Diving into the world of content marketing

Welcome to the new marketing age – full of content marketing. It’s not really a new concept.  In fact, if you look back over the years, content marketing has been around for generations. A History of Content Marketing and Its Use Today, is a great article published in the Guardian Liberty Voice, in which the author highlighted a classic example of content marketing dating back to the 1800s. He pointed out that some of the first farmers’ almanacs contained useful information in articles that are not so different than the blogs we read today.

Although fascinating, the history of content is not why I love it so much; the truly great thing about content marketing is that it allows any business to connect and engage with a target audience on a multitude of platforms, enabling that business to organically drive sales through transparent, valuable, informative, and educational content.

Now, if you’re a printer offering marketing services, you should learn, live, and love the concept of content marketing – because this year is its year to shine. I know it might seem overwhelming, I can’t tell you how many times I hear from printers and MSPs who don’t know where to begin. I constantly hear excuses like, “it can’t be measured,” or, “we don’t have enough staff,” but the truth is, when set to a strategy and divided amongst employees, content marketing is really not that scary.

Set Your Strategy

If you’ve ever heard me talk about content marketing, then you’ve probably heard me talk about the importance of a strategy. As with anything pertaining to business growth, strategy is key to your content marketing success. Like any great roadmap, it is important to establish the lay of the land before delving into a new strategy. First, ask yourself who your target audience is, and write that down. Next, define a broad list of topics your business should cover, then write those down too. Once you have successfully done these two things, you are ready to develop your content strategy; here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Set goals that define what you wish to achieve
  • Map out how you can measure your success
  • Create your content calendar, take your list of topics and divide throughout the months
  • Outsource, assign, or reuse the content you have mapped out
  • Distribute your content via multiple channels like social media, email, and your website
  • Measure and record the results

If keeping track of reusable content, distribution channels, or any other aspect of your strategy still seems overwhelming, I suggest looking into a software or application that can help manage your content and marketing campaigns.

The Right Tools

Lastly, I’d like to briefly highlight some of the great tools out there designed to help businesses create, organize, distribute, and appreciate content.

  • Slideshare – Slideshare makes reusing and repurposing content easy. Just upload a presentation, infographic, or document, and share it online.
  • Yoast – An awesome WordPress plugin that makes it easy to leverage the content on your website for SEO success.
  • Constant Content –  Gives you access to thousands of content pieces and can request custom content, too!
  • PowToon– Switch up your content by creating animated videos to share online.
  • Storify – This tool is great for building timelines and telling stories by collecting content from multiple websites and social channels.

So, there you have it! Content marketing is not all that scary when you have the tools and strategy you need to get started. I hope I’ve made it a little easier for you to show content marketing the dedication and appreciation it requires. Because if there’s one thing that’s certain, if you love growing your business, you will love content marketing.