Social Media continues to transform the internet marketing landscape – while old favourites such as email and paid search marketing still have a significant role to play, the new shiny Facebooks, YouTubes and Twitters of the World Wide Web recommend your business have an online presence. Otherwise you risk being left behind by competitors who do.
While setting up a company profile is free, successfully engaging with new and existing customers requires planning, time and most importantly fresh content. The saying ‘Content is King’ is just as true today as it was before Social Media and Web 2.0 hit the scene. A valid content marketing plan is more important than ever.
What is content marketing?
Not as scary as it might sound, content marketing is the process of regularly creating and publishing relevant, valuable content to attract and engage with your target audience. A successful content marketing plan could be the driving force behind all your online marketing activities, or at least, a good way to refer potential customers/clients to your site.
What forms can content marketing take?
A content marketing plan includes creating online content in one or a number of different formats to attract and engage with your customers. This might involve:
- Article writing
- Posting blog entries
- Posting to social media profiles
- Producing video presentations
- Podcasts (audio content)
- Email marketing messages
- Webcasts, in real time or on demand
- …and more.
The trick is learning how and where your intended audience likes to consume their media – and producing content accordingly.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
The most significant advantage of adopting a good content marketing plan is that you remain visible in your market place/your online niche. The more visible you are because of ‘value-added’ content, the more likely you are to promote a positive brand awareness – which in turn leads to more engagement and ultimately more sales.
The chicken and the egg
What comes first – a content marketing plan or an overall online marketing plan? Truth is, there’s no conclusive answer – but it is important to point out that the two should work together to help you make the most of all your promotional messages.
Your email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM) should be planned and coordinated, rather than sporadic. A content marketing plan is a great way to successfully bring all your marketing activities together.
In this age of online engagement and social networking, not having a cohesive content marketing plan can lead to an uncoordinated approach to getting your message across – and can potentially have a negative impact on brand awareness. If you would like help preparing a workable content marketing plan for your business, get in touch with Xanthos.