Just what is content marketing? Guest post for elitefox from littlegreenplane
I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times by your marketing team.
“We need to up our content marketing!”
You nod and agree, whilst thinking to yourself “I have no idea what that means……”
If that sounds like you, then read on, because content marketing is here to stay…
So what is content marketing?
Content marketing is essentially brands telling stories to attract and retain customers. It’s not something new – brands have been telling stories for centuries.
If you are a business, you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think of it this way, what if they actually looked forward to receiving your marketing? What if, when they received it – either through email marketing or by visiting your website – they spent their valuable time digesting your message?
This is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing helps nurture sales, brand loyalty and builds a buzz about your business.
With that in mind, here’s a few top tips from the email marketing provider little green plane on what you need to think about when it comes to marketing your business.
Your business blog is probably the best place to start when it comes to your content marketing. They serve as a powerful platform by which your company values, mission and tone of voice can be communicated. If that wasn’t reason enough to build a strong business blog, it also has other benefits when it comes to SEO, or search engine optimisation.
When you think about it, in today’s content-driven world, you may think of yourself as a marketer – but you are actually a publisher. You need to provide relevant and consistent information for your customers, and your blog is the perfect place by which to start.
Blogs are easy to use and should be at the center of your content marketing strategy. Use it to share original, engaging, valuable and compelling content and encourage sharing. Do this by developing an editorial calendar
Your email marketing
Compared with your blog, email marketing has a greater reach potential. Your message is delivered straight to their online door – and if an email campaign is tied up with social media that reach is endless.
However, you need your content to sing from the screen when it comes to email marketing. Unless your customers have a reason to click open, your message will just be lost forever. With that in mind, offer something they can use, something they can share – something which grabs their attention and forces them to act.
If you can embed your email newsletter on your blog, even better! Encourage sharing, embed social buttons and create content which they can use. How to lists, spotlight articles, hints, tips… whatever it is you write, make it engaging and you’ll capture hearts and minds (and wallets)!
Spend time looking for the right provider to use though – you need the right email marketing tools in place if you want to be taken seriously.
Your social media
Yes, your business social media profiles should not be overlooked when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
Social media is exactly that – it is social. People use it to chat, to share jokes, to tell stories, to comment on the news… but they also use it to share. If someone spots something online that they think is funny, useful and more importantly engaging, they will be more likely to share that with their friends. This is where your blog and email marketing comes in (above).
However, social media can also be part of your content marketing with a plan. Come up with creative competitions and link them to your blog. Plug and promote your offers, your sales, your discounts. Put up pictures of you, your business – show them you’re human. Also remember to retweet your industry leaders, interesting news and debate… it’s all part of being social.
Get involved. Get engaged. Don’t be afraid of social media – the best businesses have a plan in place and have fun.
Finally, you shouldn’t overlook the power of infographics in your content marketing strategy.
Infographics are usually based on a particular topic of discussion. They use large lettering, large facts and large illustrations to create an argument and inform, engage and educate. They’ve become so popular recently that given the current growth rate, 90% of all internet content will be infographics by 2158!
There are lots of benefits to using infographics. People prefer to see images or watch videos rather than read long content. Images are easy to share. Infographics are entertaining and can be tagged with keywords and have links embedded.
However, infographics are not for every business. Unless you understand your audience and know the types of content they enjoy, you’ll be doomed to fail. You need to choose topics which are relevant, but also current and interesting. Strong research, strong design and strong social media buzz are all keys to success.
So there you have it – a few thoughts on content marketing, what it is and how you can benefit from it. If you have a plan in place and create compelling, engaging and creative content you’re bound to win more than a following – you’ll build brand loyalty, trust, and advocates who’ll do your promotion for you.