According to Abbi Whitaker and Connie Aguilar of The Abbi Agency, the four questions you should always ask before devising a content marketing strategy are: What is your goal? Who are you targeting? What is your story? What is your content?
Earlier this month, Whitaker and Aguilar gave a fantastic presentation to the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association about content marketing. Between the two, Whitaker and Aguilar have either placed coverage for clients or themsleves been published in dozens of publications and websites ranging from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune Small Business and MSNBC to Social Media Today, SmartBrief, The CMO Site, PR Daily and Media Bistro.
According to Whitaker and Aguilar, content marketing is “the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” A content marketing approach trumps advertising over the long-term, because content marketing:
- Provides something of value to customers whereas traditional ads do not
- Educates customers to the point that they’re ready to purchase your product
- Creates a sense of reciprocity with customers
- Attracts customers for free
- Creates content that gets shared
- Provides an SEO benefit
- Increases traffic
- Is highly targeted
What I liked most about this presentation is the fact that Whitaker and Aguilar are content marketing experts and had several examples of work to share that their agency has completed in terms of backing up their key points, like this Après Ski e-book for Tahoe North or this infographic produced for the Economic Development Agency of Western Nevada.
Furthermore, their entire agency employs a content marketing strategy to supplement their PR efforts, with all employees regularly contributing to the company blog and taking active roles in social media. You can check out their website and company blog here.
Once you’ve devised and deployed a particular content marketing strategy, it’s important to remember to keep adding fuel to the fire. Specifically, Whitaker and Aguilar recommend the following tips:
- Keep creating great content
- Entertain people, inform, educate
- Post regularly and consistently
- Keep connecting to people in your target audience
- Keep promoting your content
- Keep networking with other authors, educators, influencers
Now it’s your turn: what brands have you noticed lately that are executing content marketing strategies well? According to Kapost, here are the top 50 brands that stand out above the rest when it comes to executing a content marketing strategy.