Consumers are bombarded with a flood of information. Today’s technology offers countless techniques, formats and channels for your content marketing. How can your business break through the noise and have actual clients engage your material?
Even if your company knows exactly what types of content to create, how do you distinguish your brand? I have been fortunate to consult for hundreds of businesses in Idaho and around the country. By executing the right strategy, scores of them have made amazing strides with their content marketing programs.
Here are some of the best practices:
• Pillage your email outbox. This is a treasure trove of material that can be turned into blog posts. Look for emails where you are answering popular questions from customers or salespeople.
• Repackage PowerPoint presentations. These can easily be turned into SlideShare posts. Embed the SlideShare into a blog post summary.
• Turn your executives’ SlideShare posts and speaker notes into articles. Every video your company has ever made should be repackaged as a blog post. Then, embed the videos. For example, Wistia is a video marketer that demonstrates this strategy with its video library. Check out “How to Shoot Video With Your iPhone.”
• Integrate all platforms. “Make sure everything you do: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Website, Blog, newsletters … is linked together where you can find the others by going to one,” writes Tina O’Rourke of Socialwrites. “It will greatly boost your SEO.”
• Have fun. Share some of your favorite photos and GIFs. Images drive deeper engagement. Visual content platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram are more popular with consumers than ever.
• Answer questions. The simplest facts about your topic may seem trivial to you, but to a wide readership, they mostly sound fresh and new. Utilize customers, account people and sales teams. They are great resources. Ask them to identify your most persistent questions, or FAQs, from your audience. Answer them in QA format.
• Provide source material. Create a list of your favorite sources of content from others. Write about and embed their infographics. Look for other companies that can afford such materials, then embed and link those and research reports.
• Show empathy and compassion. Humanize your brand by supporting worthy causes. Cross-promote charities, schools and civic endeavors. Including this in your content marketing helps demonstrate your commitment to the issues your audience cares about.
Case in point: Meridian-based Amanda Woods of Woods on Fire Innovative Beauty takes visual marketing to a whole new level with a collection of creative, adventurous depictions of beauty along with frequent mentions of charity and educational events. She inspires others to help make a difference.
• Create an e-book. Generate goodwill and build your email list with this tool. Work with influencers in your field and cover a top challenge or future predictions. Lee Odden’s TopRank Online Marketing, Curata and CMI do a great job of this by creating a theme for each year’s Content Marketing World institute event.
Content marketing has become critical to running a successful business. Driving website traffic can generate leads, which deliver revenue. But many organizations struggle to turn content marketing into a structured business process. For another great example of effective integration of the tips offered here, do a search for “Boise Realtor Molly McCluskey.” Her work is among the best.
Finally, follow my blog at idahocontentwriting.com for a variety of tools you need to streamline your efforts into a structured and successful system. You, too, can impose order on the content marketing chaos.
• Michael Strickland teaches literacy education at Boise State University. He consults about writing, publishing and social media. See: www.michaelrstrickland.com and https://www.facebook.com/youpublish to join the discussion and for free tips and resources.