25 Nov 2013

Content Marketing for your Business

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Content Marketing for your Business Website - YWD

I'm sure you have heard of "Content Marketing" it is the new trend and terminology for online marketing. What is it? According to Wikipedia:

"Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content to acquire customers. Content Marketing’s basic premise is to “provide some valuable information or entertainment – “content” – that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to influence a customer positively in some way.”[1] This information can be presented in a variety of media, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to's, Q&A’s, photos, etc."

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.

Full Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_marketing

If you business has a website and a blog you are already doing content marketing, maybe not as well as you could be but you are there already. The good thing is that getting better at it takes only: discipline, strategy, and lots of tracking.

Discipline - Create consistent content
To create coherently and good quality content you need planning and control. Having an editorial calendar will help you achieve consistency, and it doesn't have to be just one person doing all this; your entire business staff can contribute to content creation. Although most of your content will end up as blog posts, this is not the only channel you have for content marketing, as the Wikipedia entry describes there are many different avenues to distribute your helpful and valuable insights, such as product descriptions, comparison tables, how to guides, etc. You also need the discipline to stay focus on the message and avoid the sale pitch, which could be very hard for a lot of marketers.
Keep in mind that content marketing is a process that takes time, you need to build your audience before you start to see results. The results will come as long you constantly keep providing good quality content for your audience.

Strategy - Define what you will say, how you will say it and when you will say it
The content you create should be focused on what your audience wants and how you and your organization can add value and solve problems for that audience. Defining content categories, the tone, and voice, and how often you will create it (you need to be consistent if daily isn't realistic, but twice a week is, keep it to the same days each week) is crucial. And as stated above, you need to stay focused on the strategy and related messages that you have defined. Get you team involved in the production of content. Tips, best practices, and guides for the industry that your business operates in are always good topics for people that want to learn more about what you do. The more valuable your content is for your audience, the more authority you become in your field; and this new influence could prove very beneficial in generating good leads.

Tracking - Review data and modify accordingly
There are many tools to help you track the impact your content has on your audience. Google Analytics can track the referral traffic that shared content can produce. When sharing your content in Social Media, networks be sure to use a URL shortener such as bitly.com or HootSuite's ow.ly, which then tracks the click-throughs to your post. All email newsletter systems such as MailChimp or ConstantContact have tracking for how many people open the emails and how many click on the links from the email body. As you can see, there are many ways to measure who's reading, viewing, sharing and referring to your website. It is great feedback to see what works and what doesn't and make changes accordingly.

Content Marketing is great for brand exposure through all the sharing you and your visitors can do. There is also an educative factor with all the right quality content you provide to your audience, which can positively influence them to share or become the next lead. Every new and original piece content you create provides significant benefits for SEO (search engine optimization), Google and other search engines like fresh and up to date content to add to their index. Make sure the content is original, and your website search ranking will improve.

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