What is content and how does is apply? Content in the manner in which I am speaking is the sharing of media and publishing content, this could be blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, ebooks, photos, how-to guides and anything else that you contribute to add value to your web site or brand. (*that is crawler friendly… i.e. HTML) The few ways I want to discuss are blogs and infographics. I am relatively new to content marketing and I feel these are good places to get started. There are many ways to branch out from here.
*Crawlers are bots that comb through your content to see how much relevance your content has and these crawlers or sometimes referred to as spiders play a key role in how searchable you are on the internet.
Blogs can be about anything, the important thing about a blog is that you want to help solve others problems and or provide helpful insights that your audience is seeking. Infographics is somewhat in the name, it is a graphic that is meant to be informative. Usually a combination of graphics and text. Once again be mindful that you use a crawler friendly format when adding such content. From my understanding the primary today that is being used is HTML. Content when used appropriately is supposed to attract your audience to you. Rather than you making pitches and trying to sell at someone. If you are a business or just looking to be an authority on a subject, content is a good place to start exploring. I talked a little but about infographics above and here is an example of one that I thought might be useful and topic related. http://blog.attachmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Content-Marketing-final-en2.jpg
So how does someone become an authority? Research! Lots and lots of research. There is a good example in article by Brian Clark that shows an interesting comparison. The point Brian makes is you don’t have to be stacked in credentials to speak about something, you just need to be able to talk about it intelligently. When writing it is a good idea to portray empathy and being mindful of what readers are looking for or want solved. Link to what others have already shared that could be useful to your audience. It only strengthens your stance by offering up other great things people are doing. This helps give you relevance and makes you that much more valid and searchable in the long run. When possible, tell a story. Readers want to learn, but they also want the subject matter to be entertaining. Tenacity… always look for new things within the field that you are writing about or offer up new insights to things that already exists. Give your readers something they look forward to reading. Share via social media, publish and spread the word. People need to know that you exists in order to connect. Last but not least, measure the results. WordPress is a place where you can start a blog for free that has metrics you can use. This is a good starting point for an aspiring blogger. See what is working, see what doesn’t and go from there. I think that if you are mindful of some of these key elements you will watch your readership grow and people will start looking to you when they have a question. One last thing, although I am sure there is much that could be added, Comments, comments are an asset. Whether good or bad, this is another way of comparing results and getting first hand critiques from your readers. LISTEN, odds are whether you agree or not, there are some take a ways that you can benefit from. Stay open minded, and stay at it. Here is link in reference to Brian Clark http://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/a-content-marketing-strategy-that-works.pdf
How to position your content to be meaningful and lucrative? Keep in mind that you are trying to add value in other people’s lives and help them make decisions and or solve problems. Whatever those problems are, engage. You have proven that you know a lot about the subject matter through action and not self-proclaimed expertise, now offer that service or consulting. Don’t be pushy, simply make it available and make sure that your readership knows it is available. Also take advantage of email lists. Another great asset that can save you time and money is having access to your audience via email. Sometimes just to say hey I am now offering “X” and just wanted to make you aware. Content marketing contributes to the overall“*inbound marketing” which can be very impactful. You don’t have to worry about talking to people who have zero interest in what you have to say or provide. This is the essence of useful content, being able to have a rifle approach to customer satisfaction.
*Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand.
Conclusion. Content marketing can be very rewarding and impactful on what you hope to achieve. This can be anything from running a more successful business, to just wanting to be a go to in a particular industry. If this is something you have thought about doing, my advice is to do. We get better through trial and error. Be open, and most importantly do. I hope that there is something here that resonated with you or that will be useful in your upcoming endeavors. Feel free to leave feedback. I am always looking for new insights. (I am just a babyblogger, and your words help add to the process) Also if there is any question that you may have, please feel free to send it my way. I would be happy to try to answer.