Why Content Marketing is More Than a Blog
One of the core principles of content marketing is the oft-quoted statement that “Content is king”, and many businesses have taken this to heart and started business blogs. But while having a blog is an absolute necessity for brands that are looking to utilize content marketing in their lead generation efforts, it shouldn’t stop there; a comprehensive content marketing strategy will include other methods of creating and distributing content as well. Below are three highly effective content marketing methods that you can use in addition to your blog to garner more leads for your business.
1. Social Sharing
It goes without saying that establishing a presence on prominent social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is an absolute must. Not only can you provide links to your latest blog posts through Facebook and Twitter, but you can also use these platforms to engage your audience by asking questions, running contests, conducting polls or setting up regular chat sessions. One of the biggest benefits of maintaining an active social media presence is that you have a chance to obtain direct feedback from your audience regarding your products or services. This one-on-one level of interaction can provide key insights that you might otherwise miss if you’re only looking at web analytics stats or other more general information.
Although Facebook and Twitter are the two giants of the social media ecosystem, other popular sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are too important to leave out, especially if you can produce engaging visually-driven content. Infographics work extremely well on Pinterest, while Instagram audiences crave candid and somewhat informal pictures of what takes place behind the scenes at their favorite brands. This could include office parties, concepts in the works or other images that give your audience the feeling that they’re peeking behind the curtain of your enterprise.
2. Video Marketing
Video is fast becoming the most popular method of content creation and distribution. Video sharing behemoth YouTube reports that over 6 billion hours of video are viewed every single month on their site. Savvy digital marketers understand that video-based content marketing can be nothing short of a gold mine when done correctly. Some of the most popular video content out there includes how-to or instructional videos, where you offer your expertise to viewers and then encourage them to visit your site for more tips and tricks.
For example, if you own a website that sells camera equipment, you might create a video to discuss which lenses work best for certain types of photography effects, and then refer them to your site for a discount on camera lenses. YouTube allows you to put a link to your site in your video description (i.e., the text that appears directly under your video), so make sure to take advantage of that additional exposure for your website. Other video-based content marketing ideas include interviews with prominent industry figures, or coverage of industry-related conventions or trade shows.
3. Email Marketing
Not everyone will check their favorite blog for updates every day, but they will more than likely check their email every day. By building a large opt-in email list or email marketing database, you are engaging in what is known as permission-based marketing, which means that people have given you the permission to send them content that pertains to your business offerings. This includes your blog posts, which allows you to further expand the reach of your on-site content. This subtle but super-important detail is often overlooked by many marketers; they presume that the only way to get traffic to their blog is by search engine optimization or utilizing paid traffic, but by promoting your blog posts to your opt-in subscriber list, you can open up an entirely new conduit of traffic for your blog posts, and often with a higher rate of engagement.
Email marketing is also a conversion powerhouse that delivers a phenomenal “bang for your buck”, because when a targeted message connects with a targeted audience (e.g., an opt-in subscriber list), you have a much higher likelihood of converting leads into sales. The formula works so well because the difficult part of narrowing down your marketing efforts to reach the right audience has already been done by way of permission-based marketing.
Content marketing is far more than just publishing blog posts. While blogging should be a central part of your content marketing strategy, utilizing the three methods listed above will help you expand your marketing efforts in a creative manner and expose your business to a much wider audience.