June 18th, 2014

Think Like A Content Marketer

by Regina DiPerna

Content marketing is a three-part process: 1) creating, 2) publishing and 3) sharing, with the ultimate goal of attracting customers. It’s clear that search engines favor well-organized, quality content, and so do users. A major issue content marketers face in today’s market is not how to spread their message, but instead how to compete with all the quality articles, blogs, how-to’s and infographics out there. Having a wealth of informative and interesting content at their fingertips is a pretty good problem for users, but content marketers must find innovative ways to engage their customers.

Sage Island has been in the digital marketing industry for over 17 years. We’ve experimented with a variety of strategies as search engines have evolved. The first thing I would suggest to anyone crafting a content marketing strategy is this: think of your strategy as a calculated experiment. Test a variety of content and methods for promoting it, measure your results and engagement and identify ways in which the strategy could be improved. Rather than relying strictly on what has worked in the past or what works for your competitors, use data and feedback to refine your strategy along the way. This flexibility will ensure that you truly understand your customers, and that you can adapt your strategy as your industry changes.

In order to think like a content marketer, you must put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. When creating content for a business, always ask the question, “Is this useful?” Consider what questions you’d need answers to if you were in the market for a particular product or service. Then think about how you can present those answers in a practical, easy-to-read, shareable way. Remember—readers come first, and then search engines. Once you’ve established quality content, you can then begin the process of optimizing it for search engines.

That said, it’s also important that your content triggers a call to action. Successful content motivates your customers to take action, thus resulting in new leads for your business. Your call to action should be realistic and aligned with your business’ goals.

Social media is brand loyalty waiting to happen. Your company’s social media platforms are, of course, ideal outlets to promote your content. But they also provide a unique opportunity for customer feedback. You can both listen and be a part of the conversation around your brand. Utilizing social media as a way to promote your content, listening to your customers and being a part of the conversation will bring your content marketing strategy full circle and give life to your brand.

Your next customers are eager to find great content that matches exactly where they are in the buying cycle. Thinking like a content marketer helps give you a strategic and focused connection with your audience. Remember to stay flexible, consider your audience and make the most of your distribution channels.