Content, content, everywhere you turn, marketers are telling you its all about the content marketing. But, what exactly does that mean, and what exactly should you be doing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Or, in even more plain-English, its creating the stuff that you are going to share on your social media channels, and is going to get people excited about your product, or service.
But where do you start, if your business is new, or, you’ve grown to a point where you can’t grow any further without some marketing help?
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
- PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
- PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
- Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
The most important part of the above: “Quality content is part of all forms of marketing.” The most importand part of that quote? “Quality Content.”
When you start creating content, you MUST remember: your content is the first impression your customers will have of your business. If your visual media consists of posting selfies, or low-quality mobile phone photos, what impression does that give potential customers? Balancing the immediacy of social media requirements, with presenting high quality video, photography, and professionally designed layouts is a tight rope at the best of times, but, making sure that you’ve got the right mix is what is going to set you apart from your competition.
The three main types of content are: written word, i.e. copy; still imagery, i.e. pictures; and video. These can be done as stand alone pieces, or they can be combined, think info-graphics, to create something a little different.
You can probably create your own content, it really isn’t that hard. But, where most businesses fall flat, or lose motivation, is in creating, and implementing, a strategy to activate the content, and get it seen by as many potential customers as possible. Sharing it to your favorite social media channel is great, and might work okay, but, what about the other social media channels? Do you post it natively to all of them? Or, do you post links to the original source file? It all depends on the type of content, and the call to action.
And what about traditional media? Many small or medium sized businesses write-off the “virality potential” of having a traditional media outlet pick up a specific campaign, or piece of media. As much as newspapers, and the nightly news might be losing steam as the “go to”, they still command the eye’s and ear’s of millions of people. And having the credibility of a mainstream media source promoting your piece adds exponential value to your SEO, your customer relationships, and brand awareness.
Three main types of content:
Copy- Blog posts, articles, etc. Typically you should host it on your own blog for SEO, or, if on an external source, have it link back. This builds topical authority.
Images- great to lead off copy, eye catching for social feeds to stop scrolling, stand alone, as in facebook or IG posts
Video- Video is rapidly becoming one of the most valueable pieces in the content marketing arsenal.
Video Marketing Volume Statistics
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
- YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
- More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
- More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs.
- Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.
- 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
- Native videos on Facebook have 10 times higher reach compared to YouTube links.
- 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
And so, where does that leave us? You need to create video, you need to create strong images, and you need high quality, consistent copy. And then, you need to develop a strategy to disseminate it, and track its effectiveness, and adjust to improve your strategy.
But… before all of this you need to define your message. This is going to inform all of your content. Do you want to be an authority on a particular subject? How are you going to do that? What valuable bites of information can you give to your audience? Answer these questions and then you can get started.