It wasn’t that long ago when marketing simply meant radio, TV and print ads to promote awareness of your business. Within the last 10 years marketing has been drastically changed with the widespread use of personal computers, the Internet and smartphones.
With all the websites for consumers to visit, marketing had to keep pace and digital ads started popping up online. As personal email was adopted by everyone around the world, newsletters also came on the scene as another important marketing tactic. Then came social media and mobile ads shortly thereafter. With all these outlets for marketing online you might be tempted to think that’s all there is, but the truth is that the newest essential ingredient in your holistic marketing campaigns is content marketing.
What is content marketing? You know that you need great, well-written content that’s valuable to your clients. However, it’s no longer enough to just have great, valuable content. You content also needs to be sharable. That’s what content marketing essentially means: exceptionally executed, valuable and sharable content.
Here are four essential pieces of a content-marketing strategy:
Many of the large in-bound marketing companies such as HubSpot started with the ebooks straight out of the gate when their companies started to try to entice customers, or potential customer leads, to sign-up for their newsletters. You can follow the same strategy and create an e-book to entice your clients, or potential client leads, to sign up for your newsletter, webinar or other lead capture form.
Great ebooks are well written and laid out professionally by a designer. They should be both beautiful to look at and packed with great information. If you don’t have the budget for a designer and professional writer, you should still create something visually appealing in a program such as PowerPoint or Keynote that you can convert into a PDF for downloading. It should have a catchy title with a clear call to action and include chapters and page numbers for easy organization.
You see them and read them, but have you thought about creating your own? Infographics are data that’s presented in a visually interesting and relevant way. It should relate to your industry and help your clients to digest complex or robust data. Here are a few important factors you’ll need for the possibility that your infographic will go viral.
Do your research. It needs to have all data sources cited and properly listed. Make sure it uses valid, credible research sources. Essentially, avoid Wikipedia.
Keep it on brand. Make sure whatever you’re creating is on brand. Not just for the writing and voice, but also for your graphics and style.
Include your logo and sources. Don’t forget to make sure your own website and credentials are on your infographic! Get credit and traffic for your hard work.
You may be surprised by how many entrepreneurs still are not effectively utilizing video as part of their content marketing and conversion strategy. Video can be a great addition to your website and newsletter, so don’t leave your video just to YouTube. While you can do video on a budget yourself, if you’re going to go the bootstrapping route, here are three things you need to make your video look the best.
Great lighting is the biggest contribution to a video. If you don’t have a professional lighting set up, you need to do your video on a clear, sunny day with the most natural light possible. A video that’s oversaturated with direct sunlight or too dark inside your house will not lend itself well to viewing. Take the time to get the best lighting possible.
Quality sound. You can get a wireless microphone for your iPhone or Mac for less than $100. Spend the money and invest in a real microphone. It will drastically improve the quality of your video.
On-screen graphics. You can do your own, simple graphics and titling in Mac programs such as iMovie to add a polish to your video.
4. White papers
As opposed to ebooks, which provide your expertise on a particular topic, white papers are well-sourced, broad-spectrum research papers that you present to your community. White papers should be about industry trends or a market position based on a vastly researched and expert set of data-points that support your conclusions.
Just like an ebook, however, your white paper should be branded and designed to look professional. A simple word document alone won’t work — you’ll need a high-quality PDF with all your sources properly listed and cited.
Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the company’s activities that are geared towards gaining a social license from the society. Every business affects the environment at large and the consumers of their products and or services. Carrying out Corporate Social Responsibility activities is a way for the company to give back to the community in which it exists. There are a variety of ways by which a company can achieve this.
Walmart is the largest corporation in the United States. The company has revenue of over $469.2 billion. Walmart is a multinational corporation having over 10,800 outlets all over the United States. A company of such magnitude obviously has some significant effect on the environment, employees and the natural resources located in its area of jurisdiction. The bigger the company the bigger their Corporate Social Responsibility activities will be expected to be.
Walmart has given back to the global community through a number of Corporate Social Responsibility activities. These activities have demonstrated that the company is concerned for more than simply making profits from its consumers. Some of its initiatives have had tangible positive change on the lives they have reached.
Proponents of the Corporate Social Responsibility have suggested that it must be carried out with clear objectives and in a systematic manner. It is necessary to strategise and come up with an elaborate plan before going out to administer Corporate Social Responsibility activities. The company has to carry out research in order to understand the needs and behaviour of their consumers. This will be the basis upon which they will come up with viable Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
Walmart has come up with a systematic approach to their Corporate Social Responsibility. The Corporate Social Responsibility is divided into 4 distinct areas including:
1. Social responsibility
This area entails promoting women empowerment and providing access to healthy food and hunger relief
2. Local responsibility
This entails starting microloans, providing disaster relief, carrying out school nutrition programs, providing different kinds of support for local farming.
3. Environmental responsibility
Reducing the use of plastic bags, promoting proper energy usage practices, acting against landfill waste and coming up with more stringent guidelines regarding product sustainability.
4. Company responsibility
Engaging the stakeholders and promoting basic values, safe working environments, governance and corporate compliance.
To achieve these goals, Walmart is already carrying out a number of activities in the society. The Walmart Foundation has given charitable contributions worth over $1 billion. The fruits of these donations have benefited a wide percentage of the society. The Walmart Foundation has also worked to empower the women in eth society. They have achieved this by providing career opportunities by offering training. This initiative has reached over 1 million women around the world. Walmart gets 21% of its energy from renewable sources. This is their contribution towards environmental sustainability.