What is Content Marketing? According to The Content Marketing Institute, an online source for information on all things content marketing related:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is only successful if it is “valuable” to the reader. In other words, don’t repeat what your competitors are doing. Create your own that utilizes your brand in order to enhance its brand awareness in the market while at the same time setting you apart from your competitors. The goal for your brand and company is to ensure that as many people see value in your content as possible. This is possible in a variety of ways such as targeting a specific audience such as millennials or baby boomers utilizing social media, create a solution to a need in the market and center your content around the fulfillment of that need. Everyone evaluates value differently however if your able to create value for many different people you are already ahead of your competition.
Below are the 10 commandments of Content Marketing taken from the Content Marketing Summit 2016:
- Have a strategy: Without a defined strategy and objective the program will not have a focus. Here are some questions that should be answered:
a) What is the objective?
b) How often should I evaluate the progress or success?
c) What is my budget?
d) How often will the content be produced?
e) What is the subject matter?
f) What format will the content be?
g) Where will it be published?
2. Know your Audience: This is probably the most important commandment of all! Too many brands create content and expect customers right away. WRONG!!! If you don’t know your audience, your content won’t have an impact. Here are the questions you should ask before embarking on the program.
a) Who are you targeting?
b) What do you need?
c) Have you asked them?
3. Consult Your metrics: Content marketing starts with a good strategy, but is perfected through metrics. Don’t start a content plan, hit go and not look back. Look at the number of visits, engagements and other social signals, like shares. Use those numbers to your advantage and improve your content. The truth is in the data. Analyze your content for what is working and what isn’t. See what is being shared, what is resonating with people? Survey your customers to see if you are meeting their needs. Did you know that 72% of impressions are generated in the first month with 28% afterwards, so monthly stats need to multiplied 1.4x to get a true measure of the response of the content created. A good example of an metrics system for first timers is Google Analytics. Its easy to use and learn.
4. Create Fresh Content: As a content creator, you need to be tasked with creating new content on a regular basis. That’s the best way to attract readers and keep them coming back. However, coming up with new ideas can be tough. Look for inspiration in your life. Be aware of new trends. Talk to your competition, to industry leaders. Consults online forums and blogs. Many big companies miss opportunities by ignoring the voice of the consumer.
5. Promote Content: Not promoting your content is like putting dinner on the table and not telling anyone it’s ready. Don’t post content and hope people find it; instead, help people locate it. Use paid media to amplify it and email to cross promote your content. IZEA has seen 10x the engagement with influencer promoted content on social media vs. brand promoted content.
6. Don’t Steal: Re-purposing content on your own site in its original format not only is stealing but it also directly negatively impacts your SEO. You can draw inspiration from your favourite blogs, magazines and newspapers, but make sure your ideas are your own. If you use part of an article or a quote, give that person and publication credit.
7. Don’t Sell: The vast majority of the content being created with a focus on how great the company is! Brands need to do a better job of creating content that is valuable to their customers and is genuinely helpful. Fill a need or a want and your success will follow!
8. Offer Value: You shouldn’t create content just to fill a void; customers will see through it. Content should offer value. Try to teach (vs. selling) customers about a new product, educate them about a change in the industry or provide information that customers care about.
9. Tell Good Stories: Stories are powerful tools. People want to feel a connection to your brand, so help them do so through stories. The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you question to think upon – Brandon Sanderson “ the Way of Kings”
10. Solve a Problem. The pen is mightier than the sword… or in today’s world, the laptop is mightier. Ask yourself, “What issues are customers facing?” Use those issues to provide solutions via your blog.
Thank you for reading!
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