You’ve heard the term buzzing around the Internet. You may even consider it part of your online strategy. But have you ever stopped to think about just what it is and why this social media phenomenon is so influential?
Content marketing is as simple as it sounds: provide high quality content for your users, partners, followers and/or consumers and you will increase participation, sales, and loyalty. The concept is intuitive and (almost) appears to represent the idea that marketing is headed in a positive direction. The objective behind content marketing is not to spam potential clients or collaborators or to bombard them with pitches and useless brand ideology. Content marketing is the means by which you provide substance your target group can utilize.
What are some examples of the types of material that should be pushed in content marketing? The beauty of this strategy is that is that there is really little manipulative ‘strategy’ involved. Give your customers or business affiliates within your niche content that can give them an edge in what they are trying to achieve: educate and entertain. If you sell a product within the beauty industry, give tips on health and cosmetic trends; if you provide a software service, provide news on ways to get an edgewise by using upcoming technology. Be brave enough to add humor if the situation applies. Don’t just copy and paste a link from the front page of a source they may have already visited. The key is to provide them with knowledge to which they otherwise may not have been exposed. By providing valuable content, you establish yourself as a thought leader. See here for the anatomy of content marketing.
Once you have crafted your honest - though not overly altruistic - content, develop a plan or schedule for how you will filter it through your social media channels, create a company blog, send eLetters. Social media expert, Joe Chernov, gives helpful tips on what-to-say and what-not-to-say when it comes to content marketing in a recent interview with the content-based professional platform, exploreB2B.
Blue Glass also provides an informative infographic on ‘The Content Marketing Explosion,’ which helps bring light to the ways it has taken off throughout networking channels. (The graphic specifies B2B companies, but the info applies universally.)
The true magic behind content marketing is that there is no specific formula for which content will generate the most successful content marketing campaign. Should such a thing exist – it would contradict the foundation of content marketing altogether. The content of your company, brand or mission should be unique - thoughtful, creative and engaging enough not to be mistaken as information that could be found on any other company’s blog.
It’s time to whip out a black doc and make your own magic. In the meantime - here's some inspiration.