Get started in Content Marketing: 5 Free Templates

Content Marketing has become, as B&T put it, the new Kool Aid, and one of the biggest buzz words in the Communications industry. As a result, this has become quite an attractive career option to Media & Communications students and graduates.

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I thought it might be helpful to provide a basic overview of content marketing, including what a content marketer “does,” the goals by which they measure success and a few helpful Content Marketing Template links to get you started.

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing is a marketing technique that uses the creation and distribution of interesting, relevant and ‘sharable’ content to attract, acquire and retain customers, the “storytelling” of sales if you will. It is an ongoing process, best integrated with the existing marketing strategy to act as the personal and professional Voice of your business/brand.

WHAT DOES A CONTENT MARKETER “DO”?

A Content Marketer/ Content Marketing Manager is responsible for recycling content in a creative way to use across all the marketing channels.

What do you mean “recycling” content?

Social Media Today defines recycling content using the 4D Marketing theory. That is, “the theory that you can take (a company overview PDF for example) and then spin the content, audience and media an almost infinite amount of times to create next-generation comms and collateral that engages audiences and yields incredible results … Take your company overview PDF, tweak the messaging to make it relevant for the 8 vertical markets you sell to (for example, retail, pharma, manufacturing, healthcare, automation etc etc), then tweak it again for all (6 in this instance) of the job functions you want to hit (for example, IT, Customer Services, Finance, C-Level, Marketing, HR), then tweak it again by the media used, in this example I will push this content out in 6 ways – PDF, Infographic, Video, Blog, Whitepaper, Tweets) So, lets run thought the numbers: 1 piece of content x 8 verticals x 6 job functions x 6 forms of media = 288 pieces of content from a single source”

That,  in a nutshell, is what a Content Marketing Manager is meant to do.

WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF A CONTENT MARKETER?

The goals of a content marketer can be generally grouped into the following:

BRAND AWARENESS – Increasing Brand Awareness is one of the most common goals of a Content Marketing Strategy as businesses publish content relevant to their target audience in hope of raising the profile of their brand online.

BRAND LOYALTY – When brands begin to publish content regularly online, consumers begin to develop a relationship with the brand, increasing likeability and therefore, credibility. Acting as the “voice” of the business, content can build loyal relationships between the consumer and the brand.

CUSTOMER EDUCATION – Content Marketing is a great way to keep your customers aware of what is happening in your company, whether it be the latest competition or sale, or a change in location.

GENERATE BUSINESS LEADS – Business leads is another common goal of content marketing. By producing interesting, relevant and on-brand content, business can track potential leads as well as generate inbound leads.

CUSTOMER SERVICE – Content Marketing (particularly on social networks) has opened up a whole new line of communication between your business and it’s customers – that is in operation 24/7. It is now estimated that, once contacting a business via social media, customers expect a response rate of between 1-24 hours, meaning that a high level of customer service is now expected, and is therefore a high priority for Content Marketers.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP  – Mainly a focus of B2B companies, but also critical in the B2C environment, content marketing can allow businesses to demonstrate their expertise in certain areas and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT – Engaging with consumers humanizes business, giving the brand a “Voice”and a personality that will allow for a deeper connection between the business and their audience which can lead to an increase on brand loyalty.

TALENT RECRUITMENT – By showcasing company culture and vision, through say – a company blog – a business can demonstrate their thought leadership and expertise, as well as the workplace philosophy, to create a personality for the brand that will attract high calibre candidates.

HELPFUL CONTENT MARKETING TEMPLATES

If you are just starting out in Content Marketing – here are a few templates that should help you out – big time!

Content Marketing Calendar –   a shareable spreadsheet that helps marketing teams plan their content as well as visualize how content is distributed throughout the year.

Blogging Template – to help you create the perfect blog for your business that will attract traffic, this e-book by Jeff Bullas is a must read!

Content Creation Kit – A helpful kit from Hubspot that will help you get started with creating engaging and effective content to help you generate more valuable leads.

Title Evaluation Scoreboard – Roger Parker’s slide-share presentation, provided by the Content Marketing Institute, is a helpful resource in developing effective blog titles and generating leads.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER HELPFUL TIPS FOR CONTENT MARKETING BEGINNERS?
Please leave them in the comments below 🙂


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