Content Marketing in 2014: A Recipe for Success

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If you’re a small business owner, developing a solid content marketing campaign should be on the top of your agenda in 2014. And if you aren’t so sure what content marketing is, exactly, or how to do it—your education starts now: 

Put very simply, content marketing is spawned by publishing content (mostly on an online platform), and it’s done best when it incorporates a variety of mediums for the consumer to absorb.

A great content marketing campaign almost always includes the following ingredients: engaging web content, blog posts and articles, videos, infographics, how-to guides, Q&A pieces, interviews, photos, social media, and various other mediums and tactics for sharing information and starting a dialogue with consumers.

So, what’s it all for? 

Most aspects of your content marketing recipe should have the end goal of getting your business quality customer traffic, all through ranking well on search engines and enhancing your social media contributions (a content marketing must).

But that’s not all there is to it.

The funny thing about content marketing is that it’s not a practice focused on selling (like past marketing and advertising trends). Instead, the main purpose is to communicate and establish a relationship with both existing and potential customers through consistently contributing valuable information that will help you stand out—gaining you respect within your industry and inspiring consumer confidence in your brand, products or services.

Your Content Marketing Recipe for Success 

Content Marketing Recipe for Success Infographic by c2m CREATIVES & Text Enterprises
To create a dynamic content marketing campaign in 2014, start by including these 5 ingredients in your “recipe for success.” 
• Engaging Written Content
• Interesting Images & Infographics
• Compelling Video Content Marketing
• Enticing Social Media Engagement
• Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Engaging Written Content:

Ramping up the quality of the text on your website is a great start, but once you’ve got a great platform for communication going on there (with original content and some light SEO worked in), you’ll need to step up your game.

Stagnant sites lose their appeal in search engines when they’re left untouched for a while, so maintaining a blog gives you a platform for constantly getting re-indexed in search engines. It’s also a way to engage with customers on a regular basis. Just remember to keep your content appealing and informative. Don’t just post for the sake of posting: Have something to say in your posts, and reward your readers with tips, information or how-to guides. For instance, if you own a home repair business, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a few DIY tips with customers!

Interesting Images and Infographics:

Both readers and search engines appreciate a break from text. Incorporating feature-rich content into your content marketing game plan is a major “Do!”

Infographic on Content Marketing Recipe for Success
Infographic showing the specs of this post
Statistics and quotes lend themselves well to this strategy. Find a quote you like, one that speaks to your business’s values and superimpose the text on an original photo. Find stats that compliment your products or services and develop an infographic displaying the information in a fun way. Compare two similar products you offer side-by-side in a graphic format, and share the pros and cons “at a glance” with your customers.

When it comes to this ingredient, just make sure you share original material that you’re not stealing from another source, or at least give your source credit for any infographics or images you decide to use to promote your business that aren’t your own.

Compelling Video Content:

Videos get indexed in search engine results just like websites and blogs, and they’re often shared on social media at a higher rate than other content.

Think about implementing a short YouTube clip or promotional video in your content marketing campaign, and post the video throughout your many mediums for customer engagement. Videos make a great SEO-friendly edition to your site or blog, and if you get creative—your video may even reach viral status!

Enticing Social Media Engagement:

Think of social media outlets as your content marketing megaphones. Without the proper social media tools, all of your hard work writing blogs and creating quality images, infographics and videos is for nothing.

Make sure you choose platforms that you’re going to keep up with, and don’t overload yourself by grasping every social media account within reach. Keep to around three outlets that work well for your business and target customer base so that you can maintain them properly and keep everything updated without getting overwhelmed.

Natural Search Engine Optimization:

SEO should not be ignored in a successful content marketing campaign, but shouldn't take over.
SEO cannot be ignored in a successful content marketing recipe, but it shouldn’t take center stage either.

When you develop content (whether it be a blog, image, infographic, or video) have a highly searched keyword or service in mind to base your titles and taglines around. Just be careful and don’t stuff keywords in anywhere and everywhere—not only will users and potential customers get annoyed with overly-intense SEO tactics, search engines will penalize your rankings if you overdo the SEO or engage in manipulative strategies.

In Conclusion 

Small businesses today are challenged with marketing to a customer base that has the world at their fingertips. Social media, coupled with the ever-expanding scope of search engines and online content, creates a very aware and engaged consumer market: one that doesn’t take kindly to marketing “fluff” or manipulative tactics. On top of that, search engines like Google are starting to penalize sites that are outdated, over-optimized or poorly written.

You may have heard the marketing phrase “content is king,” and it is. Stick to an authentic, homegrown recipe for your content marketing in 2014, and you’re bound to see delicious results!

Stay Tuned

In our next post we will talk about content marketing cornerstones and how to avoid spoiling your content marketing recipe.

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Design & Infographics by Carmen Cardoza, c2m CREATIVES

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