Content Marketing – Ideas for Creative Content
Content marketing is all about storytelling. Without this major ingredient, the recipe is flawed. It’s about connecting with people and building an audience that’s already searching for the topic in search engines with keywords. All you need to do is expand on those keywords and turn them into stories that you can share through different media, such as your website, blog, newsletter and social media profile.
Several formats can be used for content marketing. Essentially, it involves whatever type of multimedia you’re comfortable with. Content can be created and shared in the form of text, audio, images, charts, info-graphics, videos or innovative new types of media. Many successful campaigns are built on a large quantity of text mixed with graphics or other media.
The first step to contenting marketing is mapping out the universe of possibilities for content ideas. Like keywords, start with general concepts and move toward specific detail. Creating outlines will help guide you to expanding on content because outlines will tell you where the story is leading.
Before setting out on this adventure of producing material, do some research and experience for yourself your topics. Gather information and organize it in a way that’s easy to use for your own reference purposes. Some people create different word documents for different topics and store them in one folder on their computer. Others like to create multiple folders stored in one folder.
Plan on creating evergreen instead of static content. Evergreen means something that will always be fresh for the people who discover it the first time, as opposed to content that becomes dated. Almost any subject can be treated in an evergreen style.
Evergreen content can be achieved if you tell a story in an historical context. In other words, the statement “gas prices are $3.50 per gallon” will become outdated, whereas the statement “gas prices hovered around $3.50 per gallon in 2013” is more of a timeless fact that will always have relevance as a time marker.
The reason you want to present your content in an evergreen style is that it saves you the work from eventually changing or eliminating content. Once web pages are created they become part of Google’s index. Even though Google encourages fresh content, they still give old web pages high rankings if they present useful information.
Think about the buying cycle of your customer. Plan stories that will lead to when it’s right to buy your service or product. Important components of storytelling should be about problems and solutions. Make a list of what your customers tend to complain about. You can do this by studying existing reviews on sites within your industry. Create stories that address these issues.
Tell your story in a conversational manner, even if what you are selling is technical. Content marketing is all about humanizing your brand as opposed to last century’s marketing strategy for bigger than life mystique. Figure out how to tell the same stories in different ways so that you can recycle content that links together. Pay attention to word count and try to get it up to several hundred words per page.
Make your content as original as possible, which helps search rankings and your credibility with followers. Some of the ways to craft original content are to write about your historical perspectives, interviews with experts and lists of tips for efficiency. Check what your competitors are doing and do something different. Write about what the industry needs to improve. Give your readers something they can be excited about so that they’ll share it with friends.
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Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.
OTR Web is a Value Added Partner with HubSpot.
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