Content marketing may not be a new strategy in the least, according to some experts. Recently, The Guardian reported that the world of content marketing may simply be the repackaging of an old idea for the purpose of expanding brand awareness. Companies have been self publishing for decades, however, it is only with the advent of the internet that marketers are finding it impossible to create an advertising strategy without mentioning content creation.
According to the news source, the buzz word has a few adaptations, such as custom media, custom publishing, customer media, customer publishing, corporate journalism, branded content, etc. Regardless of what people call it, the purpose of content marketing stays the same – to create media to attract the attention of potential and current customers and other industry experts. The entire idea behind content marketing is to build a relationship between potential stakeholders and the brand.
"Your customers don't care about you, your products, your services… they care about themselves, their wants and their needs," Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, told the news source. "Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you."
Content is a great way for a brand to create a strong inbound marketing strategy, and marketing employment agencies are looking for professional who know how to use it well. By combining this campaign tool with social, email marketing, lead nurturing and other proven strategies, a marketer can better direct potential leads to a product or service. HubSpot reported that there are a number of ways marketers can challenge themselves in the creation of engaging, educational content for the benefit of a brand.
Here are five tips for creating, developing and delivering an engaging content strategy:
1) Manage a keyword list. In the old days, marketers could create keyword-rich content that amounted to "keyword stuffing" and still receive valuable leads. However, this has changed, as Google and Bing have updated their algorithms to identify and penalize sites and pages with obvious keyword stuffing. Instead of forcing nonsensical keywords into a piece, marketers and copywriters should try to use targeted phrases organically. Informative, original articles with logical keyword inclusion will increase the ROI a company will see from a content marketing strategy.
2) Educate and inform with lists. Creating lists, how-tos and tips on a subject can be a great strategy to pursue when developing a content marketing strategy – depending on the intended audience. For example, business professionals and do-it-yourself individuals enjoy content in the list format because it makes information easier to read and digest. Bulleted points provide a sensible overview, while under-text provides more in-depth coverage of the topic if necessary. In addition, the list and bullet point format makes it easy for readers to reference back to an individual step if necessary – instead of skimming the entire piece for one point.
3) Use humor. Online readers consume a large amount of media during the week. As a result, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. The Content Marketing Institute recommends that a marketing manager use humor, if appropriate, to make articles stand out from other similar pieces. Using a sense of humor to teach a lesson or convey a message makes the entire point of the article stand out more. The industry site points out that many students remember teachers who used humor to get a lesson across.
4) Vary the content type. Creating funny blog posts is a great way to attract readers to a business' website. However, just using one form of content can limit your audience. Not all 30-something financial executives are the same, nor are they all going to want to read the same content. Use blog posts, white papers, interviews, news articles, videos and other forms of content to engage more people.
5) Use evergreen content. Not every piece of content a marketer posts to his or her company's website is going to make sense five months from the original post date. Information can and will often become out of date. By creating evergreen content, a larger portion of the information posted on the website will remain current.