Last week, I wrote a post all about content. I gave a definition of content and went over examples of both good and bad. This week, I thought it would be good to continue this conversation, and talk about content marketing.
Now that we know what content is, what is content marketing? Is it anything like traditional marketing? Or is it completely different?
Content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute, is:
“… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.“
The big take-aways from this definition that I want to emphasize are “valuable”, “consistent”, and “retain a clearly defined audience”. Now, don’t get me wrong here, profit and customer action are very important. No one is creating content, just for creating content sake. But by focusing on the ideas of adding value, consistency of producing quality content, and retaining your desired audience, then the money part will follow on its own.
As I wrote in my previous post, good content is all about adding value to your community. If you are not adding value, and you are solely focused on generating revenue, the content you are publishing is not of any use to the community you’ve created.
Before you can think about marketing your content, whether it be a blog post, YouTube video, or informational product, you must think about the intent of this content.
When you focus on the intent, or desired effect, of the content you are creating, you can then look to see where the best fit will be to market it. For example, if you are creating a video, then it goes without saying that the best platform right now would be to start with YouTube. Furthermore, if you are creating quality photographs, then you would most likely be marketing your skills and your content on Instagram.
Now if you are creating content that might be helping people to develop their career, then you should probably be looking at LinkedIn to publish and market your content.
Content marketing is not just about the content, but it’s finding the best platform for publishing and promoting that content. However, by focusing on the value that you are adding, you can understand what the best platform will be, for your product, information, or the like.
Once you’ve decided on a platform for your content, then you need to be honest with yourself about how consistent you can be. Reliability comes from consistency. If you tell your followers that you are going to publish daily, and then publish once a month, they are not going to take you seriously, nor will they be able to trust your content because you have lied to them from the beginning.
Reliability comes from consistency.
So be honest. If you know for a fact that you cannot bring yourself to blog daily or edit video daily, then do not tell them that you are going to produce daily. Make a commitment. Say you will produce content weekly, and then spend the rest of the week working on your following week’s content and promoting the content you just published.
Routines help consistency. Develop a routine of not just creating content, but also for marketing that content. The how-tos of actual marketing will vary depending on the type of content you are creating. But the foundational idea of all types of marketing is consistent production, and adhering to the deadlines that you have created yourself.
Retaining a clearly defined audience
A huge goal for content marketing is about the community that you create surrounding your content or your business. The idea around content creation is to reach out to that desired audience and to keep them wanting more, needing more, and asking more questions. If you can retain this audience, they will go from just followers to superfans, as Pat Flynn writes about in his new book.
You want to market your content in a way that will not only bring more attention to your business, but to create a community that is all about helping each other out, and looking to you as the audience. If you are creating content that doesn’t address this, then you are missing the point from the beginning. And worse, your marketing strategies will just not work.
Have you started marketing your content? What obstacles have you come across? Let us know in the comments below!