The common Internet saying, “Content is king,” responds in 2012 with a new and intriguing publishing concept, that not only is everyone a publisher on the Internet, but those who publish must adhere to professional publishing standards, producing quality content and reflecting reputable values, which reinforce their messages while maintaining their reputation. In other words, publishers of 2012 are expected to raise the standard of web publishing, providing thoughtfully constructed, well written and thoroughly edited, valuable copy on the Internet.
With this in mind, I’ve created ten content marketing tips and suggestions for 2012.
1. Depend on Your Reputation: Multiple researchers studied the direct impact of reputation in correlation with consumer purchasing trends in 2003. They suggested
“that online reputation scores become the important indicators for the capacity of online firms in the electronic market because reputation systems have visualized their reputation.”
Maintaining a well-respected and trustworthy reputation is still a viable tool for business success today. A brand’s reputation can be dismantled if content writers are careless when crafting articles, emails, posts, and tweets.
2. Build a Solid and Extensive Portfolio: Content is the tool of choice for anyone seeking to engage in meaningful transactions with web users. There are numerous types of content, each tailoring a unique style and delivery to the intended recipient of their message. Content marketing for 2012 therefore, must rely on proven strategies that support content aggregation. The importance of building a solid, extensive portfolio, one that is adaptable to various consumers, should not be underestimated.
3. Remain True to Your Brand: Along with your reputation, you’ve likely built a brand that increasingly reinforces your message, mission statement and identity, across multiple channels on the web and throughout your business and consumer circles. People have come to know who you are and what you are about; they appreciate the dependability they count on when interacting with you. The importance of remaining true to your brand, even during difficult business cycles, reinforces your stability with potential business prospects and consumers.
4. Manage Your Content Production Effectively: Managing your content production requires more effort than producing content, which engages and elicits a response from your customers; you also have the task of producing enoughcontent to keep those customers interested in your message, thereby broadening your overall reach and impact on the Internet, and enhancing the possibility that they will share it your content with others. Several factors should be considered when managing your content including style, platform, tone, language and vision, to name a few.
5. Utilize Social Networking Appropriately: Social networking works. According to Michael A. Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner,
“Two years ago, businesses were uncertain about social media. Now it’s here to stay and companies are rapidly responding to the new social media opportunities.”
Social media is considered the most effective business tool for media exposure and traffic building, as indicated by Stelzner’s 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
6. Link Content Effectively: Let’s face it. If you’re not linked, you won’t be found, rank in search engines or be able to echo your message across easily accessed instant Internet channels. Paying attention to where you are linked, however, is just as important, as having as many links as possible. Early in 2011, some businesses were penalized for inappropriate linking. This goes back to reputation, managing content effectively and utilizing social networking appropriately. Solid links are from reputable sources that support quality and effective marketing strategies.
7. Avoid Associating Your Work with Content Mills: Content mills have earned a reputation for using shady business practices, taking advantage of their writers and producing minimal quality content. While several very good authors may have built extensive portfolios on these sites, many of these same writers are suffering the consequences of dubious content mills, who sacrifice quantity for quality, thereby tainting the overall image of the publishing industry and those associated with it. Seek out individual writers to create content, as opposed to purchasing mass amounts of content from companies like Demand Media and Helium.com.
8. Communicate and Build Positive Relationships across the Web: It is not enough to broadcast your message via Twitter, Facebook, newsletters, podcasts and various media outlets. You must engage with those who are listening, to market your content effectively in 2012. This means responding to the people who interact with you, offering freebies and giveaways that show appreciation to them and building a trustworthy, long-lasting relationship with all of your followers.
9. Vary Your Content, Producing Fresh New Content Consistently: Your mission statement and message may be well grounded and established, and your business plan might be top-notch and full-proof. That’s great! Once these things are in place, all you need to do is find new and innovative ways to consistently share them with your target audience. Take the time to vary your content, keeping it fresh, unique and valuable to those who’ve come to depend on you and your message, trusting your expertise and relying on your willingness to meet their own needs and desires.
10. Enhance Content Production with a Viable Content Budget Management System: Content production has developed its very own niche in the world of publishing, particularly with the advent of Internet Marketing and Social Media. Businesses hoping to stay ahead of the curve in 2012 will do well to have a content production and budget management system in place, and be prepared to invest in opportunities that will likely be rewarded with a high return on investment (ROI), indicative of the performance achieved, when they respond to their content needs appropriately and effectively.