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Getting started with content marketing

Over the past few years, content marketing has really taken off. With it has come new job titles like Content Developer, Digital Copywriter, etc. So, what exactly is it?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

In our digital marketing post, we gave a brief example of content marketing. In case you’re wondering whether content marketing and social media marketing are the same thing, they’re not. Social media provides a means by which you can share your content (content developed as part of your content marketing campaign). This makes content marketing a useful aspect of your social media marketing strategy. However, hypothetically, you could use social media marketing without necessarily doing any content marketing and vice versa – not advisable. They work so well together, why would you want to pull them apart?

Anyway, let’s talk about the different tools in the content marketing toolbox.

 

Blogging

You could refer to blogging as the ‘ABC’ of content marketing. Why? It’s easy, there so many free tools, and anyone can get started right off the bat. Whether that is a good idea is debatable.

With so many free blogging tools available, such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc., you could quickly get up and running with your content marketing campaign. Most of these can be connected to your social media accounts, so you can easily share the content you’ve created on your blog with your followers, friends and fans.

 

Vlogging (Video Blogging)

Don’t feel like writing? Reckon you’re probably better off sharing your thoughts on video? Then, vlogging is for you. The vlogosphere has blown up over the past few years with YouTube celebrities sharing videos, which we’ve come to depend on. From technology to fashion, to fitness, to beauty, these guys have established themselves as experts and opinion leaders via YouTube. To prove the efficacy of this approach, see how much they’re raking in – tempting, huh.

You can use this same approach for your business. You can share helpful tips and tricks, some of your work, or anything else that can draw attention to your business, gain you a followership and ultimately, help you sell more.

Although YouTube is arguably the most popular online video platform, there are other tools you can use for your vlogging, which include Vine, Vimeo and Instagram, to name a few. Take them for a spin, see which one suits you best.

 

Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly, at least according to Wikipedia.

You’ve probably shared one of these before. Why are they so effective? They’re catchy, quickly informative, and you can pretty much place them on Facebook or Instagram and watch them fly.

You can use infographics to collate and present important information about a product, service, industry sector or anything else that you think may interest your customers. I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re a lot easier to look at (and assimilate) than basic charts and graphs.

To get started with infographics is just as easy as blogging and vlogging. Some of the tools available online include Canva, Piktochart and infogr.am. Give them a whirl. Let me know what you think.

 

Webinars (Web-Based seminars)

Webinars are simply seminars delivered via the web. Generally, they require you to have a following first (simply because you can’t present a seminar to a zero audience), but when you get into them, they can become the most powerful tool in your content marketing armoury.

John Obidi (of Obidi Social) makes excellent use of this tool. With a weekly (or so) seminar, he gathers people, who have an interest in his skills and shares some knowledge – for free. Having attended a few of his webinars and assessed the depth of his knowledge, you’re more likely to take up his services (he’s a social media consultant, by the way).

There are several tools that you can use for webinars – free and paid. However, for starters, I’d suggest Google Hangouts. If you have any other tools you can suggest in this place, please feel free to share.

 

Now, that you’ve learnt the basics of content marketing – what it is, how to get into it, the basic tools you need – we’re going to move on into content strategy. As always, with digital marketing (and marketing as a whole), your strategy is everything.

Next week, we will discuss the steps involved in developing a good content strategy, some of the things to consider and much more. Soon, you’ll be a veritable content marketer yourself, growing your own following and delivering excellent value to your customers :-).

That said, until next time… have a fabulous weekend. Cheers!

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