There’s no question, content marketing has become an essential element to marketing in 2013 and will continue to spread throughout the web in 2014. As the appeal of traditional online advertising models like display advertising continues to decline, one thing is apparent: content truly is king. Today, content fuels almost all forms of digital advertising: it guides your social media marketing, acquires links for SEO, positions your brand as thought-leaders, and more.
However, in order for it to be effective, the content you prepare must be relevant, interesting, helpful, and needs to show real, genuine value to your target audience. As a result, the process of creating content can be extremely time consuming and expensive.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Content marketing can be both effective and quick if you understand how to make the most of your resources at hand and practice the fine art of the 3 R’s of Content Marketing:
Here’s 3 advantages of the 3 R’s of Content Marketing from 3 well-known and respected folks in the industry:
- Benefits SEO – “When a SEO and content marketing strategy work together… they attract search traffic on many different variations of a theme.” – Lee Odden, author of the book “Optimize“
- Cross-Channel Exposure – “Multi-channel marketing provides the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search.” – Michael Brenner, Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy, SAP
- Increase Retention & Perspective – “Delivering your message in different ways… only increases retention and impact…[and] gives you the chance to describe what you’re doing from several angles.” – Seth Godin, best-selling author
First, what exactly is content marketing?
There are of course countless definitions of the term and I happen to like more than one, truth be told including this one from Thom Prewett, Director of Corporate Marketing at Blue Fountain Media: “Content marketing is the promotion of an informational resource that relates to the interests or concerns of a target audience for the purpose of lead generation or some other desired customer action.”
While content marketing can take many forms, some of the most popular types of content include blog posts, presentations or webinars, informational whitepapers, infographics, helpful videos, or case studies. Yikes, each of these sound a bit time consuming though.
Luckily, there’s an easier way…
How can I create content quickly and easily?
When looking to create new content, one of the most important things to remember is that you’re probably already surrounded by it. Your company likely has tons of resources available, whether past marketing materials or internal resources, that would be extremely useful and interesting to your target audience. To save time and resources, content on an individual topic can easily be repurposed and converted to take many forms. For example, with a small amount of editing, a collection of blog posts that relate to a broader subject can easily be compiled into an informational whitepaper.
If previous content you have prepared includes enough relevant statistics, use those statistics to create an eye-catching infographic. You can even record company presentations and transcribe them for blog posts or other content down the line. Almost any content can be quickly and easily transformed into new content. Sure, while you will ultimately have to create completely original work, this tactic will allow you to greatly expand your content library and make the most out of the hard work you put into creating valuable resources for your audience.
What should my content be about?
Content is best when it truly connects with your audience and solves a problem or answers a question they may have. When it comes time to pick topics for content creation, try to identify actual problems your audience is experiencing and create informational resources around those topics and subjects. The content you create should also position yourself as an industry leader. Take advantage of the expert knowledge that your business possesses. What expert knowledge does your business have that others don’t? Leverage that knowledge to create unique, and exclusive content that would be valuable to your audience.
Some content sources that are both helpful to your audience and position you as a thought-leader include:
- How to guides
- Case studies of proven solutions
- Helpful onsite tools
- Directory or compilation of helpful resources
- Latest industry news roundups
- White papers
The bottom line is you may very well be sitting on a proverbial gold mine of content that can be repurposed, reused and recycled and repackaged (to add 4th R) to the list that can be an invaluable addition to your content marketing strategy.
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