Stupidly Simple Content Marketing

Marketing strategies for online business these days can seem complicated. This post strips any complex processes out and takes us back to basics for effective and successful content marketing.

Let’s start by defining what content marketing is and why we need content marketing.  “Content marketing” is a term used which holds within it any piece of content used to promote your online project.

This can be a variety of content such as:

The content can be syndicated via a number of ways which we will go into a little later.

There are a few basics to consider, in fact there are 5! If you keep these in mind you won’t go wrong and your marketing should be on track for success!

Who do you think you are talking to?

Before embarking on a content marketing plan or strategy it’s important that you try to focus on the target audience. You can’t build a content marketing strategy for everyone, nor should you want to. By refining and targeting your audience you will be capturing those who are more likely to find your content and information of value and therefore have a higher propensity to “convert” whether that’s a purchase, registration or contact request.

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience you can then move on to the next step of thinking about what you want to say to them, and how to capture their attention.

Think about what you want to say.

A mistake that is often made is that some people looking after content yet again don’t focus on a theme or topic, for successful content marketing you need to think in “campaigns”. Yes, you should think of creating a variety of content and target your audience, but here’s the most important part. You should have consistent messaging! It’s far easier to manage and also to get your point across if the messaging is all focused in one direction. If you don’t plan your content you will just have shallow content across a range of diverse topics rather than in depth meaningful content which shows a passion, experience and expertise.

Tell the world.

Content creation and syndication is key to meeting your goals and making the most from your efforts already. Often this is made more complicated than it needs to be. What I would advise it to start of by mapping the types of content you already have access to, and are able to use, then look at the type of content you are likely to be able to produce on demand or as support pieces. Finally look at your existing platforms/networks and partners that you will /can use to distribute your content from.

Below is a simple diagram that outlines the different syndication platforms and methods.

Samsung Valentines

(Diagram Credit: www.cultivatingcapital.com)

As a brief outline I would start to create articles, which I post onto the primary website/blog which we wish to market, then recreate unique content for other sites. To be valuable to us, the content must be unique, meaning we can’t just duplicate the article across numerous sites. Each article must be re-written. Also if a user was to come across the article in a couple of locations it should still engage them. By creating unique content this helps your SEO and contributes to your ranking.

Once the main article(s) are written we now need to reformat these to suit the distribution platform, for example you may only need to create engaging headline titles for Twitter, but for Facebook it maybe advisable to also have a summary paragraph etc. Look at the way others supply information on those platforms and follow guidelines (I’ll have to write another post on this). The main thing is that you are putting in good hard work upfront then repurposing the content to suit your distribution platforms. This is obviously lighter work as you go.

Trial other ways, make changes

Once you get into the flow of things and you are able to put content together with relative ease, you should then look at how it is being engaged with and if there are ways to improve. This can be:

Give different things a go but remember it’s not worth doing unless you are measuring in some way. (more later on this below).

Let’s do it again.

Not much need for explanation here. As the title suggests “Do it again” if something seems to be working then just keep doing it until it stops working.

Let’s measure.

Before embarking on your content marketing journey, at some point there would have been a discussion regarding budget and also estimated resource time in order to maintain the content strategy. It’s important to define what the business objectives and goals are for the company and why the project has been approved.  By knowing these details you are able to set criteria and KPIs by which you can report on to show that particular “Return on Investment”.

Some business reasons can be the following:

Good Luck and feel free to ask any questions.

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