When we think of digital marketing, there are numerous tactics, strategies, and applications that businesses of all sizes can employ to become more successful. The bare minimum digital marketing actions include having a website or a Facebook page. But since the digital industry has evolved, the bare minimum is no longer a viable way for a business to conduct itself online. Companies must now have a strong digital strategy in place that fits in with its overarching goals.
As part of this evolution, different tactics have come to the forefront. One of these tactics is content marketing, an inbound marketing practice that has gained in popularity over the years. While content marketing has always been around, its importance hasn’t been significantly realized until its relationship with SEO and bringing potential leads to websites of all kinds has come to light.
Content marketing is simply content on a website that has the purpose of informing an interested visitor of a specific topic. The piece you’re reading now is a form of content marketing. Blogs and other pieces of content that are designed to attract visitors via organic search, or act as a sticky way to keep visitors engaged with a website, are the hallmark of a good content marketing strategy.
But what must a company do to get started with content marketing? There are a few simple steps to take, which then lead to more advanced steps. Once these steps are completed, any organization can take advantage of this powerful digital marketing tactic and gain more organic traction on the web.
The 4 necessary elements of content marketing include:
Create a Blog on Your Website
The first step any company must take to start on the content marketing journey is to have a place for content to go. For most businesses, this takes the form of the blog on a website. This is the easiest and most efficient way for a piece of content to make its way into the ether of the internet. Blogging can take any form, but it should have a tactical purpose.
For example, a regular blog on a specific topic can place a company as a thought leader in a particular industry. While company news can also be important to showcase culture, the main motivation for the blog should be to draw in visitors and educate them on particular topics.
Create a Content Calendar
What good is a blog on a website if it isn’t being filled with regular content? That’s where the importance of having a strategic and well-thought-out content calendar comes in. A content calendar helps an organization organize its thoughts and execution on what type of content will be published in the future. It also informs the team what topics will be covered and it typically assigns the team member who is actually responsible for writing or creating the content.
A content calendar may be monthly, quarterly or yearly. The important thing to remember is that any type of content calendar is better than having no content calendar or strategic direction when it comes to content.
Increase Traffic to Your Blog Via Social Channels
Now that a company has a functioning blog being filled with content and topics that have come from a content calendar, what’s next? Unfortunately, having a blog and other pieces of content isn’t always a “if you build it they will come” situation. While pieces of content are generally a long-term tactic, that will eventually get you great organic traffic via search engines, the SEO portion on content typically takes time.
In the meantime, it’s important to get the word out about the blog article that was just written. That’s when a company should turn to its existing social media channels in order promote content that has been published. Depending on a company’s social media strategy, the content should be pushed to a few different channels so that a relevant audience is seeing the work.
Explore Different Content Options
While blogging is the simplest form of content marketing, why stop there? There are plenty of other formats and mediums that comprise a good content marketing playbook. For starters, a company could start writing a whitepaper, create an infographic on an interesting subject, or write a more long-form piece of content like an eBook.
The overarching content strategy and content calendar should inform which pieces of content to pursue, but it helps to have some variety in the playbook when coming up with ideas. Also, remember that important pieces of content like a whitepaper or eBook should be gated behind an email wall. This acts as a great way to gain new leads for your organization.
There you have it, a sound and simple way to get started in the world of content marketing. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today if you need help getting this off the ground!