If You’re Not Content Marketing, You’re not marketing today on the web. Inbound advertising The art of attracting new customers begins with something that well goes by many names…let’s try to name them all. Custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of developing engaging and insightful information or content in different mediums such as videos, editorial, podcasts, whitepapers, webinars, and distributing this relevant and valuable content to attract, connect, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. These actions can come in many different ways, such as social media response, or return on conversation, webinars, forms, collecting and building a list lead nurturing etc.
Content marketing is extremely effective and should be a process that you understand will take some time to develop excellent result’s.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
And they do. Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft and Cisco Systems. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
Consumers have simply shut off the traditional world of marketing. They own TiVo to skip television advertising, simply ignore magazine advertising, and now have become so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in online information without a care for banners or buttons (making them irrelevant). Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way. Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world, including the likes of Seth Godin and eMarketer CEO Geoff Ramsey, have concluded that content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present.
Marketing Is Impossible Without Great Content
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day. Good content marketing makes a person stop… read… think… behave… differently.
According to the Custom Publishing Council and Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions. Think of this – what if your customer looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if when they received it, via print, email, website, they spent 15, 30, 45 minutes with it?
Yes, you really can create marketing that is anticipated and truly makes a connection! You can develop and execute “sales” messages that are needed, even requested, by your customers. Content marketing is a far cry from the interruption marketing we are bombarded with every minute of every day. Now that is marketing for the present and the future.
Here are 10 Easy Tips For Better Content Marketing
content marketing, content strategy, great content, marketing strategy, online marketing
Do you use content to drive traffic and generate leads? As we have stated content marketing has become the preferred means of marketing for many businesses. It’s a great strategy for attracting leads to your business. Blogs, whitepapers, online videos, podcasts and other content forms are there to show us the truth behind content marketing. Enjoy these 10 content marketing tips.
1. Have a goal: When you’re planning your content, set a goal for it. What do you want to achieve with your content? Perhaps, you want it to get you more newsletter signups or more sales for your products. The best way to set goals for your content is to categorize them. For example, you can categorize your content like this: drive traffic, generate leads, generate sales, etc. Delving further:
List posts: Drive traffic. Traffic may convert to leads
Downloadable Documents: Increase traffic conversions to leads
Customer reviews/ testimonials/ case studies: Convert traffic and leads to sales
Categorizing and setting goals like this helps you choose the right words to use to achieve your content marketing goals.
2. Produce enlightening content frequently: The two keywords here are “enlightening” and “frequently”. When you produce great content, people will want to share it and subscribe to your RSS feed or newsletter. Teach people in your industry new ways to do things. If you disagree with an accepted norm in your industry, produce content to debunk it and share it with top players in your industry.
When you produce great content, people talk about you on their blogs. When you produce great content, your business grows. When you produce great content…you will be thought of as an expert in your field.
3. Analyze and Proofread: After planning and producing your content, take your time and double check for errors. If you’re unsure of any mistakes, work with someone who is better at spelling and grammar to help you out. Also make sure your content is easy to understand and is convincing enough especially when you are using it as a sales tool or to debunk a theory.
4. Stack up content ideas: Plan your content ahead of time. This reduces the probability of not having any content to share when you want to produce content. I keep a word document with many content ideas so I’m not often faced with writers block. Stacking up content ideas also helps you write great content because you have a mental picture of what you’ll be writing about.
5. Use different content formats: Don’t only rely on text to promote your business. Use graphics, PDFs, audio, and video. People want to be spoiled with choice when it comes to giving them content. They want to watch screen casts of what you are talking about. They want to listen to your content on their mp3 players. They also want your content on their desktops in document format.
6. Stay informed: Be attentive online. Subscribe to blogs in your niche. Set up alerts on Social Mention and Google to track news and articles with keywords you’ll be interested in. Learn about new marketing opportunities. Learn about new trends. Use the information you collect to keep your content and strategies up to date.
7. Manage your time: Having a time-table or to-do list is a great way to manage your time as a content marketer. Producing great content can take some time so you need to give yourself enough time when you are producing content. Learn how to manage your time so that you’re ready when you feel the urge to create content.
8. Network Effectively: Do you want influential bloggers to link to you or talk about your product? Then don’t just follow and friend them on social networking sites. Most of them won’t follow or friend you back anyway. You’ll have to prove yourself worthy to be talked about by networking properly with them.
Start by commenting on their blogs and joining in their conversations on social media and networking sites. Leave insightful comments on their status updates. If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything. You can also contribute an article to their blog.
Another great way to network is to use interviews. Interview opinion leaders about the latest industry trends or get yourself interviewed by bloggers.
Networking gets you noticed. When you get noticed, you’ll be talked about on these blogs and their readers will also notice you and talk about you on their blogs.
9. Do your research: When you’re not sure of something, do some research online. Never add statements and quotes to your content without finding out whether they’re right or not. If you make a mistake with this, people will question the credibility of the rest of the information you’re giving them.
10. Identify and use content aggregators: Some websites are programmed to aggregate and show content from various sources. I call these sites content outlets. These sites will help you reach a larger audience with your content. Some examples are Social Media Today, The Daily Brainstorm, The Customer Collective, Alltop, etc.
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