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If you are in charge or part of your organization’s marketing team, you may have seen this new content marketing infographic floating around on the Internet. Research conducted by Kapost, a content marketing software platform, explores a hot topic in the marketing world right now—hiring content marketers. According to the research, almost 45 percent of B2B companies plan on hiring some type of content marketer in the next year.
Clearly, this thought leadership-focused marketing is becoming a popular, and likely long-lasting, trend. But if you’re like a lot of organizations, you may be in the early stages of implementing a content marketing strategy. So, where do you start? Even if hiring a content marketer is not on your to-do list this year, you can still carry out basic content marketing tactics that will help spread the word about your organization. Disclaimer: As previously mentioned, these are meant to be basic tactics. Ideally, your content marketing program will eventually have a strategy and goals behind it, but these are good starting points.
- Start a blog. This is a simple, yet effective, place to begin housing your expertise. Ideally, your blog will be dynamically integrated with, and have the same look and feel as, your organization’s website. Use this channel to showcase your expertise—provide valuable and useful information to your audiences, and they will know that you are a go-to resource on the topic. Don’t forget to take these blog posts and promote them via other channels, like social media.
- Take full advantage of your Facebook cover photo. If you’re looking into content marketing, you likely already have social media pages set up, but are you maximizing your presence? Take Facebook, for example. Create a library of cover photos that you can rotate. Make sure each cover photo has a call to action, whether that’s to download a report, call for a free consultation or apply for a job.
- Research (and use!) keywords. Hashtags aren’t just for squeezing a bunch of words together in hopes of getting your point across. In business, they are for finding your potential customers. You can use Twitter or a third-party platform to research keywords and find out what your potential customers are talking about. For instance, if you own a bakery in Chicago, you may use Twitter’s advanced search to find people talking about food or baked goods in the Chicago area. Some may have questions; others will just be talking. Either way, you can join in the conversation—on a regular basis.
- Take a poll. Original research is always a great way to build content and get your name out there, but it doesn’t have to be a fancy, long survey. Have a dedicated space on your website to house one poll question per week (or month or quarter—you get the idea). Ask social media and blog followers to take your quick poll, and when the week is up, write a blog about the results and what it means for your readers. If it’s a really hot topic, ask follow-up questions and build it into a long-form piece of content, like a whitepaper.
- Create an infographic. Visual content pieces, like our email marketing infographic, are great because they are quick reads and are shareable—meaning they have potential to go viral. Perhaps you found some great information from the polls you took (see #4) or just have a topic that would best be discussed visually. There are DIY infographic tools online, but if you want one that maintains your organization’s brand, consult a graphic designer.
- Take an amateur video. Don’t get us wrong: professional videos are excellent content marketing tools. However, if you’re just starting out, don’t overlook the amateur video! Find a well-lit room, a flip cam and a subject matter expert, and just start shooting. Be sure to have a specific question or topic in mind (one that is, of course, valuable to your audience), and keep the final, edited video to less than a few minutes, tops.
- Turn your blog into an e-newsletter. After you have begun blogging on a regular basis, develop an e-newsletter as a way to proactively get your blog posts out into the world. Determine how often it will go out, design a template, and place a subscription form and/or button on your blog where readers can subscribe to your e-newsletter. Make sure you are only sending the e-newsletter to those who have subscribed.
These seven tips are basic, and once you’ve mastered them, try upping the ante with your content marketing. The common factor among all of these, as well as the key to success, is creating valuable, relevant and useful content. But determining the most effective distribution methods is equally critical to the success of your content marketing program. Like many other marketing tactics, your content may require a bit of trial and error.