“It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere!” ~ Content Marketing that is.
The images, images, videos, quotes, quick tips, stories, and facts should be presented in such a way that the user is so engrossed they forget that it is also content marketing or educational material.
The world of Content Marketing has penetrated advertising on multiple levels and continues to broaden the market on a global scale, with its informative approach and has taken advertising to a new and interesting level, and made it so anyone who can write, and source material can turn out a ‘soft sell’ marketing tool.
It has also made the customer or user more sophisticated and expecting material and links on that which they are about to spend their money or join, etc. Your competition will mostly have a detailed package, possibly with photos, videos, customer reviews, specs, and history, and customers may want to access this fast, so if it is worked into your content marketing, they are set.
Resources and material for Content Marketing are something that every business owner can, and should, work on all the time, so you have media and material on hand when ready to use them. Even if you are not the one producing the media, you can help with saving interesting links, or good and clever samples of information relating to an event, contact, article, organization, photo, video, etc. Content marketing can easily be a group effort if the general directive is to keep an eye out and ears open for source material of all kinds, since this kind of communication seems to be here to stay, and embracing it on every level is so worthwhile. Be ready to whip out your phone to snap a picture if you stumble upon an image or news worth noting.
Whether you are utilizing websites, blogs, video channels, online newsletters, or various social media platforms, keep building up your pictures, quotes, data, statistics, videos, or whatever you can to have a wealth of resources to flesh out your content. If you have staff, with nothing to do, set them up building resources under your tutelage. They could come in very handy and impress your clients with your library of downloaded, licensed, or license-free images, that have been cropped, sized, and titled to SEO advantage ready for uploading to multiple platforms.
You can start building your content by establishing social media accounts and sharing posts from related topics that others have created demonstrating that you are interested in a certain topic, field, organization, etc. Choose such posts wisely, especially if you want to demonstrate that you are discerning and knowledgeable about your field for one, once again be careful who you endorse and share. I have several FB pages and obviously use them to share information, images, videos, music, links, etc., but I also use one of those pages to keep track of vegetarian recipes that I might want to try someday. So those posts are there for me to access for meal prep as well as blog prep in case I ever want to write something regarding food. The same thing goes for helpful articles and videos on health and healing.
Although content marketing has made advertising much more interesting, at the same time, it is frankly a little scary, in that we now have to constantly be on our toes regarding trusting what we are taking in. As consumers, we must our discernment as to the validity and integrity of messages on practically a daily basis, as Content Marketing is Everywhere! As marketers, who may share content, we must be completely aware of what we are sharing, which entails a review of the written words, links, original sources, etc. Why promote your competition or something you would not normally stand behind by not reviewing a post carefully to discover the links to their product or service?
It sort of takes away from the experience of reading copy, when you have to apply extra discretion and seek the clues to see if the article is genuinely full of great tips, or are they supplying the minimum hook in order to promote a company, event, or service? I find my first approach in clicking on buttons and exploring links is to determine the angle from which it comes ASAP before reading on. For instance, many reviews are from those who are paid by the manufacturer to review their product, so I look for objective sources at all times by digging deeper. We all understand that the bottom line for most online efforts is to sell or promote something, but be wary of overkill on the selling. Of course, there have always been angles to printed, magazines, newspapers, etc., but many miss the days of more innocent perusing, without having to have a watchful eye for the sales pitch buried in the content, subliminal or not or blatantly plastered throughout the article.
This is especially true with causes. Hundreds of times while sharing posts on my FB pages for Managing Earth and BC Sustainable Solutions, I found something worth sharing but refused to share it because it would mean sharing the hard-sell advertising that accompanied it or representing something that I was not prepared to support. Again, discernment is a big part of content marketing, so keep that aspect in mind if you truly want your posts to be shared. If you are promoting a cause – keep it noble and tasteful for better promotion of the message and don’t cross the line that turns people off all your fine efforts.
For all essential content marketing, the following adjectives should be embraced: intriguing, factual, eye-opening, historically correct, fair, relevant, attention-holding, useful, tasteful, legally published, and basically politically correct so as not to offend anyone.
Don’t forget the advantages of linking to outside sources. It makes your message less focused on you and may just pay off in a reciprocal link and a good rapport with the source to which you are linking. ‘Facebooks Likes’ often pay off.
I can’t say enough about the video component of content marketing. Many times I have tried to get on the first page of results for a search engine only to be usurped by sites that are more established and paying for ad words. However, when I established a YouTube site and gave my channel and video really well-crafted descriptions, boom, there I was on the first page. If you can make any sort of video to promote your business or cause, I highly recommend spending time on this media.
Here’s hoping that the content marketing industry keeps developing into a positive force with some sort of watchdog system to keep everyone honest in their published works and properly researching subjects before posting online and sending out newsletters to subscribers. If you find a good source with integrity, it is good to reward them with loyalty where possible and share their message with potentially interested parties.
If advertising is the engine that drives most of the business world and we must have, content marketing is certainly making it more interesting, educational, and fun. It is a bit of an intimidating moment yet still thrilling when you have thoroughly researched your subject, carefully determined key search words, perfected your phrasing to convey the most information with the least amount of words, yet with your own approach, and then press that ‘Publish’ button. To think you can reach the world from your own little computer is really empowering, whether you are reposting and commenting or creating brand-new content.
Just find the right media stream and platform on which to express yourself and let your creativity fly, using integrity in all that you do!
For more tips on Content Marketing, visit Illuminate Media and Communication’s Facebook Page