Getting Started with Content Marketing: 3 Phases for Beginners
By Saralyn Ward
When you’ve written something new on your website, blog, and elsewhere, your first impulse should be to share it on social media. However, social media is not the end of your marketing efforts.
Social marketing is a great way to get more eyes on your best content, but it serves many different functions beyond self-promotion. Here’s a look at the top 3 strategies to grow social media posting into part of a comprehensive content marketing campaign.
Phase 1: Blog, But Do It Better
For too many marketers and businesses, blog posts become a rote activity that, over time, loses its purpose. However, blogging simply so your website looks alive is not a marketing strategy. If you don’t write blog posts with a purpose, they’re not going to benefit your brand or your audience.
The first step for comprehensive content marketing starts with your website. Be mindful about what you publish, how you write about the topic, and the audience it’s intended to serve. You don’t just want to write about yourself at all times, and you certainly don’t want to create low-quality content with the sole purpose of spamming keywords. Instead, think about the following:
- What kind of questions does my audience frequently ask about my brand?
- On what topics can I offer valuable, substantive information driven by experience?
- What’s happening in the world, the news cycle, and my industry or area of interest? How can I offer thoughtful commentary on these current events?
Answering these questions will help you lay the groundwork for a thoughtful blogging strategy. It is a mistake, though, to write a great, informative post that then gets buried within your site. That’s where social media sharing comes into play, but it’s not the only strategy for engaging fans and followers on social.
Phase 2: The Content Curation Connection
Even if you provide valuable information at a decent rate, you don’t want to populate your feed exclusively with content you produce; all but the most loyal follower will grow weary of persistent self-promotion. So, expand your blogging-plus-social strategy by curating content relevant to your customers, your business, your industry, and/or your community.
Yours isn’t the only brand producing great content. If you use social media regularly — personally or professionally — you likely see countless numbers of engaging posts that resonate with who you are and what you do.
When people post on social media, they want other users to see and engage with what they publish. So, when you’re thinking about how to create content, also think about how to curate content from people, brands, and groups you follow.
The key benefit of curating content is that you don’t have to rely on yourself or your team to keep your social marketing efforts alive with new, original content. Sharing and reposting updates from other profiles is also a way to get noticed by followers of the accounts whose content you share, potentially bringing you new followers but definitely enhancing your visibility.
Phase 3: Earn Your Authority
A well-timed share and a thoughtful comment or question can get you noticed by the influential individuals and brands whose content you curate. Social recognition from a noteworthy profile can earn even more attention, possibly leading to links leading back to your website, an increase in online traffic, and potentially more business.
The Searchmetrics SEO Blog describes the “Medic update,” a recent change in Google’s core algorithm that emphasizes a website’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) in ranking websites. The best ways to build EAT?
- Contribute content to reputable websites under your name or business name
- Be quoted and credited as an expert in news stories and other media
Off-site coverage is your opportunity to reinforce why your audience should trust you. It’s a chance to get your insights and experience seen by new audiences, and gives you original content from a different source that you can promote on social media profiles and your website.
Content marketing and social sharing are strategies that businesses and marketing agencies start that don’t ever really stop. For this reason, getting started is often the hard part. But, by taking advantage of the multiple options to spread the word about your business — from on-site writing to social media, SEO to off-site articles — you will get your content marketing off to a strong start.
Saralyn Ward is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Page 1 Solutions. Page 1 is a Lakewood, Colorado, website marketing company specializing in website marketing for attorneys, doctors and dentists.