Content marketing is not a new concept. It has been in existence since the discipline of marketing was formerly developed. Some would argue even before that. Some of the oldest texts in human history were filled with content created for a purpose. The purpose was to inform and influence the reader.
In the context of business, content marketing is a method of creating and sharing media that is usually relevant to an audience that you want to attract, assist, and engage for purposes of acquiring customers.
The art in content marketing is to have the ability to communicate with prospects without directly selling or “pitching them.”
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, over 90% of Business-to-Business (B2B) and 86% of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketers use one or more methods of Content Marketing, including social media, eNewsletters, and articles on a company website.
The beauty of content marketing is that the content exists within your organization. Your sales people, your customers, the accounting department, business owners, customer service reps, and even the shipping clerk all have experience and stories to share that would be relevant to your customers and potential prospects.
The key to developing a really good content marketing strategy is planning. Here are 4 things to consider before you get started:
- Determine what type of content you’re going to cover. Think broadly about categories. Try to think of topics are important to your customers. Be truly helpful, and avoid selling yourself too much. This is about them, not you.
- Involve your entire organization. Ask for ideas from across your organization to distribute the work and get different perspectives.
- Set up an editorial calendar to organize the content creation process. If you’re getting content from a diverse group of employees and/or paid writers, consider hiring an agency to help manage the process and provide editorial support so that the voice is consistent.
- This is key. Take the time to create guidelines for your employees. This will make for richer content and avoid potential mishaps, like unapproved topics making it to your blog.