What is content marketing, Rachael?
Good question, internet friend!
In short, it’s exactly what the name would imply – marketing of content. It’s something that anyone with a business or a personal blog/website should know the basics about because, in case you didn’t notice, if you’re not represented on the internet, you effectively don’t exist.
Three weeks ago I accepted a job with BigWing Interactive that made me a professional content marketer. Since then I’ve had to explain what I do to everyone I know. The easiest way I can explain it is this – companies hire us to help build their online presence in order to get more people through their door or to purchase their product online.
There are various ways to do this:
- Building an effective website – make it easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.
- Search engine optimization – like making sure my blog pops up when you type in “Matthew Lawrence abs” in Google. Seriously, that’s my highest ranking organic search. Other searches include “Steven Funaki Adams,” “Steven Adams interview,” “Steven Adams shoes,” and “Steven Adams family”. Are you noticing a theme here?
- Pay per click ads – those things at the top of your Google searches with “ad” next to them. Did you know that when you click one of those it costs the company money? It does.
- Link building – getting other people that like what you’re doing to share it with their audience by linking it on their page.
- Social media – I post a picture of my new rad Russell Westbrook/Bowie crossover t-shirt from The Okay See (Look! Link building!) on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest. You share that picture with your friends. We all buy matching shirts and look super awesome when we hang out together.
- Podcasts – there are only two rules, make them entertaining and make them informative. I’m producing this OKC Thunder based one as a passion project.
- Creating useful content – blogs and landing pages that are helpful to people who would be interested in your business.
My job entails the creation of content, then finding ways to get that content in front of people who it would be useful for.
Still with me? Good. Let’s continue.
After 15 days spent actually in the office, here are three very basic things I’ve learned:
1. Being able to write something that is informative and entertaining is a valuable, profitable skill.
I got this job largely based off the fact that this blog contains some solid content. I have done no promotion and still average right around 18,000 views a year. How? Well-written posts. (And a little luck.) I never thought much of it because it comes fairly naturally to me, but writing isn’t a skill everyone possesses. Don’t believe me? Look no further than your inbox. So if you’ve been blessed with the ability to write, use it to your advantage. If not, hire someone to do it for you. *cough* BigWing *cough*
2. Creating good content is of little value if people can’t find it.
So you wrote a good post. Great! Who is going to read it? How are they going to find it? This is why the “marketing” aspect of my job is so important. As mentioned in the previous point, I have never marketed my own stuff beyond making a Facebook page for it – it has 135 likes. Clearly not super successful. This will be difficult for creative introverts like me, but in order to build your brand, you’re going to have to do some self promotion. I listed six examples above, but you can seek out other venues like Reddit, StumbleUpon or LinkedIn as well. Whatever you do, start with these two questions – who would want to know about this? Where do those people go online?
3. Organization will save your life.
This isn’t limited to a job in content marketing, but it’s vital for anyone who wants to be successful. I came in with more clients than anyone would’ve preferred, but it’s a fast growing company, so there was no choice but to throw me into the fire. Between learning some of the ins and outs of content marketing, spending 10 to 12 hours producing a podcast, writing radio scripts, producing music new stories and being on the air on weekends, I quickly learned that I have to be organized and on target with each of my jobs if I want to avoid a mental breakdown. Unfortunately I learned it the hard way which resulted in 8 hours of sleep over the span of three days and crying in my cubicle, with no walls to hide my shame. Don’t do that.
I hope you will find this information helpful in at least taking baby steps in getting your name out there. I did preface this by saying I’m a noob. You can read more about it from the pros I have the opportunity to learn from every day on the BigWing blog.