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February 28, 2012 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Content Marketing: 3 Critical Tips to Ensure Your Content is Valued

One of today's greatest marketing strategies, content marketing helps businesses build relationships with customers and prospects through the dissemination and sharing of valuable information. It's marketing without the hard sell.

The outlets in which businesses can engage customers and prospects with content is growing every day. Newsletters, Blogs, Webinars, White Papers, and Social Media are some of the key ways businesses are carrying out their content marketing strategy.

If you are currently involved in content marketing or about to venture into content marketing, you probably have a solid idea of the kind of content you want to share with customers and prospects. But how can you make sure they see your content as valuable?

To help you develop a better content marketing strategy, we offer the following 3 critical tips for ensuring customers and prospects value your content:

Realize that content marketing is not about you!

Share truly useful information to become a
trusted authority.

Successful content marketing means avoiding a particular mindset--a mindset we can summarize in one statement: It's not about you!

By this we mean content marketing is not about profiting from shameless self-promotion, though self-promotion is the desired goal of almost every organization employing content marketing. Effective content marketing is about becoming a trusted authority in your industry. You're selling your expertise through the content.

Remember, online spaces like blogs and social media are rooted in social interaction and always will be. Engage customers with an aggressive traditional marketing mindset (Sell! Sell! Sell!) and they will shut you out.

Share other people's content.

One way to prove you're not a traditional marketer? Promote other people's content.

People put value in those who seem to have genuine intentions of providing helpful and valuable information. When you share other people's content, it shows you are putting your customers' interests before your own.

Whose content to share?

Let's be honest, sharing a direct competitor's content sounds like a bad business move. You don't need to promote a competitor's content for the sake of appearing "neutral" in your content realm. Share content from expert blogs you follow or relevant news articles on industry trends.

It's always a good idea to keep a close eye on your competition and the kinds of content they are sharing. You can learn a lot about your own strategy from observing others.

Share content with a focus.

Promoting a variety of content is good, but there should be a collective focus.

You can't be an authority on everything.

From the very start, customers should know what kinds of content to expect from you. If they can't figure out what you're all about, they won't trust you as an authority. Having a focus allows you to put forth more effort in your content domain and strive for the best level of quality possible.

To ensure you stay focused with your content, establish a goal to become an authority in a specific area with a specific audience. Think about the questions your customers have and the problems they need solved. If you have multiple team members participating, make sure you frequently communicate with one another to promote a sense of cohesion in voice and content.

Want more Content Marketing Tips?

These content marketings tips are just the beginning to developing a successful strategy. Leveraging social media spaces like Twitter and Facebook with your content marketing is an area we've barely touched on.

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