Do you believe that if you own a website, you are a publisher? If you dont, you need to develop that mindset.
Leading organizations understand that along with the products and services they sell, one of their core offerings is information. The businesses that have a solid understanding of what content marketing really is, and deliver it to their potential customers, will win. The companies that are succeeding right now are the ones creating content that engages their prospects and creates loyal customers.
Content marketing is still forming at a rapid pace. The truth is that"to some extent"everyone in this industry is trying to figure it out. Even the experts. This can make creating your own content strategy a confusing endeavor.
Organizations (B2B and B2C) need to provide content that their audience will enjoy and portraits them as the expert. Gone are the days of keyword-stuffed, hidden pages on your website. Businesses must generate quality, relevant information and deliver it via the channels that their customers are already using.
Dont Create Junk
Junk content is created for search engines, not people. People dont want it, and they wont engage with it. Just like a human would, search engines are focused on figuring out that youve created a piece of junk and will reduce the rankings accordingly.
Instead, take the extra time to create quality engaging content. Keep the bar high; your content should be interesting enough to get the user to click on it and connect with it. Search engines try to match up the searcher with the best content for their query, so you need to be there with that content.
Slow Down: Do it Right the First Time!
Content can come in various forms including; blog posts, videos, white papers, infographics, press releases and much more. But, what is the point of going to all the effort to create great pieces of content if its never found?
Content marketing requires a well thought out strategy and continuous improvement.
If you think of content marketing as a chain, the links in the chain are:
- develop a strategy
- conduct research
- develop the content
- distribute it
- promote it
- build links to it
- measure along the way
- rinse and repeat
When all the links in the chain work together, just as in a bicycle chain, the net effect is acceleration.
My Own Epiphany
A few years ago, I fell into the crank the content out trap. I always felt pressured for time and placed more importance on other aspects of the business. So, I did what all of us have done; wrote boring blog posts, articles for search engines, and useless press releases.
But, then I began to reflect on my own consumer experiences: the shoes, televisions, cameras, and cloths that I bought, or the travel and entertainment I consumed. I realized I was buying products and service not based on price but based on how well I trusted the source. The more information they provided, the more apt I was to buy. That is when content became the focus at our company. Instead of cranking out content, we started following a much more deliberate process in developing content for our clients.
By providing the answers and information that not only your own customers want but also potential customers, you position yourself as the trusted source and expert in your industry. Customers will start to rely on you and spread the word that you can be trusted. That is content marketing! It is the new way of marketing, and it is the only way to build a loyal, engaged customer base.
4 thoughts on “The Content Marketing Process Explained”
Great piece. My only question has to do with the placement of “Strategy” in relation to “Research”. I wonder if there’s not some value in finding a way to express that there’s always an element of research pre-strategy.
E.g. if I don’t know where my customers are (through research) I don’t necessarily know what content strategy will best reach them.
Hi Scott – Good question. It wasn’t covered very well above, but we actually think the strategy tends to be part of the entire process. The reason we show it as the first step is you should really think about what you want to accomplish with content marketing before you even begin your research.
What do you hope will be different as a result of your content marketing? More traffic? More leads? Better rankings? etc. Once you have a decent vision or strategy in mind you can begin researching various ways to accomplish your goals.
But as you work through the various steps in the process, be willing to change your strategy based on what you have learned along the way.
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