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Creating Content that Markets Itself (Somewhat)

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Content marketing is an extremely trendy term that’s currently being used just about everywhere you look with regard to running a site and marketing. But many businesses:

1.) Don’t understand how to make content marketing work, or
2.) How to get the most out of it with as little investment as necessary.

Not surprisingly, Forbes says that content marketing is the number-one factor that drives up the number of leads pulled in by B2B marketers. Two-thirds of them say they’ll be very focused on content marketing in the coming year or fully engaged in it, with social media leading the list of strategies for how they share their content.

Forbe's chart on content marketing sharing

Image Credit: Forbe’s

You Have to Invest Something

The good news is that you don’t have to exhaust hundreds of man-hours or commit massive additional wages to develop a successful content marketing plan. The bad news is that yes, you have to invest something. If you don’t want to hire a professional content strategist who can plan, develop, and market your content, then you’ll have to invest the time yourself.

Luckily, there are lots of cool tools available to help you develop interesting content that will almost market itself. The more original or more in-depth your content is, the more people will feel inspired to share it.

Infographics are a perfect example. When done right, they can easily go viral and will drive steady, targeted traffic to your site for a long time. Designers can create an amazing infographic from data you give them. Some will do all the research for you, too … provided you’re willing to pay for it.

You’re probably better off hiring someone to develop an original infographic if that’s the kind of content you want to provide. But if that’s not possible, there are ways you can create an infographic without being a professional designer. Here are a few you can check out:

[list type=”check”]

  • Visual.ly
  • Easel.ly (currently in beta, but has some very nice themes you will be able to customize)
  • Venngage (selection of templates; drag-n-drop items like bars, bubbles, lines, and more)
  • Infogr.am (again, easy-to-use templates — and this one is free)
  • Piktochart (vibrant, colorful, and professional-looking designs made easy)

[/list]

While infographics are very hot right now and probably will continue to be so for a while, there are other ways to produce content that will (somewhat) market itself.

“Repurposing” Your Old Content

This may not have occurred to you, but you probably already have all the content you need to create an effective product, article, or ebook you can use to promote your products or services.

Have you done interviews in the past with others in your industry? You could easily combine them to create a report entitled “10 Best Tips from xxx Experts” or something like that. Once it’s compiled, you could contact each person you interviewed to let them know about the piece; the odds are that they’ll all want to share your new content with their readers.

Have you run a contest or similar event that was successful? You could create “How xxx Increased Leads by 30% in xx Days.”

Do you have a lot of photos of your products? You could create a video that highlights your best-selling products by month or season with quotes from happy customers.

Do you have a stack of customer satisfaction cards or feedback in some other form? You could create a board on Pinterest with quotes from your happy customers.

Get Organized

No matter which path you choose, whether you decide to hire a professional or do it yourself, you have to have a plan. You have to get organized.

An editorial calendar that you adhere to faithfully will put you ahead of most of your competition. If you plan out your content with a purpose, your chances of success will be much higher. Here’s a two-step editorial calendar that you can use to do just that.

Not only do the site provide this calendar, but there’s a lot of helpful information there to help you plan out your content effectively.

Conclusion

There are many paths you can take into the world of content marketing. The practice is only going to get bigger, and if you aren’t already doing it, now is the time to start unless you want your competitors to leave you in the dust.

Contact us today and we can help you develop a plan, market your site, and increase your ROI.

Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.

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Veronica

Veronica has been writing online since 2007. She enjoys helping clients with copywriting and content needs, as well helping with SEO campaigns. Her experience ranges from helping small websites succeed with SEO and internet marketing campaigns to writing for Planet Green (Discovery Channel).

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