De-Mystifying Content Marketing: It Isn't As Complex As You Might Think

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October 27, 2016

In a previously mentioned article from August this year, titled "If you Haven't Yet Adopted Content Marketing, You are in the Minority" we mentioned that content marketing has been around for a number of years. The theory and basics of content marketing have not changed over the years, but now it's integrated with technology.

When people hear the term "content marketing" they either get it right away, or shy away from it out of embarrassment; the latter because they know they should be participating in it but, for some reason, they are not. The silver lining is at least they are aware of what it is.

There is no quick and easy way to engage in content marketing other than to just start doing it. Having a strategy and a road map can be key. This is very similar to when businesses used to create social media strategies and road maps. It was not uncommon for many businesses to have planned their entire year of social media posts or at the very least, identified the themes of their posts to their different social media channels.

Content marketing, although similar, is also more time consuming and requires a more strategic approach. Once you have a strategy or road map, there are a few simple tactics you can employ to maximize the impact of your content marketing:

1. Coming up with a decent amount of content, i.e., 750 to 1,500 words. This can help with search results.

2. Ensuring the content is of extreme value to your audience, both your existing and potential customers

3. Using different methods to distribute the content, such as through a press release (24-7 Press Release Newswire sees this strategy quite frequently), articles, blog posts, and social media.

4. Keeping your content regular.

Creating your road map means simply looking at your business, products and or services in advance and planning content around certain events, product releases etc. Your content should present your business as having expertise, knowledge, or insight that demonstrates your ability to best meet your customer needs through your products and/or services. People are more likely to be interested in and loyal to businesses in which they have confidence.

Although this may sound time-consuming or complicated, it is also where many small community based businesses can take advantage. Content marketing can help level the playing field between established companies and those that aren't so well known but bring something special to the marketplace.

Small, local businesses can also take advantage of the fact that search engines are becoming smart enough to recognize where someone performing a search is physically located. As an example, if I go to Google and type in a common search term for the website, such as 'Press Release Service' -- the search engine recognizes where our business is located and where the person doing the search term from is located and can bring up businesses that are located within the searcher's geographic region. Another example of this is typing in the search term "Pasta Restaurant" and seeing that at the top of the results are local businesses and NOT businesses from cities in other states.

But geography is not the only important thing. Businesses wind up at the top of search results because they have a combination of valuable sites linking to them, are active in their social media and produce some decent content. Decent content can lead to the valuable links -- whether they are shared through blogs posts, social media or show up in press releases on different sites. A business that sends news out to the media via a press release service has a greater chance of that information being republished somewhere than a business that does not engage in the use of a press release service or content marketing.

We can't emphasize enough that the content you produce and distribute needs to be of value, because when it is of value, not only will you engage your customers or potential customers, they may also SHARE this information.

In short, those who publish the most valuable, excellent content in their given niche will win the search engine results.

With content marketing, patience is a virtue, because it takes time to create it and it also takes time for it to be picked up in search engine results. However, the time you invent now will pay future dividends--call it sweat equity. Your business will begin to show up in the top search results, above your competition. This is the time to celebrate. And once you start to show up at the top, don't let your foot off the gas. The information that you produce can be shared again and again and, if you're fortunate, the information may go viral. This is the dream for everyone because that is when the flood gates open.

As we mentioned earlier, your content may come in many forms, including a press release, blog post and articles, images and video and social media posts.

One last thing--try to create original content whenever possible. Don't simply re-distribute content that has already been published. The reason is that search engines do not like duplicate content as much as content that has never been published before. Since no one knows your products and services as well as you do, your original content--developed in-house or by your designated professional agency--will best reflect your business and demonstrate your expertise.

Content marketing is the way of the future, but it is here now. Using a service like 24-7 Press Release Newswire for distribution of your press release content will assist in your content marketing strategy, but it is one of many tools in your toolkit to help build your online exposure.