The Quick Guide to Smart Content Marketing

What are the basics of content marketing? How can you get started? What are the benefits? Get started with our quick guide to smart content marketing.

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  1. Now that we know our audience, how do we help them to find our content?

    Make sure you’re creating valuable, high quality content. Understand content marketing’s role in search engine optimization (SEO). Then give your content away—to anyone who has the audience you’re looking to connect with: magazines, agencies, organizations, bloggers.

    Do your research. In many situations, it’s also worthwhile to invest in paid content, whether that’s utilizing content distribution platforms like sponsored Facebook posts or Disqus, or partnering with publications on content sponsorship campaigns designed to reach your target audience.

  2. Is there a way to calculate the ROI of content marketing?

    The value and benefits of content is undeniable: it’s permanent, informative and authoritative, caters to search engines, presents a brand personality, builds relationships, and fosters trust. The problem? This doesn’t always translate to numbers.

    As Hubspot’s Rand Fishkin explains in his excellent Slideshare presentation, “Why Content Marketing Fails,” content marketing is about earning familiarity, trust, and relationship—which converts to sales over time with repeated messaging.

    In fact, Edelman research noted that up to 64% of consumers need to hear information from a company 3-5 times before they believe the message!

    The smart content marketer isn’t driven by ROI but by the potential for new relationships, fans, followers, and better rapport with customers. That being said, we invest in content, lead generation, sharing, and sales metrics to offer brands a clearer picture of who’s checking out your content, for how long, if they’re sharing it, and what its value is in terms of sales.

  3. Does design matter?

    Yes! Whether your site isn’t optimized for mobile, your company blog is hard to navigate, your e-newsletter is written in Comic Sans, or your brilliant article has no “share” buttons available, design flaws matter. Your content must be top quality, but your design must be responsive, consistent, clean, attractive, easy to read and navigate, and even easier to share.

  4. Should I start an email newsletter?

    Yes again. Email newsletters are a consistent, cost-effective way to promote upcoming events and opportunities, distribute useful news and information, share your successes, recognize your partners, and maintain a relationship with customers.  In fact, we encourage you to sign up for ours!

  5. What trends are content marketers—and businesses—ignoring but shouldn’t?

    Some content marketers are missing out on the opportunity to combine great content with responsive web design—or, optimizing for mobile. According to Search Engine Land, 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action. More than half lead to sales. Hubspot reports that it takes a consumer six seconds to determine whether your site is mobile-friendly enough to use.

What would a customer’s knee-jerk reaction be about your content marketing?


This article has been edited and condensed.

Lynn Crothers is a content specialist for buyCalls, a marketing agency specializing in national and local lead generation. A lifelong word nerd, she is currently set up at a coffee shop somewhere in Minneapolis. Connect with @buyCallsTeam on Twitter.

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