It’s no secret that content marketing has become one of the most important forms of marketing strategy. With it, you can generate high-quality backlinks, expand your customer base, make sales and grow your reputation as a thought leader in your industry. It is also a fact that content marketing takes effort and dedication. To harness the power of content marketing, you need to develop a strategy so you can make sure you get the best possible results.
The Value of Strong Content Marketing Strategy
Marketing is changing. It’s not enough to simply throw out ads and hope that people will see them. The internet is a big place, and people can easily ignore you if they want to. They’re also getting better at it, as they learn more about what kind of content they like and don’t like.
But what exactly is content marketing? What are its benefits? And how do you go about creating a content strategy?
Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Content can come in many different forms such as blog posts, web pages, white papers, ebooks, infographics, videos or even social media posts.
It’s important not to confuse content marketing with advertising. Sure, they have some similarities — both are designed to drive sales and lead generation. But in contrast to traditional advertising, content marketing offers value before asking for it in return.
Rather than pitching your product or service, you’re offering insights and resources that help your audience reach their own goals. This is why content marketing works so well — prospects are already researching the products they want to buy, and content marketers just give them information that helps them make better decisions.
Building Your Brand
Your brand is the culmination of everything your customers think, feel and say about your business. It’s more than just a name and a logo; it’s a combination of the image you present in your advertising and marketing, your customer service policies and the quality of your products. It should be an extension of who you are as a business owner and what you strive to provide for your customers.
It is what people think when they see or hear your company name. It’s what they think when they see one of your employees or read an article about you in the newspaper. Even though you may not be directly involved in every interaction with each customer, that perception is still there. No matter how much time or money you spend on advertising, if customers aren’t happy with their experience, then it doesn’t matter how many sales you make. The first step to building a strong brand is making sure that all of your customers have a positive experience with your business.
Content marketing helps you build trust with your customers, establish credibility and separate your brand from the rest of the pack.
Did you know that 60% of blogs write 1-5 guest posts per month? Guest posting is one way to use content marketing strategically to grow your business. It is one of the most effective ways to get your name out there and create leads for your business.
If you’re not familiar with guest posting, it’s basically writing for a blog about your industry. For example, if you’re in the fitness business, you could post on a health-related blog about how to use fitness apps to track workouts.
The idea is that the blogger will feature your post and link back to you, which will then their followers and readers will pick it up. You’ll also be able to promote your content through social media, email marketing and other means.
If you’re thinking about extending the reach of your blog by guest posting on other sites, here are some tips:
1. Pick a niche that your target audience cares about.
2. Write a guest post for an authority site within that niche.
3. Get in touch with the blogger in charge of the blog you’re guest posting on. And tell them what you want to write about.
4. Write your post, stick to the format they requested, and make sure it’s on point.
5. Submit it to the site you chose and wait for them to publish it. This way search engines and Google index it.
6. Use social media to promote your post. Make sure you talk about why people should read it too and not just link out directly.
Thought leadership is a buzzword that can’t be avoided, but what does it actually mean?
Marketing jargon aside, thought leadership means creating content, whether it’s a blog post, a video, or an infographic that adds value to your industry. It’s content that goes beyond the product-focused nature of traditional marketing and provides real value to your target audience.
To be thought of as a leader, you need to present yourself as an expert in your field. With so many marketing channels available today, it’s easy to spread your ideas and promote yourself as a leader.
The benefits are clear. By becoming known as a leading voice in your industry, you can turn yourself and your organization into a magnet for leads, press coverage and sales.
Here are the key attributes of thought leadership and how to generate content that will position you as an industry expert:
- Intellectual capital: Provide new insights or information that will make your audience think differently about an issue. This is something they wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t read your piece
- Credibility: Make sure the key messages are backed up by facts, evidence and other data that support those claims
- Expertise: Establish yourself as an expert on the topic by including any research or studies you’ve performed
- Freshness: Say something new or different that hasn’t been said elsewhere.
A strategic content marketing strategy requires a significant investment of time, effort and resources. In return you get multiple benefits including a steady stream of quality, reciprocal links to your site, transforming your online presence into a valuable resource for future clients and advertisers, and building your brand equity as an expert. If done right, it will increase traffic to your site and ultimately generate leads that can be turned into customers.