The New Rules of Content Marketing

Just as companies were finally getting the hang of social media marketing strategies, content took over. While firing off a random tweet here or there will keep you relevant and Internet users entertained, you have to realize that there is so much more online potential that you can tap into when marketing your small business.

There is no doubt that producing an extensive volume of quality content is not going to be an effortless endeavor. With that said, it’s also not going to be a fruitless one. If you were to dedicate a bulk of your marketing resources toward developing an array of Web-based material, ranging from videos all the way to whitepapers, then you can expect results.

Clearly, this trend is catching on. Because of that, it is critical that you don’t just drag yourself through the production process without having any real insight. Mediocre material will get you nowhere when marketing your small business. If you are going to invest in this kind of initiative, you had best be prepared to really put your nose to the grindstone.

What will set your content apart from that of your competitors? There is no simple answer there, and you are going to have to employ a variety of tactics to make your marketing material rise to the top.

Refine your content craft
Marketing Magazine suggested that the first step you take when looking to launch a content campaign is the same as the one you would take with any other sort of marketing venture. You have to identify your audience and get to know them.

What is the point of creating marketing material if no one is interested in what you have to say? It would be disappointing to spend valuable time painstakingly producing content that then ends up getting no hits. To prevent tears, you should single out a certain group and build your content concepts to cater to them. If nothing else, you will generate traffic from this specific group and develop quite the following.

Anyone who has already given this form of marketing a shot will tell you that sales strategies of the past no longer have power. Internet users want to be amused, but not assaulted by pleas to buy your products. You don’t want to be branding your business as a needy organization, do you?

Instead of composing sappy sales ads, you should aim to create a connection with consumers, nurturing a relationship so that they will then take it upon themselves to buy your merchandise. Marketing your business with thought-provoking or informative material is the perfect way to garner admiration from users. You need to inspire your readers and get them feeling enthusiastic about your field of expertise, making them want to participate in your company’s mission.

Social media can support your content
Now here is where it gets exciting. You remember all of those social media marketing techniques that have become second nature to you and your team? Business 2 Community explained that employing those is an excellent method of drawing attention to your content.

Don’t keep content to yourself. If you feature all of your marketing material on your site, you can’t expect that users are going to come across it on their own. For this reason, you need to advertise your images or literature through social media channels. By posting links and sharing snippets of your content with the online social community, you will increase the likelihood of users actually seeing your marketing material.

Not to mention, any material that you feature on social networks will give you feedback about how well you are marketing your small business. Any form of consumer interaction with your posts – be it “likes,” comments or shares – will be a good indication of how your brand is being received. This will let you tweak your content so that it is as effective as possible.

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Adam Naide

Adam Naide is Executive Director of Marketing for Social Media at Cox Communications, where he leads overall strategy and execution for all of the company’s social media activities including audience engagement, campaigns, demand creation and retention. Every week, over six million consumers and small businesses engage with Cox Communications on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Linked In. Cox Business connects online with small & mid-size businesses from its small business blog, Cox Blue.

In 2012, Adam was named a “Top Ten Social Media Maven” by Multichannel News and to Cable Fax’s Digital Hot List.

You can follow Adam on Twitter at @adamnaide where he tweets about social media, and his other passion, cereal.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Georgia.Naide lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with his wife, Karen, and two teenage children.