“Content marketing” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in this business. Everyone says it’s essential to your brand promotion strategy. That it’s far more effective than traditional forms of marketing, with a much higher ROI. The arguments are convincing enough. So you figure you’ll get on board the content marketing train and see where it leads. Great! But… how do you do it? It’s one thing to say, “We’re going to create content now!” It’s quite another to implement an actual content marketing strategy. So here are the three essential pillars of a content marketing campaign, which will hold you up as you get started.
- Content Creation. This one seems obvious, but it tends to get glossed over or misinterpreted. So you have a blog or a podcast now. Great! So does every other company in your field. And in fact, just about every person with an Internet connection. You need to make your content stand out. First, it needs to be something that your target audience will be interested in and want to see. Don’t just make post after post on why your company is so great and why your products are the best available. Provide important information: how to do something related to your field. The latest news and upcoming events they’ll want to know about. This is what will draw potential customers to your content. What will keep them coming back is quality. That’s another thing that’s often neglected in content marketing. Make sure your blogs are well-written and engaging. Have well-produced videos or dynamic podcasts with worthwhile guests. Farm out the work to professionals who know what they’re doing, instead of trying to create all your content in-house. It will make a world of difference to your audience.
- Search Engine Optimization. Once you’ve created your content, you need to make sure that people can find it. That’s where SEO comes in. Use the words and phrases that people are searching for in your content. If it’s a blog, use them in the text itself. If it’s a podcast, a video, an infographic or something similar, use keyword tags to associate your post with those terms, so that your content will come up next time someone searches for those keywords. Make sure it fits with the natural flow of the post, though. Don’t oversaturate your content with SEO and don’t tag it with keywords that don’t directly apply. In addition to it making your content seem clunky and badly written, Google penalizes you for abusing the SEO process, making your content appear lower, rather than higher, in search results.
- Social Media. SEO is great, but once your content is posted, you have to do more than simply sit back and wait for your audience to come to you. You need to be actively promoting your content and drawing people in. Social media is perfect for that. Building your social media presence means having a built-in audience of people who not only are willing to hear what you have to say, but have actively asked to do so. So social media is the first place to post your content. Then if your followers like what you’ve posted, they’ll share it with their own social media circles. Then they, in turn, will share it with their circles, and so on. The end result is that you get free publicity and an opportunity to expand the audience for your content. That’s the beauty of content marketing. Your focus is localized, but your potential reach is virtually limitless.