Content marketing is a hot topic in the marketing community these days. By now, most companies have heard of content marketing and are realizing just how effective it really is. But since it’s a relatively new concept (well – not really – but it does seem that way!), there’s still a lot of confusion as to what content marketing is and how to do it properly.
One thing that often gets people is right there in the name: content marketing. What counts at “content” and do they even have enough to build a marketing strategy around it?
Good news! Content can be pretty much anything. And you probably have more than enough of it to work with.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
Creating content doesn’t mean writing articles every day or having to suddenly fill a blog up with new and original pieces. Does your company have any social media profiles? Feed them through your Hub for a live stream of company updates. Is there any internal information you can use, like case studies? Turn those into success stories to show users, through storytelling, how awesome your product is. Perhaps you send out regular newsletters to your existing customers. Compile those and add them to your Hub to give potential users an inside look at your company and/or product.
Essentially, you can turn anything you’re open to sharing into a piece of content that will add to an experience for existing and prospective users, as opposed to the traditional sales-focused one-way conversation that has dominated marketing in the past. Whether it’s giving people a peek into your company culture, rounding up industry news or offering tips and advice on topics you think they’ll find useful, you’re providing something meaningful to your readers and in turn, building a relationship with them (which is powerful stuff).
Getting by with a little help from your friends
When it comes to content marketing, it’s ok to lean on others. In fact, it’s encouraged.
Content curation is the not-so-dirty little secret of content marketers everywhere. By sharing industry news, articles, etc. that you think your customers will find relevant, you not only place yourself as a go-to resource (they’ll come to you when you do the legwork for them), but show that you care about them beyond what they can do for you.
Think about it – between a company that shares interesting or funny content from other sources alongside their own, and a company that only provides information on their products or from their own perspective, who would you trust more? Once again, it comes down to building a relationship with your customers through content marketing, even if it’s others’ content you’re doing it with.
Pro Tip: There are a bunch of great tools you can use that will make content curation a snap.
The added bonuses of including content curation in your content marketing strategy (besides someone else doing the hard labour of course) are that it keeps you up on industry news, allows you to see what topics are resonating with your shared audience, and helps build good relationships with other content creators who may then return the favour and link to your pieces too.
It’s easy to incorporate content curation into your marketing strategy. All you have to do is set aside some time to find interesting pieces you think your audience will like and want to share. Here’s a great list from Content Marketing Institute on sources for content curation.