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What's new in the evolution of content marketing?
What's new in the evolution of content marketing?

Much has been written on the need for businesses to build high-quality content on their websites, blogs, and social media pages. However, the ways that companies go about marketing online constantly changes. In this post, we consider the ongoing evolution of content marketing and offer insights into the importance of having your employees in the mix.

Making a Return on Your Investment

Many web articles and blog posts on content marketing focus on a company's need to generate a return on investment (ROI). Basically, the website owner pays for content, either by outsourcing content writing or by having employees perform writing tasks. Using a website analytics tool, you can study how each piece of web content performs over time. You can search for statistics such as which pieces of content generate the most clicks per month. You can also identify which kinds of content convert website or blog visitors into paying customers. There is no magic formula that keeps conversion rates constant, but you can pinpoint trends and adjust content postings to match your findings.

What Unlocking Your Marketing Potential Means Today

One way to think of content marketing is that it must represent your current brand. Some companies focus their marketing efforts on their relationship with an outside marketing firm, but they may forget that their internal employees are an important source of marketing ROI. These are individuals who know your customers very well. Many workers also grasp the nuances of the company business model and maintain a working knowledge of how strategy changes impact customers. Staff members have much to say about the company and can explain the benefits that customers receive from products or services.

Tapping into Employees

Brian Sutter's recent piece on Forbes.com discusses how it's important to tap into employees' assistance with content marketing. You may use outside marketing services, but you can easily generate content ideas from inside the company and have employees perform some content distribution. Ask employees to write drafts of pieces that will appear on the company blog. Discuss employee activities and accomplishments that customers might find relevant. Ask employees to share selected pieces of content on their Facebook and social media profiles. They have a vested interest in the success of your company, and their voices can reinforce the brand messages you want to communicate on web and mobile channels.

Taking Action

When you've decided that your website or blog is not performing to your expectations, it's tempting to start from scratch. You start thinking about hiring a company to redesign the website, to re-brand, and then to produce new content to reflect the new marketing plan. However, this is not necessarily going to increase the traffic to your website or turn more visitors into buyers. A new marketing approach will transform the messages that you communicate about your company and will create more work for everyone. Sometimes, taking action just means going through the website and blog and removing pieces of content that are obsolete. It's also worth spending time reviewing all company sites for pieces that can be updated to reflect the latest information. You may incur some cost for rewriting pieces or getting pieces written from scratch on the same topics, but you will not be going back to the drawing board.

Consistency in Brand Messages

A basic principle of marketing is the need for consistency in all communications. You should strive for consistency even as content marketing continues to evolve. Even if you reach the most customers through content displayed on mobile applications or prefer to dialogue digitally with clients on a forum or Facebook account, you must still ensure that all content messages reflect the current marketing plan. While striving for consistency, beware of the viral effect. Anything that you post is easy for customers to share instantly, and a damaging message can spread like a virus on the web, which would damage your company's reputation.

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