Top 7 Tips for Effective Content Marketing

Mark Lerner
Mark Lerner Director of Marketing, Independent

Posted on January 5th 2014

Top 7 Tips for Effective Content Marketing

Marketing is no longer just about selling your company’s product or service or about creating a brand that people can connect to. Of course, that’s part of it, but there is so much more that needs to be considered. Today, the most effective marketing campaigns focus on thought leadership and the best strategy to position your brand as a thought leader is through content marketing.

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In this post we’ll focus on the 7 best practices for your content marketing strategy.

1. Stop Selling

Effective content marketing leaves the sales pitch to the salesmen. The minute you start talking about how great your product is, the reader sees marketing blah blah and closes the page. Give your readers information they want and need. Are you selling a cloud monitoring solution? Create a whitepaper explaining the hidden costs in underutilized instances. Are you promoting a lending solution for small businesses? Offer tips and tricks on cash flow management for small business owners.

At Oktopost, Rather than talking about how great our product is (and let’s face it, it is) we opt to host Google Hangouts with representatives from top B2B companies such as LinkedIn and IT Central Station so you can figure out on your own the importance of social media marketing in the B2B world.

2. Solve a Problem

In today’s internet age, people turn to Google whenever a question arises. If a person is struggling with time management, sure he may ask colleagues for advice, but eventually he’ll end up on the computer searching for “Time Management Tips”. Figure out what your potential customers are searching for and help them solve that problem. 

Consistently offering objective information that solves or pre-empts your customer’s problems will ensure they come to you the next time an issue arises. 

3. Blog Blog Blog

Hosting a blog on your website is the easiest and most effective method of boosting SEO, sharing your content, and ensuring that your site is live. Every time a new blog is added, the search engines scan your site and boost your ranking. Aim to publish a new blog at least 2-3 times a week. Post on the same days each week so your readers know to stop by on a certain day. 

My favorite example of an organization that does this well is NPRs radio show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. Every week, the crew tries a different sandwich and shares their hilarious reactions on Sandwich Monday. While SEO may not be their biggest concern, they certainly have me coming back every week to read this feature.

4. Repurpose Content

Being tasked with writing a whitepaper can be a daunting thought. What will you write about? What point are you trying to make? When will you find the time to make it happen? Here’s the beauty of content, it can be used for so many purposes. Combine a bunch of those wonderful blogs; add an intro, conclusion, and cover page and you’ve got a great and marketable whitepaper. Stick that whitepaper behind a registration form and you’re armed with a great tool for lead generation. Did you give a presentation at a meet up? Use the PowerPoint and your speech as the basis for a blog or slideshare. With an open mind and a little creative re-working, your content can easily be put to multiple uses.

5. Embrace Videos 

Videos are all the rage right now and easier to produce than you might think. With a decent script, you can take advantage of online tools like Powtoon to create animated presentations that will catch your customer’s attention. Stick it on your homepage or share it on YouTube to let people know what you’re all about. 

6. Optimize for SEO

Now that you’ve created all this wonderful content (blogs, whitepapers, videos, PPTs), you need to make sure the people, and search engines, can find it. Optimizing your content is easy and can really boost traffic to your site. Write a catchy title that will draw people in. Include Meta titles and descriptions featuring your keyword. Does your keyword appear in the title, Meta data, URL? There are wonderful tools and plugins available to assess your SEO. My personal favorite is Yoast, which ranks your content as well as tells you exactly what needs to be done to optimize your content.

7. Promote via Social Media

With an arsenal of optimized content, the next issue is how to make it work for you. Enter the world of social networking. Social media is one of the best ways to distribute your content. Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+…this is where your target audience is and the most effective way to reach them. Whether they admit it or not, most people can be found on some sort of social networking site throughout the workday. Why not make the 5-minute break a productive use of their time? Write little teasers for your content and share it with a link to get people reading, sharing, and enjoying your content. This will further your reputation as a thought leader and bring more traffic to your site.

Don’t want to be tethered to your social networks all day long? Scheduling tools, like Oktopost, streamline the posting process so you can share your content when it will make the biggest impact. 

Content marketing, done right, is the best way to make waves in your industry and position yourself as a thought leader. What’s your experience with content marketing? Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments section below!

Mark Lerner

Mark Lerner

Director of Marketing, Independent

Mark is a B2B marketing expert with years of experience in social media, content marketing, and performance marketing. He focuses heavily on optimizing the marketing funnel by utilizing marketing automation platforms and understanding his target market. 

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Comments

John Phanchalad
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 3:39AM

I totally believe that stop seling should have been number one.  Too many people are writing content to "sell" rather than thinking about the customer experience.  The customer experience has to come first and foremost with any and every piece of content

Samuel Hum
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 7:35AM

Agreed! I think while most people look at marketing as distinct from human relationships, it's actually the same thing. It should always be an ernest interaction and relationship between the business and the customers, where the former genuinely wants, and provides what's best for the latter.

Customer experience has to be something that marketers want to do for their customers, and not because it's an effective marketing strategy. Relationships devoid of human emotions and priced on profits will ultimately come across as being cold and merely transactional.

Thank's for writing this, Mark!

Diana Swan
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 7:39AM

BNI's mantra is 'Givers Get' and this is so true with content marketing, providing useful, informative, engaging and insightful content is what attracts and keeps a loyal following.  Thank you so much for this article

Mark Lerner
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 8:49AM

Thank you for the great feedback! 

julieknelson
Posted on January 6th 2014 at 4:25PM

Thank you Mark for the great information.  I am always looking for new tools for content creation and hadn't heard about PowToon.  I've been playing with it for days now and have created a new product promo video using the tips in your article.  Best post of 2014 so far!

Eilidh MacRae
Posted on January 16th 2014 at 1:15PM

Mark, great post on content marketing. Particularly agree with your point to stop selling. Too many people are too eager to write about themselves and what they can offer when really it's more important to appear to give something back, detailing genuine interesting info to be seen as an expert in the industry. Excellent post, thanks!

dialuz
Posted on January 17th 2014 at 2:02AM

it is great article.Excellent tips for content marketing and stop selling is great idea for marketing. 

Abhijit Sen
Posted on February 5th 2014 at 12:10PM

Great post. Super article here! I completely agree with you. It looks like a complete point of an effective content marketing. Thanks for sharing perfect strategies with us.

Susan D'Aiutolo
Posted on February 15th 2014 at 6:59PM

This is a great article and a good reminder to everyone in the marketing profession to focus on what matters most ... your customers, what they want and what they need.  Great ideas Mark, thanks for posting this article.

integritix
Posted on May 9th 2014 at 10:51PM

Nicely written article. The conent structure and easy to understand langaue is key for any content, which is demonstrated here.

Looking forward for more such articles. Keep sharing.

Anurag Guprta

Integritix Global Services