If online content marketing is now a “must-do” rather than a “should-do”, how does a company or brand make it work?
Chris Lake, director of product development at EConsultancy produced a sprawling epic on content marketing (linked to later on) while Ashley Tate, content specialist at SEOmoz, hosted a ideas-packed webinar on the topic.
As Chris Lake puts it content marketing is “a kind of umbrella term for five disciplines: editorial, marketing, PR, SEO and social. It is the glue that bonds these things together, and a predefined content marketing strategy can help [these] teams to focus on long-term goals.”
Ashley Tate kicked off her webinar with the image at the head of this blog post, summarising the overall value of producing content and her practical guidance included:
Stop waiting for resources to appear…
Brainstorm content topics, which might involve new product updates, interesting community engagement or even an enlightening team meeting – all making potential content.
Make structure from chaos
Decide what type of content will support your vision (blog posts, video, audio, infographics, etc) and set specific content goals – in other words how regularly will your content appear. Test the effectiveness of your content over – wait for it – several months to understand how it is resonating with the audience.
Use guest post authors
They can come from among your suppliers, associates, customers and – even better – your community, as long as they are clear on the preferred topics, work to your guidelines and maintain a distinctive, individual voice that feels authentic rather than a piece of marketing.
Test and gather data
Measure content analytics, including the number of social shares, thumbs up and down, comments, traffic sources and page views.
Evaluate and improve
Stick to your voice and strategy, but be flexible enough to grow with your audience and respond to their wants and needs.
Quoting Chris Lake again: “digital marketing in the second decade seems to be paying more attention to retention, and I think it’s crucial to produce the right kind of content for your existing customers / audience.”
Read his in-depth advice on content marketing and gear yourself up for some heavy lifting, but rewarding results, from online content generation.