Monday, July 15th, 2013
Do you want to build your brand?
Do you want more customers?
Do you want to improve your bottom line?
If your answer to these three questions is a resounding YES – then you are missing out if you don’t have a content marketing strategy.
Getting good quality content out into cyberspace will help you build an audience to market to.
Do it right and you will be seen as an authority in your industry. Become an authority and your job is half done.
Content marketing is the sharing of free information with websites and businesses around the web. You get it in front of your target consumers. The publishers get quality information to share. Everyone’s a winner!
Content marketing is a relatively new to the internet world; it is part SEO part PR.
The theory is that your company will produce good quality resources and share them with websites. This will enhance the quality of information on these partner sites. It will provide you with the benefits of referral business and link authority.
All sorts of content are shared with websites owners to get brands out there. The simplest type of content is pure web content, or blog posts. If you have an interesting angle on a certain issue it could benefit the readers of a website. Contacting the website owner may provide you with the opportunity to get it in front of a large audience.
Some companies provide statistical and factual content, which are very well received by websites looking for authority resources. This may be in the form of up to date articles, news stories, and press releases; sometimes they are direct API links from the websites.
Another common form of info-sharing is the “PDF Guide”. By putting together a really good resource outlining all the important features of a certain product, or a great way to achieve a certain goal, you can offer a website some top informational power.
The higher the informational and authoritative power a website has the more likely it is to build an audience and increase its success.
1. Quality is the Key
It used to be the case that people would spam out e-mails looking for anyone that would want a $5 blog post. Nowadays, many of the providers that got hit, and are still getting hit, by these promotional e-mails have turned off their processes for dealing with third party content.
Quality really is the key and it’s not good enough to have reasonable information. It has to be good information that adds value to the other party and their readers. Nowadays, content marketing is a key part of many businesses, and if you are not engaging in the activity then you are missing out.
Let’s take a look at the main content ideas that you can use in your marketing.
2. Content based on Facts
It’s important that you use facts in your marketing. If you can’t back up what you claim then the content loses value. In addition, all of the facts should be from credible sources and accurate. You can do yourself and your brand a lot of damage by publicising inaccuracies. Many companies actually employ fact checkers to ensure that everything that they publish is correct.
Think of your content much like you did essays in school; you have to build an argument not just based on perspective but also based on facts.
3. Content that is real-time
It can be really useful to create content that is related to current cultural and topical issues. A very well known example of a superb marketing coup was when Oreo tweeted “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” when there was a power cut during Super Bowl XLVII.
They caught the imagination of the public and there was news coverage all around the world talking about this very clever marketing.
Being open to opportunities such as this really can make a massive impact to your brand.
4. The Visual Side of Content
It’s also extremely important that your content is able to capture the imagination in terms of the visual side of its presentation.
Analysis in 2011 from Skyword found that blog posts with images were 94% better received than those without images.
We process information much better when it is visual rather than text based, so it’s important to acknowledge this by using graphs, relevant images, and supporting graphics that work with the piece. There’s no point just using any old image but if you can get something really meaningful into the piece it will dramatically improve its impact.
5. Become Efficient
Ensure that your content is always delivered with efficiency and free from errors. Grammatical mistakes will mean you quickly lose your base of partners. Treat the content going onto other people’s websites as if it was headline content on your own and you’ll have much more success.
It’s often good to have content go through a thorough process through several people before it is delivered to clients. This could involve writers, first editors, second editors, and then headline editors.
The headlines really are important for your content as they are what will capture the imagination of not just the readers but also the people that are choosing content to use on their websites.
6. Curated Content
Curated content involves the organization and sharing of content that relates to a specific topic in order to form a truly authoritative resource. All of the best websites in the world use curation in order to get their message to more websites and visitors by building a reputation as experts in their field.
In this way your brand can go from strength to strength and you’ll build a big community of people crying out for information from you.
When you’re developing your processes and your content, there are certain things you should do. Let’s take a look.
7. Have Someone Responsible For Industry Research
You should assign someone in your company the role of staying in touch with trends and news in your niche in order to ensure that you see opportunities, and make use of them properly.
8. Have a Process for Curating Info
You should have a process too, where you put information about the industry in the hands of the person responsible for curating your information. They shouldn’t have to do all the resourcing themselves. There should be multiple people at different levels in your organization feeding into the resources.
9. Have a Proof Reader
Ensure that you have a proof reader, editor and fact checker process in your content in order to ensure it is always the best in the industry.
10. Have a Process for Infographics
Put together a process for getting good quality images into your content and ensure that you have a bespoke graphics creation resource to supplement your content. This could be in-house or outsourced.
11. Have Content Go Through 3 Pairs of Hands
Make sure your content goes through at least three people before being published, to ensure it is checked and reviewed thoroughly.
12. Have Keyword Research Strategies
Ensure that you do proper keyword research in order to target your content to the consumers you’re looking to talk to.
13. Have Someone Put Curated Info onto Your Website
Have someone made responsible for ensuring curated information is integrated with your website and other resources.
14. Have an Ever-Expanding List of Partner Sites
Develop a list of websites that you can keep an eye on in order to find opportunities for new content partnership.
15. Become an Authority
Focus on top quality information sharing strategies and build a name in the industry. Being seen as an authority will make customer attraction easier and customer conversion higher.
16. Talk to the Media
Make yourself known to the local and even national media. They are always on the look out for commenters and experts. You may even get a free feature piece if your timing is good.
17. Develop Strong Relationships
You don’t need to have thousands of websites in order to be successful in content marketing; you just need to have a regular bank of a hundred or so good resources. In some niches you may only need a dozen really good websites that you partner with, and these will provide you with a massive boost to your brand.
By taking a quality-based approach to content marketing you can build strong relationships and can start a snowball effect, with social media and other websites taking your content on board organically.
18. Remember the Point of Content Marketing
Always remember that the point of content marketing is to be able to get more customers and keep them. This is achieved through providing valuable information that is geared towards changing the perceptions and behaviours of the consumer public.
It’s a constant iterative process of developing new relationships, feeding old relationships, and developing top quality content. Ensure that you take a logical and long term approach to your content marketing and soon it will pay off in what you see happening to your brand.
Be consistent, be fun and be yourself. Make friends and share quality information and you will build your brand.