One thing we encounter when talking with new clients is that they don’t really know what content marketing is exactly. They usually have a pretty good idea — it has something to do with social media, seo, and content. And that’s mostly true, but what makes it marketing?
Traditionally marketing is usually pretty easy to wrap your head around: mailers, radio ads, newspaper ads, television commercials, networking, etc. Now imagine applying that to the digital world. A lot of the ideas are still the same when it comes to content marketing; connect with your audience, build a reputation, and develop long term relationships to create lasting customers.
The big question then becomes… where do I start? This can seem overwhelming to the unseasoned content marketer or small business owner just starting to get into content marketing. There are literally HUNDREDS of tools out there to help you manage your content marketing. But before you have a panic attack trying to figure out where to start, let’s go over the basics.
Web pages are the backbone of the internet and the digital embodiment of your company. The meat of your company is in the website. You may not know the exact technical reasons that make a website a good website or a bad website, but you do have taste and chances are that on first glance you know if a website is good or not.
Your web site is going to be the broad stroke of your company, it’s the overview, the abstract, the general idea. Information on the main pages of your website isn’t going to change much over time unless your company mission makes a 180 and your entire operation changes.
The most important thing is that the pages stay updated. That doesn’t limit itself to the information on the pages, but the look, style, and feel of the pages. It’s not 1999 anymore and you’re not wearing kangols… don’t make your website the digital equivalent of a kangol. Website trends actually change more rapidly than that. What was popular last year isn’t necessarily popular today.
If the web page is the body of your company, blogs are the voice. Your blogs are going to be weekly or bi-weekly opportunities for you to establish your authority in your field. It’s also going to be your sales pitch — if people like what they read in your blog then they’re probably also going to like what you have to sell.
It’s important to establish expectations with your blog. A single blog post isn’t going to do much, but continual blogging over a long period of time is going to lead to consistent traffic to your website (those blogs are shared on social media and optimized for SEO). That traffic will eventually convert to leads, and leads mean sales!
If blogs are the voice of your company, visuals are the face. What was the most important thing about your website? Staying updated. The same is true for engaging with your audiences. Right now audiences respond to content with visuals up to 94% more than they do with content without visuals… among a slew of other benefits. They demonstrate your creativity and provide a different kind of information delivery than text can. Visuals are stimulating and entertaining.
Visuals bring your content from the mundane to the extraordinary… well, at the least your content becomes not boring. Wondering what visuals you need to have? Visuals is a pretty broad term that includes, but is not limited to:
- Animated GIFs
Determining what kind of visuals are right for you starts with defining your goals, identifying your audience, and then developing your needs as a company in the digital world. Here at FEAD we start by building up this strong foundation and then expand on it. If you have any questions about where to get started and how we can help make your online marketing efforts the best they can be then hit us up. We love to help.