Don’t Forget About the “Marketing” in Content Marketing


content marketing

If you’ve embraced the idea that content is king – and you should, if you want to come out a winner in the online marketing game – you’ve probably amassed a considerable amount of it. Stockpiling high-quality content isn’t enough, though. For it to do you any good, it needs to be seen. That’s where the “marketing” component of “content marketing” comes into play.

Like many business owners, you may not have the slightest idea about how to get your content in front of the right audience. A few tricks include:

 

  • Engage Your Audience – Wrap up your content by posing a question to your audience. Don’t just ask what they think about the topic at hand. Instead, come up with a thought-provoking or even slightly controversial question that people will feel more compelled to answer. This will generate buzz for your content, which will help it get more exposure.
  • Share Your Content on Social Media – This isn’t to say that you should post links to your content at random. It’s far more effective to search for conversations that involve the topic at hand in some way. Sharing your content with the people who are having such conversations will increase the odds of it being useful and interesting, which will make it more effective in the long run.
  • Comment on Forums – You’re probably already familiar with forums that revolve around your products, services or industry. Visit them regularly and share links to relevant content when appropriate. You’ll be amazed at how well-received your comments will be when they actually enhance the conversation at hand.
  • Promote Your Content in Real Life – Who says the online and offline worlds need to be kept separate? Many of the folks who come into your bricks-and-mortar store may be completely unaware that you create and share interesting, informative content online. Why not tell them about it? You can do so by just mentioning it during in-store interactions, or you could even create small flyers and hand them out to customers. By raising awareness about your online presence in this way, you will be able to expose your content to a much wider audience.
  • Ask People what They’d Like to Read – People love sharing their opinions. By asking current and prospective customers what they’d like to read about, you bring them in on the act and show them that you value their opinion. This approach has the added bonus of providing you with new topics that you might not have otherwise considered.
  • Find Out What’s Working for Others – It pays to keep an eye on the competition, and doing so can reveal techniques that allow you to more effectively market your content. Pinpoint your competitors’ most popular blog posts and articles. What kinds of characteristics do they have? How are they being shared? What steps are being taken to market them? The answers to these and other questions can help you find new, effective ways to market your own content.

The main takeaway here is that while it’s important to create fresh, exciting, informative, unique content, it’s just as crucial to make sure it’s seen by the right people. To that end, dedicate plenty of time and effort to marketing it. Your efforts will pay off well in the long run.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

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Nick Rink

Managing Director at Smart Local
Nick runs Smart Local from its base in Wimbledon and writes about local search, social media, the mobile web and other online marketing issues affecting small businesses.

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