I try to advertise myself as a content marketing specialist, and while I’ve still got a lot of things to figure and work out, I think I’ve grasped the basic concept of delivering and providing my community (and my client’s communities) with relevant and informational content.
Two years ago, I would be thinking what are the best products for me to promote, and creating my own brand or a business would be out of question – it was easy to make money by not having to think about what kind of content I am publishing, the average price for an article was (and still is) around $5 a piece.
It was good enough to get me on the first pages of search engines. It doesn’t work like that anymore.
Google took it a step further, and made a lot of changes to the search engine’s algorithm, changes that have forever changed the way marketers and search engine specialists do their optimization. You could be ‘protected’ from having an overly optimized page, with too many links pointing to it – the crawler would just think that you’re a popular website.
I’ve tried to display my content strategy that I use in the diagram above. It perfectly displays how valuable content and distribution work together, in order to bring me exposure. You’ve got to pay attention to the lines that connect each of the structures, as they’re essential to each other and there cannot be success without making all three work closely together.
The first reason as to why content marketing is important (especially in 2014) is simple: valuable content.
You’ve got to think about, produce and deliver only valuable content if you’re looking to generate results and a continuous stream of new customers. It sounds like work, and it is. It’s important because it will help to shape the image of your brand for years to come. I’m not even thinking about businesses that are new to the scene, I’m talking everyone who’s got access to a blog and doesn’t use it to publish content.
I’m constantly reaching out to business owners to offer my writing services, and I do it only because they themselves wouldn’t. They’re getting the relevant and engaging content they need, and I’m gaining more experience and a hefty paycheck.
Valuable content is what will make the difference between a customer and a simple visitor. I’m going to assume you’re just starting out, so here are some resources to get you going.
This is probably my favorite part, as far as engaging my clients, customers and community members goes. It’s only natural that valuable and good content is going to be extremely easy to distribute. You don’t need a budget, or a mentor to help you learn how social media works, or how to reach out to other bloggers.
- Email Outreach: if you’re writing something valuable, chances are you’re going to be including or mentioning other bloggers and business owners in your posts. this is your opportunity to email them once the post is done, and let them know you’ve mentioned them. it usually leads to a social media mention from them (which is still valuable), but it will increase the chances of getting a real backlink in the future.
- Social Platforms: this is everything you can imagine, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and the list could go on forever. you’ve got to be active on these sites, especially when you’re just starting out. if only to get a feel of things, but continue reaching out and distributing that valuable content.
- Direct Promotion: it’s always a good gesture if you can promote someone else’s business, without feeling guilty or endangered that you might lose customers. in this sense we can think of ways how we could promote other business owners and their products, and then hope for a connection to form. i have had a lot of success with this lately.
You can clearly see that it becomes much easier when we put away some of the limitations that we may have imposed upon ourselves. I actually feel like these three methods of content distribution are currently the ones that work the best, if we know our way around people AND if we’ve got the value to deliver to those very people.
Just like in the previous point we discussed, here are some resources for you to take a look at, which should definitely help to increase your success. (social media)
I’m looking forward to hearing your success stories for any of the above techniques, I know you’re using at least one.
We can gain exposure only when we’re combining the two elements I’ve discussed above – valuable content and distribution. I’ve seen brands getting recognition through viral means, or even ‘accidents’. It’s certainly possible, but we wouldn’t want to bet the whole company on something that unfortunately cannot be proven to work 100% of the time.
The exposure part is really important because it helps to shape our brand, and it helps to build a community. I think that one of the best ways to go about things at this stage of SEO is not as hard or harsh as some marketers might picture it.
I think it comes down to great customer care, meaningful content and enough social interaction so that people don’t forget about you. The moment we believe that we’ve acquired enough followers – we’re making a mistake of believing that our business is going to sustain itself for long-term growth.