Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2013

content marketingSmall business owners, answer these questions as honestly as you can:

  • Did your company jump on the content marketing bandwagon in 2012?
  • Did you create and curate informative and practical content for your target audiences?
  • Did you find a way to disseminate your content, getting it in front of potential clients or customers?

If you answered “yes” to all of these, then it is likely to be a very happy holiday season for you and your employees. Profits are up, bonus checks are being written and the prospects for the future couldn’t be any brighter.

As a small business owner, you get it. You understand the power of well crafted stories. You know how content can be used to establish thought leadership, to enhance brand awareness and to supercharge your SEO efforts.

If, on the other hand, you are one of the many small business owners who answered “no,” to any of the above questions, I fear this may not be the jolliest of holiday seasons for your business.

Don’t despair! Just because you missed a golden opportunity in 2012, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of content marketing in 2013. Remember the saying:

“Better late than never?”

Well, it certainly applies to content marketing.  What can content marketing do you for? Depending on the nature of your business, it can:

  • Position your company as thought leaders (key for service providers).
  • Keep your current customers/clients engaged with your brand on an ongoing basis.
  • Provide information of real interest to your target audiences.
  • Create mechanisms that convert the people engaged with your content into regular users/purchasers of your services or products.
  • Put a human face on your company, creating emotional bonds that can lead to enhanced sales.

Whether you have never engaged in content marketing or want to expand upon your content marketing efforts, this is the perfect time to either start on or expand your content marketing efforts. This is the time to ask the following questions (and make sure you have the answers to each and every one of them):

What are your storylines?

The first step in any content marketing campaign is to figure out what stories your team is best suited to tell. Who is in the universe of potential clients and what interests them? Content marketing only works when the content you produce serves the needs of your target audience:

  • Are key team members truly thought leaders? Do they have industry insights? Do they offer practical information of immediate utility to the reader/viewer?
  • Can you offer advice to entrepreneurs? Do you have “war” stories to share?
  • Do you have amazing case studies to share?
  • Have you conducted your own research or commissioned research on industry trends?
  • Do you offer unique products or services?

What is your commitment to content marketing?

How much time and effort are you willing to commit to your content marketing campaign? Some businesses limit their content marketing to a handful of white papers a year. Others become true publishers, turning out a steady stream of content, whether it’s in the form of blogs, videos, article or even tweets.

As you budget both financial and human resources, you need to decide his much of your marketing and advertising budgets will be dedicated to content marketing. A successful content marketing campaign involves a real commitment. Are you prepared to make it?

Who will be responsible for creating your content?

Poorly written content can damage your credibility and your business. If you don’t have a strong writer on staff, hire one now. If it’s not in your budget, think about paying a freelance copywriter. It’s not just about quality writing. Video has become a major aspect of content marketing. An amateurish video can make your company look like a second-class operation.

How will you be distributing your content?

Just because you’ve created great content, it doesn’t mean than anyone will see it. A major element of a content marketing program is a well-planned distribution plan:

  • Do you have the internal or external public relations expertise to get your content in the hands of traditional and digital media?
  • Do you know where to find the Web sites that would be interested in publishing your content?
  • Do you have the SEO expertise to make sure your content shows up prominently in Google searches?

All of this may seem very daunting, but content marketing, when done properly, can make a major impact on your company’s bottom line.

If you don’t have the internal expertise to strategize and execute a content marketing campaign, find a reputable agency that not only understands content marketing, but can provide you with a list of success stores for which they are responsible.

Wishing you a happy and content-filled new year!

British Landscape Photo via Shutterstock

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Jon Gelberg Jon Gelberg is a Principal at The Dilenschneider Group, a strategic communications and public relations agency in New York City. As a journalist, Jon has won more than 20 national, state and regional journalism awards and has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Professional Football Writers of America, The Society of Professional Journalists and many other organizations.

17 Reactions
  1. Great stuff Jon! In terms of success metrics, what kinds of measures would you recommend to gauge whether or not your content marketing initiatives are paying off?

    Obviously sales and referrals are the end goal, but I found that my readers where not my target customers. My company blog was generating good traffic, but it didn’t translate into revenue.

    Earlier this year, I shut down my company blog and launched a personal blog. I plan to publish my first book in March 2013, hopefully, my blog readers become customers this time around.


  2. I think Content Marketing will continue to be the name of the game in 2013. Google has made it clear that content is king and links will have more value if within context.

  3. When discussing content marketing, the word that always stands out to me is “consistency”. Even if you aren’t putting out large quantities of content, you should be doing it consistently. You many not get a huge viral hit, but you should be promoting your content consistently.

  4. Thanks so much for this post, Jon. It’s really important that we have a solid content marketing strategy for 2013. I’m fine tuning my calendar right now to include a lot more guest blogging.


  5. Hi Jon,
    This is a fantastic post. I think bigger businesses have been slow to latch on to the power of content marketing, but I think it’s only increasing. One thing I think that holds them back is not having a solid plan for publishing content. I actually wrote a post outlining the process for creating content for year to help entrepreneurs plan ahead. Sometimes that is half the battle.

  6. Yes! Commitment! I’ve had clients who hire us to write blog content for 3 months. But that won’t do anything. It has to be a big picture situation. Many want instant pudding, and that doesn’t happen in marketing.

  7. Thanks Jon – your questions got me thinking and I’ll surely include these in my list as I prepare to revamp my content marketing strategy for 2013, that is, if in case the world doesn’t end on the 21st. But hey, happy holidays to you and the rest of wonderful folks sharing valuable tips here!