Content marketing is becoming an ever popular aspect of businesses overall marketing efforts, but content marketing has existed for a long time.
So why is it suddenly commanding so much attention?
The Rise of Social Media
Social media’s popularity has driven up the demand for content. Not just any content, but content that makes a statement, that makes a difference.
Starting out on Twitter is easy, but without a content plan it soon becomes difficult to think of original things to say. People engage less and you become part of the noise rather than standing out.
The SEO Evolution
Search engine optimisation has largely been about links for many years. The popularity of your site and therefore its ability to rank in search has, up until recently been largely determined by how many other sites link to yours.
This is has been widely abused and Google are cracking down on link buying and link farms, in favour of personal recommendations and links within “quality” content.
Also, there is no better way to build authority for yourself, or your brand, than to produce content that demonstrates that authority.
The Time Factor
There is one thing about content marketing that makes it difficult for many, and that is the time it takes to create great content.
Many agencies employ teams of people to produce wonderful campaigns that look so simple, with the budgets and resources just not available to the majority of businesses.
So the big companies win again?
Junk, Junk and More Junk
Another issue with the popularity of content marketing, is the amount of content being produced, and not all of it is of any quality. In the race to produce the next “viral” sensation, YouTube videos are being uploaded at the rate of 72 hours of video per hour, and there are now more than 66 million WordPress blogs on the web, with 47.8 million new posts each month.
This doesn’t even start to account for the mass of messaging and noise created through other social channels like Twitter and Facebook.
Find Something Useful To Do
This is where another simple practice comes into play, one in which businesses of any size can take part…Curation.
The Art of Content Curation
There is a valuable role that your business can play and at the same time use to build authority in your sector. Whilst avoiding the time consuming practice of content creation. By collating all of the content online around a particular subject, and sharing out the best quality bits, you can provide a valuable service to your target audience.
No longer do they need to search Google or the social streams for that gem of an article on “How to…”, that sector report or market research from last year. As you are finding it for them, and making it available via your social stream or website.
Now when they want the latest news or low-down on your market, they just have to come to your blog, subscribe to your newsletter or social feeds to get it!
It can be great to create, but sometimes it’s better for everyone if you curate.
[photo credit: lauradinneen]