Over the past few years, businesses of all types, from non-profits to small businesses to large consumer brands, have hopped on the “content marketing” bandwagon as a way to go beyond traditional advertising and marketing.
Wikipedia defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” Basically, a new spin on the old adage: Content is king.
Quality Over Quantity
A few big consumer brands are leading the way in content marketing including GE, Coca-Cola, Whole Foods, and Red Bull. They know what their audience wants and they deliver on both quality and creativity. Anthropologie’s blog, for example, is about more than just stylish clothes. From music and travel to decor and food, it immerses readers in the brand’s shabby chic lifestyle. For more inspiration, check out the 50 top content marketing brands according to Kapost.
The first step to successful content marketing is knowing your audience. Who are they? Where and how do they consume content? What do they need (and how are you uniquely positioned to fill that need)?
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can map out clearly defined content marketing goals such as:
- Perception of organization and brand
- Thought leadership in industry space
And of course, you’ll need some good solid metrics to assess whether or not your content marketing strategy is working. Here are a few to consider:
- Content consumption metrics. (e.g. Page views, downloads)
- Content sharing metrics. (e.g. Likes, shares, retweets)
- Lead generation metrics. (e.g. Subscriptions and registrations)
- Sales metrics. (e.g.#of widgets sold)
A content marketing plan without resources is like a car without gas, so make sure you have the resources to turn ideas into action. That means a pool of quality writers, a solid editorial plan and calendar, and a budget that covers creative assets such as original graphics, photos, and videos.
To get the biggest bang for the buck, you may want to prioritize the following types of content with the best ROI* (in order).
- feature articles
- white papers
- interactive media
- sales copy
- buyers guides
That’s just the beginning. For more on content marketing, check out the following articles:
How to Find the Best Content to Create
7 Outstanding Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
15 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Content Marketing Project
Content Marketing Templates
Nonprofit Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
* According to the Content Marketing Institute