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Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy to drive consumer action with the creation and distribution of content.

Content that is valuable and relevant to consumers–ongoing and consistent–establishes a brand as an authority on a niche topic.

It’s a way to communicate with our target market without selling.

If we deliver useful information to them, they are likely to reward us with loyalty and conversions.

Why Create Content as a Form of Marketing?

  • more than ever, people don’t want to be advertised at; but they will read content that helps or entertains them
  • Google loves great content
  • content goes viral in social media, and simple advertising does not
  • good content creates good will and authority

Some Primary Forms of Content Marketing

  • blogs
  • social media posts
  • podcasts
  • video tutorials
  • email newsletters
  • white papers – authoritative reports or guides on a particular topic
  • eBooks
  • free online courses or webinars

Characteristics of Great Content Marketing

  • evergreen: it will stand the test of time
  • can be reused and repurposed across many formats
  • it helps solves a reader’s problem or is otherwise rewarding
  • it establishes you or your brand as trustworthy and as an authority
  • it has no blatant sales pitch but sometimes has a call to action
  • uses an exciting headline and delivers what it promises
  • written for people first but with an eye toward SEO

Video: CMWorld 2014 – The ROI of Content [11:16]

How Content Can Support a Sale

  • address underlying objectives that might stop a purchase
  • tell stories of how others have benefitted
  • create a relationship with your audience
  • reciprocity: if I give you something of value, you are inclined to return the favor

Cross-Channel Content Marketing

Often, you can repurpose content to work in multiple channels.

  • several related mini-posts in email or on social media can be collected to create a large blog post
  • publish a series of related blog posts, then bundle them into an eBook
  • transcribe a series of podcasts, then bundle them into an eBook
  • translate a popular blog post into a video slideshow
  • convert a podcast into a video slideshow
  • convert your audio or video content into a CD/DVD for less web-savvy clients

Et cetera!

Helpful Hints

The following tips and tricks come from Copyblogger.com:

  • use free content as a carrot to have people opt in to your marketing emails
  • not all your content marketing must be online; try direct mail, letters to a newspaper editor, or a real paper book collection of your content
  • identify a thorny problem in your industry and write a white paper that describes a solution
  • offer a free or paid webinar, and be sure to record it for future marketing
  • contribute in forums and comment on others’ blogs to increase your social proof
  • use a mix of content within your niche
  • be real: talk about how you’ve overcome a difficult challenge
  • sing the praises of others
  • create a buyer’s guide: what should they look for, and what to watch out for?
  • collect weird stories from sources your readers don’t usually see
  • guest post on others’ blogs
  • invite a guest blogger to write for your blog
  • leverage pop culture–what’s Trending today on Facebook or Reddit?
  • record a session with a client with their permission
  • create a useful tool and give it away
  • present almost all the content you create on a domain you control, using a platform you control (self-hosted WordPress is very popular for this)
  • make sure your website is attractive, secure, and usable
  • obsessively focus on what your readers want
  • always try to get better at writing and/or creating other forms of content

Further Resources

I’ve uploaded several really great eBooks from Copyblogger about content marketing to Doc Sharing in the eCompanion. Check them out!

  • Content Marketing: How to Build an Audience that Builds Your Business
  • Content Marketing Research: The Crucial First Step
  • 100 Content Marketing Examples
  • How to Create Content That Converts

Videos

Kevin Spacey Closing Keynote Highlights – Content Marketing World 2014 [5:20]

For real.

CMWorld 2014 – Storytelling & Content Marketing [5:40]

CMWorld 2014 – Marketers need to rethink the sales funnel [9:47]