Internet Marketing 101: Content Marketing

contentmarketing

How To Take Advantage Of the Content Marketing Trends

One phrase that you’ll hear over and over again in the online marketing realm is that “content is king.”

This is, without a doubt, a true statement. But, just like any other governing official, if this king doesn’t have a sustainable plan to appease the masses, then the only thing on the horizon will be a bloody revolt, deposition, and possibly a beheading.

Content marketing is an integral part of modern online strategies, but it has to be done with the right goals in mind to truly be effective. When you become a content master, you can drive traffic to your website and really start to build a community of brand advocates. You just have to think beyond the search engines.

SEE ALSO: Internet Marketing 101: Local SEO

This isn’t just about words on a page. It’s about creating assets that add real value for your customer.

How Small Businesses Compete

Technically, a big company could afford to have an entire room full of wage-writers churning out content and clogging up the internet for everyone else. Do not fear this kind of strategy. It’s not for you.

And frankly, it doesn’t work.

The most recent search engine updates have targeted a lot of content marketing practices that were less about generating quality and value and more about linking schemes. They came down very hard on companies that thought they could buy their way into the top of the results pages.

SEE ALSO: Internet Marketing 101: Modern Search Engine Optimization

As a small business you are uniquely positioned to build closer relationships with your customers. This means you should be able to easily determine the real pain points that consumers are dealing with every day, and then you can address them with your content. It’s just another case of quality (and relevance) beating out quantity (and name recognition).

Setting Your Content Strategy

Content without strategy is just a bunch of words. In order to really turn your efforts into a profitable experience, you need to focus on content that engages your consumers and gives them a reason to take action. Setting your strategy doesn’t have to be difficult, and consists of a few simple steps:

  1. Determine the target audience – Who are you creating content for? What are their major concerns? All of your content needs to be focused on the needs of these people.
  2. Create the content – Let your creative side show. There are many different types of content you can use to reach your target audience. This might include blogs, infographics, podcasts, newletters, ebooks, SlideShare presentations, videos, and any other medium that can transmit your messaging.
  3. Promote the content – This is a step that many small businesses don’t think they can manage. However, it is a critical part of the process because while it is true that if you build it they will come, it’s more true that if you build it and tell all your friends about it, and they tell all of their friends, then a lot more will come. There are several ways to do this, from putting it out on your social networks to using an email newsletter or even paying for a little promotion.

Content is Communication

Small businesses have the potential to use their content to maintain open lines of communication with their customers. Whether this is by providing valuable how-tos or detailed white papers, there are a lot of opportunities to solve a lot of problems. This is also a chance for you to listen closely to their feedback and respond accordingly.

Content marketing can be the cornerstone of a strong online campaign. It simply requires a careful approach and the willingness to engage with your customers.

What is your current content strategy? How are you engaging with customers?

RELATED: Internet Marketing 101: Pay-Per-Click

This mini-series is based off of this e-bookInternet Marketing 101: How Small Businesses Can Compete With the Big Guys, written by Rapid Advance. Interested in writing a mini-series for Firmology? Get in touch with the editor!

About The Author

Mark Cerminaro is Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance, a leader in alternative financing. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow. Connect with Mark on Google+ and Twitter.