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April 24, 2012
How to Fuel the Content Marketing Engine
Everyone is talking about Content Marketing. Right now it is the center of the universe for marketers. But if it’s the engine that drives lead generation, then what gas do we put in the engine to make it roar?
For instance, what do you write about? How do you know what to publish and where to publish it? What formats should your content be in? Does it matter how people access it? How connected does it need to be to your overall marketing strategy? How often do you need to publish new content? These are questions clients ask us every single day.  
Here are a few tips to consider when creating a lead generating Content Marketing program for your company.
  1. Connect Content with Strategy. This is critical. Don’t make the most common mistake marketers make and jump right to the tactics. Create your marketing strategy first. Who do you want to connect with? Make sure your content is created with the personas of your target market in mind. Make sure your content is educational and not salesy. You want to help your prospects make strong purchase decisions. Make sure it provides an interesting perspective and teaches them something they might not know.
  2. Pay Special Attention to Keywords. Make sure you know, in advance, what keywords you want your business to rank highly for and make sure those keywords are prevalent in your content. You have to do some research here. What you think people are searching on is NOT always correct. Do the research and then make sure ALL your content has a focus on keywords. For example, if you are creating a video, the words in the script are equally important to the words in the tags and descriptions. Google is scraping audio from videos on YouTube and using audio content as part of its search algorithm. 
  3. Deliver Content in Regular Rhythms. People are creatures of habit, so deliver content at regular intervals. Add a new Free Report to your website monthly. This should encourage repeat visits. Email clients weekly with important information, stick to the same day and time of the week. People will start to expect it. Blog daily; these smaller tips and educational nuggets should be delivered in the morning. Most blog readers check out their feeds and email alerts before the day gets hectic.
  4. Provide Content in Multiple Formats. Different types of people process and internalize information in different ways. Make sure your content is in a variety of formats. Video is, by far, the most popular format. Why? People love watching videos and, for the most part, don’t like to read. But know your target market. If you are selling to academics or engineers, research studies might be their preferred format. Regardless, make sure you have content in a variety of formats to appeal to all types of learning styles.
  5. Plan in Three-Month Increments. Don’t try to plan your content marketing program for the entire year. It’s a waste of time. Why? Because you are going to learn things in the first week, month, and quarter that you will use to optimize your program going forward. For instance, we started working on a content theme for a 30-day period. We quickly found that 30 days was too long for our readers, followers, and friends. We cut that back to two weeks and saw improvements in views, subscribers, and conversions. Plan in 90-day increments and make adjustments weekly.
  6. Personalize as Much as Possible. Industry experts are calling Web 3.0 “the age of personalization.” People are starting to expect a more personal experience on the web. Amazon, Pandora, Netflix, and others have started to set that expectation. Make sure you are personalizing your visitors experience as much as possible. Offering different formats and different versions of content is a great way to start. These different versions can be personalized by industry, or by function, or by product. This takes a little planning and a strong user experience on your site to make sure visitors get what they want without a lot of extra clicks.
  7. Track and Test Weekly. We mentioned this briefly, but marketing has become a science. You will know in short order if your content is compelling or not. If you aren’t getting downloads in a few days, then move on to option two. Set expectations before you post and measure performance against those expectations. Content Marketing gives us the methodology, but if you post something to your site and leave it there for months without checking it and comparing it to other content, you are missing out on the value of using content to drive leads. Make sure you have some good analytical tools in place so you can track visits to specific pages, conversions, views, and more. 
If you are considering adding or upgrading Content Marketing tactics within your marketing program we have more for you. Click here to download our Free Report: 9 Steps to Creating A Content Marketing Program For Your Company.
In this report you will learn about the power of blogs, how to use social media to distribute your content, how marketing software makes tracking easy and more. 

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Mike Lieberman is Co-Founder and President of Square 2 Marketing. He created Reality Marketing™ and the concept of a Marketing Machine™ to help companies transform their invisible and boring businesses into extraordinary and remarkable revenue generating machines. Mike writes the popular Remarkablog and is co-author of Reality Marketing Revolution and Fire Your Sales Team Today.  Email Mike at mike@square2marketing.com or follow him on Twitter @Mike2Marketing.
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