Content marketing is providing information about you, your brand or your company on an ongoing basis. It can take on many forms, but one thing is certain, it must be managed and done continuously in order to convey to the world your engagement with it, as well as to give clients and potential clients a wide body of evidence that you are involved and participating in your industry. In fact, ninety three percent of B2B marketers use content marketing.
Today we are going to key on four points that anybody can take to heart and deploy in their organizations that will make for an effective display of interaction and establish your company as a thought-leader and one that people will want to work with.
Content marketing is like a leaky faucet – it’s gotta drip, drip, drip.
When your faucet leaks, you call a plumber, right? When your content leaks, you’re doing the right thing.
Some quick ways to do content marketing include:
- Posting to social media feeds several times a day. This is easy, and there are all kinds of solutions including Buffer, Hootsuite and Sendible that will let you schedule them as well.
- Subscribe to, and participate in, discussions in LinkedIn groups. Sure, there’s a lot of noise in some, but people who post seeking an answer or facilitating a discussion will be thankful that someone took the time to engage them. It usually leads to a new connection and someone else to start creating a professional relationship with.
- Check in online when attending trade shows, seminars or other networking events to show your professional followers you’re out in the community.
There are more time consuming things as well, including writing and maintaining a blog, audio or video production, podcasts and long form writing of case studies. These are great to intersperse and demonstrate your depth of knowledge on a topic of importance to your audience.
Part of content marketing is adding followers and connections.
Take the time to go through the major social networking channels for your business (for most it is Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook) and acquire followers in them. Make part of your daily social media diet to add “x” followers per day. Use hashtags or do keyword searches to find customers and others interested in your brand and add them. If it is in your budget, think about getting a premium version of LinkedIn to send InMail or do searches beyond your immediate network to add those people you’re targeting. Follow their companies the way you’d follow a person, too.
It’s okay to repeat yourself. It’s okay to repeat yourself. It’s okay…
There are several newsletters that I receive where stories, case studies and videos are repurposes days, weeks or months later. There is an ever changing audience paying attention to your messages, especially as you continue adding people (see above). Where appropriate, use that material to capture information as well. This could be through website landing pages , paid placement of case studies (which require a recipient to provide a name and email address to be sent a working download link) or tracking cookies. Your audience is ever-changing, give the newbies a chance to learn all about you.
Make sure the tone matches your style.
Some companies may turn outwards to manage this because they don’t have the talent or bandwidth internally to make it happen. It’s integral to the marketing effort that whomever is managing this communicates in an identical tenor and tone of the person or brand that is speaking. If you’re a law firm, a casual approach may be off-putting. If you’re a compliance shop, people probably expect a certain heaviness in the topics that are going to be covered and the messages that are going to be shared or relayed.
It’s an area of investment by companies that is trending upwards as well. 58% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.
At the end of the day, content marketing is part public square pontificating, part fishing expedition. You’ll have several ways to create a narrative and tell your story, and the more people are listening, the greater the chance you get a few heads to nod that starts the process of putting those people into your sales funnel.