Effective Content Marketing – How To Get Started
With the explosion of content marketing, brands are diving headfirst into content production and publishing. But all too often the effort is sporadic, poorly planned, inadequately optimized, never promoted, and barely tracked. This leads to bad results and general grumpiness.
Content marketing efforts are typically supposed to generate traffic, sales, or engagement. It may not be reachable, you may not be able execute every element, but at least you know what to go for.
But hang on a minute, what is Content Marketing anyway? I spotted a definition in a recent blog post that says:
The art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.
Wow, that is a huge mouthful. And that’s how the Content Marketing Institute defines it. I don’t know about you but I didn’t even know there was an “institute” for content marketing.
I personally think, all we are seeing is another definition conjured up out of thin air to generate another “next big thing” in the marketing industry to keep us on our toes. Call me an old cynic if you like but lets just imagine how many new e-books, blog posts (including this one) and other media will be generated as a “must have to succeed” for us to purchase for $7-49, don’t forget the OTO either.
Start With a Strategy:
The first and most important step is making sure that your content is keyword-focused and aligned to your keyword strategy. And what drives your keyword strategy? Your users, target market, and potential customers. Keywords represent concepts, and concepts are shaped by content, so take what you want to say and distill it down to keyphrases.
There are lots of great posts about creating a solid content marketing strategy and translating this strategy into a solid plan. Dig into this body of knowledge.
Once you have a keyword-informed content strategy in place, you start creating the content. This is another big area deserving an article in itself, so suffice it to say your content is cost-effectively produced, meets quality standards, and is appropriate for your audience and the context (social, website, mobile, etc.).
Content Marketing Checklist:
Is your content marketing checking all the boxes?
- Content (article, video, image) is keyword-focused and aligned to keyword strategy and editorial calendar.
- No technical SEO issues are present (duplicate content, bad URLs).
- On-page SEO is flawless (page titles, description, copy)
- Article content includes a well made image/data graphic/infographic with embed code, ‘Pin’ button, social media birdseed (Visual.ly makes this easy).
- Open graph code is optimized and tested.
- Web pages include link to rich, authoritative Google+ profile of author.
- Content is linked to from other internal or owned properties using keywords.
- Content has off-site link building support (Zemanta, guest posts, sponsorships, shout-outs).
- Content is promoted with media spend via paid search, auction-based display media, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social / web 2.0 channels.
- Content is syndicated in appropriate channels (RSS, Reddit, PRNewswire, whatever’s appropriate for your content & industry).
- Content performance is tracked, reported on, and optimized – calendar is updated with learnings to form closed loop.
Not everyone can hit every one of these elements, so pick the easiest tactics and try to execute accordingly.
Source: Andrew Delamarter
In this video, Square 2 Marketing CMO Eric Keiles gives you six notable advantages of content marketing and follows up with four tips to get started and crea…
Below you will find the “token” infographic. That said I do like infographics as I find them easily absorbed plus I used to be in graphic design, but thats another story. So, effective content marketing, what is it? If you have been involved in internet marketing as I have for a number of years then you have been involved in content marketing for the same amount of time. WHAT, I hear you say. Well we have. Perhaps the question would be was it Effective Content Marketing? Probably not but content marketing none the less.
What is changing is how we let it loose on our customers, readers and prospects. It all boils down to the Content we are supplying, we have all heard the term “great content”, and that’s what we are striving to do, supply great content and information thus enabling our readers to make informed decisions and/or provoke some sort of dialogue.
So lets do what we do and try to do it more effectively. We are not going to get it right 100% of the time, I sure as hell don’t, but we can try.
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