New to Content Marketing? 5 Questions You've Been Afraid to Ask

Content marketing is a broad term. So when a business is told, “Well, you should you improve your content marketing efforts,” where does it even go from there? Social media, blogging, podcasting, white papers, surveys, product reviews — the list of options and opportunities goes on and on, which inevitably leaves a business with a litany of questions. And as it turns out, businesses large and small, whether they provide a service or sell a product, generally end up having the same questions.

If your head is reeling over the world of content marketing, don’t shy away from asking what may feel like silly questions They can be a great opportunity to get everyone on the same page with your content marketing strategy — and you wouldn’t be the first, or even 10th, to ask them. Below we answer five of the most common questions we hear from clients.

Should I be on Facebook (or any other social media channel)?

Some might see this question and think, “Yes, of course you should be on Facebook. Everyone is.”

Well, if everyone were jumping off a bridge, would you?

“Because everyone else is,” is really not a good enough reason. When time, money and resources are required, you want to be sure your efforts at least stand a chance of having a positive impact on your business

Social media should be approached with the same amount of purpose and reason that your business approaches anything else, so start by asking questions. Are your current or potential clients/customers/partners or competitors on Facebook? Are they learning more about your industry through Facebook? Use these seven questions to evaluate Facebook or any other social media channel to determine if it would be a good outlet for your business.

What do I reply/retweet/respond to?

So your notifications button has a big ol’ “158” next to it. Don’t panic. Not each and every one of those notifications needs a response. Start by focusing on the mentions or messages from the people or businesses you have relationships with. Answer questions  and like, retweet or share information you feel particularly drawn to, that you agree with or that speaks highly of your business.

When it comes to responding to names you aren’t familiar with, feel free to respond with a thank you in the comments or engage with the content by liking or sharing. All new relationships have to start somewhere. Maybe this is that moment.

If something is remotely controversial or negative, respond only to those you can actually help. After that, steer clear. There’s no sense involving yourself in a war of Twitter words. Remember the golden rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

What do we blog about?

The more important question to answer is, what does your audience want to read about? Do they want to learn more about you, do they want to learn more about their industry, or are they on your sight just to compare products? Find out what your audience wants to read and hone in on that.

If you don’t know what they’re interested in, ask. Include surveys in email newsletters, feature a comment section on your website or ask on your social media channels. If your audience is given the chance to have some input, you may be surprised at how much they’re willing to engage.

How can someone who doesn’t work here write about our product/service?

Internal experts in your company are valuable resources for their wealth of knowledge and expertise. But any writers left only to their own knowledge and experience cannot write to the complexities of everything. Your engineers may be able to talk about your products but not your customer service program — and vice versa.

Partnering a writer with a few knowledgeable individuals within your organization who can speak to your product or service with expertise is all you need to start creating good content. Your team is your mouthpiece that can ensure the proper vernacular, industry lingo or keywords to help advance your SEO and strengthen your position in the market.

Does every piece of content need to be about our product/service?

Absolutely not. Career pages on social channels, commenting on industry news or addressing your customers’ difficulties with firsthand experience or advice make up a just a few of the topics you can, and oftentimes are encouraged, to approach. The main goal for all your content, though, should be that it all can be tied back to the brand. Find a consistent voice for the brand and/or culture, and it won’t matter what you write about it — your audience will recognize your blogs as yours.

Interested in increasing your content marketing usage? With this field becoming one of the fastest growing marketing approaches, now is a great time to start dipping a toe in the water. But a clear understanding of even the basics of your available opportunities might be all you need to dive right in.

Once you feel comfortable in Content Marketing 101, refer to these great articles to help expand your education and improve your content marketing prowess.

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