Content Marketing has been the buzz marketing term for the past few years. You might have seen it mentioned in articles or books, but what exactly is it and what does it do for your business? Content Marketing is an overall marketing strategy for your company. There are many definitions of this type of marketing and there are companies such as John Deere and Coca Cola that have been doing content marketing for years. According to Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute in his book, Epic Content Marketing, content marketing is “a marketing and business process for creating and distributing content to attract, acquire and engage a clearing understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” The important part of this definition is that content marketing drives a profitable customer response. Every company has content about their business that they have been sharing for years, but they haven’t put together a comprehensive plan on how this content will ultimately help your business. Companies can share their content via their website, blog, newsletters or social media platforms. Organizing all of this content for specific messages and companies are all a part of content marketing. According to iMedia , content marketing works. 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness; 59% believe it supports sales growth; and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs.
Principles of Content Marketing
There are certain principles of content marketing that need to be followed in order to create a successful campaign for your company. Your content should fill a need, answer a question for help or ease a pain point for your customers. Your content must be delivered consistently. You should create a publishing schedule for your content and stick with it! Find the voice for your business and have everyone who creates content keep in that voice and share it. Don’t be afraid to have a point of view and take a side on a position in your content. Avoid using “salesy” terms. In fact, the more that you talk about your services, the less people will value your content. Lastly, deliver the best content that is available for your company or industry. Become an expert!
Steps to Create a Content Marketing Program
How can you take the principles listed above and create a great content marketing program? Have a goal and an organizational process in place to create and publish your content. The first thing to do in any marketing campaign is to set your goals. Ask your team what they want to achieve with the campaign and focus on these goals throughout the process. Define who your audience is. We spoke about buyer personas in a recent blog post and the importance of creating them for your marketing programs. Tailor your content messages for your clients by having concise buyer personas. Do your research to understand how the audience buys and map your content to the sales process. Before you launch your program, make sure that you have a mission statement that matches with your overall business objective. Create an editorial calendar that will keep your campaign organized and properly planned for keywords and other Search Engine Optimization objectives.
Types of Content Marketing
What type of content would be considered a part of a content marketing program? Actually, just about anything! The following are all examples of content marketing tools: blogs, ebooks, podcasts, white papers, videos, e-newsletters, case studies, webinars, infographics and even offline print content such as books and magazines. Today’s businesses need to think in terms of being a publisher of content. In fact, larger corporations are hiring former journalists to create content. The goal is to create multiple content pieces from larger pieces of content, such as ebooks, webinars and infographics. You can incorporate bits of these larger pieces into multiple blog posts and many Twitter and Facebook posts.
Promotion of Content
Once you have created the content, you need to promote it. This is where social media comes into play. Create a strategy to publish and promote your content via the social media channels where most of your customers hang out. Share your content for free with your mailing list or offer it for free on your website. Reach out to influencers in your industry who can also share your content with their followers.
Lastly, don’t forget to measure and keep track of the results of your campaigns. It is import to look at sales lift, track conversions, such as signing up for an email list or your blog and awareness for your company brand. If a campaign isn’t working, you will need to tweak it and re-launch the content in a different way.
Websites are becoming more and more content driven. Good content can attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. Creating a good content marketing program will only help to enhance your business.
To find out more how to create a great content strategy download our ebook today!