The widespread adoption of internet-based social media tools in business over the past decade and a half has resulted in a rapidly evolving business landscape in which creative content marketing tactics are among the most important weapons in a business owner's or entrepreneur’s arsenal. This is quite a lofty claim, and one that’s easy to ignore if you don’t have a well-defined understanding of what content marketing really is.
So, What is Content Marketing, Anyway?
At its core, content marketing is a natural extension of branding, social media awareness and advertising. It goes beyond simply looking at demographic analytics and amassing followers and page views. After all, what good are all those visits to your business’ website if the content you have to offer there isn’t up to snuff?
Content marketing takes advantage of every available avenue to grow your business by attracting and securing interest in your brand no matter where a prospective client or customer comes across it first, ensuring that you are always making the best of a first impression and providing a strong foundation for every other aspect of your venture. But how exactly does content marketing work? What makes it so effective? In order to understand that, it’s helpful to read through a quick brief on some content marketing strategies that will give you a better idea of what it actually looks like in practice. Such a brief can be found at Jeffbullas.com.
Content Marketing Strategies
Once you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of content creation and online marketing, understanding what makes it such a powerful business tool becomes much easier. Each individual component of a marketing strategy works towards growing your business in one way or another: scheduling sponsored posts on popular social media channels, for example, gives your target audience a consistent and reliable tether to your business through routine repetition and a stable online presence. Sharing your work on third party blogs and websites allows you to cast a much wider net than you would otherwise, and it boosts your business’ credibility and reputation as an added bonus. Email marketing, a classic tried and true medium for modern businesses also gives you a direct link to your established audience which you can use to great effect to strengthen existing business relationships. Taking advantage of these and other channels is the difference between a business that’s just muddling through and one that is charging ahead on the path to success, but just as important as using these channels is having the right content to send through them, and that is where content marketing really comes into play.
Just as diversity in wildlife makes for a healthy ecosystem, diversity in content makes for a healthy marketing strategy. In short, the broader your brush, the broader your range. Many small business owners or newcomers to the field of marketing start out with blog posts to increase their online presence and grow brand awareness, but a number of other options exist that can exponentially enhance the effects of your marketing when used in tandem.
One example is video content, which Jeffbullas.com stresses is among the most engaging and powerful forms of online marketing available. Dipping your fingers into as many marketing pies as possible is a great way to make sure you’re sparing no effort when it comes to getting the word out about your business, but doing too much can quickly overwhelm the inexperienced or disorganized marketer, which is why creating and adhering to a content plan is so crucial to the success of your marketing endeavors.
Hubspot’s guide to developing a content marketing plan emphasizes the importance of working backward from your goal rather than creating the content first and hoping for the best, a bit like throwing pasta at the wall to see if it’ll stick; it’s certainly not futile, but there are better methods out there. By clearly defining your goals, you can begin to narrow your marketing efforts to squeeze every drop of effectiveness you can from them. Knowing your goals helps to define your target audience, and knowing your target audience is the first step towards catering your content output to their interests. Such directed content strategy leads to more engagement, more returns on investment and more success for your business.
With the right content plan, you can create just the sort of engaging marketing to get more eyes on your business, but before long, you'll find that managing and assessing all of that content is a lot to juggle on your own. That's why Hubspot recommends using a content management suite that's tailored to the needs of your business venture. Finding the right content management system for you will depend on the specific needs of your business, but important factors to bring into consideration when deciding on one are the volume and type of content marketing you're producing, the platform or platforms you're actively posting on and the robustness of the analytics you need to optimize it all.
Once you've got everything figured out—your goals, your audience, your content and its management—all that remains is to maintain a steady stream of engaging material and a watchful eye on it to ensure you build deep, lasting connections with your audience and strengthen your brand.
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