What you don’t know about content marketing could be hurting your strategy.

I love Content Marketing.

Content Marketing is all around us. Look at podcasts, Youtube, Vimeo, social media … the evolution of influencers.

It’s all content.

But what officially is “Content Marketing”?

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” – contentmarketinginstitute.com

It escapes a lot of people, that definition.

Most people understand the actionable content part where you post to users/fans/consumers to “Buy my product” “Join my email list” etc., but what about the last part of that definition “Driving profitable customer action.” … What does “driving profitable customer action” really mean?

At the end of all your content marketing, you want your users/fans/consumers to “do something specific that is profitable to you.”

  • Maybe it’s signing up for your email newsletter?
  • Maybe it’s joining your page or group on Facebook?
  • Maybe it’s downloading a PDF of your content?
  • Maybe it’s watching an instructional video?
  • Maybe it’s listening to your music on Spotify?

If you aren’t sure if content marketing is right for you, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do you need more people to know about your company/brand/band?
  • Do you need more people to know about your product or service or event?
  • Do you need to educate people on what you do or offer?
  • Do you want to interact more with your users/fans/consumers?
  • Do you want more people to go to your website?
  • Are you trying to develop lead generation or sales based on a solid return on investment?

So take a look at your upcoming year and consider creating content that you can share with two specific audiences:

  • Current users/fans/consumers – You want to keep them engaged and increase sales
  • New/Undiscovered users/fans/consumers – You want to increase awareness of what you do, your skills and get new leads

There are all kinds of different curated content, and what is good for you may not be good for others. Think about what your users/fans/consumers need and what information can help them with that need.

  • A top 3/8/7/10 list/post on a relevant topic
  • Predict trends that are happening in your industry
  • Write about topics that are important or relevant to you and what you do
  • Create a ‘how to’ downloadable content
  • Create a cook graphic or infographic
  • Talk about your personal life-hacks
  • Re-publish or create your own motivational quotes
  • Try something new and write about it

Remember that Content Marketing is about creating meaningful bits of your genuine self, your knowledge and your expertise that can thoughtfully represent you and your brand in the cyber universe to increase business interest, engagement and ultimately sales.

Lastly, when you put together your content marketing items and plan you should keep a few things in mind.

  • Make sure that all your content points back to your website
  • Make sure your content has a defined call-to-action. You want the person who sees your content to want to engage with you.
  • Your content should offer support to the user (person seeing it). For example, it could help with their business goals, personal development objectives …basically, it needs to help them solve a problem.
  • Offer users content after they ‘sign-up to the newsletter” or “like you on Facebook”.

The biggest hurdle is CREATING it. Some people naturally exude content. Others struggle. The best advice is to get out there and start creating. Check out this post from 2014 that still holds true – www.huffingtonpost.com/danny-wong/11-critical-content-creat_b_4681265.html


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