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Content Marketing: A Proven Strategy, Evolution & Personal Journey

Learn to optimize your search visibility and website traffic using concise, high–impact content marketing strategies in our Content Marketing Boot Camp.

Content Marketing is a hot buzzword. Google it and you will get 661 million results in less than two seconds. But what is content marketing really?

I took Content Marketing Boot Camp last week as my fourth course towards an Executive Certificate in Internet Marketing – the only university-recognized professional certificate program of its kind through a partnership between ASPE-ROI and Saint Louis University’s AACSB accredited John Cook School of Business.

ASPE instructor Phil Buckley (@1918) kicked off the Content Marketing Boot Camp asking participants for their definition of content marketing, each of which had its own twist. Any marketing format that involves the creation, sharing and publishing media to acquire customers – including news, videos, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.- defines content marketing, according to Wikipedia. In other words, content marketing focuses on communicating, not selling, with prospects and customers to inspire brand loyalty by providing consistent and valuable content.

Content marketing is not new, but a proven, tried-and-true, strategy that continues to evolve with new technologies over time. What worked years ago is not likely to work it today’s digital world where information flows 24/7. In three half-day sessions, the virtual course covered multiple media formats and reviewed examples of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to content and breaking through the clutter.

Here are the Top 10 highlights from the Content Marketing Boot Camp course:

  1. A Marketing Retrospective – A journey through the evolution of content marketing from radio, TV, original Internet banner ads to Google AdWords, organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), permission marketing and iPhone apps.
  2. Thought-Leadership – One way to stand out from the crowd is to be a leading voice by providing consistent content as a subject matter expert (SME). Check out Lisa Barone’s video – What Stuttering Taught Me About Running a Business.
  3. Stop Selling and Start Helping – Everyone on the web has stuff and many people multitask today. In fact, Nielson reports that 88% of U.S. tablet owners use their devices while watching TV. Your stuff (i.e. content) needs to be better, more helpful than your competitors and focused to grab – and hold – someone’s attention.
  4. Where’s the Good Stuff? Check out mobile apps like Zite, which analyze millions of articles each day and brings you the best of your favorite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs.
  5. Attention is the New Currency – In content commerce, you compete with every other fragment of life that is demanding readers’ attention. Want to learn more? Check out The Attention Economy, a groundbreaking book by Thomas Davenport and John Beck, who say “unless companies learn to effectively capture, manage, and keep it – both internally and out in the marketplace – they’ll fall hopelessly behind.”
  6. You Have Less Than 8 Seconds - to get someone’s attention, according to an Associated Press (AP) survey, page views that last less than 4 seconds was 17%, while views over 10 minutes was only 4%.
  7. Show Don’t Tell – This is a fundamental best practice strategy of content marketing. Many firms are doing this well today and videos will continue to rise in popularity, but already YouTube is the second largest search engine. Dove’s Camera Shy video illustrates this point.
  8. Know Your Audience – What’s their occupation, age, gender, marital status, education level, interests, occupation, geographic location, household income, where they get their information. The more you know, the better you can tailor content to that specific persona.
  9. Do Better – Start small and realize there’s always room for improvement. Be patient and don’t take on more than you can manage. Be consistent in delivering regular and valuable content.
  10. Measure – Content is constant. It is critical to evaluate the data and analytics behind the content. Monitor your pageviews, shares, likes, comments, etc., and adapt, adjust and experience content marketing success.


About the Author:

Christina Motley is the CEO and president of Christina Motley, LLC, for which she delivers on-demand, targeted marketing strategies and tactics to a variety of clients and industries. A seasoned integrated marketing executive, award-winning content developer and published author, Christina’s focus is on building brand loyalty, fostering customer engagement and driving new business. You can connect with her on Twitter @christinamotley and on LinkedIn.  

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