Content marketing is one of those subjects that is written about endlessly on the Internet. I was the co-founder and CEO of Scripted.com, which is a marketplace for businesses to hire freelance writers - I spoke at Content Marketing World and I advise a lot of companies on content marketing strategy.
This article distills most of what I know about content marketing into less than 600 words.
What is Content Marketing?
In short, content marketing is at the intersection of brand marketing, product marketing, and demand generation. Depending on your company's most painful need, you need to product different types of content. For example - if your focus is demand generation, your content efforts should really be SEO/link-building-oriented.
Content marketing can be broken into the following areas:
- Creation/Curation: You need content in order to have a content marketing engine. You can either create original content, or curate content. You also need content to power your social channels.
- Editorial Management: Google Docs is one of dozens of tools available to you to manage an editorial calendar and assign writers to posts.
- Distribution: You can distribute content through your own blog, Medium, other blogs, email, social, etc.
- Analytics: Ultimately, you want to measure the success of content as it relates to your specific goals.
At a base level, to run an effective content marketing strategy, you need a rudimentary way of managing the above categories.
The Types of Content You Can Produce
So what types of content should you produce if you are running a content marketing strategy? Different types of content are usually aligned with different goals.
- Thought Leadership - Thought leadership pieces, generally written by company executives, are focused on elevating the brand of the company. They are generally used to build credibility of executives.
- High Quality Universal Content - High quality universal content is written specifically to establish your credibility within your specific market. I call these 'market development' type pieces. They are used to show your company knows whatever space you are operating in.
- SEO - SEO pieces are used specifically for demand generation and written for the express purpose to rank high organically for individual keywords. These types of pieces are produced at a higher volume, but are still all original.
- Product/Vertical Specific Content - Content can and should be modified to be region specific and product specific. For example, if you are running a dry cleaning service in multiple cities, you should have a different landing page for New York than you do for San Francisco.
Create a Distribution Playbook
Every post you write should have a basic distribution playbook that includes some of the following components:
- LinkedIn + LinkedIn Groups
- Repost after a few weeks with new title + header image on a new publishing platform
- Reach out to influencers for additional distribution
It may not make sense to run the same playbook for every single post, so do what makes sense for you. You might want to put your full weight behind a thought leadership piece, for example, but not an SEO piece.
Dozens of good articles have been written about how to successfully measure content marketing, but I would start with this one from the Content Marketing Institute. The biggest advice I can give here is be patient - content marketing is not something that will take shape overnight - it requires a patient and concerted effort from both marketing, and your CEO.