Social Media Explorer named content marketing as one of the top five 2012 social media trends, but hasn't content marketing been around for years?
"Content curation was so last year. In 2012 we’re going broader; we’ll be talking about a marketing discipline called “Content Marketing.” It’s actually not all that new; in fact, some social media pundits have been talking about it for years . But 2012 is the year content marketing hits the social media trends list and the mainstream, because content marketing is now a concept that executives can finally sink their teeth into."
This is a promising trend for small business owners who want to market and sell their services and products, but don't have large budgets. Content marketing doesn't have to be costly. However, one of the biggest mistakes that companies make is they don't have a clear message and they randomly blast inconsistent messages to their social networks.
Do you notice social networks filled with followers and fans that don't even fit with the company's brand? Shot-gun content marketing won't work for 2012. Forget social media updates about what you had for breakfast. 2012 calls for finely-honed, strategic content marketing messages.
Before you even create your content, keep these tips in mind:
1. Who is/are my target market(s)? WHO will resonate with my content? Research your markets and get inside your social media fans' and followers' heads: What do they like? dislike? their age, gender, education, hobbies, geographical location, etc.
2. What key messages do you want to send to target audiences? Brainstorm and develop 1-3 key cohesive messages that set your brand apart.
What do you want to tell your target audience about your brand?
What do you sell & why should they buy your product or use your service?
What sets you apart from other competitive brands on the market?
3. Devise strategic content marketing strategies for social media and internet marketing:
Long-form (blog posts, press releases and articles)
Short form (tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook updates, etc.)
Conversation sharing (commenting on blog posts and videos, and link sharing)
Remember that content marketing is all about building trust with your target markets. You want to engage them in real, authentic ways. Don't use social media as a platform to sell your products 24,7. In 2012, take this marketing and sales tip to heart: it's all about 95% valuable content and 5% sales pitch when it comes to your content marketing