Content marketing forms the cornerstone of every successful digital marketing strategy. The age-old adage, “Content is King,” bears relevance to this statement.
“What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second or for a day or forever. Great content creates space for people to pause and reflect, and that space is where transformation happens.” – Jolie Miller
However, before we delve into the ins and outs of content marketing, let’s first consider a definition of content marketing:
Content Marketing: What, why, and how?
Josh Steimle provides the following definition of content marketing in his article titled, “What is Content Marketing,” published on Forbes.com.
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” –Josh Steimle, Forbes
The salient point of this definition is that content marketing creates and distributes valuable content. So, the concept can be divided into distribution channels and content creation mechanisms.
Therefore, the next question that must be asked and answered is, “What is valuable content?”
In summary, valuable content is content that people want to consume or read. It answers the “why” question or provides the reason for its existence. The articles included in the phrase “valuable content” are authoritative and contain useful information created for a particular audience. It is designed to change its readers’ lives via its ability to educate, inspire, and help them.
One of the best ways to describe the value of content and its ability to drive profitable customer action is to cite a small case study.
Let’s assume I own an online adventure clothing store that sells both hard-core winter clothing and athleisure. It is fall or autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, and I’d like to draw your target audience’s attention to a recycled eco-softshell jacket and a down jacket that is filled with 100% certified recycled down.
Recognizance the fact that guest post blogging is a great way to draw attention to your brand as well as to these products, I write a 1000-word blog post about the benefits of using recycled materials to manufacture warm jackets. And, at the bottom of the article, I say, “click here for more information on these jackets,” with a link to the relevant web page on your website.
This is the article’s Call-To-Action (CTA), and its intention is to direct blog post readers to the web page containing information about these jackets. Should the readers like the jackets, there is an option to purchase each jacket on the web page. Therefore, this article aims to drive traffic to your website and get visitors into the products’ sales funnel. Once they are at the top of the sales funnel, there is a good chance that they will buy at least one of these jackets and convert into returning customers.
Content Marketing and HARO: Distribution channels
Now that we have a great article with a CTA, the next step is to find a distribution channel to publish the article. As mentioned above, this article is designed to be published on a niche-specific blog. Ensure that all of your blog posts are distributed to a site that will help you with your niche branding.
If you are selling a certain type of clothing — you’ll want to approach all the bloggers who own blogs about adventure clothing to ask whether they will publish your article on their blogs. Again, for the sake of this case study, we’ll assume that this article was published on a relevant blog, and it helped drive traffic to your brand’s website, and your sales figures increased substantially.
Guest post blogging is not the only successful content marketing channel. Another option is to get your brand mentioned on some of the top news websites across the world. How do I do this? It’s not a simple matter to email or contact a reporter and ask for a mention.
The salient answer to this question is to sign up with a website called HelpAReporter.com (HARO). This is where reporters and bloggers look for experts on a particular topic.
And, because I’m an expert on the topic of recycling, adventure clothing, and caring for the environment through recycling, I sign up with HARO as a source. As a result, the HARO platform sends a daily digest of all the questions asked by the reporters and bloggers to all of their sources based on their expertise.
If a reporter asks a question about one of the expert areas, I can respond via email with the required information. If the reporter chooses to use this information, your brand gets mentioned in his article, with a link to your website or social media presence.
Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!