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6 Steps to Better Content Marketing

Content marketing is becoming the cornerstone of a modern marketing plan.  Here are some tips on how to do better content marketing (plus links to some great content marketing resources):

1) Develop a plan and a calendar – Like all of the other marketing things you do, content marketing works better when you think about your goals and objectives up front and map out a plan for how your content is going to help you get there.  This needs to include not just what content is going to get built but also who is creating it and when.

2) Have an opinion – Un-opinionated content is boring!  We know you have an opinion hiding in there somewhere – let it out so we all have something to talk about.

3) Forget Product Content – Content Marketing does not equal product content – content needs to be deeply rooted in your expertise, not your product features and functions.  You are an expert in your space.  People want to hear what experts have to say about the market, trends and approaches to solving problems.  They are much less interested in being sold on your product.

4) Deliver quality over quantity – There’s a lot of content out there so you’re going to have to work to stand out.  The best was to do that is to deliver consistently high quality content that is highly relevant to the audience.  A smaller amount of high quality content is always going to stand out more than a mountain of so-so stuff.

5) Bring Your Content to Customers – In my experience, it’s easier to bring your content to the places where your customers hang out (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, forums, etc) than it is to get them to come directly to you.  If your content is out there moving around the places your customers already hang out they are more likely to notice it and then make their way over to your site.

6) Don’t forget the marketing in content marketing – Great content makes you part of the buying process.  That doesn’t mean that it’s all about pushy sales materials, it isn’t.  Rather it’s about building content that is useful for customers as they work through how they plan on solving a particular problem.  At the same time you need to figure out how your content connects back to your own sales process.

Some content marketing resources:

  • Content Marketing Today has great set of resources including case studies and tips for specific content types like ebooks and newsletters.
  • Junta42 – is a content vendor matching service and their blog is full of great stuff particularly related to content and social media.  They also have a list of The Top 42 Content Marketing Blogs (a great list even though I’m not on it, but I’m sure I’m # 43 😉
  • Alltop also has a content marketing blog list.

And a few posts I really liked:

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  1. These are some great points you make, April. I think #3 is one of the more valuable take-home messages since it’s not often pointed out to businesses. When generating content for your site, it’s key to remember who you want to be reading it – ie, your target audience.

    It’s important to understand that they don’t want to hear about how you developed this product spec or what developments you have in the pipeline. Instead, they want to read information that will help them solve a problem on their plate. They want to see that you understand their issues and how things can be made easier.

    Showing that level of interest in what matters to them will demonstrate that you’re not just in it for the sale; you’re in it to develop the relationship.

    Again, thanks for putting this concise list together, April. I’ll be sharing this with some of my clients to help them appreciate how to approach developing their content.

  2. Point number 2 is the best. You can create as much content as you like but man, so much of it is just plain boring.

  3. […] Marketing Content – In the original version of the Framework, I had a single box called “Content Strategy”. I believe that the importance of content is growing to the extent that I think this deserves more attention. Marketing Content should still be planned out in a content strategy that will lay out what content will get created and for which purposes.  This will include blogs, video, podcasts, whitepapers and ebooks, research and data analysis, press releases, shared presentations, and anything else that is informative and helpful to prospects. […]


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