What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing content to attract and retain a defined audience. It’s important to understand that we’re not talking about your product pages, it’s much more than that. So for example, a company offering tools for SEO agencies can publish a guide to SEO. A perfect, although very simplified, example of content marketing would be the Beginners Gide to SEO by Moz. This guide got them a lot of attention and got people interested in their tools.
Content marketing enables businesses to establish themselves as thought-leaders within their chosen industry. By carefully building a list of subscribers, marketing teams can begin sending regular, informative content their way. That content can be anything – how-to guides, best practices, reviews; as long as it is unique, engaging and answers a question the subscribers are asking, a level of trust will gradually build.
Once the trust is established, that subscriber list can quickly turn into a customer base to which the business can market their products and services.
Content marketing is certainly a slow burn, but it offers a staggering impact and undeniable return on investment when the monetization kicks in.
Why should businesses invest in content marketing?
When done well, content marketing can have a significant impact on your SEO, natural links can increase organic rankings and this in turn will bring in more visits to the website.
Publishing great quality content can increase brand awareness and trust.
Content marketing is a slower process, yet it pays dividends by the bucket load when the time comes. It is marketing for the digital age – marketing for businesses that wish to build long-lasting brands and relationships with their customers.
Content marketing requires a plan, clear objectives and KPIs
Before you get started with content marketing, you need to have a business case and clear objectives for your campaign. What is it that you want to achieve with your content marketing campaign and how will you measure its success?
Are you trying to attract organic, editorial links to your website? Perhaps you want to bring more traffic or increase your social media following. Whatever your objective, you need to define it from the outset and also set key performance indicators (KPIs).
Be specific; if the goal is to acquire inbound links, give yourself something to aim for, e.g. “get 25 or more links from domains with a Domain Authority of 40+.”
Get the right tools
As with almost every job, you’ll need the right tools to get the most out of your content marketing strategy.
- Impactana http://www.impactana.com/ is a content marketing and influencer search tool. By utilizing Impactana, you can identify content that performed well in terms of ‘buzz’ (social shares) and its impact (links & comments)
- Buffer https://buffer.com/ enables you to schedule automated distribution of your content across multiple social media platforms
- FollowerWonk https://moz.com/followerwonk/ helps you find influencers on Twitter
- https://moz.com/products/content New tool from Moz can help you audit, measure and discover relevant content
Get the right people
Content creation is an art. It may be tempting to pick up the digital pen and start writing yourself. Perhaps you’ve just bought the latest iPhone and think you can give video blogging a go. In reality, and if you want to make the biggest impact with your content marketing, you need to use the services of professionals.
For written content, choosing a good copywriter is very important . If you’re going to be producing podcasts, find someone who can record, edit and publish them for you.
Keep an eye on your competitors by monitoring the content they publish and the results the achieve. You can use tools like Impactana to see how their content has performed in terms of links & social shares. Learn from their mistakes and capitalize on their successes.
Brainstorm content ideas
Content marketing is all about producing great content consistently. It works best when you are consistent.
This means you need a roster of content ideas to call upon. So, keep a notebook which is easily accessible and add ideas to it whenever they strike. In addition, set aside some time each week to brainstorm ideas and you’ll always be ahead of yourself.
If inspiration fails, there are plenty of tips available for the type of content you can work on.
Make sure you have an editorial calendar
It doesn’t matter which tool will you use but you’ll need an editorial calendar to make sure that your content is produced and published on time.
Influencers can be powerful allies for your content marketing strategy. Don’t wait until your content is ready and published; engage with influencers early in the process. By doing so, you’ll have a better chance of them promoting your content.
Remember: it doesn’t stop when you click the ‘publish’ button
Content marketing isn’t a quick win. This is where it stands head and shoulders above paid advertising; the content you create will have a long shelf life. It isn’t a flash in the pan – you can re-use, re-purpose and re-distribute your content via a number of means during its life cycle.
Organic and Paid Promotion
Once your content is published you will need to promote it. The best way to do so organically is to make sure your content is search engine friendly and ranks well for the relevant terms.
The next step is to make sure your content is linked to, and you can achieve that with influencer and blogger outreach.
If you invest in content marketing for your business, you must accept that you’ll be in it for the long run. As marketing strategies go, it is a slow burn, but when done well it can offersa significant and long lasting impact. Content marketing enables you to establish yourself as a leader within your industry and build a loyal following to whom you can sell your products and services.