Content marketing is a hot topic these days for very good reason. It can be an effective way to introduce your company to new prospects without hitting them over the head with banner ads, spending a ton on advertising, or forcing promotional messages in social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
If your content is interesting, informative or entertaining enough, people will be happy to share it with their contacts, spreading your brand and connecting your company with quality content.
But before you jump in or if you’re already neck deep, make sure your content marketing efforts aren’t being held back by fundamental issues. Your ROI can be negative if the content you create doesn’t attract any attention or add real value to anyone.
In order to help you think through your content marketing strategy, here are 6 effective marketing strategies to consider:
- Focus on Quality
Companies that focus on volume of content will lose out over companies that focus on quality. High quality posts will get significantly more shares on social media, will get the attention of other industry stakeholders, and will position your company as more of a thought leader, expert or educator. In addition, there’s an overabundance of average to poor content out there. People will gravitate to, follow, and refer providers of quality knowledge. Don’t produce junk!
- Topics Your Prospects/Customers Care About
When starting out with content marketing, lots of companies take an internally-focused. I call it a “me-centric” perspective. They think, “How can we get more details out about our products and services via our blog!” This is the wrong way to think about it.
- Don’t Ignore SEO
Content marketing is beautiful because it has the ability to combine Content which can establish your expertise with Social Media which can help you exponentially spread your message with Search, helping you be found via Google, Bing or other search engines.
- Build a Social Foundation
Social media is a perfect complement to content marketing. Content is the fuel that keeps the social media “engine” humming as people share and re-share content they’ve discovered or that someone else in most cases shared with them.
- Monitor the Reactions Online
In addition to seeing the numbers of shares in social media, it’s important to see what people are saying about it. This is where social media monitoring comes in. You can use a tool like Meltwater Buzz to monitor brand mentions, specific keywords and industry influencers. Then you can then see which pieces of content or campaigns are working and which are not.
- Engage With People Who Share and Comment
In addition to monitoring mentions and shares, engaging with people who responded to the content can be a very powerful way to spread your reach and to connect with potential prospects or industry stakeholders.
Content marketing is not just creating content, it’s about sharing and engaging with people who resonate with the content.
Is your content marketing strategy in shape? Hopefully you’re taking care of these areas in your content strategy.
With so many amazing arts, heritage and creative blogs out there already, how do you make yours stand out? How do you get people returning for more, and how do you increase visitor numbers and build a loyal following? There are plenty of tips and tricks to get your own creative blog rocking and therefore raising your profile and helping you to win more business.
Here’s my 6 tips for a successful creative blog:
- Getting started
Choosing a blogging platform is your first challenge. There are lots of free options out there including WordPress, Tumblr, TypePad and Blogger. All of them offer free design themes so you can customise your own blog so it’s very easy to get started.
- Consider integration
From an SEO point of view, it’s worth getting your blog integrated with your existing website to build content and make the search engines love you even more. After all, SEO (search engine optimisation) is all about content. But if you’re not able to do this or can’t afford to hire a web developer to sort, then start a free blog and make sure you include links to your main website or other links, for example to your artistic portfolio.
- Find a niche
When choosing a creative topic to blog about, try and find a niche. I love talking about fashion and so, I also started on making blogs about fashion. Make your blog about something very specific and you’ll please both the search engines and your readers. Try not to be too general and really focus on one specialist topic and stick to it. Find your own niche and go for it. Just remember to stay on topic.
- Write about what you love
Write about something you love, otherwise you’ll show no passion in your writing. And if there’s no passion, your content will suffer, so find a topic you are comfortable with and only write about that. For example, if you’re a museum curator, talk about the industry, emerging trends and other museums or exhibitions you love. And if you’re a theatre director, you could write about industry folk you admire or share your working day with your followers.
- Focus on marketing
You won’t get anywhere if you just launch a blog and hope that people will come without any marketing effort. You have to actively market your blog and you can do that through a variety of ways. You can start chatting with other bloggers by leaving valuable comments on other people’s blog posts. This will help draw people back to your own site. Or you can make use of the search engines and write about topics that are popular in the searches, like this very feature. Or you could even offer to contribute to influential e-zines or blogs to help raise your profile. Whatever you choose to do, just get out there and market yourself like mad. There’s really no excuse not to.
- Encourage interaction
Get people to talk on your blog. Ask them to add their comments on various articles, like I’ve done with this post. Encourage interaction wherever possible. Ask for feedback, respond to people’s contributions, build a community and be nice. People love to interact, so make sure you’re friendly and welcoming.