Getting the Most Out of Content Marketing

You probably understand that content marketing is a necessary element to your professional success. As technology evolves and more tools are being offered to you on a regular basis, other aspects of marketing evolve with the new technologies. However, content marketing pretty much remains as it always was.

The changes that have occurred

Technology has provided you with the opportunity to change the possible ways that you can communicate and the many different ways in which you can share your content. Social media marketing, for example, is an approach to content marketing that is very popular and effective nowadays. However, content marketing (at the heart) is as it has always been. It is definitely one thing that your target audience can count on the be the same all the time.

It is important to remember, however, that content can be marketed in a variety of ways and a great deal of those ways involve online interactions.

Defining content marketing

It is very important to define exactly what content marketing is before you go any further with figuring out your particular approach to content marketing for your business. For a very long time, the definition of content marketing was constant and you could count on it. The definition used to be that it was information that the experts published. Those people considered experts were professional writers (journalists and authors of books) and public personalities. An expert was also considered someone who had solid experience in that particular niche. The experts would use their experience to build a solid foundation to market the content.

Now; however, the definition is not the same as it once was. Now, content can be written by anyone. You don’t have to be an expert (in the classic sense) in order for your content to be taken seriously. In fact, the only thing that the person who is offering the content has to do is to establish him- or herself as a subject matter expert in a particular niche. The person can have any background at all and it is certainly not a prerequisite to be a writer.

Considering that the definition of legitimate content as well as how it is marketed has changed so much, the new definition is much wider and more encompassing. A whole lot of different types of writing will be considered content and accepted as such. The only criterion is that the content must be relevant to the target audience and that it hold the possibility of being able to be distributed over social media.

The modern definition of content marketing

The modern definition of content marketing is content that is publishable online so that it can be read by other people and so that it can be monetized. That is not to say that the content is no valuable or interesting. It must be both of those things. It must also be relevant to the target audience and eventually lead to those members of the target audience becoming clients eventually. Content marketing also must appeal to influencers, who will really help make the content (and the person’s business) go very far. On the basic level, content marketing is done with the hope of generating traffic, leads, building credibility, boosting reputation, and creating a heightened awareness of the brand. In short, it does a lot of things.

Important results of content marketing

SEO: There are many different positive results that need to be achieved from content marketing. Search engine optimization is very important. If your content is not optimized, the search engines will not pay attention to it. If that happens, you won’t rank high on the search engine pages and people who are searching for what you do will choose someone else. If that is the case, you are finished before you even begin.

Link-building: Back links are essential for your business’s success. At this point, what you want to do is to attract valuable links and the only way to make that happen is by providing exceptional content. There are several different ways in which you can go about that, including guest blogging and an explanation of how you managed to achieve online success. Another effective way is through social media sharing. If you are active on some of the more popular social media channels (or any of the social media channels), go to those channels and determine how often links to your content are shared by other people. Remember, it is very important for you to be involved with the strongest and most advantageous social media channels.

The most effective social media channels for your content marketing

There are many excellent social media channels and, depending on your particular business’s needs, you may wish to consider the following social media marketing channels:

  • YouTube: This is a very useful channel for content and a great deal of people pay attention to the content that is posted.
  • iTunes: Believe it or not, this channel can be very effective and can work well for your business. Many people love to hear what you have to say rather than reading your content.
  • SlideShare: This is an excellent content marketing social media channels. Many professionals use this channel to share their content and they are met with very positive results.


When it comes to leveraging online content marketing for your business, it is critical that you choose wisely and make sure that you market your content effectively. Your brand and your business need content to be a success and it is critical that you devote time, energy, and consistency to your business at all times. It is absolutely necessary for your business to market your content appropriately and doing your homework is the best way to make sure that you choose the best social media marketing channels for your particular professional needs. Of course, it is essential that your content is relevant, timely, very high quality, and as informational as it can possibly be.

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The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Campaign Failed

I am, from time to time, asked to troubleshoot why someone’s content marketing campaign has not been the success they had hoped for. Almost always, the cause of the problem falls within the scope of one of the following reasons. Here, in reverse order, are my top five reasons why content marketing campaigns fail:

# 5. You are not content marketing:

Content marketing is marketing a business to achieve one or more goals of that business. If the achievement of your business goal is not the reason for producing your content, you are blogging. That important distinction is not always understood.

