On the Internet, “Content Is King” as said by Bill Gates in 1996; even though it was written a long time ago it still holds great truths (slideshare.net/mchavesrj/content-is-king-bill-gates).
Content marketing is about the creation and distribution of valuable content that consumers can access for free. Like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing is a discipline in its own and requires a well-defined marketing strategy. The main objective of content marketing is to convert prospective clients into actual consumers. You can choose to create your own content or to share valuable and relevant content you come across on the Web. The content you curate or create is closely associated with the type of product or service you sell. Essentially, you are sharing content with web users so that they understand and trust your brand.
At the heart of content marketing is making a deliberate effort to obtain consent from your target market. This is especially true when you are using email to market and distribute your content. When you gain permission to distribute the content, your audience is allowing you to build a relationship with them. As a marketer, this provides you adequate opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
Content curation is a significant trend for online marketers today. The amount of information available online continues to grow and this can be attributed to the low costs of creating content. What this means is that there is so much valuable information online that any marketer can leverage. You can use the large amount of content by distributing it to your target market in an effort to boost your brand visibility as well as that of your website.
Use Video: If you are selling health products, you can aggregate useful videos and embed these on your website. In just a short time, your website will be a valuable resource for all those who visit. Content sharing sites such as YouTube allow users to embed content onto their own website. You may also opt to transcribe the videos by creating search engine optimized posts that will make it easy for users to find your site and the videos.
Leverage Social Media: Large majorities of online consumers are looking to engage with brands online. What better way to share relevant content with your audience than distributing it where they spend most of their time. Surf the web for some great content for example, blog posts, infographics or videos and then distribute them to your social community in the major networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn. Use a social media management platform such as HootSuite that allows you to automatically distribute the content at preset times.
Establish a “Resources Corner” on Your Website: All that content you have collected across the web, dedicate a page for it. You can simply add links to content that will be helpful to site visitors. In addition to having curated content, you can also add your own content in this resources page. For example, post a video of yourself talking about a product or service or giving instructions on how to do something that your audience will find valuable.
Content creation entails developing your own content for distribution to your target audience. Before you set out to create content, you want to determine where you will house the content. You will also want to consider how your audience will access the content.
Content marketing and indeed content creation requires efforts, time and creativity to develop content that is worth reading or viewing. The content you create must be hosted in a safe area, preferably your own website and under a domain that is in your control (not hosted). This will have two implications: First, you will inspire trust among your site visitors when they can see a trustworthy domain. Secondly, the content you create will rightfully belong to you and not the domain host.
The Niche: As you create content, you must consider the niche you are in, otherwise the content will be irrelevant to your target audience. Create content that is specific, relevant and valuable to your audience. If you are just getting started, and you are not too sure what your audience may be looking for, you can start to create content that is interesting to you. Then, you can assess how your target audience receives the content- what is engaging to them and what is not. Do not forget to optimize your content for the search engines.
Provide Quality Content: Quality content is more than not using a spinner, using the right keywords or adhering to a certain keyword density. While these things are commendable, quality content is something that a reader can sit down and invest their precious time to read. If your audience cannot read or view your content, then it probably is not worthwhile for them. By now, after determining what your audience is looking for, you should be creating content that is engaging to them. You will know that people are reading your content by the amount of traffic the piece of content attracts, the number of sites that link to your site, and the amount of sharing activity around the content.
Leverage the Power of Email Marketing: Social media and blogs are a great way to distribute your created content. Another channel that you should not overlook is email. Email allows you to build a relationship with your audience. If they have signed up to receive the content, it is likely that they will read it (if it is valuable to them). You can use auto-responder softwares such as MailChimp or Aweber that sends automatic and personalized emails to your audience.
Spread Your Content Wings: Other than sharing your content through your own website, you might also want to share it through guest posting. Guest posting means creating blog posts which are published on other websites where your target audience is likely to visit. Guest posting gives you greater visibility and a new audience for your content. In addition to blog posts, you can share podcasts, video conferences and interviews with other relevant websites.
In conclusion, content is the engine of the Internet. Web consumers are on the lookout for information that will offer a solution to their specific problem. Content marketing helps establish authority, expertise and trust.