In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to talk about something that I love, content marketing. It’s really not a new concept, in fact, if you look back over the years, content marketing has been around for generations. “A History of Content Marketing and Its Use Today,” is a great article published in the Guardian Liberty Voice back in September 2013, in which the author highlighted a classic example of content marketing dating back to the 1800s. He pointed out that some of the first farmers almanac contained useful information in articles that are not so different than the blogs we read today. Although fascinating, the history of content marketing is not why I love it so much; the truly great thing about content marketing is that it allows any business to connect and engage with a target audience on a multitude of platforms, enabling that business to organically drive sales through transparent, valuable, informative and educational content.
Now, if you’re a printer offering marketing services, you should learn, live and love the concept of content marketing—because 2014 will be its year to shine. I know it might seem overwhelming, I can’t tell you how many times I hear from printers and MSPs who don’t know where to begin. I constantly hear excuses like, “it can’t be measured,” or, “we don’t have enough staff,” but the truth is, when set to a strategy and divided amongst employees, content marketing is really not that scary.
Set Your Strategy
If you’ve ever heard me talk about content marketing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of a strategy. As with anything pertaining to business growth, strategy is key to your content marketing success. Like any great roadmap, it is important to establish the lay of the land before delving into a new strategy. First, ask yourself who your target audience is, then write them down. Next, define a broad list of topics your business should cover, then write those down too! Once you have successfully done these two things, you are ready to develop your content strategy; here are a few tips to get you started:
If keeping track of reusable content, distribution channels, or any other aspect of your strategy still seems overwhelming, I suggest looking into a software or application that can help manage your content and marketing campaigns.
The Right Tools
Lastly, I’d like to briefly highlight some of the great tools out there designed to help businesses create, organize, distribute, and love content (almost as much as I do). And the list is:
So there you have it, content marketing is not all that scary when you have the tools and strategy you need to get started. Of course I recognize that you probably won’t be wining and dining your content strategy this Valentine’s Day, well hopefully you won’t—but I hope I’ve made it a little easier for you to show content marketing the love it requires in 2014. Because if there’s one thing that’s certain, if you love growing your business, by Valentine’s Day next year, you will love content marketing.
For more advice/insight on content marketing connect with me on LinkedIn