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“Content Marketing” is a term frequently used in online marketing discussions. But what exactly does it mean?

Content Marketing is any technique which leverages content to promote a website.

The content usually takes the form of written articles – but other types of content can be used as well, for example:

  • Photographs
  • Infographics
  • Ebooks
  • Audio Recording
  • Videos

Content Marketing in the Past

For many years, most people doing content marketing simply wrote articles and submitted them to all the big article directories such as EzineArticles.com, with links pointing back to the site they were trying to promote.

Initially this was quite effective, but as people tried to scale the technique, the quality of articles dropped, and very few were picked up and used by legitimate publications – so their only value was the link from the article directories themselves.

Google soon got wise to this, and devalued the links from article directories to the point that the technique is no longer effective.

Content Marketing Today

Today, content marketing can still be very powerful, but a far more subtle approach is needed:

The most effective techniques all start with very high quality content, relevant to the subject of the website being promoted. This content can be created by the website owner, or by an expert in the subject.

The website owner then reaches out to high quality, popular websites which are related to, but not directly competing with, their site – and offer them the opportunity to publish the content in exchange for a link.

If the quality of your content is high enough, this achieves two things:

  1. A quality backlink from a popular website – which is good for search rankings
  2. It builds the website owner’s reputation in their market as someone who is an expert in their subject

There are many other effective content marketing techniques which use the different types of content discussed earlier.

A good idea is to re-purpose one piece of content from one medium to another. For example, one piece of original research can be used to create an article, which can then be read aloud to create an audio recording, or put onto PowerPoint slides and recorded to create a video.

With techniques like this, content marketing can be a very cost-effective way to build your presence and reputation online.

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