Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Online marketing content plans can include many different types and formats of copy. Some examples of content that companies in all sorts of industries are creating include: blog articles, news updates, videos, images, infographics, case studies, testimonials, FAQ’s, press releases and whitepapers – to name a few.
Apart from identifying what types of content your company would most benefit from you will also need to create a distribution plan for that content. Some content can be published to both your website and to other websites such as social media, content sharing websites or social bookmarking websites. For example: Case Studies can be added to both the website and then built into PDF’s or Word documents for distribution to document sharing websites such as www.Scribd.com.
So a good content plan starts with quality content and plans the potential distribution of this content before it is even generated.
Great content provides a competitive advantage because it has the advantage to strengthen your online branding by improving online visibility and interactions. Both these aspects (visibility and interactions) which work together to drive traffic to your website and provide sales leads.
Online Visibility in Search Engines
Just like your favourite sandwich Google’s rolling updates require quality and freshness from website owners, if they are to be effective. Online Marketers in every industry have no excuse not to implement a content strategy today that prioritizes producing and publishing optimized content on a regular basis.
Online Visibility in Social Media
Twitter and Facebook up until recently, did little to boost your search rankings. The arrival of caffeinated Panda it became clear that these sites were highly relevant. Being active in the appropriate social mediums also allows you to interact with consumers (B2B and B2C) on level that can both help your brand and improve sales. Companies that underestimate social media as part of their online marketing plans have often not experienced value interactions. This may be because they are targeting the wrong platform (e.g.: should you be active on LinkedIn discussion forums rather than on Facebook?) or they fail to generate content that clients and prospects want to interact with (does your content spark conversation or say something new) or any number of smaller details.
Articles that are written with social media interaction in mind tend to be topical and are more likely to be ‘future-proof’ than articles written with the sole purpose to target keywords. Generating images, videos and podcasts etc also go down a treat on certain social platforms such as FaceBook and content sharing websites such as YouTube.
Good Content is a Result of a Great Planning Process
- Initially you want to not only consider your target audience but the overall goals for your websites. For example: If you are creating case studies you need to ask: ‘who cares?’ and ‘why’. The answers being ‘someone who is interested in potentially using our services’ and ‘to help demonstrate our capabilities with a tangible example with the ultimate goal of reinforcing a sales decision.’
- Assess your current website content and try to establish common themes and messages. From this you can start to identify ‘content gaps’ that you would like to fill.
- Create a content plan which outlines delivery dates and other resourcing details. (see ‘generating content’ below).
- Publish your content in a way that provides the most exposure on the most appropriate mediums. Don’t for example just hide your articles in a blog archive. Make sure updates are sent to and rss feed and are syndicated to content sharing sites and/or social media. And always link back to your website when you can.
- Assess outcomes from content. If you do not have conversion tracking setup on your website tracking or you do not check your Google analytics on a regular basis you need to start doing that today.
- Manage your content both onsite and offsite by improving on it (where you can) and by responding to any interactions that you can on external websites. If someone leaves a comment on a syndicated material you would do well to respond. This is particularly important on ratings websites and social platforms.
Generating Content for Online Marketing Purposes
The objective is to bring your SEO and online marketing goals to fruition. This leads to a set of questions that need to be addressed. Should you hire an agency or give content generation tasks to one of your own employees? In terms of written content a larger company might hire a contract writer, whereas a smaller one while not having that luxury must still make sure that the person they choose is capable, passionate and in tune with the company’s mission statement. Similar questions need to be asked about more involved content such as videos and podcasts. Do you have to competency and time inhouse to generate quality content.
The fact that certain types of content do well on different mediums (your website, content sharing sites and social media websites) means that you have to take the time out to measure the value to your company. All while considering search engine optimisation and social media marketing best practice techniques.
Inspiration Marketing in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Co. not onto provides advice and services related to content planning and distribution for online marketing purposes but also supplies monthly reports and client training to help you assess the effectiveness of the combined marketing efforts of all involved. Contact us to find out more.