Last night I was lucky enough to go to the conference in Madrid called “Goodbye Google Adwords, Hello Content Marketing” which was organized by a well-known business school that specializes in digital innovation. It’s an eye-catching title and one sure to ruffle a few feathers, given that many people’s livelihood is practically based on search engine marketing.
So if it’s to be the new Google Adwords, what exactly is Content Marketing? What does it include? What are its aims? Well, that’s exactly what the speaker, Roman Garcia, went on to explain.
Content Marketing is primarily three things.
- Content Marketing is an art, the art of creating great and varied content that people are not only going to want to read, but also to share.
- Content Marketing is a skill, the skill of being able to distribute it through a wide variety of channels to different groups of people.
- Content Marketing is a science, the science of being able to measure the impact and success of your various campaigns using several highly specialized analytics tools.
What are the objectives of content marketing?
Well one aim of content marketing is to get recognized by the experts of your business area. This means producing quality and reputable content that the experts will consider worthy of a solid retweet or mention. Tied in with this idea is the importance of regularly publishing relevant content that will be valued by the audience and the experts that you target.
Another aim of content marketing is to maintain a relationship with your clients, as well as get new ones; this means responding to your existing customers’ tweets, being personal and going out of your way to make them feel valued, as well as providing relevant and useful information about your business. Hint: if the content you post is good enough, your existing clients will share it with their online communities, meaning that they’ll help you reach your new clients.
What is your website?
Here one thing is clear: your website isn’t just a website. It’s far more:
- It’s a voice for your product
- It’s a blog. For example, people might only visit it for the articles, not for the products.
- It’s a social hub. Thanks to social media plugins your website is not a centre where people can join in discussions from a whole load of social networks. So don’t think you have just one audience. You most probably have several.
So how exactly do you create this killer content?
The first thing to consider here is that content will never be seen as great unless it is actually seen. So make it easy for people to find it by including H1 and H2 tags, metadata and links. Then focus on making it readable. Write in nice, clear paragraphs, use lists, have an introduction and a conclusion and use a font and colour scheme that’s easy on the eye. Lastly, make it shareable by including sharing buttons for all the main sharing platforms (Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook…)
Now let’s think about what your content should be made up of:
As a guide you should have three main content areas. The largest should be focussed content. This means content that targets your community specifically and deals with the problems that your business seeks to solve. The second big area is competitive content, content that shows everyone exactly what it is that your company provides that the others don’t. Then you have niche content, the smallest of the areas, which deals with very specific issues applicable to cross sections of your community base. The pie chart to the right suggests the exact way these different areas should be distributed.
What will be the results if I follow all these rules?
Well your business will certainly gain recognition from other leaders in your sector, but more importantly it will gain recognition from your users and your clients, which will then inevitably translate into sales.
But to achieve these results it’s crucial that you constantly evaluate and improve your strategy. Here we’re not just talking about the occasional glance at Google Analytics, we’re talking about the numbers of pages visited, number of unique users, downloads of content from your site, page ranks, numbers of fans and followers on social networks, mentions and comments.
Follow all these steps and I assure you your visits will soar and your website will finally be on the stairway to internet heaven.