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There are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content--far too many to cover here. My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. Soon you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content. Here are five examples to help your mind start percolating.
Step 4: Produce and optimize your content. If you’re starting with original, high-quality content that you’ve invested real time and money to create, you’ll want to get the most out of every asset. You’ll also want to be sure your content stays fresh—out-of-date, no longer relevant content hurts your brand’s credibility. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your content marketing, remember the three Rs:
For example, a car insurance company could use a headline like this: “Are You Paying Too Much for Your Car Insurance?” The ad would then go on to talk about how most customers pay more than they need for car insurance, and how company X can save them more money (which is something similar to what GEICO currently does). The purpose of the ad is first to focus on the pain, and then to talk about how Company X alleviates that pain.
Problem: I need to increase the volume of my organic search. Your audience can’t buy from you if they can’t find you, and today up to 93% of buying cycles start from a search engine. Additionally, according to Kuno Creative, 51% of content consumption derives from organic search, so content marketing is a great way to build organic awareness. When your valuable content ranks highly on search engines, or is shared widely on social networks, you’re building brand awareness at no cost, and since your content will only be shared when it’s relevant, your audience will be less inclined to tune it out.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Copywriters often work closely with clients and other marketing professionals to make sure there is agreement about advertising campaigns. It is typical for a copywriter to submit several versions of an advertisement to his or her client, who either chooses one or makes suggestions on how to improve them. Once the written content has been approved by the client, the advertising copywriter might work with graphic designers or video producers to construct an attractive final piece.
Step 3: Brainstorm, then create your content marketing plan. Planning and creating new content isn’t just about mapping and metrics. Brainstorming and asset planning can be one of the most challenging and important parts of content creation. To catch inspiration when it strikes, you need a receptive environment, and team-wide willingness to try new things. An editorial calendar is not only where you keep track of, coordinate, and share your upcoming content, it is a strategic tool that helps your team execute integrated programs that include your content. Keeping an editorial calendar ensures that you’re releasing your content at the best possible moment, and that your whole team is aligned around the release dates.
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
For example, customers care more about high speed internet that helps them watch streaming videos without interruption than internet that provides 15 mbps download speeds. The “15 mbps” is a feature, in this case, and “streaming videos without interruption” is the benefit provided by the feature. Record the features of your product and the corresponding benefit now.
There are a number of PPC ad writing tips and best practices that I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re already following, such as actually using keywords in your ads (you laugh, but so many advertisers don’t), and following Google’s policy guidelines (tHiS iSnT aLlOwEd). With that out of the way, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to the nitty gritty of writing awesome ad copy.
It’s worth noting that the second ad could very well convert like gangbusters—I’m sure there are literally thousands of ads out there that don’t follow PPC best practices and still convert very well. That doesn’t mean, however, that advertisers should emulate these ads unless they’ve performed well under rigorous A/B test conditions. As with much of the conventional wisdom out there, real data from real tests is preferable to any “best practice,” even if it seems counterintuitive. Do what works for your business, not someone else’s, and always make decisions based on hard data.
Check your local college or university for a technical writing certificate program. Look at the faculty of the program to confirm you are being taught by professionals in the field or working content writers who are familiar with the demands of the writing industry. Certificate programs can be beneficial for writers who are new to content writing or technical writing.
We know this is a lot of information, but the work has just begun. It takes time, organization, and creativity to grow a successful content marketing strategy. From building the foundation of your content marketing plan to adding tools to better manage your content, setting up your strategy for the new year won't be a hassle if you follow the steps and explore the resources here.
Videos. Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at his YouTube channel. He got his start creating videos to promote his family’s wine store and through those videos and other online marketing he eventually grew it to a $45M empire. Videos and podcasts are a largely untapped form of content marketing because people think it’s expensive and hard. But with the falling cost of professional grade equipment creating high quality video and audio content is easier than ever. Amateur video content marketing has been used to sell blenders, launch new dental products, and market Hong Kong visa consulting services. What video could you throw together for your company that might change your fortunes overnight? It might be easier than you think.
When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer's need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.