If you’re paying any attention at all to on-line marketing, you know that content marketing is hot. Everyone’s telling you to create compelling content that will bring customers to your website and help you rank higher in search engine results.
And then there’s social media. You know you should be getting likes and shares on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus. But if you want to earn those likes and shares, you need to be publishing really good content in social media – otherwise, you’re just adding to the noise.
So first, let’s get to the basic question:
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is publicly and freely sharing information about your business and industry. It can include text (blogs, ebooks, press releases and tweets), video, audio and online events.
Content marketing is any form of marketing that relies on or draws from editorial content. That editorial content can come in all kinds of forms
The Most Common Content Marketing Tool
The most common and often the most easily produced content is in written form. And the most common written form is the blog. Learn How to start a blog.
Blogging Is Popular Because:
- Blogs are easy to begin. A blog can be started for little to no money.
- Blogs are easy to maintain. From writing daily to a few times a week, an effective blog can be run in a matter of a few hours each week.
- Your readers are used to the blog format. And are probably comfortable navigating them. The comments on individual blog posts have become a fundamental part of the blog, allowing readers to create content on your platform.
Other Written Content Marketing Includes:
- E-books: Can answer a specific question for your readers and must be free.
- Press releases: No longer just for large corporations, a well written press release can significantly help increase exposure to your site and your message.
- Social Media Content (including tweets and Facebook posts): An excellent medium for sharing news. Works well when combined with the evergreen nature of blogs.
Other Common Content Marketing Includes
- Videos and Audio: Can be in the form of a tutorial, a simple explanation or even a rant – as long as it helps educate the reader. These can be distributed through video sharing sites (like YouTube and Vimeo) or as a podcast (using a service like iTunes).
- Training: While this can be done via pre-recorded method, like the video/audio method above, this is often best done live via a webinar. Students can signup (or enroll) for your course, given at a specific time/day where you will show then how to do something valuable. A word of caution: be sure to test you webinar software/service before you begin offering it to the public. This has the potential of irritate and alienate your students if it doesn’t work properly.
Your editorial content should be very helpful to your prospective customers, and to current customers. You can certainly include things like instructions for using your products, but it’s also good to create content that isn’t obviously self-promotional.
It should go without saying that any content you publish on other websites – for example, YouTube, SlideShare or other people’s blogs – must link back to your website. Otherwise, you’re just providing goodness to someone else’s website. Not a bad thing, but not very helpful for driving traffic to your own site.
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