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Content Marketing basics

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Slide deck from the Digital Matter video tutorial series on content marketing: how to think as a marketer and not as a blogger when designing a marketing strategy based on content.

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Content Marketing basics

  1. 1. CONTENT MARKETING 1/3 Andrea Nicosia for
  2. 2. • It’s a marketing strategy • Used to market (promote, sell, get attention to) something • Using content • Published on an personal or on a third party channel What is Content Marketing
  3. 3. What kind of content?
  4. 4. I blog, therefore I do content marketing! Content marketing IS NOT blogging Blogging  producing content Content marketing  using content as a tool for marketing. Therefore: Think as a marketer, not as a blogger! Biggest rookie mistake
  5. 5. Corollary 1: Your business must work by itself content marketing will not solve business problems Corollary 2: Your content must be aligned with your business and with your audience Remember
  6. 6. Meaning: what is your angle? Your theme? Why your content is different from anyone else’s one? You can provide tools, insights, actionable items, opinions. Something unique and valuable for your audience. Hint: the latest news from your industry? If it’s “just the news”, there are already a thousand other content providers around. Unique Selling Proposition
  7. 7. The goal of content marketing is to build a relationship and to build trust. It takes time. Time
  8. 8. What is a content marketing strategy? • What goal (this is important: a strategy is not how to reach a goal. Strategy is choosing a goal and planning the actions to reach it.) • What content • What unique selling proposition • For whom • Where to deploy • How to measure results. Content marketing is marketing strategy
  9. 9. We create content for a community with a problem Do not think about a “persona” but a community. How can you help them solve the problem? With your business! How do they know? Because your content already helps them solve a part of their problem or a related one. Create value by being helpful! Content Creation
  10. 10. It’s very rare that a single piece of content will help you reach your goal. It’s the whole of the content that reaches the goal (or fails!) The whole strategy! What to measure
  11. 11. Do not publish your content only on your channels. Look for partnerships! • Be a guest blogger • Participate in a podcast • Talk at events • Invite others, who have an audience aligned to yours, to appear on your blog, podcast, event… • Spread your content where your audience is (social media, Medium, other blogs, Product Hunt…) Time and channels
  12. 12. Content marketing is not about producing as much content as possible. Is about producing high quality content with a purpose Content can be everything, from blog posts to software. Find the content type you are better at producing and aligned with your audience's interests. Content must be useful. It must solve a pain point of your audience. Content must be linked with your business. If your audience trusts your content, becoming customers should be a natural choice. Takeways
  14. 14. • It’s a marketing strategy. So your content must serve your goals. Did you set your goals? • Content must be aligned with your business: it’s the bridge that takes people with a problem to your solutions. You need to use it to build trust and generate leads. • Content is a generic word that encompasses everything from short tweets to images to audio and video to software to free games. • It must be as spreadable as possible: you don’t want to get people to your website, but content to potential clients and potential clients to your business. For Content Marketing you need content!
  15. 15. • What kind of content will be your main tool? Long form blog posts Infographics Memes Newsletters Excel templates… Concentrate on something that you can easily, repeatedly and reliably create. Remember: it must be top quality! Format
  16. 16. • What will be your main theme? Deep analysis, numbers and data crunching, radical transparency, contrarian positions (“everybody thinks X, but actually…”), forecasting and previsions, tutorials, news from the trenches, tools, actionable suggestions, identification of and solutions to common fears/pain points… Whatever your angle is, remember: your content must clearly address and solve a common problem of your audience and be immediately useful. For long term usefulness, a turn key solution or a professional solution, the answer is your business. Angle
  17. 17. Where to get Ideas and Inspirations
  18. 18. Other sources of inspiration
  19. 19. Say NO to short, generic filler posts, infographics that state the obvious, poorly thrown together videos or podcasts, recycling of news from already available on thousands of websites without adding nothing of yours. It is better to produce nothing than to waste your audience’s time with generic, poorly thought, not useful content that you put out just to meet a quota. Content is a commodity. Good content is a solution to a problem. Differentiate yourself from the competition by finding an unique angle, solving a problem and building trust. Before starting
  20. 20. When producing written content, do not get obsessed with SEO but first learn to produce great content, then think about on site and off site SEO techniques and best practices. A word about SEO
  21. 21. • If you use Wordpress or any modern CMS, part of the on site SEO is managed by the CMS. Use a SEO plugin. • Find the proper keywords by reading other industry sites and their comments. • Find keyword also by looking at the suggested searches on Google. • Open a Google AdWords account to use the Keyword Plannner Tool. Few suggestions about SEO - 1
  22. 22. • Use the Keyword in your title, opening paragraph, summary and where appropriate – without overdoing! • Do not write clickbaiting titles like “Entrepreneur X did this and you can’t imagine what happened next!” Unless your business is build on clickbaiting! • If you mention a person or firm, it’s ok to write them that you mentioned them and ask for a shout out. • Spread your content on your appropriate social networks. Few suggestions about SEO - 2
