You're probably wondering:
- Isn't this simply the online version of traditional marketing? Yep, it sure is. The Internet world loves coining new terms for a slightly updated version of old things.
- How does this content differ from the content that makes up my website as it is now? The general idea is that this particular content is geared towards building an audience and/or bringing people back to your website to convert to customers. For example, with many blog posts, you're using that content (often via the article title) to attempt to target long-tail keywords: people searching for longer phrases like "how do I get my website on Google" as compared to specific services like "SEO"
- Wait, but isn't this also social media marketing? It's true: there's definitely some overlap! In many forms of social media marketing, you're creating content and that is where you'll find the primary overlap between content marketing and social media. However keep in mind that if you're creating content and posting it elsewhere first -- like block posts on your website or videos on YouTube -- and then posting that link to social media, only the latter half of that is social media marketing. The first portion is content marketing and you're then using Social Media to spread the word. Take a read here to learn the various methods of using social media for marketing, which do indeed include publishing your content.
Unlike traditional print marketing (and more and more frequently social media marketing), online content marketing is not necessarily about selling. It's about adding value to your potential customers. Building trust and authority in the eyes of your buyers so that it becomes second nature for them to take action. When done properly, content marketing is an extremely effective way to reach and build new audiences, but not necessarily immediate buyers.
Since blogging is the most popular form of content production and marketing, lets start there.
If you want to generate leads or sales through your website then your business should have a blog. There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding blogging with regards to what it does and why a business would invest in the process. Blogging itself is not a business model; but, rather, a marketing tool and an incredible way for your business to build authority and credibility in its industry.
Blogging is also an excellent way to support your search engine optimization initiatives as it lets you target additional keywords on a regular basis by posting articles every day or week. Since the major search engines favour sites with fresh content, you get a double benefit from simply posting articles regularly; not bad!
Don't Have A Blog Yet?or
Video Content Marketing
The best way to get great results is to do what your competition is too afraid to do. Often that means video marketing. Video marketing is an incredible way to differentiate yourself from your competition online. There are a lot of benefits to setting up a video marketing strategy.
Why should my business be involved with video marketing?
- Reach new audiences.
- Build brand awareness.
- Become the authority in your industry.
- Builds trust in the eyes of your existing and potential customers.
- Fast, easy, and fun way to generate content for your website.
- Excellent SEO value: Google loves video marketing.
Video marketing within the context of content marketing takes the benefits of blogging, podcasting, and video and combines them all into one.
We know there are a lot of questions surrounding video marketing. How does this fit in with my overall web marketing strategy? How do I overcome the fear of stepping in front of the camera? Will it look professional? How much time investment is there?
Our fantastic partner organizations can answer all these questions and more. Video marketing is much easier and way less stressful than you think it might be. It's also the most effective online content marketing method because it combines video, audio, and text.
Podcasting is mainly an audio-based digital media that consists of an episode series where listeners can subscribe to the streamed media on a variety of devices and platforms. Running a podcast is an excellent way to build an audience, brand awareness, and authority in your industry and for your website.
We can help you get started with podcasting with great software and hardware suggestions as well as the best ways to integrate your podcast with your website and other online services like iTunes! We can also help you plan a publishing strategy. Just click below and ask us your questions!
Email Content Marketing
Go old school! Communicating and engaging with your audience through email can be an extremely powerful thing. You get direct access - right to their inbox or phone - that lets you provide valuable information and share amazing stories. A lot of marketers will say that their email list is their most valuable asset, and I'm certainly not here to argue. In fact, many successful online marketers say that their one regret is that they didn't start building an email list sooner.
Why Should You Start Building An Email List?
There are some big benefits to starting an email list and we're going to dive into those now.
Stronger community building
Getting an email from someone is probably the most personalized way to communicate. These people have given up their information and their time and have decided to receive updates and communications from you - that's a huge opportunity to build a strong community.
Want to know if you should develop a specific product or service? Why not ask the group of people that have agreed to receive your updates - people that like knowing what you're up to and are willing to help out. Sending a quick email asking questions or getting feedback is a great use of your email list.
When Should I Start Building An Email List?
Today. Don't delay capturing people's email - even if you aren't doing much with them right now. It's better to have the information and not use it than it is to never get it. Sign up for a free email marketing client and put an opt in box on your site today. I'll show you how.
Adding An Email Opt-In Box To Your Website
What Should I Send In My Emails?
This is probably the most common question of email marketing. There are a few things you can do to get started. Firstly, I like to do a weekly recap or a bi-weekly recap email. This will include little snippets of all the blog posts I wrote over the past week or two.
Another option you have is to set up an auto-responder series so that you are continuously communicating with your list. All popular email marketing clients have this ability (including MailChimp). What happens is that when someone joins your list they receive the group of emails you have pre-written over the series of days, weeks, months, or even longer. This is a little advanced for this guide, but feel free to email us if you have any questions about this.
What Is The Best Tool to Use For Email Marketing?
There are lots of great email marketing suites out there, but not all of them integrate nicely with WordPress. Here's a few that we recommend because of their excellent integration plugins for WordPress:
If you're just getting started and you want to keep spending to a minimum then start with MailChimp - it's free for the first 500 subscribers. We show you how to add an email opt-in box on your blog with MailChimp in the video further up this page.
AWeber and EngageBay are a little more robust and have more advanced functionality, albeit at a higher cost.
You can check out all of our recommended resources here.