The changing face of online marketing has seen the demands for better and larger quantities of content spiral massively in recent years. For smaller businesses without large corporate budgets, content marketing seems like an expensive and time-consuming option.
The Content Mountain is an approach I devised to enable anyone to play the content game along with the big boys of business. It allows you to continually produce useful, engaging content of a high quality on a much smaller budget than traditional approaches.
The Shift from Search to Content
Why, you may ask, is it important to have a content marketing strategy?
The emphasis of online marketing used to be on search marketing, which has a focussed objective: to generate traffic exclusively from search engines, and usually only for the benefit of certain priority web pages that have been specifically optimised.
Now, however, the focus is shifting from search to content marketing, which has far broader objectives: to get much more traffic from numerous online and offline sources and to benefit many more pages of a website. These sources include search engines, corporate blogs, a multitude of social media platforms, newsletters, online and offline news and press sites, article directories and guest posts.
This varied content distribution strategy is effective because while readership is everywhere, not all readers are everywhere. Most readers favour a limited number of online or social platforms and these are generally the only places where they will find and engage with content. Wherever they spend their time and discover links – whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or anywhere else – you must be visible to and “be found” by your target readership and tailor your content for their consumption.
And so, in order to engage with a larger readership, it is important to produce targeted and relevant content for multiple online platforms to achieve maximum exposure.
Money and Mixed Messages
There are a few challenges that arise from putting together such a broad-based content marketing programme.
To make a content marketing strategy work, you have to make use of a number of disciplines and skill sets. You need an SEO expert to research and produce content to achieve rankings in Google; a professional blogger to do the same for the website’s blog programme; a social media expert to create content for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on, each of which have very different formats; and, if there is a press and news effort, a PR expert or journalist.
For businesses, this is a big concern: not only is it very expensive to have all these experts generating their own content, but due to the fact that they are all working independently, it proves extremely difficult to coordinate that content across the board. You may end up with a disjointed marketing programme that gives different messages to different readers on different online platforms.
The Content Mountain Approach
I conceived the Content Mountain Approach to address these issues for website owners. It turns the research and production of content into a single, unified effort.
Rather than creating lots of small mounds of content that are developed separately for different platforms, this new approach involves creating one mountain of high-quality, well-researched content which is then used by all the different skills representing the different pieces of the online marketing puzzle. Each expert will take content from the Content Mountain and will repurpose it to fit the requirements of their format, distributing it to many different online and offline platforms for maximum exposure.
How Does it Work?
The Content Mountain Approach starts off by conceiving a single content strategy that produces useful and valuable content that is created for and targeted to each of the brand’s niche demographic groupings.
For example, if an airport shuttle service defines it’s two core customer profiles as families going on holiday and business travellers, they would need to produce different content that would be deemed useful and valuable for each demographic. For example, a local guide to good value, family restaurants could be used as a topic for families going on holiday; while for business travellers, a guide to business etiquette in different cultures would be a useful topic.
Once a big mountain of this type of content has been researched and produced for each demographic, then everyone in the marketing team can start to draw this content from the mountain and use it any way they need.
The family-friendly restaurant guide could be posted to an onsite blog; a Facebook post highlighting and promoting this blog post could be created to encourage shares and click-throughs. It could be repurposed as a news piece about how to help promote family tourism. Then the guide could be promoted in a monthly newsletter, again with a link to the website. Each of these pieces of content would refer to the airport shuttle service in a natural, non-contrived manner, helping to generate exposure – and therefore sales – for the business.
- Cost Efficiency
It is much easier to repurpose an existing piece of content into another format than it is to be constantly researching and producing new content for different mediums. The thinking and research is only done once per topic, which vastly cuts down the total time required for content as a whole.
- Brand Consistency
Delivering a single content message across a variety of platforms enables you to maintain a unified, consistent marketing strategy. It allows you to say the same thing to people in different places while still tailoring the message to suit the format in which it is presented.
So – while content is king in the online marketing industry, it is vital that businesses take every opportunity to generate business from all corners of the internet. The Content Mountain is a cost-effective online marketing approach that enables a business of any size to reap the benefits of a broad content programme.
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- The Content Mountain: How to Create Quality, Cost-Effective Content - November 18, 2016