As the marketing industry evolves, leading-edge professionals are shifting their strategies from traditional advertising to content marketing. With content marketing, you create compelling information that your customers seek, so they’ll come to think of you as a trusted expert. Once you’ve demonstrated that you can ease customers’ pain points by providing useful content, you can sell them solutions, help them take action, or inspire them to join your cause.
Here are five resources for getting started with content marketing:
HubSpot is the undisputed king when it comes to educating businesses of any size about content marketing. The Cambridge, Mass.-based software provider creates a staggering amount of information, including e-books on specific (e.g., how to work with web tools) and general (e.g., 100 Inbound Content Marketing Ideas) topics. This site is a one-stop, self-help site for small businesses. Its Inbound Internet Marketing Blog covers all aspects of content or inbound marketing, including SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, lead generation, and analytics. HubSpot sells software for monitoring content marketing, too. To help customers better understand what it does, HubSpot created a clever video staring cartoon stick figures (currently running on its home page).
Content Marketing Institute
CMI was created by the social-marketing experts at Junta42, due to the volume of questions people asked the institute and founder and CEO Joe Pulizzi, one of the content marketing industry’s top evangelists. CMI should be your second stop when first starting out, and your go-to for education and industry information as the concept spreads and evolves. Start with its Content Marketing Playbook, follow the blog, and explore the site. Bonus: You’ll find a list of CMI’s top 42 content-marketing blogs here.
MarketingProfs is a one-stop shop for marketing know-how. It provides free articles, live events, fee-based webinars and seminars, and other marketing resources. It sells professional memberships, but a lot of its information is available for free. Discussions about content marketing are interwoven with hot marketing topics, and the site has marketing information for both beginners and experts. Like the other resources mentioned here, MarketingProfs runs a blog you may want to subscribe to: It’s called the Daily Fix.
Eloqua primarily targets experienced B2B marketers at mid-sized companies, but its website also offers a ton of free resources to help general users navigate content marketing. The Marketing Syllabus is a good place to start, and also be sure to check out the It’s All About Revenue blog, a must-read for content marketers.
If you want to dive more deeply into the whys, wherefores, and how-to’s of content marketing, these three books will get you started. Each one offers ample explanatory information, plus case studies of successful content marketers:
- Content Rules, by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs with co-author C.C. Chapman.
- Get Content, Get Customers, by Joe Pulizzi of CMI and Junta42 with co-author Newt Barrett.
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR, by David Meerman Scott, who started talking about content marketing back in 2004, when no one was listening.
Have you used any of these content marketing resources? What other sites, books, and tools would you recommend? Share your thoughts in the Comments field below.