Understanding content marketing is easy once you understand how we use this incredible tool called the Internet.
Content: it’s what you read, it’s what you hear, it’s what you watch, and it’s what you share.
Content is the foundation of the Web — it’s the core reason people use the Internet.
Web users are in a constant quest for education and entertainment.
Knowing this, your content becomes the link to these people; it gives you a voice, an opportunity to build a brand, and even launch an online business.
In this article, you will learn the bigger picture behind content on the web from what it is, why it’s important, and how you too can leverage your knowledge to build whatever you want, online.
Understanding Content Marketing: The What, Why, and How
You must first realize that you’re fulfilling a need whether it’s to educate, entertain, or simply inform people.
This very article is content; you were pulled in by the title, introduced to the subject and now you’re digging through the meaty, informational body.
Your goal is to learn, my goal is to teach.
What is Content?
Really, content is anything that people can consume. In our case, we are using an online platform to deliver this content – the Web.
Content is not limited to blog posts and articles. There are many other varieties of content to choose from, including:
- Software and Programs
- Instant Messaging
Each one of these items can be fuel to your online projects and marketing because each individual, using the web, seeks different “mediums” of content; every individual has a different preference on how they consume information.
For example: Some people enjoy learning through the use of videos and loathe the need to read long-winded tutorials. On the other hand, some people want quick infographics that give the exact facts.
The point I’m trying to make is that content is organic; you aren’t restricted to a single medium. The web, as a platform, allows you to publish any form of these content pieces – it’s really only up to how you decide which fits best for your projects.
The bigger question to ask is “why content?”
You’re a busy individual, you have a lot to do every day and spending a few hours in front of the computer pounding away at a blog post may not sound particularly exciting.
However, as we discussed, you’re not restricted to a single medium of content; you can create it however it works best for you.
The point of creating content is to get people to your website, plain and simple.
Content does many things:
- Gives a reason for people to visit your website (web traffic!)
- Begins to build a relationship and communities
- Forms a strong brand because of the value you’re sharing
- Introduces the chance to network with other content producers
- Can be used as a product (such as ebooks and video courses)
- Helps you rank well in search engines (more web traffic!)
- Gives you a voice to the world
Never before has the common person have access to a platform to speak to the world; this luxury was limited to those in power. Today, you can speak your mind, develop a business, and build communities around the content you create.
Content Marketing Basics: Tips for Getting Started
Understanding content marketing means you realize it gives you a voice, bring people to your website, build a community, and can even be used as a product.
In marketing, this is the idea of sharing value in exchange for attention; eventually, you can turn these individuals into customers whether it’s from your marketing or your own products.
But how do you create content on a regular basis without burning out?
Keep an Idea Journal
Always keep a record, spreadsheet, or a simple piece of paper to jot down all of your ideas. Every day, you’ll generate dozens of excellent content topics; don’t dismiss them, write them down even if you never plan to create a piece around the topic. In time, you’ll develop a long enough list to feed your website enough content until the end of time.
Set a Content Schedule
Consistency is important.
Ideally, you should try to push a new blog post or article every day.
This can be troublesome for some which are why the thought of ‘less is more’ has serious benefits for your work.
If anything, publish a new piece of content on a set schedule to create familiarity with your readers; give them something to expect.
Additionally, a content schedule will give you insight into how to approach your content creation and save yourself time. This allows your work to integrate with one another to create consistency in your message.
Use Your Happy Medium
Writing isn’t for everyone.
No worries, there are other mediums such as:
…and many others that may be your “happy medium”.
Use a video camera or your phone to shoot your content, record your thoughts through a microphone, design an infographic, do whatever fits your favorite way to deliver your information.
Invite Outside Producers
There will come a time when you’re far too busy to focus on content creation; at this time, invite people to produce content for your website or hire the work out to freelancers. Remember, consistency is key. You can use guest posting and submissions as a great form of keeping your readers entertained and educated while you’re working on larger projects or need time off.
Team Up with Your Network
Reach out to your network and begin using their thoughts as the basis of your content.
Interviews, Q&A’s, and lifting snippets for a piece of content not only delivers value to your community from other individuals with similar topics.
This will get you on the radar of your network which has substantial benefits to getting found and gaining traction within your niche.
Track Feedback from the Community
Begin tracking the reception of your content after publication.
Use what you’ve learned from your community and their reactions to develop new ideas for future pieces.
Invite people to comment and share your content which builds a better brand and lands you more visitors.
To be more specific, you can take this general guide to creating content and break it down into sub-topics, such as: writing a personal story, reviewing a product, covering the news, sharing pictures from an event, doing Q&A with the community, and much more.
Your choices for content are endless when you realize that any type of interaction or thought could be distilled and turned into a content piece. Keeping an open mind and always having the thought of “would my readers be interested in this?” generates hundreds of new ideas, every day. The hard part is choosing which to do first.
Understand Now? Good. Get That Content Going!
In this post, you’ve learned the what, why, and how of content — this gives you more than the basics with understanding content marketing.
Remember, content is the reason why people use the Web — they’re here to be entertained, learn something new, and share their thoughts with other individuals.
The web is your platform to be found.
Use the suggestions within this guide to develop your own ideas and schedule for producing content.
Publish and network with your community.
Leverage your ideas into creating a viable, online business.
Your time producing content is worth the time – it will be the foundation of your online work.