By Denise Gosnell
Content marketing involves creating and posting helpful content on various web sites online, while increasing exposure and awareness for your business. Examples of content marketing include submitting articles, blog posts, photos, videos, or podcasts to various types of online sites and publication channels.
One reason why content marketing is such a valuable tool is because it can be a free way to advertise your business. However, content marketing is not free altogether. In fact, it takes a lot of work, time, and effort to create valuable content. Those who cannot do this on their own may need to hire a professional content writer.
However, social media sites and article content sites do not charge a fee for signup and posting. So if you are someone who can create good content on your own, then you do not need to dip into a limited marketing budget in order to come up with and publish good content.
Below are six of the best content marketing strategies that you can use to publicize good quality content and get traffic from it. I would encourage you to use several of these strategies in combination with one another if you want to get the maximum exposure for your business.
Every company should have its own blog or web site that can be updated with regular content. The blog can and should point readers to the products or services that the company offers, but it should not be used solely or even primarily as an advertising platform. Instead, it should feature tips, how-tos, and other important articles and information related to a company's line of work.
There are also popular blogs that allow users to submit guest posts. These blogs are established and already have a following of people who would likely be interested in what you have to offer. A guest blog post can include your own website link, but should not be overly promotional in nature.
For example, I regularly post various articles that I write to Huffington Post. I had to become approved as a blogger before I could submit articles to Huffington Post. With my vast experience in the publishing world as an 8-time author, I was able to get approved as a Huffington Post blogger.
But even if you don't have a vast publishing background like I do, there are still incredible opportunities for you to publish your high quality content on various third party web sites. Other blogs are starving for high quality content. So if you find a related blog or web site that would benefit from some of your articles, make sure you reach out to them with some sample articles to see if they would be interested in publishing your articles on their site.
E-newsletters can be mailed to people who have requested to receive content from you, such as from an opt-in form on your web site. These newsletters should contain helpful information related to the company's products and services, along with information on new products and special offers. These newsletters should be sent on a regular basis, but should be done so in a way that they will not be considered spam.
If you are reading this article from inside an email right now, then this is an example of an e-newsletter that was sent to you from WorkingMomsOnly.com. This same article gets posted on their blog/web site, so other people who may not yet be on their mailing list can also see it.
3. Share Content Through Social Media
There are many social media and social bookmarking websites that will allow you to share relevant content with others. The top websites of this nature are Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Google +. You can post a short introductory note with the site link to get people headed over to your site looking for more information. These sites also allow you to post links to photos, videos, and audio files that others may find interesting.
The above-mentioned websites are a good starting point, but are by no means the only social media and/or social bookmarking sites a company can use. Fark, Digg, and Delicious are some other good sites of this nature that you can use to generate traffic.
4. Publish Videos
YouTube is owned by Google, so YouTube videos get high priority in the Google search listings. Videos published on YouTube should be short, contain helpful, interesting information, and have a catchy title that includes one of the main keywords that you want your site to get high rankings for. Make sure that you include a link to your web site at the beginning of the video description field, and include the http:// designation so your link will be clickable. You can also include your site link in the video itself.
5. Share Photos for Additional Exposure
Pinterest and Instagram get tens of millions of visitors a month. These sites are different from most social bookmarking sites in that users post photos instead of blog content. However, these sites can be a good source of plentiful traffic. You simply need to post product photos or other relevant photos on the site. These photos can be organized into folders/boards so that people can see at a glance what the photos are about.
6. Contribute Value through Forums and Blogs
Building links via relevant blogs, forums, and question/answer websites is one of the best ways to get relevant traffic to a website. You should find relevant blogs that have high ratings and leave insightful, helpful comments in the comment section. These comments should include a link to your own site in the author footer/bio section, but should not be overly promotional in nature.
It is also not hard to find forums that deal with topics related to what your company or business has to offer. Forums deal with topics ranging from car repair to early learning and can be a great source of interested traffic. You simply need to look for questions, answer them in a professional manner, and then include a link to your site in the footer section.
Question/Answer websites are yet another good promotion avenue. You should try to be the first to answer a relevant question, as the first answer is likely to get more reads than subsequent answers. The answer can be written in a first person tone and should naturally include one's site link.
Adequate exposure (traffic) for your business can mean the difference between success and failure. Content marketing is a tried and true way to generate online traffic and can boost a site's ranking on major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If you are serious about making money online, you should seriously consider the tips mentioned above and try putting at least some of them into practice.
About the Author:
Denise Gosnell is the CEO and Editor of ThrivingBusiness.com Inc. ThrivingBusiness.com offers various free and paid training programs to help people start and grow their own businesses, while having a thriving life.
Denise has a unique background in business, technology, law, and entrepreneurship. Denise has authored and co-authored eight business and technology books with Wiley Publishing. Denise has also been featured in various newspapers and magazines, and has been a frequent speaker at various television, radio, and industry events for her expertise.