Content Marketing Resolutions for 2013
We have all spent 2012 looking for value in our Internet marketing strategies. We have tweeted, liked, pinned and shared, and worked on creating a culture of content marketing within our own companies to encourage employee participation. As 2013 approaches, and we spend time evaluating and revising our marketing campaigns, here are some resolutions that I intend to adopt myself, and would suggest you do the same.
Write one guest blog post every month
As part of my content marketing strategy, I have dramatically increased the frequency of my own blog and article posts in order to achieve exponential increases in website traffic and activity. However, one area that I have not yet explored myself is guest blogging and I need to start. I resolve to seek out a variety of other blog sites and t begin regularly writing unique articles for those sites on blogging, social media and SEO.
Write 3 - 5 meaningful comments on other blog posts weekly
Commenting on other blog posts used to be an easy method for increasing the number of backlinks to your own website. Today, however, that's no longer the case. Most blog comments are "no-follow" links, and even those that are indexed by search engines are ranked so low as to be of questionable value. However, there is a far more intrinsic value to participating in discussions on other blog communities. If you regularly read other blog posts and contribute meaningful comments, other members of that community will see you as an expert and want to hear more from you and your own blog. This is a content marketing technique that I have used but not consistently. I resolve to spend time every day reading other blog posts and to leave meaningful, contributory comments when appropriate.
Re-evaluate keywords monthly and change writing habits accordingly
This resolution is particularly important in any industry where there is constant change and development, like Internet marketing. In my business, the keywords that are valued today might not be as important months from now, so it's important to regularly evaluate what I'm targeting and adjust my strategy, content and SEO accordingly. I resolve to study and tweak my keyword marketing every month.
Attend at least one conference or seminar
One of the additional benefits to reading other blog posts is the additional education and information you'll receive. Stephen R. Covey referred to it as "sharpening the axe." To that end, I resolve to also attend at least one conference or seminar in 2013 on content maketing or social media or another related topic. There are plenty to choose from, and being in a major metropolitan area like St. Louis helps. Attending such a conference will get your creative juices flowing, provide essential training, allow you to create and foster meaningful relationships with peers, and give you lots of stories that you can potentially write about.
Read more books on Content Marketing and Social Media
I am an avid reader, but I'll be the first to admit that most of my reading has been in the Sci Fi / Fantasy genre along the lines of Game of Thrones or The Dresden Files. I have recently started to make an effort to read more books that can help me professionally and have found them interesting and enjoyable, like Michael Hyatt's "Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World." I use the Nook app on my iPhone, or use audio CDs in my car for my own Automative University. I resolve to read even more marketing and business books in 2013.
Write more press releases
Writing press releases remains one of the staples of a good content marketing campaign. However, because of the style and investment requirements of a good release, this technique also is largely unused by many small businesses. Each time you write a press release, it should be syndicated to a variety of online and offline sources for potential publication, and these sources are very different from your normal blog and article sharing sites. That means that with each release, you have the potential to reach a different, perhaps larger audience, as well as create new backlinks. I am resolved to create more press releases in 2013.
Write an eBook for others to download
Since I enjoy writing so much, creating an eBook is something I've thought obvious for some time, but not necessarily in the context of a content marketing campaign. Traditional blogging strategy revolves around creating great content on your website that visitors can read and search engines can index. A eBook is contrary to that strategy since it can't be indexed and must be downloaded. However, part of your new content marketing strategy should be the creation of an email list that you can use to regularly communicate your new content. Having one or more eBooks in your arsenal is tremendous. A eBook is a wonderful tool to entice visitors to provide you withi their email address, thus giving you implicit permission to send them additional information at a later date. I am resolved to create at least one eBook for this purpose next year.
Create 6 - 12 videos for a new YouTube channel devoted to content marketing
Another area of content marketing which I have been reluctant to embrace is video. I have to admit, personally, I don't like video. I prefer to read, and will even go so far as to click Back if I stumble on a "story" that's actually a video, like on ESPN. That said, I need to get over myself and start creating video content. Most of the rest of the world is not like me; people love video. I can use video to teach the same topics that I discuss in my articles, and provide visual aids while doing so. I can publish my videos to YouTube and better utilize that growing social network. I resolve to work on creating new video content regularly.
Create 6 - 12 presentations and better utilize SlideShare
What's SlideShare you say? Well, just wait. I will be blogging about it soon enough. The short of it though is that SlideShare is a social network that revolves around sharing of presentation content. Just like YouTube is for video and Flickr is for images, SlideShare is for presentations (slides). SlideShare can be an amazing source of traffic and sales leads, but it certainly takes time to set up and then create great presentation content. I have resolved to work on creating a fantastic new presentation monthly if possible.
Start a podcast
Finally, the last content medium that I need to embrace is podcasting. A podcast is simply an audio recording of yourself providing some information about your business or industry, similar to what you might say in a video. And, just like with your YouTube channel, your podcast audience can subscribe to your podcasts and automatically be notified each time you publish a new recording. With Apple's new podcast app, recording and sharing podcasts has never been easier. I resolve to begin podcasting myself in 2013 and using that medium to help educate small business owners on content marketing.
As you can see, there are a lot of mediums available to you for content marketing! While you may not be excited about all of these resolutions, I hope that at least a couple have inspired you for next year, and that together we can use content marketing in 2013 to grow our business and expand our customer base. Here's to a Happy New Year!
By Mike Allton, Content Marketing Practitioner
Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell. He has been working with websites and the Internet since the early '90's, and is active on all of the major social networks. Mike teaches a holistic approach to content marketing that leverages blog content, social media and SEO to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert those leads into sales.
Mike is the author of, "The Unofficial Book On HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management", "The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile.", and "Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion."