Are you making the most of your content marketing? Chances are you’re not. 9 out of 10 businesses are “doing” content marketing, but only 3 out of 10 say it’s successful. There are many reasons ~70% brands miss the mark when it comes to content, but I’m going to boil it down into two prevailing areas - execution ahead of strategy and ineffective promotion. Yes, you could say the latter should be part of the former, but if you’re reading this post with that level of semantics you likely have your content strategy ducks in a row.

Content Marketing Must Begin with Content Strategy

Some of my coworkers cover this in their presentation, Content Strategy: How to Suck Less at It. Executing your content marketing prior to building a sound strategy is like going shopping without a grocery list. You’ll be able to improvise a few meals, but more than likely you’ll realize that your missing some essential ingredients.

Content Marketing is so hot right now, but what is it? Well, it should be the outcome of your content strategy. Developing your online assets in this sequential order will increase your conversion. You write for your personas, with their buying journey in mind. Providing information they want and need to research and make their purchases.

Promoting Your Marketing Content

There’s cliché phrase about a tree falling in the forest. Assuming you know it, so I’ll skip to the connection. If your audience is not near your content, they’ll never hear what you have to say. Promoting your content is as just as critical as creating it. Here's why earned, paid and owned media strategies must be part of your content marketing campaigns.

Earned Media and Content Marketing

When many people of think of earned media, they think of public relations. Before digital, using PR to make your way into a newspaper or television report was largely the only way you could “earn” media rather than paying for it. Times have changed, and so has this strategy.

Today earned media lives in online marketing strategies. Just like the traditional forms, earning online media takes a lot of effort and you don’t have as much control as you do with paid and owned strategies. In the digital age, Search Engine Optimization is the biggest way brands try and earn media by competing for the highest search results with Google users. Building an SEO and keyword strategy into your content is key to being successful with earned media. You should also experiment with guest blog posts and encouraging users and your target audience to share reviews or your content on social media platforms.

Paid Media and Content Marketing

Pay-per-click is what often comes to mind when hearing paid media advertising. Yes, this can help direct people to marketing content on landing pages and other locations, but there are a few other ways you can pay to place your content marketing assets in front of your target audience. Paid social media is one of the most popular strategies in this area. You can also explore retargeting ads and paid promotions as methods to control your message and provide immediate results to a specific audience you’re trying to reach.

Owned Media and Content Marketing

A strategy that creatively gets its name by placing your marketing assets on platforms you own – your website, blog, social media platforms, email and marketing automation. Basically, any online property your brand controls. Yes, I saved the best for last… your owned platforms provide you the most versatility because you have complete control, so build your entire collection into your content marketing strategy.

Your website should focus on SEO first, remember people need to find access your content before they can engage with it. Email marketing is also the easiest way to extend your content to an audience who is already familiar with your brand. Remember to use those and other owned media platforms. 

If you use content strategy to develop quality content and support it with a helpful approach to promotion, you’re bound to Fall in Love with Content Marketing