Many content creators do not understand the part content marketing plays in moving your prospects along your sales funnel. Different types of content are needed for each stage, that is for suspects, prospects, and retaining and selling again to existing customers. If you are not producing content that supports each stage in the sales process, you are not content marketing.

# 4. There is not a market for your product or service:

It never ceases to surprise me how many businesses fail because the founders did not do proper research to establish whether there was a market for their business and or whether their product or service met that need.

You can have a technically excellent product, but it will fail if no one wants to buy it. I once worked for a company that had such a product. Every prospect the sales force presented to said what a great idea it was, but they would not buy it. It was a solution looking for a problem. Then you have the other side of the coin: There is a market, but your product or service does not meet it. There is a problem, but you do not have the solution.

No matter how good your content marketing is, your campaign will fail in its objective of acquiring new customers if:

  • There is no market for your product or service, or
  • If your product does not solve the customer’s problem.

# 3. You are publishing in the wrong place:

You must ensure that your content gets to your target audience. You need to know:

  • Who your target audience is. That includes demographic information such as their age, gender, socio-economic group, whether they are likely to be married, and if they have a family;
  • Where they currently go to get information; and
  • How they prefer to consume data.

Let’s consider a couple of examples:

Example 1: You have a business that provides support for WordPress websites globally. Your target audience is likely to be business owners that already have, or intend to have a website on the WordPress platform. They are likely to be in the age group 24 to 54 years old, likely to be married and probably have a family. They are entrepreneurs, not software engineers.

You will find them on Linked In, and they probably also have a personal and business Face Book presence. They are also very likely to use mobile computing devices, which is their device of choice for consuming data.

You need to be publishing your content in the places these people go to for answers to their WordPress problems, such as You Tube, podcasts (think iTunes, Sticher, Podcast Republic, and Zune to name but a few) – you could either have your own show or make guest appearances on other shows, SlideShare, writing articles (think long SlideShare documents, not just article directories), blogs, and forums for WordPress users.

Example 2: You provide an on-line tuition course in mathematics. Your target audience is likely to be school age children and their parents. They will have a personal Face Book presence and will probably also use one or more of the other popular social networking sites such as WhatsApp and Line. They are likely to have a Gmail account and also use You Tube.

The nature of your service lends itself to visual media, which is how this group prefers to consume data. Your target audience will be using sites such as Udemy and You Tube to find content.

The preferences of your target audience will determine where you need to publish your content, and predicate the medium you use to deliver your content. If your target audience prefers to consume visual content, text based content will not appeal to them and they will be much less likely to visit text based content sites.

If your target audience prefers to consume data at a time and in a place that suits them, in other words, they want to consume content on demand, consider audio podcasting. However, you should only do so if your content lends itself to the spoken word.

Should you publish your content on your own website?

The answer depends on how long you have been in business, and what reputation you already enjoy. The Pareto principle or the 80:20 rule will apply in any event. If your business is a start-up or is a young business, 80% of your content should published off your website. As your business becomes established and your reputation has grown, that ratio can be reversed.

Not only do you need to publish your content in the places your audiences goes to for information, you must ensure that it comes to their attention. That means systematically promoting your content on social networking sites such as Face Book, Google+, Linked In and You Tube, as well as on Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and other similar sites. Consider issuing a press release and linking to the piece of content in blog posts and comments, and on forums. If you have an email list, tell your list about the content you have created and ask them to share it with others.

You should expect to spend at least as much time promoting your content as you did in creating it. Not all marketers do this, which is why many content marketing campaigns fail.

# 2. Your campaign is too short:

Although there are people who claim great success from a short campaign, these fortunate few are the exception. For most of us, content marketing is a medium to long-term exercise that performs different roles for the various stages in our sales funnel. Put another way, you need to create content that is suitable for and supports each stage in the buying process.

Let us say, for example, that you have a business selling video cameras and accessories. You will need to create content that explains the different types of camera that are available, their prices, the uses for which they are most suitable, and the amount of knowledge and or experience the user will need to operate the device. This type of content is aimed at the person browsing your online store looking to see what is available.

Next, you can segment your content to cover the different sections of your potential audience, such as those looking for a camera to take videos of the family and holidays, hobbyists, and the high end amateur and professional users. Content that compares the features, benefits, and disbenefits, the pros and cons if you like, of each product in the market segment will help the potential customer make a short list of suitable products. The person browsing your site is now a prospect.

