A Simple Beginners Guide To Content Marketing

Firstly, what is Content Marketing?

With the traditional marketing becoming less and less effective, the consumers and marketers are moving on from the traditional marketing to newer forms of marketing.

That’s where the concept of Content Marketing comes to light.

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“The technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive profitable customer action”

Content is something which acts as message to the audience. One should write something interesting and attractive to make audience pause for few minutes on their search and glance at your work.

Just imagine how good it would be when the leads are scrolling through your blog, immensely satisfied with your content!

If you want a basket full of leads then you need to consider what they need and want rather than what you have. Analysing present market helps you to know what it consists of and what not. That data helps you in writing an effective content.

Wait, But did you know what CONTENT STRATEGY is?

Content strategy is all about planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. Content is not just words in-scripted on a page, but also includes images, videos and other multimedia. A content strategy is essentially a business blueprint that lays out exactly how its offsite and onsite content will be used to accomplish business goals.

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Content creation without strategy often leads to disparate content with no core themes or purpose. This is confusing to your target audience and can negatively impact your brand’s credibility.

This is a really cool video on content strategy by Joe Pulizzi.

How is content strategy different from content marketing?

Aren’t content marketing and content strategy the same thing?

The answer is No.

Content strategy is all-inclusive while content marketing refers to a single part of an overall content strategy.
Understanding the differences between content marketing and content strategy, as well as planning how they can both work together is one of the most important things you can do fundamentally for your business to succeed online and beyond.

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In short, Content Marketing is simply an attachment to the overall content strategy which consists of creating, measuring and publishing content marketing pieces for audience. Have a glance at Micheal Boezi’s Views on the topic

Let’s Understand the process of Content Building

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Create:

Before you create content you should know why and for what you are creating it. You need to identify the areas which may help in content creation like customer education, details of the clients company is holding, Employees and their training, income stream, marketing efforts etc. Brainstorm the areas you want content to reach the common goals.

Know more about content creation in this slideshare –

After having a brainstorming session, list out the ideas of content writing you came up with. In the long list of ideas, curate those ideas which you are pretty sure that they can hit the jackpot. Once done with idea curation, you will be left with 4-5 or a handful of ideas. Pick one of them that you think suitable and save the others for future use.

Engage:

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The struggle of forming ideas, curating them, choosing the best one among many is just to engage the visitors in your content. Recently, marketers’ metrics of measuring content engagement is based on ‘time on a page/session’, ‘number of shares or likes’ etc. Considering the ‘time on page’ to measure content engagement is rather crude metric. Visitors may visit unnecessary pages like ‘about us’ or ‘contact details’ and that gets added to the content engagement, which in turn gives the false or manipulated result. To know the accurate analysis, marketers need to set up cookies to the original content page, which gives the exact time on content. Such amount of time taken by the person for a page is averaged out to provide the benchmark. And the resulting time is termed as ‘time out’.

This video show Marketers, PR Professionals and Social Media/ Digital Experts are measured on increasing engagement and that engagement is often evaluated with fluffy metrics or “Likes.” Content is what people share and hence, it’s what drives engagement. What brands don’t have a good handle on is how their content ranks amongst their competitors in driving engagement.

Optimize:

You must be thinking ‘great’ now the content is finally on web and end of the process. But what good is compelling content, if it is not to be found? If it can’t be found by the audience, it won’t be successful, for which ‘content optimization’ is the crucial step in the process.

So, Website content optimization is crucial for all written text, but it is particularly important for pages that include information about other content pieces. Some of the elements of optimization are title tags, mete description, URLs, mete keywords etc. When audience opens a website, they frequently look for images and videos. So, the images displayed on the website, needs to be optimized for discovery.

For detailed lecture, watch the video where Mike Moran narrates his slides in a 90-minute class for the UC Irvine Extension on content optimization.

High Level Benefits Of Content Marketing –

Customer Loyalty

Giving good information in regular intervals helps to build the tightly connected communication among the loyal customers which they have chosen to follow your product. Valued content in turn helps customers to invest their time in knowing your product.

Brand Authority

Brand authority is important to build trust among the customers which makes their purchase decisions.

Knowledge about your customers

The content delivered through social media like facebook, twitter etc., the feedback received on such content defines the attitude of the customers through which you can know about their needs better. You can know more about the product in customers view.

Improves SEO

If you generate a blog with good quality content and connect to your brand, it can give you a positive repercussion. Such good content which is absolutely meaningful are not only picked by the customers to read but also by the search engines as preferred ranking.

Adds Value

People expect your websites/blogs and brand ambassadors to deliver insights. People want to go to your website, so that they can get worthwhile information from your social media. Using videos and amusing pictures, make them to return to your blog/website as a routine.

