Small Business Essentials: Nine Content Marketing Ideas for 2012

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Content marketing is simply harnessing your particular expertise to create attractive and relevant content that your present customers and prospects will want to read. As a lead generation strategy, content marketing can be one of the most efficient and cost-effective forms of online marketing. It may seem like a daunting task if you're new to content marketing, but the following examples should help you get the ball rolling, so that your business can proceed into 2012 with creativity and confidence.

Email Newsletters
They may not be the most popular form of content marketing, but email newsletters can still generate valuable leads, educate prospects about your company, products, and services, and generate website traffic. They are also an effective way to build trust and customer loyalty. Why not send a newsletter thanking all your present customers and explain your plans for the future?

Create an Ebook
If you have difficulty compiling an informative ebook which compliments your products or services, why not compile a set of related blog posts into a handy ebook? Pick the most popular posts so that the content is attractive and relevant. Then offer the ebook on your business website, on your blog, or within an email. Remember to boost your list of qualified leads by securing the names and email addresses of everyone who downloads the ebook.

Contribute to Q&A Websites
Q&A sites like LinkedIn and Quora are invaluable online communities that are especially useful for learning more about specific markets. This form of content marketing is a quick and cheap way to promote your business. By submitting relevant answers and revealing your particular expertise, you can network with people in your industry and generate leads by including links to your company website.

Capitalize on Seminars
Make sure you record any company presentation as a video. This can be divided into a series of informative videos, or used whole in a future webinar promotion. You could even use the audio and offer it as a podcast, or publish the information as a series of articles for your website or email newsletters.

Harness the Power of Video Marketing
Whether you film a series of interviews with influential people in your specific industry, or use the medium to create product or service demonstrations, video can be an invaluable component of content marketing for any business. Videos give businesses of all sizes the opportunity to promote themselves on a variety of online platforms, not just YouTube.

Use Social Media More Effectively
If you use social media sites such as Facebook, LinkIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Plus, make sure you use your time wisely. For example, there’s no point in creating a Facebook Page for your business and later realizing you don’t really have the time or resources to keep it updated. Set aside a certain period of time each day to keep it up to date.

Nurture Online Relationships
Contributing to other blogs in your industry is an important part of developing new relationships and promoting your business. Search the internet for blog content related to your business and offer to submit articles to the site owner. Just remember not to promote your products or services too much - a simple link to your website or blog at the end of each article will be enough.

Write a White Paper
Creating a white paper and offering it as a download is a cost-effective way to attract new customers, build your email list, and enhance your credibility. Ask other experts in your industry for their input too. A well-timed piece relating to an important issue affecting your industry should boost your company’s reputation. You don’t have to charge for these downloads. Spreading the word about your business is the ultimate aim.

Smart Blogging
Some see a company blog as an essential part of content marketing. A blog can improve your SEO power, strengthen your marketing messages, and help you learn more about your customers and their needs. A company blog can also help drive traffic to a website and help with online reputation management. Consider maintaining a powerful blog that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Offering valuable information for free is a powerful way to attract new leads and drive traffic to your website. Use content marketing as part of your wider marketing strategy to attract new customers to your products and services, and strengthen your company’s reputation online. Why not try some of these content marketing strategies for your business today, and discover which ones work best for your business?

About the author
Over the past 8 years, Federico Einhorn supported by the FullTraffic Team of programmers, search engine specialists, and designers, have turned FullTraffic into a leading international company of traffic suppliers for small to medium sized businesses. - Read more stories from .
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