I’ve blogged in the past about the secrets of Dave Ramsey’s success as a digital marketer as revealed in his EntreLeadership book. Now with the launch of the new EntreLeadership website, Dave has once again generously given us a peek into the inner sanctum of his web marketing machine — it’s something called content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

A couple weeks ago, Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Advisor email newsletter highlighted the power of “content marketing” to fuel business growth. (I would encourage you to subscribe to the EntreLeadership newsletter if you don’t receive it already.)

Here are some key points from the newsletter:

  • Content marketing is “telling fresh, relevant stories about your business, product, service or event to your audience.”
  • Content is more than text. “It can also be video or even a still image or a quote.”
  • Timing is crucial. “The most powerful content is timely and relevant, with an emphasis on timely.”

What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?

The primary benefit of content marketing is sustainable business growth. This is because content marketing enables businesses to build long-term relationships with customers by engaging them and treating them like fellow human beings.

Content marketing is also the “tip of the spear” in search engine optimization. You will never win at search engine optimization without content your customers love.

But (in the words of LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow) “you don’t have to take my word for it!” Great content is what Google loves. And Google continues to optimize their algorithm to reward great content. That’s what Matt Cutts, Google’s Webspam team leader, said in a recent interview.

How Do I Get Started with Content Marketing?

Start thinking like a publisher. (That’s where we come in here at IX Publishing.)

In her book Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher — How to Use Content to Market Online and in Social Media,  Rebecca Lieb offers 14 steps to start thinking like a publisher. Here are the top seven:

  1. Know your audience.  Who are your buyers? What are their key characteristics?
  2. Define key themes and messages. What do you need to say to connect with your buyers? And how should you say it?
  3. Establish a frequency framework. How often should you publish new content?
  4. Create a detailed editorial calendar. How can you ensure that your content is timely and relevant to the needs of your customers, year round?
  5. Develop regular features and rubrics.  What standard content types can you develop to keep customers coming back for more?
  6. Conduct interviews.  How can you bring other voices into the conversation?
  7. Go multimedia.  How can you use images, videos, or audio to engage your customers?