Great resources for getting started with content marketing

The Content Marketing world by DigitalRalph (Flickr)

We know that content is crucial for your business’s online presence. But content marketing can be a little overwhelming. Below are several great resources that answer commonly asked questions about getting started:

What’s the best content format? 

Audio, video, text, or a mix of media? Here’s some info on the subject:
– What Content Is Best?
Content Marketing Playbook – 24 Epic Ideas for Connecting with Your Customers [SlideShare presentation]

Key takeaways:
1. The format you choose doesn’t matter—the content needs to provide value.
2. It depends on your objectives and what your audience wants.
3. There are so many great tools: blogging, vlogging, podcasting, e-newsletters, online presentations, webinars, mobile apps, and much more!
4. To meet diverse needs, mix your media, for example:

  • Videos can be released with transcripts or as audio-only recordings.
  • Infographics are great because they combine visuals and text.
  • Text comes in many forms: blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, digital magazines etc., and these can all embed or include links to other media.

What should you post / Where do you get ideas for content?

Running out of content ideas is always a worry. These articles can relieve some of the stress:
– 16 Free Tools That Make Content Creation Way Easier
– How to Use Content Marketing For a “Boring” Industry

Key takeaways:
1. Tools & apps can’t replace human creativity, but they can inspire it.
2. No matter what business you’re in, there’s always an opportunity for content.
3. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to establish myself as? An industry leader, enthusiast, expert?
  • What do I want my customers to gain from my content? Daily entertainment? A way to make their lives easier?
  • Do I want my content to go viral? Am I aiming to provide value for existing customers or attract new ones? Or do I want my content to simply be a part of building my online reputation?

How often should you post? 

Everyone asks this at some point, but the truth is, there is no correct answer. Amy Schmittauer from Savvy Sexy Social says it best:

Key takeaways:
1. What can you do—what do you have the resources, time and money to do? How much can you do?
2. Start with just one post. That’s a big change.
3. Don’t get to a point where you have to scale back; start from a manageable place and work your way up. If you start off with too much, then your audience will be disappointed when you fail to deliver.
4. Create a content posting schedule and have a deadline for that first piece of content.

Also check out How often should you publish new content?

Key takeaways:
1. Search engines look for good quality and relevant content (freshness is just one of the factors that their algorithms take into account).
2. The frequency of content depends on the industry you’re (e.g. if you’re involved in news, celebrity gossip or sports, you’ll have to post often).
3. Find out what your successful competitors do.
4. There are SEO benefits to publishing regularly.
5. Create content in advance so that you don’t miss a posting deadline.

How should you market/promote your content? 

When it comes to content, the worst thing that can happen is if you spend the time and effort creating great content, but no one ever notices it. This can happen to even the best content out there. That’s why you have think about how and where you’ll promote it.

– 13 Experts on How To Promote Content Before Hitting Publish
How to Promote Your Content Using Paid, Earned & Owned Media
17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content
Promoting your content increase traffic, engagement, and sales [infographic]

Key takeaways:
1. Start planning your promotion tactics BEFORE you publish that content.
2. There are several options: email marketing, social media, newsletters, press releases, posting on forums and other people’s blogs (within reason), etc.
3. Get an influencer/someone with a large following to promote your content.
4. If you have a guest blogger (for example), give them a byline so that they share the content with their friends and associates.
5. When promoting on social media, tag relevant people/companies (who are mentioned in your content).
6. Paid ads are useful in small doses.
7. Use keywords.

Finally, how do you monitor your content’s performance?

This is the last question but one of the most important ones. If you keep doing something that’s not working, all that time, effort and money is wasted. This collection of articles by the Content Marketing Institute will help you stay on track:

– The Basics of SEO for Successful Content Marketing
Effective Content Marketing: 5 Steps to Track Your Efforts
– A Simple Plan for Measuring the Marketing Effectiveness of Content

Key takeaways:
1. Get SEO-savvy when optimizing your content. Then track these efforts through Google Analytics.
2. In order to measure your performance, you need to have certain goals in place first. Want to get more sales through your website? Build your social media following?
3. What, in your opinion, does successful content do? Get clicks to your website, many Facebook likes, more email subscribers?
4. Document all the content that you publish, including the format, where it was promoted, when, etc., and then record the activity for each piece of content.

Content-marketing-cycle (500x500)

– – –

The above resources can only guide you. Nobody in the world know your business, your goals, and your audience/customer base as well as you do. And that’s why you’re the best person to determine your content marketing strategies. With that said, here are 3 things that you always have to remember when it comes to online content: 

  • Be useful
  • Be consistent
  • Be engaging

And that’s it—now go get started!

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