If you are getting started, these are tools you need to be aware off:

Quora – It is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other users’ answers.

Here is a video on to Use Quora for Blog Content Ideas.

Trapit – It is a comprehensive content curation service for business that offers content discovery, curation, and publishing to web, iPad, and social channels through its web application. Trapit’s mission is to help customers engage their audiences through quality curated content. The application pulls from text and video sources and offers built-in analytics and social scheduling tools.

Pulse – It is purchased by LinkedIn not too long ago. Pulse was a news aggregation app for Android, IOS and HTML5 browsers. Pulse delivers timely and tailored news you need to know, saving you time.

Inbound.org – It is a very promising community, basing from the reception it gained from active online marketers worldwide, considering it as a new home of the best educational web-based materials in the industry.

Feedly – It is a news aggregator application for various web browsers and mobile devices running IOS and Android, also available as a cloud-based service. It compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user to customize and share with others.
How to Use Feedly for Content Curation

Paper li – It is a free service that takes links from the people you follow on Twitter and organizes those links into a virtual paper for easy reading. It is a free tool you can use to publish a newspaper. This video clearly explains Curating an Online Newspaper with Paper.li

Alltop – It enables you to create a “personal, online magazine rack” of your favourite websites and blogs. You can create a personal collection from over 32,000 information sources.

Twitter – It is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS or mobile device app.

Reddit – It is an entertainment, social news networking service, and news website. Reddit’s registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links. Registered users can then vote submissions up or down to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. The submissions with the most positive votes appear on the main page or the top of a category. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. The subreddit topics include news, gaming, movies, music, books, fitness, food, and photo sharing, among many others.

Buffer – It is a software application designed to manage accounts in social networks, by providing the means for a user to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Buffer is also the name of the company that creates this software.

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Slideshare – It is a Web 2.0 based slide hosting service. Users can upload files privately or publicly in the following file formats likePowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations. Slide decks can then be viewed on the site itself, on hand held devices or embedded on other sites. The website was originally meant to be used for businesses to share slides among employees more easily, but it has since expanded to also become a host of a large number of slides that are uploaded merely to entertain. Although the website is primarily a slide hosting service, it also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. Slideshare also provides users the ability to rate, comment on, and share the uploaded content.

Yoast – Yoast offers several plugins for WordPress to optimize your WordPress SEO, built around one core SEO plugin for WordPress.

Mailchimp – When you connect your store with one of MailChimp’s hundreds of e-commerce integrations, you can create targeted campaigns, automate helpful product follow-ups, and send back-in-stock messaging.

Tweriod – Tweriod is an online analytics tool that identifies best time slots to tweet such that you maximize your reach to your followers. The tool works using predictive analytics technique which reads the time stamps of tweets and re-tweet of your followers.
Learn how to Perfectly Time Your Tweets With Tweriod

Trello – It is a web based application/tool, designed for group collaboration and project management. It organizes multiple projects into boards and at the same time you can see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, where something is in process.

Evernote – It is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. The app allows users to create a “note” which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notebooks can be added to a stack while notes can be sorted into a notebook, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported as part of a notebook.
I felt these 11 Amazing Features That Make Using Evernote So Freaking Awesome –

Pinterest – It is a free website that requires registration to use. Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images known as pins and other media content (like videos) through collections known as pinboards. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform.

Visual.ly –It helps businesses connect with their customers through premium visual content. Using their online collaboration platform, clients work closely with creative teams to create content that clicks, connects, and converts.

GIMP – It is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, photo-montages, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.

Contently – It creates software that helps brands create and manage quality content and connect with freelance writers, photographers, and editors. Contently has a network of roughly 55,000 professional journalists, videographers, graphic designers, photographers, etc.

The above slideshare gives you an elaborated view on the tools of the content marketing:

Now that there is a great demand for content marking, the above mentioned points will help you create a compelling content. Prepare a plan and follow the above guide to attract traffic. The images and video are helpful for the beginners to give out a good content.

References

https://contently.com/strategist/2015/10/07/5-steps-to-building-a-content-marketing-powerhouse/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/19/what-is-content-marketing/#1cf91ca91d70
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/content-strategy-a-development-guide/
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-marketing-strategy-guide#sm.0015h3ust16xydowro81l7tymp3r4
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/introducing-the-2015-beginners-guide-to-content-marketing/122745/
http://coschedule.com/blog/content-creation-process/
http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/02/28/7-step-content-creation-strategy-for-epic-content-marketing/#
http://online-behavior.com/analytics/content-engagement
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/03/engagement-elements-blog/
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/09/guide-content-optimization-key-content-types/

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