What is Content Marketing?

There is a ton of buzz out there right now suggesting that Content Marketing is as important (if not more important) as Search Engine Optimization for your website and ultimately your brand.  It is true that the more information you put out there, the more likely you will be to get more people looking at your website.  If people believe that the information is useful and relevant, they will be more than willing to forward it on to their network as well. 

So, what is Content Marketing?  According to Wikipedia, “Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action”.  Content Marketing takes on many forms.

Whitepapers.  Whitepapers are usually written by an expert on a specific topic to inform the reader or help them make a decision.  The benefit of writing a whitepaper would be to show that you actually are an expert in your field.  You give yourself and your business more credibility when other people can see that you are, in fact, good at what you do.  Many whitepapers tend to be marketing related, but if you have something you are knowledgeable in and you believe it would be helpful to others in your industry or to your customers, go for it!

EBooks.  The difference between an ebook and a whitepaper is that, generally, ebooks tend to be more how-to.  Hubspot does a great job with ebooks.  Ebooks will normally have pictures, links to other related sites, and great colors for a more interesting read.  If you are an expert in the marketing or social media fields, ebooks are for you!  Here is a guide on writing successful ebooks.

Blogs/Vlogs.  Blogs are a great way to showcase your talents and expertise on a particular topic or set of topics.  A blog that is engaging and interesting will bring in visitors from all over.  This is a great way to get people  to visit your website, and gather leads.  Vlogs are video blogs and can be just as important as a blog, although they may not be right for every company.  Vlogs can also be helpful if you feel you are not the best writer, but are a great speaker.  It is just another way to get your message out there.

Infographics.  These are the newest craze among graphic designers and bloggers alike.  Infographics give information through a flow of pictures and charts.  Some can be extremely helpful and others can be too crammed full of information.  You must be careful to fully plan out your infographic topic and find a graphic designer that you can work well with.  Daily Infographic has a few great ones (and one for Halloween too!)

These are just a few of the great ways you can utilize content marketing for your business.  Another great way to use content marketing, although not considered a traditional content marketing channel, is through Twitter.  There is so much information on Twitter that, the more you look and sort through it, the more you will be able to find that is relevant to your clients and people in your industry.  You can retweet tons of links, ebooks, pictures, infographics, and links to other people blogs, thus creating content.  You can also go out and search your favorite topics on StumbleUpon to get even more information on your topic of choice and tweet it out to all of your followers.  Mashable and email newsletters are also great places to get more content for your Twitter feed.

Do you use content marketing for your business?  If so, do you use any of the ideas above, or do you have your own?