What is content marketing? Do you use it effectively? The short answer is information that is presented in a wide range of formats.
A more expansive explanation is content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating relevant, consistent content in order to gain and retain a clearly defined audience. Utilizing a wide range of distribution methods, the goal is to drive them to take action and ultimately, turn this highly targeted audience into customers.
Whew! That’s a mouthful.
But now I suspect the first question should have been, “What is content?” Well that answer requires no explanation… content is information. It doesn’t matter how it is presented or what media you use.
Feel free to use content to tell a story!
But we can take it a step further and describe content as storytelling. While content marketing is relatively new to Internet marketers, in fact, it’s been around longer than the Internet itself.
People from the beginning of time have been telling their stories and, by far, the easiest way to tell your story is with blog posts. But don’t stop there.
Content can be presented as a blog post, news story, video, eBook, email newsletter, podcast, infographic, photos & images, how-to guide… however information can be distributed and consumed.
Remember, content isn’t just about information. As previously mentioned, it’s also about telling a story. When combined with great copy, this smart online marketing strategy works like gangbusters.
And we all know the Internet is content driven. There is no way around this hard truth. The most successful marketers online are often the ones who create valuable, relevant content that is seen by many.
Enter Content Marketing
Content marketing is how the smart marketer adjusts to the changing relationship-based marketplace. Before you pitch your product or service to your audience, provide relevant, useful content to help them solve their problem.
After adopting the practice of creating customized content, marketers soon understood how important content marketing is to their business. They also understood the impact on their bottom line.
But creating good content alone is not enough. You must know how to promote your content, too. If content is King, then distribution is Queen.
Any content marketer worth his or her salt will have their distribution strategy at the ready. They will have several effective methods at their disposal of spreading their content and message far and wide.
To build a base of loyal followers, your content needs to be useful and to a certain degree, it also has to be entertaining. Like it or not, we’re in the business of infotainment.
These days, people have very short attention spans and they want their information delivered to them in easy to swallow, bite-sized chunks; and it has to taste good, too!
5 Powerful Ways to Up Your Content Marketing Game
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles or blog posts or videos, or any other form of content. Getting your information in front of as many people as possible will have a direct impact on your business. In most instances it will be a positive impact.
According to Key Difference Media, 78% of consumers will trust your brand more if you create customized content. What this indicates, at least to me, is consumers prefer a company focus on building a relationship with their customers.
Blatantly trying to squeeze money out of them at every opportunity just isn’t cutting it any longer.
There’s nothing wrong with making a buck, and consumers know and understand this. They’re just more discerning about to whom they turn their hard-earned dollars over to.
So bear that in mind when creating your content. It has to help but also entertain or at the very least, hold the readers’ interest which can be very fleeting online. Once you know that your information is good, use the 5 methods listed below to get your content to go viral.
1. Use Google Alerts
Let’s face it. The biggest dog out there is Google. Leveraging off their platform is always a wise thing to do. You’ll need to set up a specific email account for this method so your primary email account is not flooded with emails.
Then you can go on Google Alerts and set up alerts for two highly popular sites; Quora and Reddit. If your content is about “diabetes treatments” you can set alerts to send you an email whenever someone mentions this keyword on these websites.
All you need to do after that is to sift through the notifications and look at the questions that people have. Answer their questions briefly and provide a link to your content where they can get detailed information.
Do this often enough and your links will be all over the Internet and you’ll see traffic to your web properties start to trickle in and grow. Repetition is the key to succeeding when promoting your content.
2. Contact Influencers In Your Niche
This is a fantastic way to establish authority for yourself and siphon off traffic from popular websites. You’ll also form valuable connections with leaders in your industry. This is a good content marketing strategy.
If you’re in the fitness niche, you could take an article from a very popular fitness website, summarize it into an infographic, and give full credit to the original author. Contact the website owner and tell them the article was so good you were inspired to create the infographic.
Offer it to them for no cost and only ask for a link in return back to your site/content. In most cases, the website owners will be extremely pleased to have something exclusive they can use on their sites and will willingly accommodate your request.
