Things change. There’s no getting around that. The most effective marketing strategy in the world can be rendered ineffective in a day by an algorithm change. Or your thriving Facebook page could become a ghost town due to the monetization of Facebook. The only constant in the world is people’s desire for content. Content comes in many forms. In fact, everything you put out into the world as a business is your content – from advertisements, to press releases, blog articles and webinars – all of these are meant to be consumed and shape who you are as a business.
Google recognizes this. That is why it has begun to place more value on relevant content than anything else. Most businesses recognize that they need content and every day more are jumping onto the content marketing bandwagon. The problem is that many marketers don’t understand why they are producing content and what the end game really is. The easy answer to that question is: to increase sales through exposure. While at its very basic level that has a bit of truth to it, unless there’s an understanding of how to do it, this content production is doomed.
An effective content marketing strategy should not be tailored towards the instant sale. Content marketing is designed to increase exposure over time. It’s a soft sell approach to engaging your audience and building relationships. The largest benefactor of content marketing is your business. Rich, fresh and relevant content builds value in your website. It increases your digital footprint through SEO. If your content is well written and relevant, people will read it. Other sources may even begin to syndicate it and share it with their audience. Great content can transform your business’s executives into thought leaders. Producing that content consistently can achieve anticipation and familiarity. All of this increases the chances that the prospect you wish to attract, who may not yet be ready for your solution, remembers you when the time is right.
While there are many types of content you can produce, here are some ideas to get you started:
1) First, ensure that you have foundational content. This type of content serves to identify your businesses core values and beliefs. It defines who you are and assists in creating your business identity. An easy way to understand what this content would be is to decide what you want every customer who visits your blog to see when they visit.
2) The next type of content to consider is topical and/or industry-related articles. With the death of Google reader, it has become more difficult for people to find and keep up with information. This type of content serves to provide a valuable source of information for your audience and the opportunity to provide related insight.
3) Last, but certainly not least, thought-provoking content can engage audiences and start conversations. Any content that makes your audience think about what you wrote also serves to further connect them to you and solidify that connection.
While this is certainly not a list of all of the types of content you could be producing, it should certainly help get you well on your way to developing a solid content marketing strategy. A good mixture of these types of articles will help your audience get to know you as a business, position you as a source of relevant information and build relationships by making your audience think.