What is content marketing, and why does your business need it?

By James A. Martin, CIO |  IT Management, content marketing, Marketing

The shelf life of a white paper or free guide tends to be long, and you can capture leads by asking people to give you their email address and other information in order to download it," Kuenn says. While such leads aren't always the highest quality, it gives marketers names and email addresses they can "nurture" with other forms of content in the future, he says.

You can also make useful content available for easy downloading without requiring a name and email address as a way to promote your expertise. For instance, Vertical Measures offers a free editorial calendar spreadsheet template to help organizations develop, assign and track their content marketing efforts. Prospects aren't required to enter a name or email address in order to download the template.

What Is Bad Content Marketing? Thin, Generic, Duplicate

As for bad content marketing, there isn't "a bad form of content, but there is bad content within a form," Fasser says. One example is a recent Gap tweet that the clothing retailer posted during Hurricane Sandy: "All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We'll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?"

The tweet came across to many as insensitive and opportunistic, Fasser says. "A better way to have handled it was to say the Gap had just made a Red Cross donation to aid in Hurricane Sandy relief."

In general, poor content marketing examples tend to be "thin, generic, watered-down content that someone has slapped up anonymously on a site," Clark says, adding, "it doesn't engage the reader and it doesn't solve a problem or inform them, so it doesn't get any links."

Others take a "lazy approach" to content, Kuenn says. An example would be a realtor with multiple locations and Web pages for each location that are nearly identical except for the differences in location names. "Sites like that with obviously duplicate content got hammered in recent Google algorithm updates," he says. "Going forward, you've got to develop useful, helpful, unique content."

(That said, Google doesn't penalize all duplicate content. Read the Google's Webmaster tools article on duplicate content for more information.)

11 Top Content Marketing Strategies and Tips

There's a thin, but important, line between success and failure in content marketing. To help you find that line, our experts offer these 11 tips to put you on the right path.

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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