Last year, Snapchat was the latest rage. Marketers passed around articles and pushed to get their brand on Snapchat. “We need the latest secrets to reaching teens on Snapchat!”

Then, Snapchat changed to Snap, changed their platform, and recently fell out of interest due to a tweet from Kylie Jenner. Now, you seldom hear companies begging to be on Snapchat, and the new shiny object has rolled by.

Worse, companies that were spending time and relying on the platform for branded content just lost their messaging platform to a lot of their fans. These fans can never become customers because they have stopped hearing the message.

The practice of content marketing builds audiences by creating, maintaining, and sharing frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains, or inspires strangers into fans, and fans into customers.

Since the rise of social media, brands participate in enormous waste every day by chasing after garbage traffic from Facebook or the latest social platform. Creating a solid content marketing strategy will turn platforms like Facebook or Snapchat back into tools to deliver a brands message.

The SEO Benefits of Content Marketing

If you go to Google right now and type in “what is the best software for sales tracking,” you’re asking Google to return an article or content that gives you an answer to that question.

You want to see the answer to your question. You don’t want to see results for a rubbish software that doesn’t have key features you need (like the ability to schedule follow up reminders to sales representatives).

Nor do you want to see results for software that mainly does accounting and business books, with a sales dashboard crammed as a secondary component.

You want the best software to track your company’s sales. 

Your potential customers want the same thing, and people who would never buy from you don’t want to waste time on your website. Someone who is just starting their company and making less than $100,000 a year is going to need different sales tracking software than someone making $1,000,000.

The customer who buys the $1,000,000 will also expect to pay more. The web is intelligent enough to provide content for both types of people, and search engines look to see this content on a company’s website.

Proper SEO and creating this content will increase your online footprints, give you more to share posts to share on social media, and allow you to rank a variety of pages on your website for specific keywords and queries.

How Content Marketing Shapes Your Online Footprint

The internet is a centralized part of business today. Most companies use e-mail, social media, and other communication tools to buy, sell, and operate businesses.
Your online footprint–the whole of your social media, website, and online presence–is a crucial part of the modern company. You need to communicate online what your business’ overall vision is.
Content marketing is the messenger and content to create this online footprint. Everywhere your brand is found online, and content that people consume before buying from brands like yours–this is the extent of your online footprint.

A large footprint protects you from social media companies from shifting focus, as your content will attract readers on a variety of platforms, and centralize them in your mailing list and company ecosystem.

What Content Will You Create?

My favorite source of content comes from questions my customers ask me.  I write down answers to questions asked in meetings with customers, to blog about them later. If one customer has a question, it’s likely other ones do as well.

Other popular types:

  1. Top 10 Lists (I.e., 10 ten ways to save on your car insurance)
  2. Pick a fight with a common misconception in your industry (I.e., “5 myths about buying enterprise software”)
  3. Case studies (I.e., “here’s how we used our service to solve this customer’s problem”)
  4. How-Tos (I.e., “how to buy a new printer for your office”)
  5. Answers to Specific Questions (“why does it cost so much to book a car for the day?”)

How will You Share Your Content?

Some of our clients use blogs, some use podcasts, and others use video. There are many mediums you can use to deliver your content, but it will ultimately depend on your brand, resources, and schedule.

If you find it easier to write blog articles, then write a blog article. If you hate writing and would prefer to turn on a webcam and “go” for five minutes, then do so.

The more you create content in the format that fits your strength, the more content you’ll create (content that can be used later to repurpose across different mediums when time and money are made available).

Sharing Content

Creating content one-by-one is an unnecessary time waste, and promises that more things will slip through the cracks. You need to set aside larger chunks to get a batch of content created and ready to go.

If you know you’re going to publish one post a week, it helps to make set this up in advance, so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute (or miss the deadline).

Look for official holidays, events, and other dates to add to this calendar. Several of our clients make sure to create better posts for occasions like “Lincoln’s Birthday.”

Follow the trends of social media for your niche. See where the big brands are, and go there too. When a celebrity tweet can cause fewer people to use a social media platform, you don’t want to lose communication with your customers.

Worse, you don’t want to lose your lead source.

How Frequently Do You Post?

This question will generally receive a snarky answer of, “well, as frequently as you have content for.” Asked in the light of “what’s the minimum I can do to achieve results,” and both answers have a related, relevant answer.

Twice a month is a bare minimum, once a week is better.

Great content will never be received unsolicited. People are always ready to see the next great app, the next best thing in your industry.

There are millions of blogs posted every single day.

About 1500 new items show up in your “News Feed” on Facebook at any given moment.

Content infects the web. Brands post rehashed articles just to “get something out there,” rather than focusing on sharing the parts that make them unique.  It’s better to post fewer articles that stand from the crowd than rushing through “content” to try and get something published.

It’s better to revisit and spruce up old quality content and improve the rankings of that, than trying to create new content from scratch.