Content Marketing 101

If you have anything to do with digital marketing these days, you’ve likely heard of content marketing. Perhaps you’ve heard that “Content is King” or that content marketing is the next big thing. So what exactly is content marketing?

Content marketing is delivering valuable information to your potential customers, making them more intelligent about your product or service vs pitching them sales copy. By delivering information that they find valuable, you increase your chances of converting them into a customer.

Ok, that defines it, but let’s get specific. Let’s say you own a small home remodeling business. You have a website and you created your social media profiles.  Good.  So what are you tweeting about? If you’re out there retweeting a lot of things that you find interesting about home remodeling, sure, you’re providing some content to your followers.  But how does that actually serve you?

Applying content marketing for the home remodeling expert above would be simple.  Here are some ideas:

  • Take pictures of a recent project and write a detailed blog post, showing the progress of your work
  • Grab some video of the work and a video testimonial from your client
  • Create a series of instructional DIY video’s, teaching others while displaying your skills
  • Post everything to your website and socialize it to your followers

Now you have some fresh content that’s specific to you, created by you, and hosted on your website. Your followers on social media see your post, click over to read the full post, and now you’ve got them on your website where they can easily access more information about your products and services.  That’s content marketing 101.

Now that we’ve defined it, here are some content marketing tips you can deploy:

1. Keep producing. Even if your content does not get attention now, there’s a possibility that people will come looking for it later. Content marketing is setting your website up for future results.

2. Produce relevant topics.Look for popular topics in conversation and add to them. Be sure to choose content relevant to your industry, then try to make it specific to you and your business.

3. Copy big business. Check out what the other companies in your industry are doing, and try to emulate their best practices.

4. Automate content creation. Set up forums for discussion, and invite people to join the conversations. Look to YouTube, Upworthy, and blogs like the Huffington Post to understand how they build their communities.

5. Focus on Quality. Yes, having a ton of content is helpful. But having a ton of worthless content will hurt you in the long-run. Focus on making your content count, publish quality over quantity.

6. Test. Keep creating content to test the market and what generates a response. Consider every piece of content you post a practice pitch, preparing you for the big leagues.

7. Learn from others. Increase the odds that someone will find you when they search for the specific need you fill in the market. See how other businesses zero in on a topic, and how it directs people people to that content within search results.

8. Make time.  Set aside a specific time during the day to focus on not just curating content, but also distribution to your social channels.