Five Ways to a Killer Content Marketing Strategy

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BLUE PHOENIX – It’s the same thing but we all refer to it by different names. The New York Times calls it journalism and marketers call it content. But everyone agrees: It’s a very important piece of the revenue stream.

And with more people attempting to create “content” (“journalism”/”blog posts”/”things to sell advertising against”), this form of brand development is becoming increasingly competitive. And with Google’s search results bloating, generating articles as part of your company’s homebrewn PR strategy will get difficult.

This is where you have to start thinking BIG. This is the age of the Aol and Huffington Post merger. What does that mean? That tech, marketing, and editorial have essentially converged into a single new media phenomenon.

Just like players from other arenas have to think big to stay sharp, so should you. For marketers who are looking to raise their parent agency’s profile, the wave of the future–or some part of it–is actually in journalism.

1. Start pitching ideas. In this post-Panda era of search, article spinning has become nearly obsolete. With search engines looking for newer ways to become more sensitive to everyday consumers’ needs, the era of primarily gearing your content to catch the eyes of search robots is becoming a thing of the past.

Marketers ideally have something the average consumer doesn’t: First-hand experience. This can serve as the knowledge base for any feature pitch. Craft a piece that serves a purpose–humor, instruction, or information–and brand loyalty will start building. Not at a staggering rate, but hey, it’s better than nothing happening.

2. Reaching your prospects. More specifically, that means that as a marketer, maintaining your own blog is no longer enough. Doing guest posts is not enough too. It’s time to start playing with the big fish.

If you’re a marketer who has years and years of experience and you’ve noticed a trend that’s going unreported–or even underreported–it’s time to put together a blueprint of your ideal feature and pitch it to an editor at an outlet like The Wall Street Journal or Forbes. While ROI is important to the fiscal sustainability, brand equity generated by name recognition in a highly-respected outlet is also very important.

Once upon a time, you could probably get an intern to troll through Times Square at the height of rush hour to spread the good word about your company to relevant prospects, but that’s no longer viable. So make them come to you by inserting yourself into their reading material.

3. Be picky with platforms. Unless you’re leveraging high-profile interactive platforms like Reddit and BuzzFeed, repurposing your content might just be an exercise in futility. The main goal of article spinning is to make your brand more visible in SERPs. And if Google is Panda-smacking your brand for contributing spam–which is what the bulk of article spinners could equate to–then it’s time to start dialing down the spammier spinners and focus on doing it the hard way. This way yields greater rewards, too.

4. Write good well. You wouldn’t go to a job interview in a torn-up pair of jeans and a hoodie with a juice stain on it, would you? Of course not. This makes a poor impression on HR rep you’re trying to please. Similarly, you wouldn’t want your content to be sloppy, missing punctuation, and filled with half-formed thoughts. It provides nobody any value. Worse, if a prospect were to come along with the intention of doing business, terribly-crafted content could turn them off for good.

5. Stand by your work. The same way you would stand by landing gold-star accounts, stand by what you write. Even if you find key players disagreeing with your points of view, it opens up a dialogue–and a well-written opinion will make your company stand out than none at all.

Originally published at Blue Phoenix Network blog. Reprinted with permission.

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