One of the most popular and cost effective ways for businesses to drive sales and convert leads is with a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is simply the act of making your online presence known to your target customers with the help of informational content and online distribution channels. In essence, distribution channels are different types of sites or venues that allow you to share the content on the website.
A content marketing strategy has several features that traditional marketing doesn’t offer. For example, you can inexpensively test different marketing methods and reach out to different niche audiences for a lower cost. Most importantly, according to a PR Newswire blog post, content marketing allows your clients to create an engaging experience. With the essential distribution channels in your marketing toolkit, their content has a better chance of being seen.
Distribution Channels to Add Now
A blog: Blogs always top the list because they, according to the content marketing company Matchstick Strategies, are the ideal platform for adding visual information, content-rich articles, videos and more. A blog can give readers more information about how a product or service you offer benefits them, how-to guides and guest posts by industry leaders. Furthermore, by creating guest posts for blogs that belong to other businesses, your clients can increase and widen their reach.
Social media networks: The Content Marketing Institute reports that social media was used by 74 percent of marketers they surveyed in 2011. These networks are popular because the content that you share—whether it is videos, articles, blog posts, special promotions or special events—has the best chance of reaching a worldwide audience. Integrating social media into your client's content marketing strategy also helps their branding efforts and establishes them as an industry expert. However, when using social media networks, it’s not enough to re-share content others have posted. You have to mix in a good amount of unique, organic content for the greatest results.
Videos: Not everyone likes to read or look at pictures because of the effort it takes. Many, however, will gladly watch a video. This concept plays on the preferred learning styles of individuals. Videos are one of the most sharable content types because they’re highly engaging. When preparing a content marketing strategy, keep in mind that different areas of the world have their own popular video sharing sites.
Email: This distribution channel is a great way to provide your client's customers with valuable content, as well as encourage retention and brand loyalty. Unlike social media networks, you know exactly who your audience is and have the assurance that they’re interested in your message. By allowing individuals to opt-in to an email list, you can target your messages more effectively and nurture new leads. While people love receiving interesting emails in their inbox, they hate spam. Therefore, it’s critical that every email sent is valuable, interesting and engaging. Types of emails that you can include into your client's content marketing strategy are press releases, newsletters, seasonal marketing messages, infographics and exclusive downloadable guides for email subscribers.
Conferences and other networking opportunities: Not all of your client's distribution channels have to be online. Conferences provide your clients with the opportunity to personally network with others in their industries, market their content and establish themselves as experts, especially if they have the opportunity to do a presentation. The content that you help them create about a conference or major networking event can help increase online exposure, particularly among those who aren’t able to attend. Those who did attend the event may flock to the content that your clients create to see what you found valuable. Because attending a conference can come with a hefty price tag, your clients should consider the cost effectiveness of the event (e.g., the cost of the event, transportation, lodging and other travel-related expenses) and the amount of exposure they expect their content to receive.
Your content marketing strategy is kind of like a television station—you have to consider which distribution channels (i.e., TV shows) are best for your audience on particular days and times. Once you have that information, you need to create a content marketing schedule. As TV stations promote their shows, you should do the same with your client's content. For example, let followers know about an upcoming video you plan to post or alert them to a new how-to guide on your client's blog on your social media profiles.
Creating and executing a content marketing strategy takes work. The rewards you reap for your clients—a growing client base, increased visibility online and greater sales—make it worth your while.