Content Marketing for Beginners

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Content Marketing for Beginners: Whether you have been in business for years or you’re just now getting your fledgling endeavor off the ground, you’ve probably heard all the buzz around content marketing. Common sayings tossed around include “content is king” and “content is everything.”

There’s a lot of information on the World Wide Web about content marketing and how to do it. Some is bad, some is great, and some is just terrible clickbait that’s a simple waste of time. That’s why we decided to put together this simple guide: Content Marketing for Beginners.

What is content marketing?

We already have a thorough post on What is Content Marketing? So, we won’t get too in-depth here. However, just for reference, you should know that all marketing is, in a sense, content marketing. Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable content, usually in digital form, designed for a specific audience. Different types of content marketing include video, blog posts, social media, email and downloadable content, such as whitepapers and ebooks.

Develop a Content Strategy

Now that you’re on board and excited to start using content marketing to promote your business, a content strategy is the first step. What do you hope to accomplish with your content, who to you plan to reach and what type of content do you plan to produce.

#contentStrategy and #contentMarketing are often used interchangeably. But don't confuse the two. Click To Tweet

You may have noticed in your online research that many people use the terms “content strategy” and “content marketing” interchangeably. But this is incorrect because a content strategy isn’t always tied to marketing. For the purpose of this guide, however, when we say content strategy, we’re talking about a content marketing strategy.

content marketing ven diagram

Your content strategy looks at your overall vision for your content: How the content will be created, distributed, engaged with and, ultimately, convert. You want a strategy that’s specific to you company, one that’s capable of answering tough questions, such as “what are we doing?” and “why are we doing it?” Vision plans typically look three to five years into the future and lay the groundwork for your content marketing plan.

Content Marketing for Beginners: Content Ideation

When it comes to good, effective content, it all starts with an idea. Creating content can be a long, arduous process and having a good idea that sparks excitement can help get you through. Don’t put too much time and energy into a bad idea, as it can waste resources and turn off your audience.

While coming up with that idea can seem tough, keep in mind there are excellent ideas all around us. We just have to focus in order to see them.

For starters, keep a file of potential ideas. This can be blog post topics, images or videos you like or a list of different approaches or techniques. Going over previous ideas that once inspired you is a great first step to finding that next big idea.

Next, brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. Most people know how to brainstorm, but many don’t know how to do it well. When it comes to brainstorming, remember that all ideas are good ideas and know that you don’t need a big group to help you accomplish your goals – two or three brains should be sufficient. And finally, set some rules at the get-go and keep the group on task. Being a good moderator who doesn’t shoot down ideas is the key to a successful brainstorm.

TIP: When sitting down to create content, look at what’s trending on social media or other industry websites. Also, see which content is getting links. A little competitive research may be necessary here.

Content Creation

This is by far the most time-consuming aspect of a content plan. The first step is to build out a quality editorial calendar, which lays out publishing plans and keeps track of every piece of content you’ve ever built or hope to build. This kind of organization will ensure you haven’t been in business for a year without developing an “about us” page.

There’s really no wrong way to build an editorial calendar, but keep in mind it should be a living document that can change and morph with the business.

Finding authors is a crucial piece of the content creation. Whether you will be writing/developing the content yourself or you have a full team, knowing who’s responsible for what will help ensure your plan is executed successfully. Even if you’re sole proprietor with a small content budget, you don’t have to do all the work yourself. Check out our content marketing services for more information.

If there’s one rule we can’t stress enough when it comes to content creation, it’s that quality trumps quantity every day. Yes, less can be more. Here’s why: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Poorly executed content will turn away customers faster than you can blink an eye. Check, double check and triple check content for typos, grammar and formatting errors.

Not only do those errors turn off customers, but search engines are smart enough to catch some spelling and grammar errors as well and could mark your site as spam. It’s also wise to make sure your content fits into your overall SEO strategy.

Content Promotion

All content is useless unless you have a means to reach your audience. Content promotion is the point in which most companies fail in their content strategies. After investing time, money and energy in developing a rock solid piece of content, most businesses drop the ball at the promotion stage. Simply sharing your content on your social channels and crossing your fingers hoping people will comment, like and otherwise engage with it is foolish.

successfully promoting #content is where most companies drop the ball Click To Tweet

Look, the World Wide Web is a congested place, and even though you know and we know that your content is amazing, there’s so much content waiting to be discovered that it’s easy to get lost.

Here’s some more information on search engine marketing (SEM) that can help you get started promoting your content.

We hope you found this Content Marketing for Beginners guide helpful. If you have any questions as all, contact us today or leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond. Or get a free content analysis today!

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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