The content marketing fundamentals never change, whether you started using content marketing for your business back in 2004 or you are playing with it in 2017. These fundamentals are
- Publish relevant content
- Publish content that provides solutions and solves people’s problems
- Publish content that is engaging
- Publish content that is shareable – people not just feel like sharing your content, but it is also easier for them to share it
- Publish your content regularly
- Analyze your content and do the needed modifications
- Keep your existing content relevant and updated
- Use the right channels to promote your content in front of the right audience
As you can see, these are the fundamentals, no matter what technology you use, no matter what sort of content you publish, and no matter what audience you are trying to reach. Even when people were painting on the walls of their caves, they were using these content marketing fundamentals to convey their message and leave the glimpses of what was happening to them, for the future generations.
Let’s read a bit more about these fundamentals of content marketing
Publish relevant content
Every business niche has its own relevant content. When you come to my content marketing blog, you expect to read about content marketing, content writing and general related topics of how to promote your business through content marketing and content writing. This content is relevant to you if you want to use content writing as a marketing tool or if you want to hire someone who can help you use this tool. Sometimes I also write on search engine optimization but ultimately it is connected to content marketing.
The importance of relevance is always going to be there no matter what format of content you publish.
Publish content that provides solutions and solves people’s problems
We are all looking for solutions. People come to your blog because they seek some advice or some bit of information that they can use to solve some problem that they have. If they repeatedly find solutions on your blog or website, if you are constantly solving people’s problems, your content marketing is going to succeed. You need to give them a reason to access your content repeatedly. You need them to crave for your content and share your content. This only happens when they find your content useful.
Publish content that is engaging
This is a redundant point but I’m going to cover it anyway because it is one of the most important aspects of content publishing and content marketing and almost every, in fact, every content marketing expert talks about “engaging content”.
By engaging content, we mean content that stimulates people and encourages them to actively consume your content, participate in the ongoing conversations around your content, and even contact you to share their own opinions about your content. This way, you have engaged them. You have created interesting content to get them interested.
It is just like speaking in front of a live audience. You provoke them. You ask questions. You ask counter questions. You debate them. You create controversies. You create adulation. The moot point is, engaging content gets your readers or your audience involved, whether in a positive sense or in a negative sense depends on the relevance of the topic. When you engage them, they remember you and whether they like you or not, they come back to your website or blog.
Publish content that is shareable – people not just feel like sharing your content, but it is also easier for them to share it
Sharing means endorsement. When people share your content with each other it means they like it and find it useful. This helps search engines. Although algorithms are very advanced these days, it matters how people think of your content. So when your content is shared it means it is appreciated. It solves the proverbial problems.
Sharing should be easier. These days it means all the sharing buttons should be incorporated into the webpages and blog posts that you publish. Also, your content must be formatted in such a manner that it makes sense with least interference. This means, when people share your content, they shouldn’t need to modify the title and the description because in themselves they should be able to tell a lot about your webpage or blog post.
Publish your content regularly
The never changing fundamentals of content marketing mean when you are publishing content, you are building a broadcasting channel, and when you have a broadcasting channel, you need to broadcast on an ongoing basis. This is one side of the story. The other side is that in order to enjoy good search engine rankings due to content marketing and content writing, you need to feed the search engines with an unending supply of content – yes, as long as you operate your business on the Internet, you need to provide content to the search engines to be crawled, indexed and ranked.
This means you need to publish your content regularly. Now, regularity doesn’t mean you publish every day. Although publishing everyday might be very good for traffic and social engagement, for some businesses it doesn’t suit. So, define your own regularity. Maybe it’s okay to publish 3-4 blog posts or webpages every week. Or maybe one blog post or webpage every week. Or maybe randomly. The important thing is you need to update your blog or website regularly, on an ongoing basis. It shouldn’t feel like an abandoned blog or a website.
Analyze your content and do the needed modifications
Beyond doubt, when you are publishing content on your blog or on your website, your ultimate aim is to draw traffic. This means you need to analyze your traffic and see what sort of traffic is being drawn by the content that you publish. Sometimes you end up drawing wrong traffic. Even tiny things can mean a sea change.
You can analyze your content by a web analytics tool like Google Analytics that tells you what sort of traffic your content is drawing. If most of the visitors landing on your website or blog are using wrong keywords, you are not publishing the right content. If your website or blog is attracting at least some amount of traffic that uses the right keywords, study those pages and blog posts and then generate similar content.
Or maybe your existing content is relevant but you are not using the right language? Analyze constantly so that you don’t end up with a ton of useless content.
Keep your existing content relevant and updated
Millions of webpages and blog posts are being published every hour and then these webpages and blog posts are being crawled, indexed and ranked by the search engines constantly. So, even if initially it was possible to find your content, with so much of newly generated, fresh content available, your content is pushed back and it becomes difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to find it.
Search engines want fresh content. Even your visitors need to have a compelling reason to visit the same URL gain.
You can keep your existing content relevant by updating the webpages and blog posts with newer information, better-researched data, and even with changed perspective. Even if one sentence is changed, mark that link changed and resubmit it to the search engines.
Use the right channels to promote your content in front of the right audience
Every channel, every broadcasting medium, has its own audience. Facebook users like particular content, Twitter users like different content, and LinkedIn users want to find content that can help them in their businesses, professions and careers. If you want to give beauty tips, better focus on Facebook and refrain from posting that sort of content on your LinkedIn timeline. If you want to rake up political or cultural controversy, fire off a few tweets.
It’s very important to choose the right platforms. Even the Google search engine is a channel.
These are the never changing fundamentals of content marketing. Just as the applicability of wisdom transcends time and cultures, so do the fundamentals of content marketing. Your content may change, how you distribute that content may change, the tastes and preferences of your audience may change, the format of your content may change, but these fundamentals never change.