A CEO's Guide to Content Marketing
In the world of Internet marketing, content marketing is the hottest thing to come along in a long while. But the ideas behind content marketing and their significance haven't percolated up to the executive suite just yet.
As a result, a lot of businesses are missing the boat.
Content Marketing FAQs
What is content marketing?
Content Marketing Institute has a terrific definition:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (CMI)
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing kills a lot of birds with one stone. Publishing, promoting and sharing high quality content enhances thought leadership and credibility, generates referrals and leads, extends brand awareness, enhances brand affinity and improves organic search engine visibility (SEO). Pound for pound, it's one of the most efficient and effective marketing techniques available today.
Is content marketing the same as SEO?
No. SEO encompasses a great many activities that take place both on and off the company website. SEOs use content as a way to create links and generate social media sharing and mentions -- but content marketing, while serving as an SEO tool, is also bigger than SEO as it addresses other objectives as noted above. That said, it is almost impossible to succeed in SEO without a vibrant content marketing program.
Is content marketing the same as PR?
No. Public relations is focused on a company's reputation management. Content marketing is focused on a company's products and services. Some of the techniques used by content marketers, such as developing relationships with publishers, are similar to what PR professionals do, which is why these two disciplines are often confused.
We already have a website and brochures. Aren't we doing content marketing already?
Possibly yes, but probably not. Content marketing starts with a strategy that identifies audiences, messaging themes, content formats, production schedules, distribution processes, conversion goals and measurement. A fully functioning content marketing program has a leader, researchers, writers, editors, graphic designers, web designers, outreach specialists who cultivate relationships with publishers, content marketers who promote published content, and data analysts.
What are the biggest challenges in doing content marketing effectively?
Content must be authoritative, relevant, useful and engaging -- finding competent writers with an adequate understanding of your business, industry and customers is the first and often biggest challenge. Budgeting is another big issue: it takes a team (as noted above) and a good deal of time to create, publish and promote content.
How do we get started?
Like anything else, content marketing starts with a long term strategy. One of the services we offer is a content strategy consulting engagement, to help you identify goals, messaging themes, staffing requirements, budget, and all of the other particulars you need to think through before diving in.