Want to know how to get started in content marketing? What does the phrase “content marketing” really mean? It’s a term that lots of people are bandying around lately. The phrase, content marketing, refers to developing and sharing valuable, relevant content that builds an audience while simultaneously building your business.
Original Content Trumps Curation Every Time
I’m not just talking about content curation here. I said, “developing and sharing valuable, relevant content.” This means writing new, original blog posts, magazine articles, and newspaper stories. Even radio clips and videos come into the play here. Of course, it’s important to curate and share valuable content developed and posted by others. But it’s critical that you also create your own original stuff.
People don’t want to read ads or feel “sold” when making a decision to purchase a product or service. They want to make informed decisions by ingesting valuable information that helps them come to a decision – one way or another. Check out this great article on the Forbes website about a dirty little secret in the world of content marketing. Author Patrick Spenner makes a great point about honoring quality over quantity.
How to Get Started in Content Marketing
If you’ve got a start up business and engage (at all) in social media, you’re probably already participating in content marketing to some extent. But you can’t just go at it without a plan – you’ll never reach superstardom that way. Check out these quick basics to get you started:
- Business blog – start a blog that’s associated with your business. Publish valuable, original content that respects your business model, brand, and unique selling proposition. So the content needs to include a copywriting aspect, but provide deep value and resonate with your audience as well. By starting a blog, you can show your audience your leadership, across the industry or in your niche, by sharing solutions and ideas at minimal cost to you and the bottom line.
- Style and Purpose – come up with a brand message that identifies your company and brand to your target audience. What things do you want to tell the world about your products and services? And – how do you want to say it? Develop a style guide for articles and other content that you post on your blog and elsewhere. This will create consistency of message and people will know what to expect when they read, listen to, or watch your content.
- Use an Editorial Calendar – An editorial calendar will help you plan future content, organize multiple author publishing schedules, and help set up the foundation to measure success and ROI. I found a great editorial calendar template on the Content Marketing Institute website.
- Get Your Social Media Game On – Start out slowly when you dive into social media for business. There are so many great platforms out there, but not all of them will work to convey your message in the right way to the right folks at the right time. Choose one or two platforms to start (i.e. Twitter and Google Plus). I recently wrote a ‘get started’ guide for Google Plus for LeadersWest. Check it out to get an idea about how to get down with Plus. You don’t want to get overwhelmed with too many profiles to keep up with and update. What’s more, you’ve got to shine like a boss on social media to make a difference. How to do you shine? Why, you promote others of course! Sound contrary to logic when you want your own business to flourish? It’s not, but more on that in a future article.
This is just a very basic primer, outlining the essence of content marketing. There’s really so much more to it. Our good friend and genius website developer, Jesse Petersen of Peterson Media Group, is working on the soon-to-be-launched All Media Freelance, LLC website. Once it’s rolled out and we have our launch party (hint: think prizes and giveaways), we’ll start talking and writing and videoing lots of content about this and other topics of awesomeness. Amy and I are all sparkly just thinking about it.
Image credits: Lemonade Stand – njfamily [dot] com, sales guy – wealthartisans [dot] com