Having a content marketing strategy is more important now than ever before, and moving forward it'll becomes even more important.
That isn't just a statement designed to keep me in a job for a few years, it's exactly what the research is showing us, what successful businesses are making the most of and what LinkedIn marketing executive Jonathan Lister believes.
No longer is it down to the established publications and trickle of press release information that dictates the spread of information and news. Now it comes right from the horses mouth – so to speak – and content marketing really helps gel the relationship between brand/company and consumer. You can really give out the information you want, how you want, when you want, to those who are really interested in knowing about it.
In 2012 content marketing was utilised by 18.9 per cent of marketers worldwide to drive in leads. So far in 2013 the percentage has grown to 34.8 – nearly double.
Of course not all companies have the infrastructure to have and create their own community portals or content delivery pages, which is where other platforms come in – such as LinkedIn's communities or business partner's existing blogs.
Of course, there are key points to be aware of when embarking upon the content marketing ship.
I know that sounds very counter productive, but nobody want's something sold to them – especially when they're just going about their business. Instead, make your content have worth. Make people want to read it, make them aware of what value it has and, while doing that, push your product onto them subtly.
Ask for Feedback
Just shouting and pushing a message won't get you anywhere, nor will churning out content that has no worth.
Instead you want to interact with customers and get them to tell you the sort of things they want to hear and read about.
When done right, you'll have repeat visitors and a more accurate idea of what customers want, allowing you to tailor it properly to specific products and events.
Break Down the Corporate Veneer
Few people want to read something published by a company or brand. People don't want lingo, jargon or buzzwords; they want something relatable and easy to digest.
Make sure your content marketing strategy accounts for this and is injected with a bit of humanity. While cracking jokes every other sentence or so isn't advised, don't be afraid to inject some humour into your copy. Nor fear the use of sarcasm or scathing wit if it's needed – just don't go so far to offend your readership.
If you want to know how to really make content marketing work for you, attending Loyalty World Europe will provide you with the answers and put you in touch with the big names in the marketing, loyalty and data business. You can't go wrong.xoErica - Flickr]