by Dan Lenehan
The focus of this week’s Roundup is content marketing. What is content marketing, you ask? The foundational idea behind it is that if you produce and publish content — an article, a blog post, a video, a whitepaper, a Tweet, or content of any other kind — that’s valuable to people, it will draw them into your website, increase brand visibility, and drive sales. Blogging is perhaps the best example of a vehicle for content marketing, but video sites like YouTube, presentation-sharing platforms like Slideshare, and social media have become increasingly valuable content marketing channels. Content marketing tends to be cheaper than traditional marketing approaches and also creates prospects who are (so goes the theory) more likely to become customers since they sought out the content you published.
It seems simple enough, but how can you as a small business owner or service provider practice content marketing yourself? And how do you come up with content that’s going to get people’s attention and be valuable to them? The articles below address these questions and others around content marketing. There’s a basic introduction to the topic, an article about setting content marketing goals, a blog post about “Hemingway-esque” content marketing, and finally a practical, straightforward set of 20 content marketing suggestions that any business owner should find useful. Taken together, they provide a good foundation to understanding the why and how of content marketing.
Content Marketing 101: How to Build Your Business With Content
Copyblogger Senior Editor Sonia Sloane lays it out in a clear and concise article, with links to even more useful how-to articles about different aspects of content marketing.
10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing
Another Sonia Sloane piece, this one about setting content marketing goals. As with any business endeavor, it’s essential to know why you’re doing it and what you want to get out of it. As Sloane writes, “Content all by itself — even terrific content — is just content… It won’t transform your business or get you where you need to go, until you add one thing… Content marketing is a meaningless exercise without business goals.” True true.
The Hemingway Guide to Content Marketing
A useful, literary-minded blog post from Jesse Noyes at Eloqua that uses the example of Ernest Hemingway to show how you should approach content marketing. Even more than the tips that Noyes offers, the post in itself is a good example of content marketing. It’s original, has an angle, and is more engaging than a typical marketing how-to article.
20 Content Marketing Ideas for 2012
So you’ve got a sense of how to practice content marketing, but how do you actually come up with good content? Lisa Barone of Small Business Trends provides 20 ideas to get you started.
What’s been your experience with content marketing? Has it impacted your business, or do you feel like it’s a waste of time? And what challenges have you had with it? Feel free to leave your comments.