What Is Content Marketing


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Content Marketing is the art and science of creating and freely sharing digital media as a means of building brand equity, fostering consumer trust, crowding results spaces, bolstering search rankings and leveraging social networks to drive consumer prospects to websites. If that sounds like a multi- purpose tool that can accomplish a lot, that’s because it is. And that’s why you can’t afford to leave it on the table

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What Is Content Marketing

  1. 1. BE FOUND ONLINE | 3340 N. CLARK STREET, SUITE 215 | CHICAGO, IL 60657 |877.55.FOUND
  2. 2. The “One-Shot” All-Or-Nothing Sales Approach is Dead.Repeated and regular exposure builds relevant relationships;provides multiple opportunities for conversion, positions brandsalong multiple channels and lifts messaging’s overall search profile.You know that the rules have changed, that the old model of traditional advertising brings little morethan customer indignation, that the new models that embrace search engines and social networks andleverages the actions of consumers actively looking for something: information, insight, solutions totheir problems. If you have that special something, you can attract that special someone - the consumer.What is Content Marketing?It’s the art and science of creating and freely sharing digital media as a means of building brand equity,fostering consumer trust, crowding results spaces, bolstering search rankings and leveraging socialnetworks to drive consumer prospects to websites. If that sounds like content marketing is a multi-purpose tool that can accomplish a hellova lot, that’s because it is—and that’s why you can’t afford toleave it on the table.Why You Should Be Doing It2|Page
  3. 3. How To Get Started This is where most of your energy will go, so before you create content – probe and poke around internally to determine what resources you have available: What content do you already have? What can be reused? For instance, do you have slides from a past pitch that would work as a case study? Do you haveaudio, video or photos from a meet-up presentation lying around? Do you have anyone on your team3|Page
  4. 4. who’d be comfortable and capable of producing content? Will you need to hire someone? Whatresources will they require? And based on the answers, what kinds of media will you be able to create?Once you have a clear picture of your existing digital media assets, and the talent you have on hand torepurpose them and produce more you’ll need to plan. Planning will organize your content intoopportunities and possibilities. Make list of the content ideas that you’ve developed and the formats inwhich you’ll be able to deploy them. For instance; video of a presentation could be deployed as slides onsites like AuthorSteam, in audio form on sites like PodBean and as video on sites like Vimeo. Your listwill have a variety of items on it in various stages of development. Some of your existing content will be publication-ready, e.g., the transcript of a completed presentation; but other items on your list will need massaging (i.e. a series of newsletter articles that could be consolidated into a white paper). Any topic that has value to your target audience—and therefore your search profile—should be part of your plan. Next sort your plan according to criteria such as readiness for publication, format diversity (i.e. how many ways you’ll be able to use4|Page
  5. 5. each), determine if you have content creators on staff now, and whether this is something they shouldbe doing for your business. If no, start thinking of whether you want to hire or source this kind of work.Remember, the plan won’t be static; you’ll be updating it often. As you develop a methodology forpushing concepts through the idea to deployment process, you’ll become sensitized to new ideas andidentify new opportunities more readily.You’ll also want to create and manage profile building blocks such as profile pics, bio copy, and a list ofkeywords you’ll want to attach to uploaded content as “tags”… You’ll need them in step four: Publishing.In many ways this is really two steps a) Content Creation and b) Content Optimization. And since youmay be creating digital media ranging from White Papers and Podcasts to Webinar’s or Online PhotoGalleries, it’s not easy to give one size fits all guidelines. However, there are three rules of the road thatit will pay to keep in mind. First … Bigger is better. A longer whitepaper, for instance, is easier for aSearch Engine to see and therefore is more likely to turn up in results and be found by consumers. Also,offsite digital media tends to draw in consumers looking for the kind of detail conversion considerationskeep off landing pages. And even when a consumer isn’t going to read or listen to a whole thing, seeingthat the information is available, aids conversions by building the consumers sense of trust in the brand.Second … “Content” and “Format” don’t mean the same thing. Format is your distribution options.Content is your subject matter. A piece of video – say of a presentation – offers an instructive example.You see, that video can be posted on YouTube, Revver and BlogTV; its audio can be isolated anddistributed via sites like PodNova, the presentation slides can be posted in a network like AuthorStream,a transcript plus snapshots from those slides can become a whitepaper on Scribd and even those slidesnapshots plus screen grabs from the video can be deployed via image sharing services like Flickr’s. That5|Page
