By Rhonda Campbell
Content marketing is the mix of passion, experience, engaging writing, social sharing and marketing. Prior to the rise of content marketing, you’d have to rely on media contacts to spread the word about the launch of your business or new products and services that you were developing. Press releases, radio and television interviews and paid ads were top options two to three decades ago.
Today, press releases still work, especially if you organically add targeted keywords to the releases. Yet, there are challenges. Journalists receive dozens of press releases a day. Larger media outlets can receive hundreds of releases a day.
Content marketing tools
Distinguishing yourself from the crowd can seem implausible with this approach. Fortunately, content marketing can put your message in front of thousands of people within seconds. What tools do you have to implement an effective content marketing plan?
All of these are effective content marketing resources:
- Social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, StumbleUpon)
- Online media outlets
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
There is much ground to cover. To start, build a content marketing calendar. Identify which media outlets you will target. As a tip, you may want to focus on no more than three to four social media platforms to create enriching relationships with followers and supporters. These are platforms that you will visit, comment on, ask questions and post unique content on several days a week.
Write down the days and times that you will post content to these social media platforms. Test out days and times for different types of posts. For example, you may find that you get best results when you post videos at noon on weekends.
Data to add to your content marketing calendar
Other actions to add to your content marketing calendar are when you will post blog articles at your business blog, when you will update landing pages, content on your websites and shoot new videos. For email marketing, consider distributing a weekly newsletter, sales brochure or coupon booklet.
Connect keywords used in each piece of content marketing. Choose keywords that highlight the benefits that your products and services offer. If you contract with professional freelance writers or marketing agencies make sure that these writers have spot on research skills.
It also pays to work with freelance writers or marketing agencies that have firsthand experience in the industry that you specialize in. Just as you can tell if writing is natural and reliable, so can your customers. The best intentions won’t make content come across as natural if writers are unfamiliar with the products or services they are writing about.
Add every content marketing item to your calendar. Don’t skimp on the calendar creation. Identify human resources that you will use to meet calendar deliverables. This step will highlight areas where you need help. Angie’s List, Elance and WooRank are places where you can find content marketing contractors.
Content marketing specialty firms
Companies that specialize in content marketing include NewsCred, Percolate, Social Media Contractors and Outbrain. Outbrain pushes your content out to readers. You should see an increase in traffic. Just make sure that the traffic is a part of your target audience. Percolate is a software system that you can use to monitor content marketing plans as well as manage social media relationships.
Google analytics, visitor comments, social media shares, blog and newsletter subscribers and, of course, sales, are ways to measure effects of your content marketing strategies. If you subscribe to a content marketing platform, log into your dashboard. See who the sites are bringing to your blog, landing page, website or social media account.
Don’t guess. Look at and pay attention to the analytics. They tell a story. Tweak your content marketing calendar and strategies as needed. This includes adding paying social media and other marketing tools to your overall plan.