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February Inside Edge Newsletter: Content Marketing in 2013

Support WSI - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  Year 2012 saw an increased focus on content marketing. There was a marked rise in the number of small and medium businesses adopting integrated content marketing strategies to engage with customers and prospects. We also saw increased adoption of trends such as responsive Web design, geo-tagging, targeted content distribution, propensity for visual content, and emergence of integrated content marketing tools and techniques. 

  In 2013, we are likely to see these trends gain traction. The increase in the number of customer touch-points has introduced several new complexities for marketers. Content strategies will need to accommodate the multi-device ecosystem that consumers are using to access content. Irrespective of the device used, marketers need to develop content structures that enable optimal viewing experience to content consumers. HTML5 is still a year away from its official launch. In the meanwhile, website design needs to be more responsive to the viewer’s screen size. 

Stay Updated on Content Marketing

The increasing demand for audio-visual content and the easy availability of devices that enable anytime access to video content will make it necessary to invest in this content format. 
The increasing popularity of Pinterest among consumers is an opportunity to repurpose your existing as well as new content as a visual medium. 
Look at ways to utilize Instagram and make your consumers your content generators and gain maximum marketing mileage.
Advancements in marketing automation systems, its integration with social media platforms, and complexity of measurement tools have enabled the ability to understand content effectiveness. This has made it possible to make your content marketing strategy more targeted. 
Integrating content marketing mechanisms with your CRM system can provide insights that will enable you to develop contextual content. This can enable greater interaction with potential as well as existing customers. 

Keep Up-to-date with Google – They are Driving the Conquest for Content
Google is undoubtedly steering the content marketing ship, as it has done in past years. The latest Panda updates give a glimpse into what we can expect in this direction. Not only has it clearly indicated that only quality content will work but it has also highlighted the growing prominence of social media in the larger scheme of things. Search experience optimization (SXO) is the new SEO. Ensure you stay updated about developments in the Google world to stay abreast of the latest trends in the content marketing space. 

Google is also your best friend if you want to know what your competitors are publishing or to be alerted about newsworthy events in your industry. You can use these as idea sources for your own content development. 

Trends: Expansion of an Application Driven Web (HTML5) and Video Marketing
Predicted to be the future of the Internet, HTML5 may prove to be a game changer. The growing preference for the audio-visual medium is likely to receive a surge with HTML5’s built-in video support capabilities. The ease with which HTML5 enables content sharing will only give a fillip to this growing trend.

Embrace Integration

Develop a Complete Content Strategy
Businesses looking at content marketing as a means towards increased online credibility should put on a publisher’s hat. You need to create roles such as ‘chief content officer’ or ‘content strategist’. This function will work with your sales, solutions, and marketing team to understand what your customers want and how you can make your content standout. Look at ways to:

o Create an editorial calendar and prepare a strategy to update your content regularly 
o Integrate your strategy across all content dissemination mediums including print, digital, and social media
o Create an inventory, identify and close gaps, and prepare a plan to reuse relevant content
o Prepare a strategy to improve your reach across social media channels. The larger your network, the more likely it is that your content will reach the intended recipients.
o Measure and analyze the impact of your content. Understand which content is driving the highest levels of engagement with your prospects and customers, and then plan to optimize in this direction.

Integrate SEO, Social, PPC and other Digital Tactics
Develop a consistent message across all your content assets. Use social media to promote your content across multiple channels. Leverage its growing importance in search engine optimization (SEO). Visually express ideas and populate your LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram accounts. 

Convert your text content into interesting presentations that can be uploaded on SlideShare and other similar sites. Then share the link through your social media channels and blogs. Integrate social sharing across all your online marketing assets. 

Content is the Lifeblood of Online Marketing
Readers will only visit your blog or website or video channel if your post fresh and compelling content on a regular basis. Reuse your content across all channels. Convert multiple blogs into an ebook or vice versa. Articles and white papers can be converted into multiple blogs. And all of these artifacts can be re-purposed into an audio-visual format or a podcast or webinar. This will help you reach various types of audiences and increase your online visibility.

Question: How can I ensure that my content is interesting and valuable to my target audience?   

Answer:  Whether your content is on a web page, a blog, a facebook update, or in a tweet, always write your content with strategic intent. If your goal is to inform or persuade, here are 3 top rules that will help make your content sizzle with your readers. 

#1 – Be genuine! As in any other relationship, sincerity is important. And your marketing efforts are exactly that: the goal of creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Being honest is generally a good rule of thumb to follow, and it should always be your intent to earn your readers’ trust! Be conscious of your voice, your message, and your corporate brand. 
#2 – Be relevant! The information you’re sending out needs to be interesting to your readers, so make it relevant. Know what you’re writing and understand what is useful to your readers. 
#3 – Educate. Teach your readers something they didn't already know or write about something that resonates with them. Offering your reader something new and providing value will make your company a worthwhile source. 

Contact us to get the right advice and assistance in planning your content marketing strategy.

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