Inbound marketing and content marketing are terms that I am becoming increasingly familiar with, especially because Powered by Search is an expert in inbound marketing. They should be terms all marketers are familiarizing themselves with, because it is integrating into the future of marketing.
I believe that content marketing is the future of marketing. Sure, there will always be TV and radio advertisements but we now live in an economy of choice facilitated by a greater use of the world wide web. Advertisements such as Youtube ads that are invasive in a user’s Internet experience are seen as annoying and unwanted, rather than effective and interesting. According to Joseph Putnam’s Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing on KISSmetrics, content marketing is marketing that provides free media-type content to customers in exchange for their attention. Content marketing is when a company can develop a strong and continual relationship with their customers.
This is what I really admire about content marketing. Instead of aiming to deceive and interrupt customers, it seeks to create a reciprocating relationship and acts as a more genuine and personal way to market your products.
So, what is the content in content marketing? According to KISSmetric’s guide, it includes:
- Blog posts
- White papers & guides
- Youtube videos/webinars
Although not strategically planned, I would also say participation in groups and answering questions is also a significant form of content marketing. Simply put, I believe that any content you provide that is helpful to viewers and reflects positively to your company is content marketing.
As a corporate social responsibility enthusiast, I love the genuinity and intimacy that content marketing creates between the company and the customer. It’s like comparing a friend who only comes to you when they need something from you vs. a friend who genuinely cares about you and wants to help you. It reflects positively on your company.
That being said, I would not completely disregard traditional advertising. There’s something about traditional advertising that is just so fun and culturally defining. I would have a balance of traditional advertising to really market your brand and exemplify the creativity of your company, and content marketing to truly build a loyal relationship between you and your customer.
Guest blogging is a great way to generate valuable content and really build your reputation in your industry. KISSmetrics provides a concise Guide to Guest Blogging that gives some great tips on how to be a valuable guest on someone else’s website.
By guest blogging you establish yourself as a reputable and knowledgeable expert in the industry, which then drives traffic and links to your website. Guest blogging, however, isn’t simple- you have to convince another website why your content is worth publishing.
After determining the goals you want to achieve by guest blogging, it’s time to seek out guest blogging opportunities. What type of websites should you be looking for?
- Make sure your blog post will be featured on a website that is fit to your industry/niche.
i.e. putting your SEO blog post on a blog focused on gardening is not the best idea.
- The website has an engaged audience that constantly views and comments on featured blog posts.
- The website is active on social media so that your blog post will be well promoted.
Alright, so you’ve found the perfect website you want to drop your precious blog post off at and watch it grow. However, there’s another problem- does that website welcome your blog post? Here are some tips to ensure that your blog post will be accepted and welcomed on the website:
- Is the website accepting guest posts? This may make it a lot easier for you to get your blog post published.
- Get to know the blog’s regular content- what audience are they writing for? What is the format of their posts?
- Become a regular participative member of the website’s blogging community- comment on their posts and ask insightful questions.
- Pitch, pitch, convince! Write a personal email detailing who you are, why you should be a guest blogger and the value your blog post will bring to the website.
Finally, it’s time to write the blog post. Guest blogging is also a type of content marketing, so make sure you write a blog post that provides both value to consumers and your company:
- Remember the blog post isn’t an advertisement! Provide great content, and you’ll naturally pull customers in.
- Try to match the formatting of the website you’re submitting to. It’s good to bring your own twist to your writing style, but make sure the overall visual look of the blog post is consistent with the website you’re submitting to.
- Ask questions to your audience and generate discussion.
Remember to track your results, and if your post is successful, consider opening your own blog up to guests and look into other websites your posts may benefit from!
Content marketing is something that I continually getting more interested in. By the end of the summer, I really hope to be an expert in content marketing and share some awesome tips on this blog.
Thank you to KISSmetric’s marketing guides for providing concise and valuable information that inspired this post.