At the time of writing, this will be the 8th article within the marketing category of NBSL Business Bullets focusing on or around the subject of content marketing - it is an area of great interest to many businesses at the moment.

Why is content marketing such a popular subject?

Because content is vital to your online success. Without regularly publishing and promoting engaging content, your shiny new website will struggle to perform.

Similarly, social network profiles without content appear more like ghost towns than the vibrant examples of customer interaction they need to be.

Whilst content marketing can be time consuming, it's also one of the most cost effective and measurable methods of promoting your business available.

Key takeaways from the existing content marketing articles

Hopefully you have read the other articles, but here's a recap on the key points raised within them:

  1. Make content marketing an important part of your work routine
  2. Take the time to understand what your customers want and where they spend their time
  3. Get your message across in as few words as possible, increasingly under 140 characters
  4. Monitor content on Q&A sites, forums, groups and hashtags related to what you do
  5. Be useful to your customers 95% of the time, sell to them in a non-pushy way just 5% of the time
  6. Quality content will always succeed over a quantity of poor content
  7. Video is a highly sharable and engaging content type
  8. Twitter is a great tool for business, take the time to understand its features
  9. Email marketing still offers great returns, when best practices are followed
  10. Identify specific objectives so you can measure return on your investment

Highten's additional tips on content marketing

Share content from others, adding your own commentary

If you're struggling to get words onto paper, curate and share top content from others instead. By making quality content from a wide range of sources easily accessible, you're creating a valuable resource for customers.

Adding your own commentary and extra information wherever possible, will add value to this resource.

Your existing clients are a great source of content ideas

Regularly contact your clients and enquire about how things are going for them. Not only will they feel more valued which may lead to repeat business, but those conversations will likely focus on their problems and successes.

Take inspiration from these conversations to produce articles that address real-world client problems or demonstrate how clients are gaining success.

Promote your content

It's not enough to write a great blog and post it on your website alone. You need everyone to read it, so post messages with links across all relevant social networks.

Increase click through rates by ensuring your messages are concise and attention grabbing.

Make it easy for people to share your content

If you do not already have share tools on your website, ask your designer/developer to quickly install AddThis Smart Layers or Share Buttons.

These free, unobtrusive tools allow any visitor to easily share your pages on their favourite social networks.

Track content performance with analytics

Analytics will tell you what pages your visitors are reading, how they got there and what they did next. If you do not regularly use analytics, then you're blindly investing time and money.

Google Analytics will do nearly everything you want for free and if you are using AddThis as a social sharing tool, it provides free analytics on shared content too.

Convert content into an entire campaign over multiple channels

And finally, if you produce a piece of content that brings you loads of engagement, then it's probably a good idea to make that content available in a variety of formats.

What starts out as a blog post could easily become a video, webcast, infographic, slideshow or podcast.

Experiment with different content ideas and formats, regularly review your analytics and you will soon know how best to engage with your audience.

Article by Paul Gardner of Precept.

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