With a sharp focus on content strategy and the reach of digital advertising, right now brands are at a great advantage to be able to position themselves to many users, increasing their market share exponentially. Linear advertising in the way of banner ads and pop ups via sale by click are no longer the preferred method as consumers have become bombarded with the noise of content that is not relevant to them. This is where the content marketing stream comes in.

Marketers must shift their view to new ways to engage their users, and leveraging their content strategy for sales is key. Viewing content marketing as not only a way to communicate with consumers, but using it as an alternative to standard advertising is an emerging and effective platform to implement. A way to organically engage consumers, content marketing allows a brand to truly resonate their message with a user – with little to no interruption.

A brand, organization or service based business – has a point of view – their differentiator. The key to is to apply this perspective to drive growth through exposure on both paid and organic digital platforms to create conversions.

Native Content

Aligning with a partner that shares a similar customer base is always recommended. Whether its through an event or blog post, joining forces to create brand awareness to an already listening customer base creates great results. One of the best examples of this Native, or Sponsored Advertising. Used widely in the blogger world – it consists of paid content (articles, images, projects or videos) similar to the look and feel of the platform. It’s important to ensure that the partnership is carefully planned and executed so the content is seamlessly weaved into the surrounding material so users are not alienated.

A great example of a sponsored partnership is a lifestyle and interior design blogger who was approached by a national home furnishings chain to conduct a series of ‘design challenges’ using their products. The company compensated the blogger for both the products used as well as the series of posts. The return consisted to new customers and a fresh, younger, perspective for the brand.

Publishing

As brands grow, they can better position themselves as leaders in the market for a specific niche or category. As this credibility develops and their user base grows, it’s important to continue engaging through building customer knowledge. Incorporating a blog and social media posting into a content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to build continuous SEO (with tagging/hashing) and solidify brand awareness. At the onset, many feel like they are talking to an empty room, but it is important to remain consistent and strategic. Create an editorial calendar, building multiple posts and articles around a single subject (product launch, industry standards, event etc) and expanding on specific areas on each one will help with search results and credibility. The goal is to become a contributor for alternate, and aligning, publications for backlinks, exposure  and paid articles.

Membership Site

By building and providing useful content that is designed as a deliverable – a brand can offer content for purchase. Before this happens, however, value for the content must be built to account for the cost of membership. Positioning the content as high-value, proprietary and exclusive is the best route to achieve monetization via paywall. Users need to feel like they are gaining something that will better their lives. Providing ‘content teasers’ to get users intrigued before moving them to the sale can prove effective if the right content is in place.

It’s inevitable that in running a business, the dollars and cents are always at the forefront of everyones minds. Building a content marketing strategy with monetization in mind is not only a great approach for the bottom line, but can help to create heightened focus around the content itself.