Marketing Cost in Hong Kong?
Content marketing isn’t the same as content creation. You can create all the content in the world, but if it isn’t tailored to align with your marketing needs and goals — and, most importantly, put in front of your target audience, then there isn’t much your business will be gaining from it.
In other words, you have to invest in it – and it goes beyond paying a freelance copywriter or content developer.
If you’re looking to partner with a content marketing agency in Hong Kong, chances are you’ve come across an extensive range of price estimates.
The estimated cost of content marketing tends to be so varied among professionals – ranging from $1, 000 to $50, 000 per month, depending on your marketing needs and the size of your company.
Estimated Cost of Written Content
|Freelancers||$35 to $60/per hour|
|Marketing Agency||$1, 000 to 3, 000 per Month|
|In-house||$0 extra costs, but you have to be prepared to spend 2 to 3 hours writing a single blog post|
Estimated Cost of Visual Content
|Freelancers||$300 per graphic design|
|Marketing Agency||$500 (for a series of basic micrographics) to $8000 (for a visual content marketing plan, including research, data analysis, strategy, and promotion)|
|In-house||$0 extra costs, but you have to consider your time and the cost of the design software, which typically ranges from $20 to $80 per month.|
Estimated Costs of Video Content
|Freelancers||$1200 to $5000 per video|
|Marketing Agency||$5000 per video|
|In-house||Your time and the cost of acquiring and using video editing software|
The Importance of Content Marketing in Hong Kong
We’ve broken down everything you need to know about getting started on your next few content marketing campaigns in Hong Kong. Need more info? Or don’t have the time to run your own campaign?
Well, give us at MediaOne a call or talk to our content marketing team and let’s help you figure out the best content marketing strategy to move your business forward.