For any business seeking to attract and gather an audience, relevant content is an essential requirement.
But the creation of that content can understandably seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you create? How much time does it take? Who do you bring to the table?
Content marketers use the phrase, “content curation,” to describe the development of content and and sharing of it in different forms such as articles, videos, pictures, tweets, songs or other pieces of digital content. A more relatable expression might be “Thanksgiving leftovers.”
With a Thanksgiving celebration, you take the time to prepare a great meal and gather those you care about; then, the leftovers extend the specialness of the day for some time thereafter. Content marketing works in a similar way.
Many consider a blog a main dish of a content marketing program. Here are 21 ways blogs feed content marketing efforts.
- BLOG POSTS: Are rich with content, serve as outreach for new consumers and are great for capturing the attention of search engines through keywords and regular updates that the search engines value. Relative to a Thanksgiving celebration, a blog is a main dish in any content marketing program. If your business blogs regularly, you WILL BE effective at content marketing if you WANT TO. Here’s how.
- EMAILS: Can be a slight adaption of a blog post, perhaps with a different call to action, that goes to an predetermined list of consumers. It has the advantage of tracking exactly who reads your content. (You have their e-mail addresses).
- NEWLETTERS Are pretty versatile adaptations. They can be print or digital. You can distribute by mailing, handing out or e-mailing them. You can have monthly, quarterly, or even yearly newsletters. They can be 1 page, 5 pages or 10 pages long. And finally, you can include all different types of articles – from how-tos, company news, and business trends to customer stories, FAQ’s or new product information.
- EBOOK: Is an extension of your blog. Take that blog content, edit it, repurpose it, add value to it. String it together in a logical and coherent manner. Dress it up with pretty pictures and formatting. Lo and behold, you’ve got yourself an eBook.
- WHITE PAPER: With a simple change in tone of your blog post to to educate readers and help people make decisions, you’re on your way to creating a white paper from your blog.
- IMAGES: Used in any of items mentioned so far are indexed with the search engines. The more you use, the more they make your content more interesting and help your raise search rank.
- INFOGRAPHICS: Are growing in popularity for companies hoping to build effective linking strategies as well as execute on viral campaigns because infographics are frequently downloaded and passed around for their visual impact and content.
- VIDEO: In and outside a blog is a powerful tool for corporate content marketing strategies of any size. They are are boom for internally produced video projects and consumer-generated video alike.
- LINKS: Everyone wants to know when someone is talking about them. So it is with content marketing. When people link to your site or blog, you can find out through tools like WordPress and Alexa, you can check out who linked to you and form good relationships and can links in return. The end result is you turn into an “authority” in your industry, one of the search engine’s most important criteria.
- COMMENTS: Getting noticed by industry bloggers and establishing a relationship with them over time can be beneficial to your business and your marketing efforts. The relationship can work both ways. Leaving comments that add to the conversation helps boost value of their blog post. Comments also establish links.
- EVENTS: 56% or companies with content marketing programs use events to build face-to-face relationships (source: PulsePoint Group). And 74% and use social media. How’s how blogs help.
- FACEBOOK: Distribute content from the blog, email or newsletter to your Facebook page and those who “Like” you and extend your influence among fans.
- TWITTER: Tweet your content and Re-Tweet the content of others whose content you admire and you have one of the most powerful and cost effective outreach vehicle any company could want for content marketing. In fact, Twitter is defined as a micro-blogging platform.
- LINKEDIN: LinkedIn has 120 million-plus registered users. It couldn’t be easier to share an update with connections that links to your blog. Of those who use it, over two-thirds access it multiple times a week and is fast gaining in terms of share freqency with Facebook and Twitter.
- GOOGLE+: Although still trailing behind Facebook and Twitter, every marketer will need a Google+ strategy. Through Google+, you see a photo of yourself in search and pull in metadata you’ve chosen for my Google+ profile.
- PINTEREST: Is the fastest growing social network since Facebook, you can pin your images and interest to pinboards (which also link to your Facebook page). If women are your target who make the purchase decision for 90% of all products, Pinterest is 70% female.
- PODCASTS: Are an easy way to generate guest content and a quick-turnaround format, podcast can also transcribed to generated rich, written content.
- WEBINARS: 46% of companies use webinars and 70% believe they are an effective marketing program. A way to make the most of them is to use your images and videos and make the content as interesting as possible (source: Content Marketing Institute_
- SURVEYS: Use online surveys at the end of your blog to get to know your prospects, create a dialogue and lead them to your product or service.
- CASE STUDIES: Take examples from your content to build case studies to show customers what in it for them. On this blog, we have over 100 case studies of the ROI of Social Media, Social commerce , Social CRM and SEO
- USER GENERATED CONTENT: The best advocates for any business are customers themselves. Encourage user-generated content and video. It’s a boon for marketing purposes, particularly if you request submissions that fit into your overall content marketing strategy.
The comparison to Thanksgiving is deliberate. Although it may seem like a paradox, you attract more attention to yourself when you recognize others more than promote yourself.
Do you agree with these 21 ways? Have we missed any you would like to share?