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Content Marketing 101

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What you’ll learn

  1. How marketing fits into your content strategy
  2. The value of branding and positioning
  3. How to set yourself up for success

How does marketing fit into your content strategy?

How is a content marketing strategy different from a content strategy? In short, a content strategy is the creation and publication of useful and valuable content, whereas a marketing strategy is how you distribute and market that content.

Define your brand and value props

Having a clearly defined brand (on who you are and what your work represents) will help create a consistent experience for your audience. A consistent experience and brand allows your audience to understand, off the bat, what kind of content to expect from you and what makes you unique.

If you aren’t clear on your brand and values, then consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What makes my content unique?
  • How am I different from my competitors?
  • What value do I provide to my audience?
  • What is my brand’s personality?
  • What 3 values do I want my brand to represent?

Focus on how to deliver value to your audience

Content marketing is similar to the “show, don’t tell” approach. An effective marketing strategy earns people’s trust through content that consistently demonstrates your brand values and usefulness. Content marketing is essentially organic marketing -- with the goal being to become a recognizable and trusted brand because of the value that your content delivers.

Keep your audience in mind -- what topics are they most interested in, what type of content resonates most with them, what formats do they prefer, what platforms are they frequently using and what tone do they respond to?

Establish your goals

You can’t measure the success of a marketing plan without having specific goals. Being clear on what you want to achieve and what metrics matter will help you identify what works best to drive engagement and growth.

Setting goals and success metrics is dependent on what’s most important to you but here are some examples of various goals:

  • Increase in site traffic
  • Increase in sign-ups
  • Higher engagement rate per post
  • Increased sales and revenue
  • More shares and comments
  • New email subscribers

Figure out what works and what doesn’t

Take some time to review current and past performance of your content. What posts had the highest engagement? What posts had the highest reach? What posts were shared the most frequently? Make a note of the types of posts that perform well and see how you can create additional posts that are similar in themes or topics, or spend some time digging into why those posts had stronger performance (did you change the format? Did you post at a different day or time than you usually do?)

It’s important to understand what content is appealing and resonating with your audience and what isn’t. By knowing what types of content work well, you can begin to adjust your content strategy to fit the needs and wants of your audience.

Try different channels and formats

A channel strategy looks into what platforms you will use to share your content. Be specific with the goals, purpose and criteria for each platform. It’s critical to understand the difference between the type of content that lives on social media vs the type of content that lives on your website.

What formats will your content take? Short videos? Long-form blog posts? Infographics? Static images? Think about how you can deliver your content in the most effective way and what format will capture the attention of your audience.

Plan and post

The final step is committing to regularly showing up and sharing your content. Set up a calendar with key dates and times for when you want to market your content.

Remember that consistency and experimentation is key.