If you made headway into developing a content marketing strategy last year, you’re on the right track. But in 2013, content will be bigger than ever. Why? Just like with social media, brands have been slow to fully embrace content as a marketing strategy, but now that more are doing so, there’s even more competition to get your content in front of buyers.
There’s So Much Content Out There…What Should I Pay Attention To?
Given the plethora, the deluge, the waterfall of information available online, it’s harder than ever to be heard above the noise. You’re writing blog posts about how to use content to market? So are 765,000,000 other companies and blogs. Simply having content out there in cyberspace isn’t enough: you want your links to appear at or near the top of search results.
As a brand, it’s now your job to target very sharply the content you’re producing so that it speaks to readers and potential customers in a unique way–in a way that your competitors aren’t using on their own blogs. How do you do this? Read other blogs and content channels. See what’s being said, and find your own unique spin, or determine what holes are left by the other players, then fill those holes.
Content Curation’s Role
This year, I predict that businesses will realize that content creation isn’t the only way to use content. Content curation will play a large role. I like Beth Kanter’s definition:
Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.
There’s no need to reinvent the clichéd wheel: there’s great content out there, and by sorting through it and presenting it to your audience, you can create a connection with them, provide value and build trust. Say, for example, you own a print shop catering to small businesses and don’t have the time or resources to hire a blogger. But you do use Facebook and Twitter to market. You can find articles and blog posts that your followers will be interested in, such as small business tips, how to market, and how to DIY design, and share those with your followers. The idea is that you have a theme (topics that appeal to business owners) and you’re curating around it.
Companies Are Finding Their Voices: Have You Found Yours?
Another reason content will continue to explode this year is that businesses–of every size–are finding their voices. That means they’re figuring out who within the company is best suited for blogging, and whether that’s just one person in marketing or maybe also the CEO, the sales manager, et cetera. And they’re figuring out what their readers like to learn about. They’re using the tone that best matches what their audiences want, whether that’s informal, formal, short and sweet, or expounding on a topic.
You’ve got nothing to fear when it comes to developing a content strategy for your brand. Just start by providing useful blog posts or shared content that your target audience wants to read, and build it from there.