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Technology & Internet5 Essentials You Need Before Starting Your Content Marketing Campaign
Everybody seems to be focusing on the phrase in social media marketing that, “Content is king.” This concept that lays the foundation for content marketing seems to grow into the Holy Grail for B2B social media success. While creation of high quality and well-strategized content is key, there is more to know about content marketing that should be kept in mind before your “kingly” content will start to work wonders for your business.
1) A Strategy/Purpose
With all of your content creation, publication, and social spreading – do not forget your purpose. Before getting lost in the labyrinth of social media, set up a clear strategy. Ask yourself the following:
What do you want to achieve? What type of content are you going to use? Which outlets will you publish these different types of content? Which social networks will be part of your content marketing activities for publishing, spreading and communication? When will you publish - and how often? Who in your company will be part of the content creation and marketing process?
Once you have decided on the strategy and have made your first step into content marketing, be sure to measure the outcome. Question your actions, re-evaluate, learn, adjust and commence.
2) Content Creation
Content marketing is about building a reputation by showing expertise, knowledge, moral character, and demonstrating superior communicative skills through the content you provide. Also important are the responses you give surrounding discussion of your content. To achieve a strong strategy, you first have to keep in mind: content should serve the needs and interests of your audience (even though creating content that communicates company interests might seem to relate more directly to your business goals). It’s important not to fall victim to the temptation to preach your company values. Instead, focus on your target audiences’ motivations.
You also need far more than just one piece of outstanding content. To build an audience, a reputation and trust in your expertise, you need a constant flow of stellar material. Consider beforehand what topics you could cover, which people in your company (or customers) could help provide you with knowledge or testimonials for your content. Look around to see what type of content other successful content marketers are producing – usually this will give you a good impression for new angles you can take.
3) Place(s) to Publish
The second question you have to answer is where you are going to publish your great content. There is not always ONE answer to this question; to gain the most from your content you should consider using more than one outlet.
A good starting point is a company blog, but beware that nowadays, it has the potential to become lost in the clutter that is the net. Should you invest in blog creation and maintenance, you will have to work hard to build visibility.
A content-based social network for businesses is a good alternative, depending on the kind of content you want to use. YouTube and Vimeo are great social networks for viral, video content, whereas exploreB2B is helpful for article distribution.
General social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Quora) are essential for creating a reputation, following and niche leadership. In addition, you can republish your article on news aggregate sites, such as Business2Community, to gain more visibility for your content.
4) A Professional Profile
Wherever you publish, make sure you have a professional profile that can be accessed to showcase your expertise. This profile should elicit more than just a resume (we are talking about content marketing, here!). If you want to build a reputation with your content, you have to enable your audience to get an impression of your culminated expertise, your knowledge that exceeds one piece. The complete set of the content you provide should give your interested audience a full picture of your professional expertise. Include some personality and show that connection with you can turn into something profitable for your readership. Remember that profitability can come in many forms (financial, educational, etc.).
Your goal should be: showcase your expertise, build a reputation and find new relevant connections. Your professional content profile will help you achieve it.
5) An Active Audience
The best content will not gain you anything if no one sees it. You need an audience. If you do not already have an established audience, you must build it – or find a way to use the existing audience of someone else for your own purposes.
If you are starting from scratch, use whatever chances you are offered to reach out to already established audiences: guest post on established blogs, republish your content on platforms with an active and interested user base, use groups and forums within your target group and use social media outlets that allow for an easy connection to your target group. Do not stop at publishing your content -share and spread it.
Once you found an audience, do not forget to communicate and connect to these people. Social media is not a one-sided shouting instrument; it has to be played interactively.
Most of all – be patient and give your content marketing the chance to flourish. Success will not come overnight. Re-evaluate your actions when necessary and build – an audience, knowledge and eventually business.