An infographic explaining how inbound marketing works together with content marketing
Whether you call it inbound marketing, social media marketing or content marketing, we're broadly referring to the same thing; at least that's how we see it.
Dave and I believe that inbound marketing starts with considered, quality content, well published and promoted that, in turn, drives the inbound benefit through sharing and search.
The 'free bonus' is that you're link-building and gaining social signals for search engine optimisation as well creating great content - something so often over-looked and under-valued.
The Content Marketing model infographic
This Content Marketing model was developed at First 10 Digital when working with a client who wanted to understand the full process for her team. We hope our infographic will help you plot your success too.
Content marketing blueprint
People liked it so much we thought it deserved a more polished design with Smart Insights input - so here it is along with a few notes.
Have a look, and please let us know what you think.
A simple model that still requires hard work to implement
While not making light of the reality of hard work involved in considering how to integrate this model with your wider plans, including ongoing social and search marketing, I hope the simplicity of this process still really jumps out. We've have much more detail on how to apply it to create a content marketing strategy here:
Excellent branded content
You're not in the game without it, I'm afraid.
It's easy to over-egg the channels, especially social media, yet even social media experts will tell you that without the objects around which to socialise and share there is little chance of interaction or sharing.
And, for most of us, the best object is relevant, quality, branded content (by definition that's not quick or easy!) that's exceptionally well seeded.
Develop a connected hub
This may be a fascinating and well considered hub like American Express' Open Forum or something relatively simple like Eloqua's much applauded and popular Revenue blog.
Don't over state it - it's still a blog but it’s a brilliant and relevant one. Design your hub in line with other assets, think about the positioning (how great is Elqoua's Revenue proposition considering they sell marketing software), and then get your quality content on there.
Oh, and ensure that your content is easy to share - a simple share bar is the easiest way to do this, then think about embedding Facebook comments if relevant, if not Disqus.
The high end will consider the awesome but extremely pricey Gigya, or cheaper Janrain.
Publish and promote
This is the crucial step, the bit that really is hard work.
How and where to seed with influencers in your market, the portals and the bloggers who have the credibility and reach that you need.
And, don't forget the social networks, communities and forums where your audience is already talking about related stuff.
'Free', no, 'Easy', no - since when was great marketing ever easy though?
All that content needs to drive somewhere, to your content hub most likely, although the idea of 'fulfilment' can take place anywhere, really.
Suffice to say that in return for making it worth someone’s while to interact with you,you capture new potential customers and, more importantly, their permission to continue an ongoing dialogue that moves them, presumably, towards the sale of a product or service.
The focus is on the relationship, which is why email and social media combine so well.
Relationship building or interaction takes place wherever your audience is, in social network, on your site, etc.
I toyed with omitting this from my blueprint list but, at the end of the day, it's the commercial reason we create valuable content.
If you’re offering a solution your target market finds very valuable, then content marketing is simpler for you.
Focus on providing valuable solutions to your target market, don’t pitch and scream about your products off the bat. People are looking for solutions, not your product or service.
Offer them what they need and want - the secret to effortless selling.
Free SEO prizes
The issue of miss-selling of ‘SEO’ by so many of the agencies plying this trade is almost too tempting to ignore here. In my experience these agencies are often guilty of making what's actually quite a simple process (I did not easy!) seem like a dark art. I'll avoid the temptation to pursue this now and keep my supporting thoughts to myself until another time!
If you succeed in creating great content, you should benefit from two free bonus prizes in relation to your natural search marketing:
- Free prize #1 - If you (or your SEO agency) follow this content marketing process, I hope its ability to drive link-building is evident. The most important factor in gaining the desired search rank is: develop content worth re-sharing and worth linking to!!
- Free prize #2 - Your quality content, well marketed on the most relevant sites, ensures that you develop a brand footprint in Google and Bing that's wider than the one ordinarily enjoyed by your domain.You don't have to directly rank for everything; indeed, this is increasingly hard to do.Imagine an extreme example - the BBC website picks up on your content and publishes it, quantum leaping you up in SERP visibility. Who equates to the BBC in your market?For example, a Gap travel company might strive to have content worthy of Lonely Planet or relevant specialist blogs or forums, such as niche opportunities in volunteer travel or snowboarding.