For those seeking information about increasing search engine optimization results and social media buzz through content marketing, the first question is usually, “What type of content works best?” The following ideas may be helpful:
But, with one caveat: Rather than engaging in grand delusions that your videos will go viral (they probably won’t), just make informational videos and recommend to your clients that they make some too. This doesn’t have to be a big commitment on their part. Observe: If you own a restaurant, they can eat your food on camera and give you a “shout out” no matter what their video is about. Own a clothing store? They can wear your clothes on film and tell viewers “who” they are wearing: you. This can work for many types of businesses. How-to videos are great for you to make, too; just do what you do best at your business, and do it on camera. Video and social media marketing were made for each other, so take advantage of both whenever possible.
Webinars may have been declared “played out” by a good chunk of the web marketing community, but they still make good content marketing tools for specific types of service providers: lawyers, financial experts, mortgage lenders, etc. The point of offering webinars is to explain to viewers the solutions your business offers to their problems. They should also include some “free” valuable information, too. One idea for a more effective webinar is to reach out to your favorite blogger in the field and ask him/her to “host” the webinar, with you acting in the “sponsor” role. In any case, keep it engaging, make it fun and don’t bore the audience!
If you’re in a field where consumer questions abound, posting content on Q&A sites (answering reader questions) is a great way to get your name out there, establish yourself as an expert and get leads. This tends to work very well in two particular fields: real estate and medicine. Try searching on some common questions in your industry to find a quality Q&A site you can join and answer questions for. Often, readers vote on the “best” answer to their questions and you can score more credibility that way, too.
In 2012, white papers are the new e-book. Make sure your white paper is informative, not an end-to-end advertisement for your business (that’s a big turnoff), and easy to read in the limited amount of time the reader is most likely willing to give you. White papers that are too wordy will not be read beyond the first page; white papers that provide valuable information in a concise manner (i.e. “5 Reasons you Need a Water Filtration System” or “Practical Investing in a Down Market”) are good examples of content marketing that works. Also, be sure to include your prime keywords for optimal search engine optimization.
If you’re thinking that consumers know when reviews are written by the business owner – well, you’re right. But what if you ask your customers to write you a positive review, and offer a valuable incentive to them if they do? Try offering 50% off the next purchase to anyone who writes a favorable review of your business on Yelp. You can verify the review by asking them to send you the link after it is written (tell them to review under their real names for verification), and e-mail them the coupon or provide a discount code after you check it out. This is how the review culture stays relevant – by making sure that reviews come from real customers, every time.
The above chart details common marketing goals for businesses when initiating online content curation strategies, particularly on B2B & B2C platforms.
Content marketing isn’t just good for your search engine optimization; it’s just good for your business. The brand shaping, recognition and credibility that can be established through this facet of social media marketing can’t be underestimated.