Content Marketing Drives Social Media and Sales - Are You Spending Enough?

  |  October 15, 2012   |  Comments

Five content marketing areas every organization needs to cover.

Content marketing is critical to feeding social media and driving engagement on these platforms. Further, it's an effective tool to build brand, support the buying process, and provide post-purchase support. Whether it's B2C or B2B products, customers research their purchases online first. They seek non-promotional, informational content to help assess their product needs. Effective creation and distribution of content marketing supports this process.

Top on marketers' list of content marketing challenges is coming up with topics for original content and finding the time to create original content. Look deeper at these challenges and you'll see that marketers' true problem is that they're not allocating sufficient resources, both human and financial, to meet their content marketing needs.


3 Ways to Feed the Content Marketing Engine Cost Effectively

To support your content creation engine have an ongoing process within your organization to ensure you've got a constant flow of potential articles. To that end, follow these three idea-generating tactics that long-time blogger Chris Brogan made at BlogWorld Expo New York.

  1. Maintain a list of content marketing topics and suggestions. To guarantee your organization always has sufficient subjects to cover, invite all of your employees, regardless of title or position, to submit their ideas. Additionally, get your sales and customer service representatives to let you know the common requests prospects and customers have. Go one step further and put a link on your website. Also use social media to gather insights for new posts through customer comments.
  2. Develop a structure for various types of content. Combine this with an editorial calendar or other form of scheduling system for your content to give content creators a jump on composing your content. As part of this initiative use a special hook for a set of regular features. Make sure that you have sufficient content to share on the social media platforms where your organization is active.
  3. Let your passion shine through. Human feelings and an authentic voice are critical to social media and content marketing. To this end, it's important to avoid corporate speak. Write where the emotional value is and skip what your third grade teacher said about writing!

5 Content Marketing Areas Every Organization Needs to Cover

To ensure your organization's content marketing is on track, it's important to offer your prospects, customers, social media fans, and the public a wide variety of information and monitor what they respond to. Here are five areas where you can expand your content creation ideas.

  1. Offer an insider's perspective into your organization and your employees. This means explain your products in your own words (vs. using suppliers' information). Get a cross section of your employees to give their insights into your offering and current trends. Don't overlook your corporate stories!
  2. Teach prospects and customers how to use your products and services more effectively. This isn't education in the traditional sense. Rather provide your audience with suggestions for expanding their use of your products as well as giving them new options through recipes and patterns.
  3. Report the news in your business category. Provide insights that your audience can't get elsewhere. Think about topics related to your core business that are of interest to your readers.
  4. Ask area experts for their insights. Use round-up posts, interviews, and webinars to integrate expert advice into your content offering.
  5. Use media formats other than text. Especially with the growing interest in photographs and videos, it's important not to limit your content usage solely to text. Use a variety of different types of content. Of course, don't forget to associate text with images, video, and audio.

While you can streamline your content creation, it's critical to allocate sufficient budget to ensure that you have enough to distribute across your owned and social media sites.

What else would you add to this list of content marketing topics to drive social media and sales?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Counting Money image on home page via Shutterstock.

This column was originally published on June 25, 2012. 

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Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital,, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.

Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.

Her blog,, was nominated as a finalist for Top Social Media Blog of 2012 by Social Media Examiner.

Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.

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