Content Marketing: What is it? How to get started!

October 11, 2013

Have you heard the term “content marketing” but are still unsure of what exactly it means?

Are you curious to know what content marketing strategies current brands are using and how it’s working for them?

This week on the Social Media Social Hour, I’m joined by Content Marketing expert Erik Deckers, as we explore content marketing. Erik and I will go into what exactly content marketing is, how brands are successfully using it, and give some tips for marketers and entrepreneurs that would want to start using content marketing.

I also share with you a few tools that I personally use to help you get your tasks done more efficiently.

About this show:

Social Media Social Hour PodcastThe Social Media Social Hour is a podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to get on the social media fast track. The podcast is an interview format, where each week I get up close and personal with top brands and influencers to talk social media, tech and online marketing. Each week I also share tools that I personally use to help me with social media management, sales, marketing, account management and productivity.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Tech tool(s) of the week: This week I have a series of tools geared toward leveraging “time” to help you get your tasks done by setting certain time allotments. Focus Booster sets 25 minute increments, Timely allows you to set different timers, and 30/30 (for iPad/iPhone) keeps counting down as you work on the task you are trying to complete.
  • Erik has been a published writer for more than 26 years, is a newspaper humor columnist, and is syndicated in several newspapers around Indiana.
  • Erik shares how he got his start in the industry from his early days of blogging and Internet marketing to learning how SEO worked in efforts to shorten phone time on sales calls.
  • In 2007 Erik was working at a direct mail company and started networking in town when social media started to come alive.
  • Erik came to ghost write Twitter Marketing for Dummies with Kyle Lacy.
  • Erik explains content marketing as anything you watch, read, and/or listen to.
  • He discusses how everything that is considered content falls back to marketing.
  • The emphasis on content marketing is the essential quality to provide value and education through stories, videos, and audio. Podcasts, blogs, and video are all a part of content marketing.
  • Erik reiterates that proper content marketing is anything people can watch, read, listen to or consider online that helps and educates them.
  • Companies or brands are successful when they have good intentions with marketing.
  • The idea is to have a customer come to you to seek out information to be able to make a good purchase decision.
  • Erik discusses Copyblogger and SEOmoz as successful outlets as they are educating the industry and their audience follows them. Copyblogger is educating the DIY marketer to help them do their job better.
  • Erik talks about video as a great way to put out content and highlights local theater groups who utilize video to put together sketch comedy shows or local videos.
  • Video has become the way to build rapport and relationships with an audience to try and break out in the industry.
  • Erik talks about podcasting and other audio marketing such as webinars that can be recorded, released, and listened to at any time.
  • Erik claims that blogging is the best way to get started in content marketing, especially for a small business with limited resources.
  • He explains that blogging is the best way to reach people because it is easily recognized by the search engine.
  • Next to blogging, video is a great avenue as it can be turned into audio alone. Video delivers a lot of extra value as an SEO tool as consumers can watch or listen to them in different places.
  • Erik dives into how to make great blogs by explaining that people are looking for basic information.
  • Google and the new Hummingbird algorithm are focusing on answering questions. Google searches redirect search questions to blogs with questions as their headlines.
  • Erik tells clients to go to their emails and search “How do I”  to look for explanations to “fix this or do this.” He tell clients to polish the answer and post it to the blog.
  • He also advises to write blogs as you would write an email to your mom in a way she would understand it to get the proper voice, language, and tone.
  • Erik talks about content marketing for personal branding and says to look at your personal brand the same way you look at a company brand.
  • It is essential to demonstrate what you know about and what you are able to do as well as to demonstrate your expertise in the field you want to work in.
  • Content marketing doesn’t have to cost money, but it has to be good and needs to explore even further into the product or service.
  • Good examples of content marketing are the conferences, articles, and podcasts giving free information from Social Media Examiner.
  • Erik gives the example of Marketing Profs constantly putting out marketing articles for subscribers with high quality, deep content that expands knowledge.
  • Erik talks about a luggage company that writes about travel of all kinds in order to help customers with common interest.

Erik Deckers’ Social Media Six Pack (six questions where I ask Erik to provide one simple answer):

1) Last book you read? How to be the Luckiest Person Alive by James Altucker
2) Last Facebook page you personally “Liked” a Friend’s Show
3) If you could only recommend one conference for an marketer or entrepreneur, what would it be? Mix West- Indianapolis
4) Favorite smartphone app? FourSquare
5) Your personal favorite social network? Twitter 
6) The topic of the last podcast you listened to? Owned Media and Content Marketing (his interview on the marketing over coffee podcast)

Items mentioned in the episode: