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Content Marketing Best Practices-Beginners Guide 2017( and Beyond)

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Content Marketing is the most amazing form of marketing strategy however most under looked and least managed among Digital Marketers in whole world.
According to a study, 88% of B2B marketers used Content marketing as a strategy until 2016 as part of their marketing strategy, still only 32% have a well-documented Content marketing strategy. (source)

So what is Content Marketing and why 88% marketers are obsessed with the strategy and why they are not able to get most out of it including you because you are reading this. Right?

When I personally asked with couple of Content Marketing experts in industry, I got different opinion among them; however they were talking almost similar but they were just not sure of the real way of using Content Marketing.

So I decided to ask the most reputed experts of Content marketing who already got success in this arena using Content marketing for small businesses as a form of strategy.

Look below what they said about what is content marketing

1. Pradeep Kumar (Hellbound Bloggers Forum)

S Pradeep¬†Kumar is the founder of SlashSquare Media and he has quality blog network that already got much appreciation in the industry based on Content. Best on Pradeep’s opinion

Content is like a piece of information, it could be anything, we may or may not like it, but still expressed by someone via text, image or even a video. It’s basically an information occupying some space out there

2. Pardeep Goyal (Cash Overflow)

Pardeep Goyal is the founder of Cash Overflow where he help people with money making tips using best form of Content Marketing and recently his article on “100 days of making money online under 5000” got so much appreciation on Social media’s and was shared almost 1,75,000+ times and got viral. Pardeep said-

In my view, Content Marketing gives you leverage to interact with customers without spending lots of money on paid promotions. To get the success, you need to create write Content (text, graphics, videos) and figure out a way to deliver to your target audience (Google, Facebook, Emails). Don’t confused Content marketing with blogging. It’s way bigger and powerful that entire business can run based on Content marketing.

Hope you got a broad idea on what is Content marketing and how powerful it is for a business to grow multifolds.

If I will personally explain what Content marketing is in one line, I will say-

[tweetshareinline tweet=”Content marketing is the story you tell your viewers before the sales message” username=”@iamshashank2917″]

Loved the above one liner meaning of Content marketing? Click tweet button to share on twitter as a form of appreciation.

Got Less time? Watch video below. Will recommend to bookmark this Page to read again later as it has valuable information.

Various Forms of Content Marketing Strategy Elements

After getting some expert directions for real meaning of Content marketing, I decided to do another search for the different forms of Content marketing and how they are used.

I got so many people explaining the same thing in the top most i got 105 types of Content we use in daily life. Here is a descriptive infographic from digitalmarketinginstitute.com for best various forms of content we use in Marketing.

forms of content marketing www

Some of the forms are comments, plugins, photos, animations, slides, data, APIs, tools, comics, products, infographics, services, videos, text, images, blogs, tweets, ads, physical space, print material, press releases, listicles etc.

Marketers need to understand which form of Content is generating more traction and how they can be used to get the most possible returns on investment.

To test the idea you can simply try different forms of Content in communities or groups socially and see how it is performing based on metrics.

 

Why to use Content Marketing

Still you have a Question in mind why we should use Content marketing.

See below, why it is the backbone of any business.

  1. Cheaper than any form of marketing.
  2. Your first point of contact with client and presentation of your services depends on your Content based brochures, business cards, and corporate identity.
  3. Most powerful form of marketing from any other types due to emotional intelligence. I’m sure you heard of “images can speak a Thousand Words”. This is the power.
  4. Can be applied to an industry and in any Scenario to get success.
  5. If used in conjunction with inbound marketing; can do wonders for business growth.
  6. Content marketing becomes a lead magnet for any business type to gain qualified leads in lowest cost possible.
  7. Help increase awareness and organic searches.
  8. Increase brand value and user trust that connects to your audience emotions.
  9. Cater valuable information in the form of Content to your buyers before and after purchase.

 

How to Produce Content for Effective Marketing Strategy

Producing engaging relevant Content is the main problem among new marketers as they are not sure which form of Content can go viral or which will not.

Here, below I jotted down step by step process on how an early new marketer can produce Content Marketing Plan in the most subtle way.

  1. Create a product and understand its benefits.
  2. Define your business objectives and vision.
  3. Do thorough market research to create an Audience Type Persona.
  4. Look for communities and forums where your target audience hang out and see what problems they face.
  5. Ask yourself can your product or service solve their problems?
  6. Spend some time on Keyword research using best keyword research tools to find the keyword niche ideas from their questions.
  7. Use best targeted keywords and write the Content around the question you want to solve and add values to their lives.
  8. Make it longer, descriptive and engaging to let your users enjoy their solutions (may vary based on industry and content type like press releases are short and to the point but trust me no press release ever gone viral).
  9. Check before distribution if it has the power to relate with your audience emotions by sharing in few relevant communities.

 

How to Market Content

When it comes to distribution of Content, marketers get lazy and they generally feel that just creating good meaty piece of Content is enough to go viral and will share itself via people.

Actual work starts when you finish writing Content.

Few dosage of Content marketing Strategy is below mentioned to take as per the need.

  1. “Content is King- Bill Gates (January, 1996”. True to a great extent yet.
  2. “[tweetshareinline tweet=”Content Distribution is Knight-Shashank Srivastava” username=”@iamshashank2917″]”. interesting? Click to tweet.
  3. Distribute your Content in Social Media channels.
  4. Share with in relevant forums communities to enlighten people.
  5. Share with in Question Answer websites like Quora, Reddit.
  6. Distribute in Content sharing platforms like inbound.org, medium.com, Feedly, Flipboard etc.
  7. Share with email subscriber list via Email Marketing Tool.
  8. Tag industry leaders, influencers who wrote similar Content previously and ask for advice or if your content is better than theirs do ask to link it with their Content.

 

Generate Qualified Leads using Content Marketing

Who don’t like qualified leads and business revenue however many marketers leave it on plate when it comes to closing of qualified leads with Content marketing as their sales funnels are not setup based on it should be.

Let’s see a step-by-step way of generating leads using Content Marketing Tips as a medium.

  1. Set up a sales funnel and do remember sales funnels are not rocket science. Anyone can do that. Share quick valuable free entity like ebook, free digital marketing course in my case, webinar in exchange of contact information like email or phone number.
  2. Engage your subscribers with emails messages and any other form of communication that you want to include but don’t overdo.
  3. Educate them about your product or services and how it’s helpful in a generic way not like sales pitching.
  4. Offer discounts and benefits on purchase.
  5. Let them decide if they want to buy or not don’t push them to buy even if they don’t feel its valuable or if they want to buy later on sometime. You may lose your customer.
  6. Ask for constructive feedback if they like it or not and if they loved it ask them to share feedback on social channels to gain more following and user base.
  7. Offer free or discounted trials to retain your customers can go extra mile to help them solves issues.
  8. Ask for your product reference and they want them for the extra free service product if they bring in new customer for you.
  9. This whole process is a sales funnel and you can integrate this sales funnel or you can modify this based on your business needs and customer type.

Hey fella, you are thinking now that you know everything and you can crush the market and your competitors with this Content Marketing strategy?

Wait a moment and see what next paragraph have for you.

 

Simple Case Study on Content Marketing & Example

Alright so you got a whole lot idea on how Content works and how you can leverage Content marketing to gain subscribers and then your paying customers.

Here is a simple tip from Content Strategy Examples list on XYZ coffee house and how they can use Content marketing Strategy as the voice to grow customer base.

Bad Example of Content Marketing

A visitor visits XYZ coffee house and bought a coffee for flat price of 100 bucks.

She enjoys coffee and left place. (No Content Marketing)

Good Example of Content Marketing Strategy

Visitor visits XYZ coffee shop and see a board written, use Hashtag #xyzcoffeehouse and share selfie on Facebook to get 20% flat discount on your Coffee.

She now got her coffee for a discounted price of 80 bucks only.

She enjoyed her coffee with a smile on face as the coffee was good and she tagged two more friends to enjoy the coffee and recommended them as well.

Next time they visited for a group meet and they took a group selfie and uploaded once again by tagging XYZ coffee shop Hindi status update and recommended automatically to their friend list as a reliable source of quality coffee (visual Content on board catalyzed better visibility of brand. Helped them with brand marketing, influential marketing and more customers via social media.)

 

Sounds awesome?

This is a simple creative Content Strategy that can do wonders for your brand image and can also damage in a short run as these users can also tag in case you have bad service or product and they can simply tag or tweet.

If your product is good and you have a right blend of Content and marketing all together, it can become a Lethal Weapon for your brand 2 grow exponentially and outrank any competitors.

But it’s time to hear something from you about the Content marketing and what three tactics you will use to strategize your Content marketing plan.

Comment below and share your Content Marketing experiences.

Smash like and share button below as you enjoyed it. (PS: It’s free)