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Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

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Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: February 13, 2014

While some of online marketing is trendy and will inevitably fade away, there’s no disputing that content marketing is here to stay. If you’ve heard this buzzword, but aren’t really clear on what it includes, that’s probably because its definition is expanding as marketers find new ways to provide content to their audience.

In general, content marketing includes:

  • Blogs

  • Videos

  • Infographics

  • Whitepapers/Ebooks

How to Get More Readers (and Thereby Customers)

 

The point of content marketing is to attract new potential customers to your site. You’re providing useful information to them (in whatever format you choose), and ultimately, you’re working to build trust. Once they feel they can trust you, that relationship moves into the sales funnel.

 

But first you want to get as many readers or viewers of your content as possible, since they won’t all buy from you. Here’s how.

 

Share Content on Social Media

 

Each blog post, video, infographic or ebook you create should be trumpeted through your social network. And not just once! Schedule several updates -- across all channels -- encouraging your followers to click to view the content you have created. Ask your followers to also share the update with their followers to reach a wider audience.

 

So what’s the ideal number of times to share? There is none. Just be mindful of your audience, and don’t alienate them by posting multiple updates every day begging them to read your content. A few times a week is a good place to start.

 

Post Content to Bookmarking Sites

 

For many people, social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon and BizSugar are where they get their content. The benefit of doing so is that the content has already been vetted, so to speak. The most popular content has the most votes, so a quick skim through the top links should net the best content.

 

For you, social bookmarking sites offer fabulous opportunity to connect to readers you wouldn’t otherwise have found. The more places you can pick up new readers, the more customers you’ll get.

 

Set Up an RSS Feed

 

It needs to be stupidly simple for visitors to your blog to easily get updates every time you post a new article. That’s where RSS feeds come into play. When a visitor signs up to get your blog updates, she can either read them in an RSS feeder with her other favorite blogs, or get your updates via email. That way, she doesn’t have to remember to check back on your blog for new content.

 

Set Up a Success Measurement Plan

 

All this hard work in developing and sharing your content will be for naught if you don’t measure results! Paying attention to how many visitors you’re attracting with your content can help you know if you’re doing a good enough job in marketing and sharing that content. And knowing which topics people are reading or viewing the most can help you generate future content ideas.

 

Google Analytics is the easiest tool to provide data on all of this. Plus, it’s free to use. With Analytics, you can also look at traffic over time and make sure it’s steadily rising the way you want it to. You can also look at conversions, if you sell products online. In other words: is the traffic that’s arriving on your blog converting into paying customers? If not, you should analyze your site to determine the disconnect.

 

These days, it's not enough to throw blog content out into cyberspace. You need a plan for your content marketing strategy so you draw in the right people with your content and turn them into loyal customers.

About the Author:

Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.

Comments:

I really enjoyed this post and it was informative. I liked the detailed information on StumbleUpon and BizSugar. I also look at Tumblr as well. Many people overlook that Tumblr is a great source for relevant information.
I like the author's point of view very much. I think it is important to be aware of the fact what interests our audience and what not. Its one of the brand image building techniques. Moreover, the content (except on the webpage) should not be sales oriented. This times are gone.
That is very true. However, if you are really good at making and inserting your sales pitch somewhere in the content, then you can certainly sell your product. This is where I fail most of the time. There are some people who are really good at it.
Yes, I think those people are 1% of all the marketers! The post is great but not applicable in all occasions. For example, I always see to it that my posts are like-able and share-able but when I try to share some of them on social media, bookmarking sites or set up RSS feeds, it just won't work. I'm not good at content marketing and that's why I'm trying to learn more about it to help me on getting more readers for my script writing blog. Alex
I agree content marketing is a direct way to engage customers. If you redistribute the same content to different sites, could that harm your search engine results?
Yes, Google and most search engines penalize for duplicate content. Even spun content that is not properly done can get your site in the sandbox. Write original content about your subject, or pay someone to do it for you. It's surprisingly inexpensive to have unique articles written for you.
Bookmarking have the best benefit for making the content viral for the website. Exactly the more readers for the content, the more customers you will get for your business.
Great article. Thanks for sharing, Anita! We agree - online marketing tools and best practices are changing and evolving continuously, but Content Marketing is definitely here to stay! We believe that relevant, fresh and original content and aggressive content distribution are key factors of any successful content strategy.
Email marketing has been around for along time way before social media marketing, you still see it because it works. To expand your business with less effort you need email marketing. Email marketing can do your business wonders. Website: This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.  
Truly content marketing is here to stay for long, but the main challenge is to use it in an effective manner to get the desired hype & advantage. As creating a strong customer database is important for all businesses.

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