The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing

The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing

As consumers take the task of educating themselves on products and services upon themselves, the value of traditional marketing has declined. Content marketing is a great way for marketers to provide customers and prospects with valuable information in exchange for winning not only their business, but also their loyalty.  

Content marketing requires an ongoing commitment, an understanding of your buyers and prospects, market segmentation and the use of insightful content to move customers through the purchase funnel.

Before you embark upon the rather daunting task of creating a plan for attacking this exciting form of marketing, let’s review a few of the “you shall” and “you shall not’s” of content marketing.

You shall not pitch products. This is rule No. 1 of content marketing. Buyers are wise to blatant product pitches and will automatically disregard anything you are trying to communicate with them if it’s proceeded by any type of product endorsement, which will damage your reputation and brand.

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You shall know your buyer. Where do your buyers and prospects “live” when online?  Are they on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Digg? What types of content are they most interested in seeing (blogs, ebooks, videos or podcasts)? To find the answers to these questions, take the time to prepare a buyer persona.

You shall think like an industry thought leader. Producing smart content that separates your brand from its competitors will engage prospects, educate them and help them move through the sales funnel. It helps to enlist the support of in-house experts who can share their expertise, insights and credibility.

You shall not try and do it by yourself. Content marketing requires the careful coordination of an entire team to handle the required writing, production, design and promotion.  If you do not have the resources available to you in-house, enlist the help of an outside service or freelance professionals.

You shall think about how your content will get found. Creating engaging, educational content is a great start, but if readers can’t find it, you’ve failed. Cross-promote your content in relevant communities such as Slideshare, establish a keyword list, ask influencers to share your content and send emails that include forward-to-friend functionality.

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