Starting Your Content Marketing Strategy

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If you need proof of the emerging value a strong content marketing strategy, look no further than the inclusion of Red Bull Media House on Fast Company magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.

The media arm of the energy drink company became an independent entity in Europe in 2007 and did the same in the United States in 2011. Red Bull Media House actively creates content that supports the extreme sports lifestyle demographic that makes up a large part of its target marketing. One of the media company’s most recent successes was a documentary about snowboarders called The Art of Flight. This project spent a number of weeks as a top paid download on iTunes.

If you’ve been hesitant to begin a content marketing strategy for your brand, here are some easy places to get ideas about where you can start.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
. If you haven’t created a formal FAQ document, this is a perfect first step for your content marketing plan. A well optimized and easy to find FAQ page on your website can reduce the number of basic customer service calls you receive and free your customer service staff to tackle more complex issues.

Success stories and testimonials. Take a look at your clients and identify examples of where you have been able to provide the most value. Use these success stories to concisely communicate to a potential client that you have already solved the same or similar problem for another person or organization. Most potential clients will use online searches to prequalify potential vendors. A whitepaper or a blog post that makes the case that you already have the experience and success they are looking for can be a very powerful content marketing tool.

Add overall value with content
. Think outside your industry-specific box for content marketing ideas that will add value to the lives of your clients. A kitchen design company could make easy recipes part of their content marketing schedule. A great recipe that a client could use to wow friends and family in their new kitchen reinforces the value of that client’s recently completed remodel project. A fitness trainer could provide a program that sends periodic motivational messages to clients to keep them on track in their workout program.

Dig in to your web search queries.
Review the search terms that bring online visitors to your website. Look at the general two or three word search terms and longer “in the form of a question” search queries in your analytics program and see if there are any holes in your FAQs. This is a great way to get insights into how new clients are learning about what you have to offer.

Start or revitalize an eNewsletter. While social media channels like Facebook and YouTube are obvious places to share your content marketing, don’t overlook creating or reinvigorating a regular eNewsletter. Sending relevant and useful content to your clients’ and prospects’ inboxes on regular basis is a very effective way to remain part of your network’s consideration set until they are ready to purchase what you offer.

Start sharing a lot of photos and video.
Photos are the most popular feature Facebook has to offer. Over New Year’s weekend in 2011, over 750 million photos where uploaded to the social network. Since then, the average number of photos uploaded to the site each day now tops 250 million. This means you should take and share photos as often as you think makes sense. Are you attending a trade show or community event? Share photos of your team in action. Do you have an interesting new project ready to kick off? Take photos of each step in the process and create a how-to guide.

Effective content marketing for your business will make it easier for potential clients to find your business and make it easier for current clients to continue to see you as the expert in your field and reinforce your business as a trusted partner in their network.

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