Content marketing has totally become ‘a thing’. Content has always been ‘a thing’, but now people are realizing that creating it on a regular basis is an invaluable way to raise awareness about your brand. Just look at what LinkedIn is doing – effectively using content marketing to raise their profile as a growing media company, not just a place to make professional connections.
And it’s working.
I find myself spending a lot more time on LinkedIn mostly because of the high quality articles they’re aggregating and creating. They’re even asking LinkedIn users to submit original content, further enhancing engagement with their network.
If you’re ready to get started, I’ve got some pointers for you.
Content Marketing 101
Many opportunities for content marketing exist, but the problem is many people don’t know where to start. As with any project, reserving a few minutes to really think about your content marketing possibilities and write down a plan can bring you clarity and help with more efficient execution.
1.) What kind of content could you create/are you most comfortable creating?
Content comes in many forms, not just writing. Content marketing can include blogs, videos, pictures, and graphics. Depending on your industry and expertise, you may choose to use different kinds of content.
For example, my friend Jenny Duffy, a Choreographer and Dance Instructor, has found great success with blogging and posting videos. Video is especially good for her industry since people will want to see what she can do, and what she might be able to teach them. Check out her dance tutorials and other inside info from the dance world on her blog.
If you suck at writing, you might consider starting a video blog where instead of writing about tips and trends from your industry, you can talk about them.
If you work in the food industry, you might consider sharing recipes on a blog. Don’t forget to include a mouthwatering photo! If there’s anything people love to share…
Really, the possibilities are endless!
Not sure what kind of content you could share? Ask me!
2.) Who is your target market and where are they hanging out online?
Depending on your industry, your ideal demographic might be more active in certain areas of the online world than others. For example, people looking for a recipe for dinner tonight might browse the most delicious looking images on Pinterest. People who want to learn sweet new dance moves are likely surfing YouTube. People who want to learn more about web marketing are likely following those topics on LinkedIn Today, and are probably also quite active on Twitter, and more and more of them are starting to use Google+. You can certainly be active on all of these networks, too.
3.) How will you execute?
Whichever content and distribution you choose – it’s important to be organized and have a schedule for consistency to build your audience. I’ve seen terrible writers build huge blog followings simply because they posted regularly and became highly visible. Eventually they became better writers, so that’s good news if you’re worrying about sucking in the beginning.
Once you have your content created, decide how you will distribute. Whenever I write a blog post, for example, I send it out to my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ networks. You can even repost old posts down the road for anyone who may have missed them the first time. Thankfully, tools like Hootsuite exist to help you post to multiple networks at once, and even schedule posts for later.
4.) How will you measure your success?
After implementing just a few content marketing practices, Jenny the Choreographer noticed a huge spike in her dance class attendance, with students mentioning that her blog and her posts on Facebook had been influencing factors.
Creating content consistently (say that 10 times fast) builds your audience, boosts your SEO, and builds your web marketing skills. If you can find the time to do it, it’s hugely valuable for increasing your visibility.
If you want to learn how to turn your expertise into a solid content marketing strategy, I’d be happy to provide my analysis and recommendations. Just send me an email.
Photo by Paul.Carroll