I Love Content! With the Right Strategy and Tools, You can Too!
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:
- Set goals that define what you wish to achieve
- Map out how you can measure your success
- Create your content calendar, take your list of topics and divide throughout the months
- Outsource, assign, or reuse the content you have mapped out
- Distribute your content via multiple channels like social media, e-mail, and Website
- Measure and record the results
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:
- Slideshare—This I particularly like because it makes reusing and repurposing content easy. Just upload a presentation, infographic, or document and share it online.
- Yoast—An awesome WordPress plugin that makes it easy to leverage the content on your Website for SEO success
- WriterAccess—Gives you access to thousands of freelance writers anywhere, any time
- PowToon—Switch up your content by creating animated videos to share online
- Storify—This tool is great for building timelines and telling stories by collecting content from multiple Websites and social channels
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
John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.