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Are you wondering how to build a winning content marketing strategy for your team? Do you need to explain to your boss why content marketing is important?

In this post, I am including a set of slides that I recently shared with a group of marketers who are all in the same boat as you. You may have heard of content marketing–many of us know that it is “the next big thing”–but are we implementing it properly in our business? Are we able to justify using it?

This slide deck is yours to enjoy, share, and distribute to your team as a primer on what this content marketing thing is all about.

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What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is technically any type of marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media as a means  to acquire customers. Whether we know it or not, we have all experienced content marketing at one point or another.

What is content marketing?

What is content marketing? Download slide deck…

In essence, content marketing is a form of marketing that doesn’t actually feel like marketing. A good example of this can be seen in a magazine called The Furrow that has been published by John Deere since 1895. The magazine is not an advertisement for John Deere. Rather, it is a freely available magazine that includes topics commonly enjoyed by John Deere customers.

It is a content marketing.

In the early days, Michelin Tires and Nike both used content marketing to get the word out about what they were doing, but they took a different approach than the average marketer. Rather than talking solely about themselves, they sought to build an audience through helpful information that spoke to the heart and needs of their audience.

The history of content marketing.

The history of content marketing. Download slide deck…

Throughout history, marketers have learned that creating value for their audience built more trust than traditional advertising. Content marketing strategy was born.

After all, customers buy from those that they know, like, and trust.

In 2014, content marketing grew at an incredible rate simply because it works.

Why Does Content Marketing Work?

In traditional advertising, we take an audience-to-product approach, meaning we take the features and benefits of our products and attempt to shove them in the face of our customers. This is why the billboard was born. This type of advertising highlights our product, and generally provides little value to our potential customers.

Content marketing strategy takes a different approach. Rather than forcing our product on them, we provide them with something they actually want. This usually comes in the form of helpful information. In this way, we seek to provide value to our audience and build trust over the time.

Content marketing works because as we build trust with our audience, they will eventually thank us with their business.

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How Do I Start Content Marketing?

In 2014, content marketing follows a simple formula.

1. Write Helpful Content
Every team has experts. Who are yours?

The first step to great content marketing is to get them writing, and contributing to the team. One of the best ways to start content marketing is to get your team to write about what they already know. This should make your content easy to find, and even easier to execute.

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2. Publish Your Content On A Blog
Many businesses get scared off by the idea of a blog, but they are important for everyone involved with it. A blog is essentially a way for you to share ongoing content on your website. It might be important to set a publishing schedule right away, or get setup with an editorial calendar.

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3. Share Your Content On Social Media
Once your content is created, and published, you need to get it out there so people find it. One of the best ways to do that is through social media. You should think about your blog in a hub and spoke model. Your website is the hub, and the social networks are the hub. Use them to promote your content.

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4. Grow Your Audience
It is easy for us to think about our customers, but it isn’t always as easy to think about our audience. Content marketing is about growing an audience of people who trust what you have to say and will share it with their friends. You will need to continue to grow your audience in order to grow your list of customer leads.

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Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Own Content Marketing Strategy

1. Who is going to help you?
Who is going to make up your content marketing team? Who will do the writing, editing, graphics, etc? You will need to know who your core contributors are.

2. What do you have to say?
Once your teams is together, call your first editorial meeting and brainstorm what it is exactly that you will be writing about. Make sure all of your contributors are on the same page and ready for what is to come.

3. When will you publish content?
Once you have a some topic ideas ready (I recommend at least 50) set up your first editorial calendar and publishing schedule. Once you set a schedule, stick to it. You won’t succeed without it!

4. Where will your content go?
What will happen when you blog post goes live? How will it be shared on social media? You will need to have a content promotion plan in place and ready.

5. Why do you need to do this?
There is a good chance that you will have some backlash on your team about whether or not content marketing is worth the effort. Be ready to answer these questions, and feel free to use this slide deck to make your point clear.

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