Blog Post

Content marketing strategy for dummies [VIDEO]


What's the point of content marketing and what's a solid content marketing strategy? Content marketing is really a softer approach to marketing--it's not a hard sell; it informs and educates the people who aren't quite ready to buy but they might be in the future. Maybe they have a problem and are poking around on the internet for a solution. Content marketing is interesting because it has 2 audiences-people who might be potential prospects AND the search engines. This is where SEO comes in. Still a lot to handle? Watch the video below to learn more about what's content marketing, how it works, and how you can form an effective content marketing strategy.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to our content marketing strategy video. I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer here with me today.

Good afternoon, Chad. We're diving deep into web marketing strategies, and I was thinking through people who are searching trying to formulate a strategy for content marketing are probably really at the very beginning stages and trying to get their head around this whole concept.

So I thought today we might try to do a content marketing strategies for dummies session and brainstorm and talk about what kind of things they need to be thinking about, how to get started, and without getting too deep into the tactics, just sort of get them oriented. So, in a nutshell, what is a strategy for content marketing?

To me, web content marketing is really the idea of taking a softer approach to web marketing. So we're used to these very strong call to actions. Buy today, if you're ready, have your wallet out, give me a call. But internet marketing strategy, to me, is really moving upstream in the decision making process to the point where someone is just starting to realize they may have a need, and they're researching options and trying to figure out. They think they might have a problem, trying to understand what that problem is and what solutions are out there.

So it's getting yourself into that conversation upstream from when they're actually ready to buy so that when they do come downstream and are ready to actually pull out their wallets and hire somebody, that you've already had a chance to sort of engage in that discussion earlier as they were formulating the decision about what they needed.

So it's a sort of branding, from what you're saying, it sounds like, and it's an information exchange. Definitely softer than most marketing tactics. Let's talk a little bit about how it relates to search engine optimization, because everything you read now in SEO trends has to do with content marketing. And some people have gone so far as to say content marketing is the new SEO. And that's probably a little confusing for folks who are just formulating their content marketing strategy. Can you offer any insight in how the two relate? And should be thinking about them as distinct or the same? How can we help?

Well, I think content marketing has two audiences. The first audience always has to be your prospect, your prospective buyer or, if you're in an organization, member of your organization. But that's where it starts. But the great thing about a web marketing strategy is it has that secondary audience, which are the search engines and the idea that by creating interesting, compelling content that's related to things certain people are searching about, you not only are answer questions that those people are searching and looking for answers on, but you're also going to show up in the search results so that people will find your content and learn more about you. So it's not necessarily direct branding like we think of with a Superbowl ad, but because you're getting that information out there in the search results, people will learn about your company through your content marketing strategy.

OK, so if I hear what you're saying, SEO may be a byproduct of your content marketing strategy but you should not say, for my SEO I'm going to go do content marketing web alone, because that's sort of upside down. And that makes some sense to me.

So let's shift gears a little out of what a content marketing strategy is defined as and say, how do people get started? So are there a few steps you can think of? If you're trying to put something to paper and say here's what I'm going to do this year that's different, I want to get into content marketing, what are those strategic steps they should be thinking about?

I think the first thing is to really figure out what you should be writing about, what kind of content is useful to your prospective audience out there. And that typically starts with doing some keyword research. Either just sitting down at a tool like Google AdWords Keyword research tool, or using a web grader like HubShout's web grader and putting in some competitors.

But getting a list of other terms or terms that your competitors rank on or people might be searching on and then putting together that list of, well here's content and questions people have that I can answer. And then from there there's a lot of other videos we've done on how to actually go through and execute those, but I would start with creating the list. It becomes almost your editorial calendar of what you're going to be talking about.

I like that. I think from a content marketing strategy standpoint, again, not getting into the tactics, because we've got lots of other videos on how to generate that content, how to tune it, how to promote it, how to syndicate it, how to work on the onset SEO, those are all tactical things. But from a strategic standpoint, it's more, what do I have to offer that people would want to know? Do I have some knowledge do I have some know how, do I have training tips, am I political, do I have something to offer in this particular space? And then as you say, Chad, build the editorial calendar that basically lays out the project for how you're going to articulate that content, in whatever medium you choose.

And I think the internet marketing strategy point is how often am I going to do it, then how's it going to be proofread, how's it going to be published, and then you get into tactics pretty quickly. But if you start with, I have something to offer, there is an audience-- and I like that you put that up front, check the demand up front-- you can start to bring in a focus a content marketing strategy that then you could spend a whole year executing on that would have great results for you.

Comments (6)

  • Jason G. Reply

    These videos are such helpful tool for my resellers.

    02/18/13 at 03:52 PM
  • Matt Reply

    For most people it is best to have a professional take care of their content marketing. Most people do not have the time or expertise needed to make it work in an effective way.

    02/18/13 at 03:52 PM
  • Jesse Reply

    I agree with Matt, content marketing is often best when left to the pros. Even if people have the necessary skill, they may not have the time needed to properly pull it off.

    02/19/13 at 08:25 AM
  • Nick Reply

    Matt and Jesse are right -- but it's still helpful for people to understand a little bit about it. We compare SEO and content marketing to utilities a lot -- they're something you need to just commit to, month in and month out, to grow your business -- but I think that unlike utilities, it's a good idea to have a basic level of knowledge about what content marketing is and how it can help, to justify that expense.

    02/19/13 at 09:54 AM
  • Renee Reply

    If you are outsourcing it to the professionals, communication is key. You know your business better than anyone else. If you don't communicate with your marketing team and content engineers, your content will suffer.

    02/19/13 at 03:15 PM
  • Paul Reply

    I agree with Renee, the business and marketers/content creators need to have strong communication between each other. I think another good technique is for the business to occasionally write their own piece for the writers to edit and post. That will give a general sense of the voice of the business.

    02/21/13 at 05:06 PM

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