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Getting Started With Content Marketing

by system
Mon, Apr 23rd 2012 10:00 am

According to the Content Marketing Institute, "Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

While it may sound like another buzz-word, content marketing is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of promotion on the internet. So much so, that your brand probably already engages in some form of it already  (i.e. social media), whether you realize it or not.

As the demand for more (and better) content continues to grow, your brand will need to develop a formal content marketing strategy. We've provided the following tips to help you get started:

Determine Your Goals and Audience

You shouldn't start developing content without knowing what your goals are, because without specific goals, you'll have no way to determine what content is relevant and what is not. Each goal should also be measurable and have a deadline by which you will perform this measurement. For example, increasing website traffic 30% by October 1, 2012 is a quantifiable goal.

Equally important as setting goals is knowing who your message is targeting. This means researching everything about the audience to whom you will be delivering your content, online and off. Essentially, you want to figure out what your audience wants/needs to hear and deliver it.

Plan Ahead

Developing an editorial calendar is one of the most important steps to content marketing. While there are a number of ways to organize this information, your calendar should include all of your intended strategies, specific themes, potential headlines, content deadlines and any allocated responsibilities. This may seem unnecessary at first, but it will make it easier to track your efforts and save you time in the long-run. 

Develop Content (Lots of it)

Your messages should help position your brand correctly with your audience, as well as help you to achieve the goals you have set. As a general rule, you should focus on no more than three themes, each with one to five sub-messages that offer further detail. These messages can then be crafted into blog posts, white papers, press releases, tweets, infographics, videos, and just about any other form of content imaginable.

It's important to keep your editorial calendar in mind during the development phase, to make sure you create enough original content to share with your audience to last you a few weeks, at minimum. Generally, the majority of what you share (about 80%) should be original content, with the rest composed of personal insights (if it makes sense for your brand) or shared materials from other sources such as news outlets or industry blogs.

Spread the Word

Sharing your content (or links to it) through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, e-newsletters, etc. is one of the best ways to get your message heard. However, take care not to force your content where it doesn't belong. It may come off as spammy and have a negative effect on your efforts.

Optimizing your content for search engines (SEO), especially on your site and blog, can also generate traffic and help get your content get found. This includes adding relevant keywords and blog tags, custom page titles, page descriptions, and heading text, as well as including alt text for video and images.

Measure Effectiveness

You can't measure what you don't track, so be sure to utilize a metrics tool like Google Analytics on your website or blog if you currently don't, and keep an eye on your retweets, Likes, +1's, and shares. By measuring the effectiveness of your content, you can determine what parts of your strategy are the most successful or if it's even working in the first place. 

Be Flexible

If something isn't working, change it up. If your messages don't seem to be hitting home with your audience, try a new approach, or consider asking for insight on what you could be doing better. The most important thing to remember about content marketing is that it's about building connections and improving your audience's brand loyalty, and not about immediate results.

Almost as important as the content itself, are the the tools you use to manage it. The Fission Content Management System offers many standard features to assist your content marketing efforts including a News & Showcase Manager, built-in search engine optimization tools, and social media integration.

To learn more about using Fission CMS to market your brand, contact an Account Manager today at 716.829.7373 or visit www.360psg.com.