There is a lot more to content marketing than just slapping words onto a website or uploading a video. Not to take anything away from content generation of course, which is still one of the most important aspects of content marketing. But it is important to remember that content should be in the service of your goals–which is emphasizes the importance of planning your content and how to present it.
“Content marketing” has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry, which is quite understandable given its scope and versatility. Content marketing can be utilized for branding, promoting products and services, and establishing market leadership. It can also be a powerful tool for search engine optimization.
There is a lot more to content marketing than could be shared in a single article. For now, let’s take a look at the basics of planning and executing an effective content marketing thrust.
Defining the message
One of the most unproductive things you can do is to generate content for its own sake. This is a common mistake made by many startups, and they soon realize that there is little to be gained by random posting.
The first step therefore is to define your area of expertise and determine whether or not there is a market for your particular take on it. If you are in the furniture business for example, you might be able to provide tips on maintaining furniture or smart shopping for bargains. The point is to figure out what value you can provide to an audience and figure if there is indeed an audience for that value.
Keep in mind your message is only as valuable as its ability to reach the intended audience. No matter how valuable your message may be, it will have to reach the right people in order to live up to its potential.
It is also helpful to realize that targeting a larger audience will be more costly and will likely dilute the message you are trying to put across. You might find it more beneficial to narrow your scope down to a more manageable audience. This will enable you to focus your content and deliver a more powerful message to a more receptive audience.
Generating quality content
The ease in which content can be published on the Web is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it provides every one with an equal opportunity to be heard (read) online. On the other hand, not everyone is actually qualified to publish content on the Web.
As mentioned earlier, content marketing is more than just about filling up a webpage with words or posting up a video or two. The quality of your content plays a significant role in determining how well it is received by your audience, and in fact, whether or not it gets to them at all. If you are struggling to produce quality content on your own, you simply have to step up your game or hire someone who can do a better job.
Apart from just ensuring the quality of your content, you should also maintain consistency in terms of uploading content and updating your site. A single article or video may provide some value in itself, but you need to keep on with the full court press in order to serve its function as part of a comprehensive content marketing campaign.
Don’t jump the gun on your content marketing campaign either. In most cases, it is better to err on the side of caution with regard to getting your content out there. Take to slow and build gradually. You will know when you are ready. Start out with a few articles that will establish your expertise in your particular niche. After you have built up a good collection of quality content, you can then go about making it known to the online world.
Always aim for the bottom-line
At several points, you might begin to doubt yourself and wonder what all your efforts will lead do. When things become especially challenging, always keep your goal in mind, and that is the growth of your business. Regardless of how much quality you effort and dedication, never forget that you are a marketer first and a writer second. Get your roles straight in your head and you will be in a much better position to achieve your goals.