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Is content marketing just putting up a bunch of blog posts? No, it is far from that. These days there are so many people online that if you want to get your message across then, you need a good content management strategy. So what exactly is content marketing?
We define it as “a strategic approach to marketing focused on producing content that has value, is relevant to the needs of your audience and is consistent. A content marketing strategy aims to persuade visitors to become customers”.
The old style of advertising using banners and even pay per click (PPC) ads are losing their effectiveness. They still work but not like they did before. With content marketing, you will be providing value first so that you can connect with potential customers and assist them in solving problems that they have.
Major brands are switching to content marketing these days. Mega companies like Microsoft and P & G are doing it, so if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for you. Why are these big brands deploying a content marketing strategy? Because it works of course!
Content marketing has a number of benefits to offer and here are the main three:
- It is a cost-effective marketing method
- Potential and actual customers will be more loyal to your brand
- It increases sales and profits
High-Quality Content is Essential
You will only achieve these benefits if your content is of high quality. You can’t just put anything out there. If your content is poor, then this will reflect poorly on your brand, and you will lose customers rather than gain them.
Your overall marketing strategy must include content marketing. When you are planning your approach, it is essential that you consider both inbound and outbound marketing. For inbound marketing, your website needs to have some really high-quality content on it that your target market will find useful.
Google and the other major search engines have changed their algorithms and now reward high-quality content with higher rankings. You need to make sure that every piece of content on your website or blog is the best quality and well optimized.
For outbound marketing use your content marketing strategy to drive your social media marketing. Don’t just jump on to social media – you need an effective content plan. You should be writing press releases that assist people and cover the issues that they are interested in. Don’t use a press release to “big up” your business.
If you want to use PPC advertising, then you have to make sure that the content “behind the click” is of the highest quality. The search engines insist on this nowadays, and it makes a lot of sense.
Types of Content Marketing
It is always advisable to have a mixture of different content formats in your strategy. Here are the most popular:
Blog Posts – you need to develop a schedule of blog posts. You can use your blog to promote your products and service and cross-reference with other content on your blog.
Videos – you do have a YouTube channel set up, don’t you? You want to create videos that will last a long time and do not require regular change. Videos have to be part of your content marketing strategy.
Case Studies – if you can show that someone used your product or service and achieved real results (with numbers) in a case study then you have a very powerful piece of content to share.
EBooks – use eBooks as lead magnets so that people subscribe to your email list. Don’t give too much away but provide value here.
Infographics – people like to look at infographics so create ones that are relevant to your industry. It is a great way to tell the story that you want visually.
Templates and Workbooks – the aim here is to produce useful resources. Create easily printable workbooks. Make templates clear and easy to follow and provide instructions.
Cheat Sheets – here you will provide a short document (usually in PDF format) that summarizes the cheats to achieve something fast. Don’t forget to add links to other publications that explain things in more detail for additional learning.