How To Add Content Marketing To Your Strategy

Lee Odden By Lee Odden
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Google Farmer update paranoia aside, there are plenty of reasons to make content marketing a more prominent piece of your online marketing mix. Content fuels search visibility, social sharing and consumer interaction. Great content aligns customer goals with those of the brand. Ultimately, useful content helps win and keep customers.

Because we promote editorial marketing here and with clients so much, there are many questions from companies that want more tactical steps they can take. Whether it’s a retailer with an online catalog of products that wants to increase repeat business or a technology company full of tech specifications that wants to increase new leads, there are a number of straightforward ways to make useful content a marketing asset.

After an assessment that warrants a more intensive content marketing approach, here are a few tactical tips:

  1. Identify the types of content that would be most useful for customers in the different phases of the buying cycle
  2. Develop a search and social keyword glossary
  3. Map keywords to existing content and create and editorial plan for content that you should have
  4. Identify the resources you have and will need to “recruit” internally or hire from external sources to address content creation needs
  5. Develop processes for content creation, optimization, promotion and planned re-purposing
  6. Match goals with some kind of dashboard for reporting and method of extracting insight out of web analytics and social media monitoring to determine effectiveness
  7. Implement feedback mechanisms for content creators to reinforce content types/styles that are producing desired results
  8. Continue to refine editorial strategy and allow for on-demand and wildcard content creation/marketing opportunities
  9. Make an effort to test, refine and repeat. Scale what works. Kill what does not.
  10. Continuously educate yourself and your team on best practices through books like “Content Rules” by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman or the rich information at the Content Marketing Institute run by Joe Pulizzi. Also conferences, white papers, newsletters and blogs. Assign areas of expertise to different team members instead of trying to get each person to learn everything at once.

Tactics like these are no substitute for a proper content marketing strategy, but in many cases, companies want to understand the tactical mix on their journey towards committing to an overall approach.

Has your online marketing become more content focused? What tips would you add to this list?

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About Lee Odden
Lee Odden is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, a provider of innovative Internet marketing consulting for progressive B2B companies ranging from Marketo to PRWeb to McKesson. Odden has been recognized for his expertise with enterprise social media, SEO and content marketing strategies by The Economist, Advertising Age and Mashable. He writes a monthly column called Social Media Smarts for ClickZ and his blog at TopRankBlog.com has an active community with over 46,000 subscribers, 12,000 Facebook Fans and has been rated the #1 Content Marketing blog 3 times by Junta42. He is also the Author of "Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing" published by Wiley.

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