Content marketing is one of the biggest business buzzwords these days. Funny thing: it’s been around for more than 100 years. One of the first forms of content marketing was done by John Deere in 1895. Back then, the now-iconic brand with the green and yellow tractors started its own magazine―The Furrow―to provide farmers with tips and tools to help them earn more money. That publication is still around today.
Now, because it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the latest buzzwords, we should consider what content marketing is. The Content Marketing Institute has a good definition for it: Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.
What a great concept! Content marketing doesn’t sound all that complicated, or too invasive for today’s consumers.
If this reads like something that would be good for your business, here are a few tools you could consider to get started in your content marketing efforts.
Infographics: If you haven’t heard of (or viewed) an infographic yet, check out the one below from Unbounce on why infographics make great marketing tools. This content marketing tool is visual storytelling at its finest and works great with research, studies and, basically, anything with interesting data and facts.
If your business doesn’t have a study of its own, you can also do the research and gather a bunch of relevant statistics from your industry (just be sure to cite your sources at the bottom).
Infographics can be created from scratch through copywriter, graphic designer and SEM expert collaboration. But, if you don’t have the staff, you could try creating one yourself with these 10 tools for creating infographics and visualizations called out by SEOmoz.
eBooks: These are a great way to publish useful tips, resources and how-to guides for your business and industry. An amazing eBook example you can download for free is this gem from the Content Marketing Institute — 100 Content Marketing Examples.
If you just clicked on that link, you should have noticed one of the biggest benefits of eBooks: You can gather business contacts and potential leads by requesting names and email addresses to download.
There are a couple of ways create the content needed for an eBook, including recycling and tweaking a bunch of blog posts or other helpful articles that follow a similar theme. You can also create one from scratch through a copywriter while a graphic designer does the layout.
Video: Video is one of the most powerful content marketing tools for businesses. Not only does it do wonders for search results through YouTube, it can also improve the performance of your email campaigns when you embed videos.
Doing video isn’t all that difficult either. You’ll need a digital camcorder, capture card, microphone and camera stand. Next, you’ll need some ideas for your videos, like major company announcements, useful tips from employees and partners, or how-to’s and guides for your customers. You should also try to follow these best business video practices:
- Create a branded YouTube page and profile, like RingCentral’s.
- Try to make your videos informative and entertaining (if possible).
- Talk in soundbites and keep the length of your videos from 30 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Maximize your video’s search results by using YouTube’s keyword tool for titles and descriptions.
- Share your videos through all of your social media channels, including email newsletters.
What are some tips and tools you’ve used to get your business started in content marketing? Tell us in the comments below and check out other blog posts here at RingCentral Connect for more marketing resources.
Originally published Jun 12, 2013, updated Aug 07, 2020