“Content marketing” has become such a buzz-phrase that it might have businesses confused about where to start. There are various ways to apply content in your marketing plan, and when you consider social media, the implications of material on your current messaging, and other means by which a business reaches an audience, it can seem complicated.
But it’s not. It helps to start with a specific goal you hope to achieve, but to employ content marketing in your business, you don’t need to turn things upside-down. In fact, there are only three things vital to an effective content marketing campaign (aside from, of course, actual content).
Here are the only three things a business needs to start using content in its marketing efficiently:
Simply put, you need a place where people can find your content. A platform is merely the means used to host content. A marketer’s strengths and weaknesses also can help determine the appropriate platform.
For example, if you’re a writer, a blog or newsletter might be an appropriate platform. Dedicate a tab on your website to a blog for written content, or publish a timely newsletter. On the other hand, if your forte is, say, recording captivating videos, a YouTube channel can be your platform. Similarly, if you can consistently produce quality audio recordings that are useful and relevant to the audience you target, a podcast might be in your future.
The bottom line: Find a place to put the content that most fits your strengths, then put your content there.
A vehicle for delivery
Once your content is hosted on a platform, the marketer’s job is to get that content in front of as many sets of eyeballs as possible. That means a business must have a way to consistently, reliably deliver the content it creates.
Social media is one avenue of delivery. Linking to your platform via social channels is now a norm. If you have an extensive email list, delivering links to your content platform is worthwhile. Unlike some content creators, content marketers must focus not just on the content, but also on how to get it to the audience.
In simple terms, it’s like working as both a reporter and having a newspaper route. You must develop quality content, but also sling it onto people’s front stoops yourself. In the content marketing world, both jobs carry equal weight.
A way to grow your audience
Any advice regarding online marketing will tell you to have a lead-capture mechanism. That is, embed something within your content that will allow you to capture the contact information of potential new audience members so that you can deliver to them more content.
If someone finds your business online because of the content you have published, your job as a marketer is to provide them with as much related content as possible until they ask you to stop. If you attract someone to your content, therefore, it only helps to provide a way for them to “opt in” to receive more of it.
That might mean merely growing your social media following. It might mean running advertisements that ask for contact information. It could mean websites that ask consumers of content to subscribe for more. Whatever the case, if you have good content on a good platform and a reliable means of delivering that content to an eager audience, it behooves you to grow that audience by however means necessary.
Acquire interest, but also acquire the means by which you can efficiently deliver that which is attractive to more and more interested parties.
Content marketing can sound like an extra thing your business has to do to compete. But it’s not that complicated. If you can secure a platform, a delivery vehicle, and a means to grow an audience, content marketing is simple.