Be friendly with owners of popular websites in your niche. As long as you’re not in direct competition with them, most will reciprocate and you may even be able to cross-promote their products and they yours.
An example of influencer-based marketing. . .
There is an ad for a popular weight loss program aired on TV every 10 minutes, or so it seems! In that TV ad, a well-known artist talks about her struggle with weight loss and shows before and after photos. Trust me, it takes courage for a celebrity to go in front of the world and admit their struggle. It makes a powerful statement and people listen.
When you leverage relevant influencers with their existing audience, you quickly place your brand in front of that audience which increases your opportunity to expand your customer base.
Leveraging influencers to tell their story about how they benefited by using your product or service will go a long way toward advancing your brand and grow your business.
3. Contact People Who Have Shared Content In Your Niche
One of the easiest ways of getting the word out about your latest piece of content is to ask people who’ve shared similar content before to share yours too. You may find these people by searching on Twitter or Facebook fan pages/groups, forums, etc.
As long as they are in your niche and have shared similar content before, in most cases, they’ll be pleased to share new content on a similar topic. This is exactly why your content needs to be top-notch and impressive.
4. Repurpose Your Content
Some people prefer reading. Others prefer watching. And others prefer listening. The best way to reach as many people as possible is to repurpose your content into as many different formats as possible. Your content marketing strategy should accommodate these formats.
If you wrote an article on weight loss, you can always record it as an audio track. This will appeal to people who prefer to just listen to the content. An even more effective method is to take that content and create a video out of it.
When you upload your video to popular video sharing platforms, you’ll be able to tap into massive traffic from those sites. Sharing your videos will give your content a chance to go viral. The video may also end up ranking on the first page of Google and get a ton of organic traffic. Now your content is exposed to a wider and totally different audience.
Don’t know how to create videos or not too comfortable recording an audio? Not to worry. Just go to Fiverr.com and you’ll find people who’ll do a great job for a very reasonable price.
5. Turn Your Content Into a PDF
Many people are always in a hurry. Your blog post may be great but the person reading it may need to rush off to fetch the kids from school. In most cases, they’ll close your web page, turn off the computer and never return.
By providing a PDF version of your content, your readers can download the PDF to their desktop/device within seconds. It will be available for them to read later. Of course, there will be links in the PDF to take them back to your site or blog. So, you’ll not only get your content across but will stay connected to the visitor to a certain degree.
You’ll also be able to share these PDFs on PDF sharing sites like Slideshare.net and Scribd.com. You’ll get traffic from there too.
If you think it’s a major a hassle to convert each piece of content into a PDF, there’s good news. Recently, a plugin called Post Gopher hit the market that does this job in seconds. It will automatically turn all your blog posts into beautiful PDFs at the click of a button. You can visit the Post Gopher page here: https://postgopher.com/
There’s a big audience out there for almost every topic under the sun and every marketer is competing for them. You need to find the right mix so you stand out, be unique; you need to become relevant to your audience in order to grow your customer base.
It’s no longer just about what you say, but it’s also about how you say it… how you present your story and your brand to your audience.
By now you should understand just how effective content marketing is. The 5 tips mentioned above on how to promote your content are just a starting point. The only way to increase views to your content is to take action and promote your content.
Most marketers get this wrong, especially the beginners. They expect the traffic to automatically come to them and it never does. You must proactively put your content in front of your target audience.
Over and above that, you need to do it constantly, consistently and conscientiously. Repeated efforts when multiplied over time will cause traffic to your web properties to snowball. Your blog or website will become very popular because of all the links pointing to it.
Once you reach that stage, once your content has become well-known and sought after, you need to keep up the good work in order to easily meet your marketing objectives.
And, lastly, some food for thought. . .
In his article, 38 Content Marketing Stats That Every Marketer Needs to Know, Neil states, “Content marketing leaders at Search Engine Journal have consistently created high-quality search and marketing-related content.” He goes on to state that they generate over 1,000,000 unique visitors each month.
That’s an astounding statistic.
You don’t want to underestimate the power of content marketing.