20 July 2011 - 16:09Content Is King – Make Content Count
by Bob Grant
It is often said that “Content is king.” Content has become the new marketing buzz word in brand and marketing. CMO’s, Chief Marketing Officers are now aligned with CCO’s, Chief Content Officers. This is especially true for B2B marketers. If you are a CCO, CMO, CEO, President, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager or entrepreneur, you need to embrace content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing frequently takes the form of custom magazines, print or online newsletters, digital content, websites or microsites, white papers, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, video portals or series, roundtables, interactive online, email, events. The purpose of this information is not to spout the virtues of the marketer’s own products or services, but to inform target customers and prospects about key industry issues, sometimes involving the marketer’s products. The motivation behind content marketing is the belief that educating the customer results in the brand’s recognition as a thought leader and industry expert. Content building and marketing strategy can help make you or your company the experts in your field, or at least give the perception that you are experts in your field. Today, purchasing and product selection is in the hands of the consumer/buyer. Buyers are not waiting around to be sold. They want to do their own research and evaluation before making important an often expensive buying decisions. If you are the company or person that can provide information that makes the decision accurately and easily, you have made yourself an important resource for the buyer.
How do you build content?
Before the Internet, marketers relied on brochures, data sheets, catalogs, and advertising to explain the features and benefits of their products and services. Customers and prospects also relied on these materials to educate themselves. While some of these mediums are still important in some industries, engineers and buyers are doing their own search for impartial product information. Marketers can now provide that information in the form of white papers, blogs, newsletters, webinars, podcasts, webcasts, videos, and published articles that are readily available online, and searchable through Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other online directories, communities and online publications.
How do you distribute content?
Once you have created your content, whether a white paper, case study or other informative document or medium, you will need to make it available to individuals in your market place who may be searching for your valuable information. You can use the following tactics as an example:
- Post to your website
- Post to your blog
- Submit to white paper directories
- Write and distribute online press releases
- Post to social media networks
- Post to discussion groups and other online communities
- Design a Google AdWord and post to a PPC
- Post to affiliate websites
- Send to targeted trade publications
How do you generate sales from content?
The white paper, case study, or other content medium should reflect keywords that are associated to your product or service or might be the keyword phrase that someone is searching to solve a problem. For digital content the keywords can be coded to link to your website. Also for full text of a content piece, visitors should be required to download by providing their name and email address. The person who downloads your content may not have an immediate need for your product or service, but you can build a database of potential customers that you can continue to nurture for future sales. Some content may not be appropriate for download, but should require an action step for the visitor to interact with your company.