September 22, 2014

How to Get Started in Content Marketing

content marketing small business

Your start up needs content marketing.

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.

high pressure sales

Chase your true love, not your clients.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

All Media Freelance, LLC content marketingThis 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

About Samantha Gluck

Not only am I the chief editor of this multi-author online magazine, I'm a content creator and social media marketing strategist with a background in journalism, finance, & healthcare. I began my content marketing agency, All Media Freelance, LLC, in 2010 and lead a well-rounded, talented team of multi-channel content strategists and niche writers. I've developed and managed print and digital content projects for health care, fitness, financial services, mental health, non-profit, and automotive publishers, as well as for biotechnology brands.

Comments

  1. Great points Samantha!

    A lot of people want to jump on the content bandwagon without really understanding what it takes. I especially liked your point about original content trumping content curation–it’s so true.
    Laura Spencer recently posted..7+ Reasons Why Your Great Content Is OverlookedMy Profile

    • Hi Laura! So wonderful to see you here. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Yes, while curation is a part of content marketing (and an important one), it’s not the main part. Great curated content is meaningless if your own content is sub-par.

      I think people should tend to their own content libraries regularly, so they’ll end up with a collection of great, relevant work to share with their audiences. The curated content can serve as adornments for their own great info!

  2. This makes perfect sense and is right on. I started doing this less than a year ago and it is working slowly but surley for me. Thank you for the confirmation and tips!

    • Thanks for stopping by Diana! As you probably know, true and effective content marketing goes much deeper than this introductory article. We’ll talk more in depth about the nuances and details of best content marketing practices when our AMF site launches. Again, thanks for sharing. ~Samantha XO

  3. You are so right on Samantha about original content, it can never be said enough. Having one’s one style can help differentiate you too. Looking forward to the launch party and reading more :)
    Lisa recently posted..Have Your Facebook Likes Fallen Away Like The Fall Leaves?My Profile

    • Lisa,

      Yep! Most people can “read” my style within my work; although, when I write for others (i.e. clients) I morph into their style and voice quite well. It’s a developed skill, but one every writer should have. I like to see writing that reflects my style on my own Web properties just like my clients like (or should) on their own.

      Looking forward to seeing you at our virtual launch party! Woot!

  4. Hi Samantha: Great explanation. If there is one thing I would have done differently at the start of my freelancing career, it would have been to get into content marketing right out of the gates. Live and learn. :-)

    • Hi Cathy! So nice of you to take the time to share your thoughts here. Yes, I think if you can start out from the get-go with a solid plan (no matter how elementary at first), you’re way ahead of the game. But — it’s never too late to start and may even turn out for the better in the long run. Those who begin mindfully content marketing after gaining some experience may make fewer mistakes. :-)

  5. Great article Samantha, just in time for me to help me re-launch my business. Funny that one thing stuck to my head with this article…”chase your true love, not your clients” ….with that, great content for your blog is a breeze. Thank you!
    Flavia Andrews recently posted..Chugga Chugga Choo Choo – Train Party On Its Way!My Profile

    • Thanks for visiting, Flavs, and taking the time out of your busy “work at home mom” day (I know how it is) to comment. I thought people would like that caption because it’s true! We’re (Amy and I) are ready to help you get your new site launched and ready to roll with a content marketing strategy that gets your talent noticed! #likeaboss

  6. Wise tips! It’s true that to some extent most bloggers do content marketing. The tricky part is what to do the moment you realise you are ready / want to build and promote your own brand. My blogging experience has taught me that there isn’t just one recipe. A brand can emerge out of huge mistakes too.
    Waiting to see All Media Freelance site live…
    XO

  7. Danyelle Franciosa says:

    Great tips head and I really appreciate for sharing this. This is perfect for newbies. Content marketing is one of the best kind of marketing online. By the way thanks a lot for sharing this!
    Danyelle Franciosa recently posted..Allkind Joinery Brisbane – Upholding a Proud TraditionMy Profile

  8. Finally, I am back Samantha. Few weeks ago, I was really busy with my new blog, and this topic is very helpful for me! Content marketing, I am into it. And I know that this blog of yours contain valuable information for me to pursue my blog about my latest blog after retiring my old one! What excites me more about this post is the launching of your All Media Freelance! I thought I was a little bit late so I searched it via Google, luckily am still not so I have the change to get those prices and giveaways!

    I have messaged you to inform that I have a plan to write a series of tutorials for blog tweaking here… after Christmas I guess when I have more vacant times for writing. See you Samantha!
    Prime Aque recently posted..Smart Tips to Expand Your Online BusinessMy Profile

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