Content marketing is the art of using an editorial approach to marketing content as a means of creating brand awareness, visibility, and thought leadership. Content marketing has been a business practice and a marketing discipline for a very long time, although the explosive growth of the Internet in recent years has allowed this practice of utilizing content to acquire customers to grow exponentially.
Content marketing can take on many different shapes, styles, and iterations. The most commonly used forms to be found online are those that can be discovered via search engines and social media, disseminated via email marketing, and explored via other owned channels, such as:
There are a number of different ways to measure the results and the value of your content marketing efforts, but they all point to two simple questions: did users engage with your content? Did they connect with it? These seemingly subjective questions can be answered using a very objective process involving key metrics:
The Internet is nothing if not one large ongoing conversation, and any company’s success within this discourse relies heavily on the ability to engage and contribute meaningfully in a way that is relevant to customers’ interests. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and every other major player in the online space understands that when a company runs an editorial operation that people pay attention to, that company is worth rewarding in the form of rankings and improved social visibility. Content marketing is the key to it all. When your content wins over the people, it also wins over the computer programs and constructs that those people rely on to bring them relevant information on a daily basis.
From a holistic perspective, you want to position your content so it has the most eyeballs on it at all times. This may mean hosting your content on a well-trafficked portion of your site, or leveraging associations or easily shareable content to get placements on blogs or websites that have more traffic than you do. There is no “wrong” way to get your content out there, but there are certainly techniques and tactics that you can utilize to make sure you get the most bang for your buck in terms of content visibility.
Imagine you run a hamburger joint. Your only goal in life is to sell your exceptional hamburgers. Your hamburgers are amazing, a family recipe handed down from generations past. Also, they have bacon on them (because of course they do).
But you have a problem: your hamburger joint is run out of the back of a neighborhood 7-Eleven, and the only advertising you do is to scribble your address onto the back of old business cards and hand them out at rotary club meetings. Needless to say, you aren’t selling many hamburgers.
Now, if your hamburgers are really THAT good, then maybe word of mouth can save your business. But a much better strategy would be to get yourself a nice lease in a good location, purchase some comfortable chairs so people can sit, engage in some community outreach, and give the people some samples so they can taste firsthand the glory that is your family burger.
In other words, your on-site content is your restaurant; make it as comfortable and useful for your customers as is humanly possible. Your off-site content is your free sample; make sure it’s fully cooked and delicious so that the people who get a taste come begging for more.
Though having a functioning blog and an active presence on all major social media channels is preferable before you really commit to content marketing, the only thing that you absolutely need to start a content marketing campaign is a functioning website where you can gather customers. Content marketing is unique in the realm of online marketing in that it’s a very flexible discipline and can complement any existing (or non-existing) marketing initiatives.
Wpromote has an in-house staff of copywriters, designers, programmers, and creative directors that can strategically plan and execute a wide variety of content marketing campaigns.
Immediate success with content marketing can be quantified by collecting conversational data via analytics and custom goal tracking around inbound links and social media shares and impressions. The long-term value of content marketing includes a much more authoritative position within your business vertical and a robust presence online that directly translates into sustained and prolonged growth for your business.