  6. 6. means you’ll want to take advantage of existing content and establish a content production chain thatmaximizes your format options. Remember it’s content that’s the hard part, format is comparatively easy.Third … Leverage your entire organization. Even if you happen to employ a photographer, copywriter,filmmaker, social media aficionado—don’t drop your entire content marketing load on their shoulders.For instance; you have a team member participating in a conference panel, send someone else along witha FlipCam. If someone’s going to an industry meet-up, make sure they come back with photos for Flickr.Once You Have Content, What Do You Do With it?Some of your content will obviously appear on your organization’s web site … on your Blog, in your PressRoom, etc. But in addition to your own website, you’ll want to take advantage of sites, such asSlideShare, YouTube, Flikr, etc. What you don’t want to do is start thinking is anything along the lines of:“We’ve put a lot of work into planning and creating this content. We should get something in return.”And start locking your content behind barriers that force anyone who wants access to provide personalinformation. Nothing could be more damaging to the relationship you’re attempting to establish withconsumers. Don’t put up a gate between your content and your prospective customers. Studies have6|Page
  7. 7. shown that asking for information will cause large numbers of prospects to turn away. In part this isbecause users have to provide this information before they reap any reward from your “free” content.If consumers can find information similar to yours without giving away personal information, they’llchoose the path of least resistance. Thought leadership is supposed to build trust. Forcing your audienceto give you lots of personal information before downloading “free” content will not help you build trust.Publishing offsite typically won’t present that problem, but you will need to choose venues with searchfriendliness in mind. Take Flickr for instance; it’s not just the most popular image sharing network, itoffers search friendly functionality that others don’t … The system allows users to title, tag and describeeach image—accepts anchor text links in descriptions, allows users to create key phrase focuses galleriesand even geo tag images (an especially useful feature if for local businesses and franchisees). It alsohappens to be owned by a search engine (Yahoo) whose image search results tend to favor content within.Here Are Few Rules of the Road You’ll Want to Keep in Mind: Sites that allow you to create profiles with “bios” and links back your website are your best bets. Don’t just publish into content networks; engage in them by commenting and following others. Take network specialties into account during format planning. For example; if you’re creating a case study, and you can create it as either a Word doc or a Power Point presentation, remember that a) In addition to general document sharing services, there are numerous slide dedicated networks like SlideBoom and b) It’s fairly easy to turn slides into images and even video … and so by choosing to start with Power Point you’re expanding your publishing options and therefore the “true reach” of your efforts.7|Page
  8. 8. FINALLY, PROMOTE!This is the part most first time content marketer’s forget. Your content won’t do much good unless youmaximize its exposure, so it is now time to notify your audience that your content is available. The waysto do this are almost infinite, of course, but here are a few common methods: Include links to your latestcontent in Tweets, on LinkedIn, in Facebook and social sharing sites such as Digg and Delicious. Socialbookmarking can play a large role in helping you spread the word. But don’t rely on any one channelexclusively. And don’t forget the power of interpersonal relationships. For instance you may want to askalmost everyone you come in contact with if you can add them to the subscription list for a newsletter.You can also announce published pieces with an online press release (that will also be a kind of contentmarketing). Since the goal of content marketing is to create dialog, make it easy for people to providefeedback. Ask them what they think about your content. One method to do this is to preview each new8|Page
  9. 9. content effort in blog posts that include a brief survey. After all, you are trying to start two-waycommunication.Its easy to feel overwhelmed by the possibilities here. But you neednt. The content marketing gamecant be won with one big heroic effort; it requires a consistent series of smaller but consistent actions.Digital Media Created for Content Marketing PurposesShould always be Reused, Reapplied, Repurposed and Recycled.Effective content marketing can help to position your organization in the search and social networkspace you strive to own, provide increased exposure, build brand awareness, establish and/or increaseyour reputation by generating thought leadership and help you build and secure your online presence.So remember these three things … If you plan properly, your content creation cycle can be managed tomaximize the impact for you and your organization … Publish your content and publish it widely. Lookfor multiple avenues-channels to maximize the reach of your content … And promote your content byharnessing the power of social networks to help spread the word. If you manage the life cycle of yourdigital media efforts correctly, you’ll extend the reach of your content far beyond your own sphere. Andby helping others promote and share your content, you can extend its reach and impact, and maximizeyour ROI.9|Page
  10. 10. BE FOUND ONLINETargeted Online Marketing1022 W. George Street #2Chicago, IL 60657(800) 288-1426 O | (773) 305-1917 FSales@BeFoundOnline.com10 | P a g e