Content Marketing, at its core, is creating and sharing useful content in order to create a relationship with your audience. Content can be in the form of whitepapers, social media posts, blog posts, video, and more.
The difference between content marketing and traditional marketing is that content marketing is rarely promotional and seldom talks directly about a product or company. It focuses more on providing something of value to customers and prospects.
Content Marketing 101
This is the process of figuring out, at a high level, the types of content, subject areas, and content platforms are most likely to engage your audience. It’s essential to have a solid content strategy in place from the start, so you can make informed decisions.
This is the process of creating content that demonstrate’s your brand’s leadership and expertise on the topics that matter to your audience. Thought leadership content is typically in the form of a blog post, whitepaper, research report, guest-authored article, or third-party media coverage.
This is the tool that keeps you going. If you’re creating and curating a wide variety of content through multiple channels, you need some kind of system to keep track of your efforts. Your calendar can be a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Google Calendar or Google Drive, but the key information to capture includes title, author, deadlines, publication date, and publication channel.
Long-Form vs. Short-Form Content
The definitions of these terms are quite fluid and flexible. In general, long-form content is multi-page content like whitepapers, research reports, and eBooks. As short-term content is brief and digestible like Tweets, Facebook posts, infographics, etc. Blog posts and videos toe the line and can be considered as either. But regardless of how you define these terms, your content strategy should strike a balance between long-form and short-form content.
Social Media Marketing
If your brand is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Snapchat or whatever else there is out there, you’re doing content marketing in some capacity. Now the right strategy needs to be put in place for maximum success. Think about who your audience is and what they’re looking for, then create engaging social content to create real brand advocates rather than just fans and followers.
Visual Content Marketing
This includes videos, photos, infographics, and other non-written forms of content. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in fact, according to this article, a picture is worth 60,000 words, so make yours work for you through strategic syndication.
Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimization
Some people think you can either do content marketing or SEO, but not both. Nothing could be further from the truth actually. Thanks to major changes to Google’s search algorithm, creating good content will actually be rewarded with higher placement in search results. In fact, it could be said that content marketing is the new SEO.
Content Marketing & Public Relations
Great content has a life beyond its initial publication. It can be used in pitches to the media and to influencers in your field. Your content is like a resume that reporters can review, and that publications can use to assess your potential as a guest columnist.
This is how you demonstrate the result of your efforts. Monitor, track and measure everything you do, so you can show how your content marketing program is impacting business. Is it creating more traffic? Improving engagement? Driving leads? Helping to close sales? The numbers won’t lie, and if you’re doing a good job with content marketing, you’ll want to show off your results.