  23. 23.  Your content should be as professional looking as possible. If you are not good with writing, hire a copywriter. If you are not good with graphics, hire a designer.  Your content should be differentiated from the competition's. Maybe your analysis are deeper than anyone else’s. Or you explain difficult stuff using only animated gifs from Monty Python shows. Find your unique approach to your content.  Your content should be useful. After consuming it, your audience must be able to immediately act upon your words and make their life a little easier.  Your content should build trust and establish you as an expert in your field. Clickbaiting titles for generic blog posts do not build trust or picture you as an expert.  Your content must be a tool to reach your marketing goals. Produce content aligned with these goals.  Your content should invite your audience to become your customers. The content should be aligned with your business (“do not focus on legal advice, if you are a design firm!”) Checklist time!
  24. 24. Content marketing is a marketing strategy, so it should be build along the typical marketing rules of  Plan  Execute  Measure You must set the goals you want to reach with your content marketing strategy and define how to track results obtained by your content. Measure your results
  25. 25. • Facebook likes (very weak), (better), positive comments (better yet) • Shares on other social networks – or shares on a social network more relevant than Facebook for your business. • On site comments. • E-mail comments. • Conversions (newsletter sign ups, downloads, business inquiries) • New/recurring visits on website. • Time on site. Of course, there should be a link between content results and your marketing goals. What results?
  26. 26. Content marketing is a marketing strategy that uses content as a tool. What is your strategy? Find sources of ideas: influencers, newspapers, social media. Look for ideas outside your niche. And don’t forget direct interactions with the people you want to create content for: on comments, social networks, live meetings. Do not waste time on low quality content. Create high quality content useful for your audience and for your business. Measure your results. Define your KPI, how to monitor them and how they indicate that you are reaching your goals. Takeaways
  28. 28. Your theme and unique selling proposition are the basis of your publishing format: • What are you going to talk about? • In what style? • With what voice? • Using what tools? This is the description of what you do Publishing format
  29. 29. From the publishing format stems the publishing plan, that we use for • Creating relevant content • Defining a style and a tone of voice: your content’s identity • Highlighting the key concepts we want to communicate • Planning your publishing calendar Publishing plan
  30. 30. This is the description of your actual content : “I curate a weekly podcast on business innovation, with several entrepreneurs as guest speakers”. “I create monthly infographics that show Internet Of Things adoption across industries.” Description of content
  31. 31. Publishing Format Themes Angle Publishing Plan Features Creation, posting, community management Channels Strategy Operations Design Calendar Publishing format and Publishing plan
  32. 32. Content marketing Strategy Publishing Format Themes Angle Publishing Plan Features Creation, posting, community management Channels Strategy Operations Design Calendar Remember the marketing strategy
  33. 33. Business Strategy Content marketing Strategy Publishing Format Themes Angle Publishing Plan Features Creation, posting, community management Channels Strategy Operations Design Calendar Remember the global strategy
  34. 34. Your life as a content marketer is simpler when • You work less on producing content (so you can find new themes, ideas, sources). • You work smarter (so you can devote every minute of your work in doing outstanding work, with less overhead and wasted time as possible). You should find the recipe that works the best for you to get this results, but it will surely be made of • Planning • Automation • Collaborations How to simplify your life
  35. 35. Planning means that you – and your collaborators – know who must do what and when. Planning means that you know where to look for ideas and what content you must produce – and why! – before starting to produce content. Planning means that you have a contingency plan for every step of your plan. A few tools: • Witheboard • Post-it notes • Shared Excel file • Slack • Trello Planning
  36. 36. Automations means that you delegate to a computer as much repetitive jobs as possible, so you can concentrate on high added value activities, like creating astounding content and disseminate it. Use an RSS aggregator, Twitter lists, news discovery apps to surface ideas and information. Use shared folders, Dropbox, Google Docs to work on a single version of your files and have them automatically archived and versioned. Use an automated action in Photoshop or a web app if you always need images cropped to the same sizes. Do not do any kind of manual, repetitive, dull job that can be automated: you’ll save time and reduce errors. Automation
  37. 37. Collaboration means two things. Assemble a team that helps you producing great content. Focus on what you are great at and delegate what you cannot do. You can be a great writer, designer, website admin. You can find the best guest bloggers or create a wonderful network of relationships. But do not try to do everything all the time. Establish a network outside your team to help you create and spread your content. Find influencers with a recognized name in your industry and invite them to be a guest in your videos. Create a relationship with people that can upvote your podcast on Product Hunt. Have experts guest blog on your Medium channel. Do not work alone. Collaborations
  38. 38. Show some love to your archive After having spent so much effort in creating awesome content, it would be a big mistake to use it only once. Archive material is useful in many ways. Timeless content can be re issued as is or with minor variations every time you have a reason to do so – think about all those articles on daylight savings time. Content that keeps attracting traffic can be shared on different channels. Or can be the inspiration to create more similar content. Successful content can be shared again on your social networks: for new followers it will be new content. Do not forget your old content
  39. 39. Create a publishing format and a publishing plan. It will make every phase of content creation easier and focused on your business goals. Automate as much as possible. Concentrate on your core tasks and high value jobs, leave the rest to machines. Create teams and networks. From content creation, dissemination and managements every step will be easier. Do not forget your archives. Old content can – and usually will – be useful more than once. Takeaways