Brian Honigman knows the power of a solid content marketing plan. As a writer and marketing and professional speaker, he has valid insight into what it takes to really make content stand out.

Here, Honigman talks about the importance of content marketing and powerful writing.

As a freelance writer, marketing consultant, and professional speaker, how do you translate these skills into helping customers enhance their content marketing efforts?

I used my writing and marketing background to help businesses identify how to best reach their audience with content marketing, whether that’s through blogging, creating visuals, videos, etc. I provide strategic direction on what their plan should be as well as the goals they should reach to help achieve results, whether they are a funded startup or a large organization with many moving parts.

Talk about what goes into a solid content marketing plan. What elements do you feel many businesses or individuals miss the mark on? How do you help them establish and achieve goals?

When it comes to a solid content marketing plan, I’d suggest referring to my recent article on tackling content marketing on a budget to best understand my recommendations on an effective content strategy. Most businesses neglect to understand the distribution side of content marketing. There must be a balance between developing high-quality content of use to your audience, while also understanding how to best distribute it where your audience will see it online. The most important way to best balance the content creation and content distribution dilemma is to understand who your customer is, what challenges they face and how your business can best address those challenges with your content.

In your article on The Next Web you talk about the need for an editorial calendar. Please talk about the importance of an editorial calendar for appropriate content marketing.

An editorial calendar for content marketing is key because without a plan, content can quickly derail and lose focus with the many moving parts that are necessary for making it a success. From brainstorming to distribution, the many steps of content development need to be mapped out so your team or sole content manager at your company can best understand how to pace each element and pace these efforts to stay on track. An editorial calendar allows any member of the team to check in on the status of your content and better plan around it.

Your statement about a mission statement helping brands to reach a target audience highlights something many individuals are unlikely to aware of; please talk about the importance of a mission statement.

A mission statement helps your business, not just your content, have a definitive direction. A strong, specific focus is critical when trying to reach a customer base with your offerings and your content. A mission statement defines your strategy for the future, clarifies your value to customers and helps prevent your business or content from trailing off in the wrong direction.

When it comes to content marketing, how much is too much?

I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much, but what’s most important is that you’re tying in content to generating results for your business, whether that’s long-term sales, engagement, increased visibility, etc. The amount of content your company is producing should match the consumption patterns of the customers you’re trying to reach, as well as take into consideration how crowded your industry is from a content perspective. If you’re selling a marketing-related product, then that industry and audience is often inundated with content, which requires a specific effort to stand out with your content, whereas the industry around insulation jackets for piping is far less crowded when it comes to content being produced on the subject and, therefore, requires a different approach.

Some people claim that SEO isn’t the same as it used to be and that it is a passing trend. What would you say to that?

SEO is not dead; organic traffic is often the biggest or second biggest referral source to a majority of websites today. What’s changed is that thinking of SEO in a silo will no longer work to produce results. SEO involves the technical side of your web presence, which impacts the user’s experience when they visit your website while also impacting the content you’re producing and conversations happening about your business online. To best approach SEO in 2015, integrate its use across your marketing channels.

In what ways is guest blogging important to a content marketing plan?

Guest blogging is a wonderful way to spread value to others in your community; develop relationships with your businesses, figures and publications in your niche; as well as help establish yourself within your industry. Guest blogging as part of your content marketing strategy can be an effective technique for finding the right balance between quality content creation and robust content distribution.

What trends do you see happening in the world of blogs, content marketing, and social media?

A trend I see happening in content marketing is businesses developing low-quality content that doesn’t impact their audience to take action or form a relationship with their organization. I think this presents an opportunity for a company to really invest in taking on content marketing the right way by truly understanding how to address your customer’s challenges and connecting your expertise through content to solving that issue. By taking the time to approach content marketing the right way, it’ll be easier to stand out, generate results and differentiate your business from others in the long-term.

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