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Are you following these content marketing best practices?
February 26, 2014 | Kristin Stires

If you’re in the marketing world – and since you’re reading this newsletter, we’re going to assume that you are – you’ve heard about content marketing and its power! As the importance of content marketing continues to grow in 2014, marketers need to be smarter and more strategic about execution.

First, let’s get on the same page. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as "a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Red Bull is a prime example for great content marketing and has been described as "…a publishing empire that also happens to sell a beverage.” Coca-Cola re-launched its corporate website "Journey” as a visual, digital magazine complete with a blogger contributor network called "The Opener.” But content marketing is not just for the big players. It can be extremely powerful for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well.

According to research produced by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 93 percent of B2B marketers and 90 percent of B2C marketers in North America used content marketing in 2013. Sounds like a popular marketing practice, right?

Here at MindFire, we fully support your decision to join in. However, before you proceed full steam ahead, consider these four tips for effective content marketing.

1. It’s not about you.

Content marketing is not about pushing your products and services. It’s about providing engaging information to your target audience and becoming a trusted source of information for them. Effective content marketing can ultimately develop valuable ambassadors for your brand, grow your customer base and provide you with customer insights.

2. Create and curate.

While creating your own content is great, not everyone has the time or staffing to keep that dream alive. You can repackage and repurpose your existing content, outsource it or curate content and present it in a meaningful, relevant way for your audience. Be a compelling storyteller with your created and curated content.

3. Define your tactics and platforms.

According to the research, brand awareness is among the top organizational goals of B2B and B2C marketers. To achieve that goal, you can utilize a variety of content marketing tactics, such as social media, e-newsletters, web articles, videos, blogs, infographics and case studies. These tactics are implemented on different platforms, and you need to be where your audience members are.

4. Develop a strategy.

Here’s a scary thought – the research showed less than half of the B2B and the B2C marketers had a documented content marketing strategy. Take time to develop a strategy that defines your audience, tactics and platforms and includes an editorial calendar. Content marketing is an ongoing process, and audiences respond to consistency. Your strategy should also include ROI measurements. While "retweets,” "likes” and "shares” show engagement, marketers also need to pay attention to content analytics and conversion rates.

So remember, in our self-centric society, content marketing is not about you. Make it about them, and you’ll see the benefits.

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