What is “Content marketing?” Ask five marketing professionals that question and chances are you’ll get five different answers.
Here’s our answer…Content marketing is a system of marketing tactics that uses brand content (versus ads) to build awareness, drive engagement and ultimately drive purchase.
Of course your content marketing program is only as good as your content but equally critical and often overlooked is the system you use to create that content and use it to drive prospects down the path to purchase.
Here’s are the key aspects of a content marketing system:
1. Create content your consumers want. Obvious, of course but you can use search to figure out the intersections between your brand and what your consumers are interested in. What are they looking for on YouTube? What are the key search terms? (you’ll need them later.)
2. You need a plan for the content you’re going to create. You’re going to need a lot of content and you’re going to need to distribute it often. Make an editorial calendar so you have a plan for what and when. Good quality content is your biggest challenge so it’s all in the planning.
3. Use one channel as a “home base” for all your content. You want to drive people to your content so use your blog or website (something you can control) to push people to it and hang all that beautiful, relevant content.
4. Create! When it comes to actually creating content you have unlimited options, just be sure to make it good (no pressure). They won’t engage if it isn’t good. And make sure you can sustain it. Content marketing only works if you can commit to creating content regularly.
5. Distribute. Post links to your content in social, on FB, on LinkedIn, etc. Use search friendly keywords within your content to help it to get discovered. Comment on other similar content with a link back to your related content.
6. Engage. Let people react, comment, and take action. For every piece of content, think it through: What do you want customers and prospects to do? Visit your site? See more content? Sign up for your newsletter? Consider where they’re at in your purchase funnel and show them how to proceed.
7. Use automation and analytics tools to assess how your content marketing is doing. If you have a blog for example, Google Analytics can provide basic information, and more sophisticated tools such as HubSpot can show who’s viewing your content, where they’re coming from, and how your content ranks on search engines.
Content marketing is part of an effective advertising or PR effort. It’s becoming a must-have for brands looking to reach customers, build brand value, and ultimately boost sales.
Want more guidance about setting up a content marketing program? Talk to Matt Betz,Hey Strategist.