What is Content Marketing? The New Earned Media.

It seems like every day there is a new communications update being rolled out – Facebook Lens, Snapchat’s new advertising platform and interface, Twitter’s video roll-over features – it’s exhausting. Thankfully, there are some foundational features to your content marketing strategy that have remained constant, regardless of the trends.

Whew!

And while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the focus should remain on consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content. After all, what is content marketing? The purpose is to attract, engage and acquire your target audiences. When done properly, you will entice audiences to share your valuable content, which will ultimately drive sales or action (if in the nonprofit space, this involves measurable goals like traffic to your website, downloads, or donations).

Strong and results-oriented content marketing begins with developing the larger story that your organization wants to tell. More than simply establishing credibility, a focused content marketing strategy should engage your target audiences and use content to drive profitable behaviors.

That being said, your audience is everything.

It is critical that you clearly identify your specific audiences, what their pain points are, and what their content engagement cycle looks like. And then, and only then, create a comprehensive roadmap that delivers content throughout the buyer’s journey, moving them closer to their goals and you closer to your business objectives.

Most organizations understand the importance of a sound content marketing strategy, but they lack clarity on what components are needed. To start, consider auditing your current content library and analyzing your current standing of your SEO initiatives. This will guide you in creating a comprehensive content strategy.

During your initial audit, pay attention to the following:

  • Keyword Research: Determine the words customers use to find you online
  • Target Audience: Develop buyer personas and demographics
  • Competitive Analysis: Look into your competitor’s content, their social reach/activity, and search rankings

Next, it’s time to create an editorial calendar and determine the specific content tools, timing, and actions needed to reach your organizational goals.

Content Development Strategy

When developing your content marketing strategy, you will want the types of content that will work best to attract your target audience. Options include website content (from category content to product content and more), blogging, social media content, articles, e-books, whitepapers, landing pages, visual content such as infographics, as well as other marketing content unique to you. For more information, consider researching the following:

  • Content calendars: including content themes and topics
  • SEO benefits and best practices
  • Benchmarking strategies
  • Themes and topic generation
  • Content distribution strategies

Your content is only as valuable as the number of new eyes that see it. Consider using some additional strategies and techniques using paid media to get more of your target audiences viewing your content:

  • Boosted posts on social media
  • Sponsored content
  • MAT placements

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Mimi Carter

U.S. General Manager & Sr. Vice President
Mimi’s strengths lie in envisioning, implementing, and measuring the results of integrated communications strategies. While her high standards intimidate the friends of her two teenage daughters, Mimi’s tenacious nature means clients can rest easy. She has a passion for analytics and finding just the right word.



About Proof Strategies

With 275+ awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies (Proof Strategies, Inc., Proof, Inc., Proof Experiences, Inc.) has over 165 staff members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., and annual fee income of $30 million. As a brand steward to some of North America’s most respected and well-known companies, the firm’s strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and meticulous measurement. A corporate leader in the age of climate change, Proof Strategies, Inc. has been carbon neutral since 2008.



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