There is so much talk today about content marketing because it is the most effective inbound marketing strategy in use today and the use of content marketing is rapidly increasing. As content marketing continues to increase in popularity, many businesses are finding their customers want more than a couple of blog posts per week. 76% of B2B marketers say they will produce more content in 2016. So the question is what is content marketing and what is the purpose of content marketing. According to one of my favorite online resources for content marketing information is the Content Marketing Institute and they define content marketing as:
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.
Analyzing the Content Marketing Definition
Let’s analyze this definition of content marketing with a step-by-step analysis. Strategy a plan of action or policy designed to achieve an overall goal. So before we move further we are made aware of the fact that we must begin the process of content marketing with goal setting and then create a strategy that helps us achieve these goals.
According to Content Marketing Institute 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a documented content marketing strategy. The majority (60%) of B2B marketers report that their biggest challenge in 2016 will be producing engaging content. 57% say measuring content effectiveness will be their greatest challenge, and 57% say producing content consistently will be their biggest struggle.
Based on this information we begin with a goal and a documented content marketing strategy. We begin this research process by collecting and analyzing data that has been aggregated by reputable organizations and using relevant keywords to provide valuable content to our target market. The content we produce solves problems and adds value to your target market. The most effective and efficient way is to create a business blog.
Content is still king in 2016 and that means blogging should be a top priority for marketers as you plan your content strategy. Remember companies with a blog receive more leads than those that don’t blog, and companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t.
The Higher the blogging frequency the more effective the blog is as a lead generator. Your blog has tremendous SEO benefits and organic search attracts high-quality leads. A company blog has more long-term ROI than many other traditional marketing efforts. 76% of B2B marketers say they will produce more content in 2016, which means increased blogging, but before you begin to increase your blog production there are some emerging trends in 2016 that you must be aware of moving forward.
One of the most noticeable trends is the move toward longer blog content that tends to perform better in search engines as the average word count numbers have increased in the last couple of years. Remember to use more visual content it engages and converts at a much higher rate than text only post, so make sure you are incorporating graphics, charts, and photos in your blog content.
Content curation is sorting and sifting through large amounts of internet content and presenting the best posts by adding your own personal commentary and organizing it in a way that provides maximum value for your readers. The process curating content like a museum curator sifting, sorting, arranging, and placing the bones from the lasted dig, you find content and classify it into coherent and meaningful arrangement and then publishing that information with your company spin highlighting the most valuable and vital nuggets for your followers.
Content curation is very different from content marketing. Content curation doesn’t include creating new content, but it’s the act of discovering, compiling, and sharing existing content with your online followers after you have analyzed it for value and added vital insights to the core information . Content curation is becoming an important tactic for marketers to maintain a successful online presence. Content curation is a great tactic to provide extra value to your brand’s audience and customers,to build and solidify engagement with loyal fans.
Social media and content marketing are two players on the same team. Content marketing as the number one tactic for an inbound marketing strategy and as a mean to drive SEO for lead generation is quickly becoming a one two digital marketing combination that is a must for content development and distribution. Social media has become the ubiquitous digital marketing workhorse for content distribution. 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media and 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. Your blog and website should be a key components of your content marketing and social media strategy, this is where you direct followers to create a deeper and more meaningful relationship on a media platform that you own. Today social media marketing is the number one mechanism for distributing content on the internet.
Is a distribution channel that provides your customers with valuable content, as well as encourage retention and brand loyalty. Unlike social media networks, you know exactly who your audience is and have the assurance that they’re interested in your message. By allowing individuals to opt-in to an email list, you can target your messages more effectively and nurture new leads.
It’s critical that every email sent is valuable, interesting and engaging. Types of emails that you can include into your client’s content marketing strategy are press releases, newsletters, seasonal marketing messages, infographics and exclusive downloadable guides for email subscribers.
Today many businesses get into content marketing because it is the “in” thing to do, but many of these same businesses don’t have a documented content marketing strategy, they don’t use an updated editorial calendar, or an inbound strategy to govern the individual tactics used.
As a content marketer you should set goals that drive your strategy and that strategy should be documented and supported by written tactics and use some type of analytic tool to measure the ROI of your campaign if you are a SMB or running a crowdfunding campaign you expect to to increase your exposure, social shares, links, leads, and sales.