The next set of content will focus on a specific product and the benefits of purchasing it from you. This type of content will help convert the prospect into a customer.

The final set of content will help your customer get the best out of their purchase and will upsell product add-ons and accessories.

If you are not creating content for each stage of the buying process and after sales support, your content marketing campaign is not likely to be as successful as you had hoped.

# 1. Poor quality content:

Poor quality content is the main reason why many content marketing campaigns fail. The term “poor quality” covers a multitude of sins.

Earlier in this article I said that your content must be created with the objective of achieving a business goal. That is true, but not only should your content marketing do that, it must solve a problem your target audience has. At the very least it should give them something of use and value. Unfortunately, a great deal of content that is created is little more than a thinly veiled sales pitch.

It should go without saying that your content should be grammatically correct and free from spelling errors. It should also be well written and follow a logical sequence. If you are writing an article, your objective is to retain the reader’s interest long enough for them to get to your resource box. It is there that you should give the reader a good reason to click on the link to your website from where you will do the selling.

Similarly with video. You want to keep the viewer’s attention until they see the call to action, which is usually to click on a link in the description.

Poor quality is a description that can also be applied to content that is too short or too general to be of any help to the person consuming it. Your content should be long enough to impart all the information you need to give in sufficient detail, but short enough to ensure you retain their interest.

There is another definition of poor quality content that is often overlooked by content marketers, that is, if they are even aware of it. If your content fails to engage with your audience, it has not achieved one of your business goals. Most marketers gauge the success of their content by how many views it has received, or how many likes it has, or a combination of both. A piece of content may have have been viewed a great many times, and it might have received a large number of likes, but nobody has engaged with it. They did not comment on it, or share it with their own audience, or tweet about it, or list it on Reddit or StumbleUpon.

For your content marketing to be successful, your audience has to engage with your content.

The Takeaway:

As marketers, I think we can takeaway the following points:

# 1. There must be a viable market for your product or service;

# 2. Your content must assist you in achieving a business goal;

# 3. Your content must be published in the places where your audience is likely to find it, and you must promote your content;

# 4. Your content marketing campaign must support all the stages in the sales process as well as providing after sales support, and

# 5. You must create good quality content that encourages audience engagement.

Your content marketing campaign is likely to be successful if you apply these five lessons.

Content Marketing Mistakes Businesses Have To Avoid

Coming up with great posts, photos, and videos are good ways to begin your online marketing campaign. Having and following a good strategy to promote all your content is the next step to take to achieve your online marketing goals.

Having a good content marketing campaign usually means following tried-and-tested procedures and tips and avoiding mistakes that will have negative effects on your strategy or plan. If it’s your first time to start or take on a content marketing campaign, below are the mistakes you need to avoid:

Prioritizing quantity over quality. Content is important in content marketing. If you don’t have any new or existing content, you won’t be able to promote or share anything. However, you shouldn’t compromise the quality of your content just because you want to share something new every day. After all, your target audience will still look for and be interested in content that has substance and ignore ones that are of low quality. As such, instead of coming up with numerous content that are of low quality, focus on producing smaller amounts of high quality, informative, and well-written or top-notch content that stands out from the crowd.

Not doing enough to market your content. According to experts, content marketing is made up of three pillars: creating great content, making sure it appears on search engines, and promoting this to your followers. If you don’t do a good job of carrying out or completing any of these tasks, you might as well quit your content marketing campaign. You can start doing a better job of marketing your content by making use of influencer marketing, employing a good email marketing campaign, and creating a good social media campaign.

Constantly creating content from scratch. Content creation requires a lot of time. And you or your staff will have to work doubly hard if you want to promote only high quality content. However, coming up with good content doesn’t mean you always have to create something new from scratch. Once you have some solid, high-quality content, don’t let them go to waste. You can repurpose old content by updating it to include new information and republishing it at a later date.

Failing to publish at regular intervals. Lastly, once you have determined your optimal amount of content, you have to create a set editorial calendar so you can put that content out at regular intervals or on a schedule. Keep in mind that an erratic publishing schedule can make it hard for you to build a stable audience because your readers or followers won’t know when to expect your next piece. They may even abandon visiting your site altogether.

Read more tips and ideas about content marketing here.