Understanding Your Options in Content Marketing
The marketing game has changed completely. No longer can businesses rely on traditional marketing methods – they need to increasingly focus on digital marketing solutions to get their message in front of the right options. While there have been many options that have come and gone, content marketing has become the go-to solution for businesses large and small. What is content marketing and what methods can you employ?
What Is Content Marketing? The name says it all – content marketing is nothing more than the creation of informative, original, useful content and then delivering it to your audience. As such, it’s technically a form of outbound marketing, but it can (and should) be combined with inbound marketing tactics to capitalize on the branding built and the connection created with your audience. As you might imagine, there are numerous options when it comes to the type of content you create and how you distribute it. However, there are a couple of qualifications that all of your content must meet before you can distribute it, or you risk incurring the wrath of Google.
Useful – First and foremost, any content that you create must be useful to your audience. Maybe it’s how-to information about using your product. Perhaps it’s a video highlighting the evolution of your industry, or changes in your manufacturing process. Whatever it is, make sure that it delivers actual value to your audience members.
Original – There’s a misperception that the online world is a lot like the American Wild West in that anything goes. That’s wrong. If you take content from someone else, whether in print, video, audio or visual format, Google will no. What’s worse, you’ll suffer with negative branding, which is something that your business simply cannot afford. Create original content, always.
Content Marketing Options Now that you understand the importance of useful, original content, let’s talk about the various content marketing options available to you. They’re legion.
Articles – Articles can be written around topics that interest your audience, and they can be published in any number of places online. Your website is an excellent place, but you can also publish through platforms like Medium, and even LinkedIn and other social networks.
Blog Posts – The venerable originator of social media, blogs still play a vital role today. By blogging, you’re able to give your company a more personal face, while providing valuable information to your audience. Regular posting also helps with organic SEO, as long as you optimize your posts and your meta information.
Podcasts – Podcasts are essentially Internet radio shows, and they’ve become incredibly popular. They can be streamed to mobile devices (smartphones, for instance), and there are podcast aggregation services for both iOS and Android devices. Podcasting is an excellent way to get information out to your audience in a more engaging way than what plain text can provide, as well as to make a more personal connection.
Videos – Video content continues to be immensely popular. YouTube is the world’s second most popular search engine, coming in just behind Google. Creating useful, informative, or even humorous videos can get your message spread far and wide.
There are many other options as well, including social media, guest posting, email marketing, newsletters and more, and each offers something different in the way of ROI.