The content marketing world can be something of an echo chamber at times, and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
On the plus side, there’s no way you can spend any time reading content marketing blogs and not know what an editorial calendar is. You can’t keep up with content marketing experts on Facebook and Twitter and somehow fail to know what buyer personas are, or why it’s so important to use hashtags on Google+. These concepts are harped on, and rightly so: They are critically important, plain and simple.
Then again, there are a lot of perfectly useful, actionable strategies that never really get talked about, or at least never get championed the way these others do. For those interested in exploiting the entire content marketing playbook, these slept-on strategies can be worth embracing.
For example: Small business owners today are all pretty clear on the importance of LinkedIn, and most content marketing professionals would agree that maintaining a company page on LinkedIn is worthwhile, even necessary. What’s discussed less is the value of regularly posting in LinkedIn groups — participating in conversations pertaining to your industry, or to related and auxiliary ones. Does your content marketing campaign include time for group conversation? It’s an invaluable way to cultivate goodwill among other professionals, and to build your name, authority and prestige.
Every so often an article comes out proclaiming that email actually gets better results than social media — yet many small businesses have absolutely no email strategy in place at all. Having an email list that clients can easily opt into and out of is essential; also essential is taking the time to write a quick email update (drawing from company blogs and other resources), send it out, and follow up with those who open it, every single month. Keep your name in front of your customers — even those who aren’t dialed into Facebook or Twitter just yet.
Hosting Guest Blogs
The content marketing echo chamber is filled with articles about the importance of guest blogging. What’s talked about less is the importance of hosting guest blogs. You may not want to give your company blog over to all guest blogs all the time, but hosting occasional guest contributions is a strategy worth considering: You’re sure to get some traffic from the blogger who contributes, publishing the piece on his or her own social channels — and that’s a lot of buzz that’s essentially free, save for the space on your blog. Plus, it helps present you as authoritative — a curator of industry knowledge.
How many articles have been devoted to the death of the press release? And sure: As an SEO tool, the press release probably is close to useless. As a method for distributing actual news to actual people, though, the press release is alive and well — and for companies with something to publicize, the press release remains a vital way to do it.
Will these four strategies revolutionize your content marketing campaign? Not necessarily — but they certainly deserve more consideration than what they typically receive.