If you do any Digital Marketing, you likely have heard of Content Marketing. For that matter, if you have a website, you probably have been contacted by someone trying to sell Content Marketing services. Many call this a Content Marketing Strategy (CMS). But, what exactly is Content Marketing and why do I need it?
There are lots of definitions, but in a nutshell, Content Marketing is creating content for the purpose of finding an audience that is interested in your product or service, establishing a relationship with them through the content you offer, and if done right, using this content to convert that audience into customers and clients.
There are tons of articles out there about your CMS and how to optimize and track your Return on Investment (ROI) through Key Performance Indicators (KPI). While that technical data and strategy are important, that is not what this post is about. I want to talk to about ways to get the most from your content.
Here are seven steps to help you get the most out of your Content Marketing.
1. Create Original Content
We talked recently about The Trouble With Duplicate Content. Duplicate content that is used on multiple websites, by some agencies is a poor strategy for marketing. It is often poorly written and full of keywords intended to make a website “rank” higher in search results. The funny thing is that this duplicate content can have the exact opposite effect of the intended purpose.
This type of content is created by agencies because it is easy to write, easy to sell and easy to place on multiple sites. Generally this content is used as a one size fits all approach in order generate a revenue stream for the agency. It is easy to sell one piece of content over and over again. One piece of content times one hundred is much easier than creating one hundred pieces of original content.
It is about profit. It is not about what is in the best interest of your company.
If you really want to succeed with Content Marketing, take the time to generate content that is original or hire an agency who will. It is more time consuming and may cost more, but it will have a better ROI and KPI value.
2. Consider Your Target Audience When Creating Content
Another very important thing to consider in your marketing efforts, is your target audience. This holds true with your content, as well.
If you sell shoes, are you likely to see your audience become customers if you are posting videos about space exploration? Unless space boots are in your product line, it is not likely.
Think about your current customers and the customers you want to attract (these are not always the same) when considering what content to reach them with. Different demographics are attracted to different types of content.
Let me say that again in a different way. People from different age groups, ethnicities, genders, religions, income levels, geographic areas etc., all respond to different sources differently.
For instance, many people enjoy watching news stories on video. I however, prefer to read the article. It is just who I am.
When thinking about your content, consider what type of media they prefer and where they go for that type of media. This will help you determine if you need to use video, blog posts, email campaigns, or a combination of these, to reach your intended audience.
3. Create Valuable Content
Just because you are creating content and presenting it to your potential audience, it does not mean that you are going to get anyone to consume that content. You can have original content, present it in the proper format and target the right customers and your content can still flop.
Much like the content we described above, not all content is good content. A lot of people are creating a lot of “Fluff” and calling that a Content Marketing Strategy. Fluff is fluff. No one is going to spend time reading an article or watching a video, if there is not something of value.
When you are creating content, take some time and come up with something that will provide knowledge, solve a problem, or provide entertainment. Providing your audience with content that is valuable to them, will keep them engaged and keep them coming back.
4. Cross Promote Your Content
So you have created a great piece of content. Now what?
Even if your target audience is primarily consuming video through your YouTube channel, don’t stop there. Share that content across your other platforms, as well. Include a link to the video in your next email campaign and share the video on your company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Oh yeah, also make sure it is easy for your regular audience to share it with their friends and family.
Great content can reach an ever increasing audience. Great content is worth sharing!
5. Use Multiple Channels to Present Your Content
Just like you want to cross promote your individual pieces of content across multiple channels, you also want to create content intended specifically each channel. If your target audience is consuming your content mostly on your blog post, that is great. Keep creating that type of content.
However, don’t limit yourself to that one channel. Create content specifically for other channels, as well. Maybe you can take that blog post and turn it into a video and post it to Facebook. You never know where people may find your content.
One note here: don’t go crazy. Trying to push content on every available platform will just frustrate you and you will find yourself doing a poor job. Focus on a couple of channels and grow those. If you get to the point where you are comfortable with the way the growth is going on those platforms, try adding a new one into the mix.
Just be sure you are going for quality and not just pushing out content for the sake of content.
6. Build an Internal Linking Strategy
When you create a great piece of content, be sure that there are links within that content to lead your audience to other great content you have previously created. A good internal linking strategy will allow the viewer to find other pieces of your great content to further their knowledge and elevate your value.
This also helps search engines understand the structure of your site and can help you with your rankings.
Some ways to do this are:
- Add links within your blog posts to previous blog posts of topics being discussed.
- Use a “Related Topics” plugin to suggest similar content.
- Link to blog posts, pages of your site and videos from your email campaigns.
- Use links to your other platforms so that your audience knows to look for your content on those sites, as well.
Again, don’t overdo this. Too many links in a piece can look like an attempt to manipulate the results in search engines and you may be penalized.
Don’t forget to use links, just make sure it is natural and not forced.
7. Be Consistent in Your Posting Ritual.
Consistency is a good thing. Your audience learns to expect new content on a certain schedule and it becomes habit. Habit is good. Habit does not annoy people. Annoyed people will tune out your message and stop checking your content altogether.
It doesn’t have to be every day or every week, but if you post regularly, you will see results over time. One blog post a month, will still have amounted to 12 pieces of content in a year. If you are consistent for a long enough period, you will have generated a lot of content. Think long-term.
Conclusion: Just Do It!
If this all seems overwhelming to you, you are not alone. Many of our clients felt that way when we started out together. In a short while, they got into a groove and it was easy for them to produce new content that attracted new audience members and new customers.
However, Be Sure to Read This Next Line.
Even if you don’t follow all of these guidelines and even if you only create one piece of content a month, if you are creating something, anything, you will be ahead of much of your competition. Many of your competitors never started or gave up quickly.
Just do it. You will be ahead of the game.
If you would like more information about how we can help you with your content marketing, please contact us at 865-898-2069 or through our contact form.
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