Content marketing can come across as a fairly vague idea. The difference between regular old content and content marketing is the goal you have in mind, more than any easily defined aspect of the content you create.
While traditional content marketing focuses more on actual website content, and company blogs, I want to address guest posting.
A great many content marketers fall into the trap of trying to sell their brand on other people’s websites. That is a great way to irritate both readers and webmasters, and hurt your end goal. The correct way to incorporate guest blogging into a content marketing strategy is to establish the authority of your company and promote complementary activities that require the purchase of your product.
The best way to go about establishing the authority of your brand is to stop talking about your brand, and pay attention to the way your customers use your product.
As a representative and ambassador of a pet pharmacy, you are going to get more attention from regular people with a story about rescuing Mr. Fluffypants from a tree than by blogging about your product’s recent 10% increase in calcium. Similarly, a sports apparel company who is seen writing about wildlife conservation, nutrition, and funding PE in schools, is going to appeal to their target niche on more than an economic level.
When people come to your company blog, you can promote your product a little more directly because they probably want to know something about it if they are there. As a guest blogger, however, you can get attention for yourself and your company by caring about the issues that the blog owner and the readers care about.
Marketing your Product
When you are guest blogging, you market your product indirectly. Don’t tell your reader about how your home brewing kit is the best there is. Nobody wants to read about how great you think you are. Instead, provide useful content about the beer making process, home brewing recipes, and helpful tips about how to overcome a hangover.
You want to encourage people to do the things that involve the use of your product. After that, it is your SEO team’s job to make sure your website comes up first when they start looking for the requisite products to pursue those activities.
This is not to say that you should avoid guest posting on blogs that specifically talk about the product. But limiting yourself to that is an extremely restricted way of promoting yourself, and likely will primarily reach the people who are already interested in the product and are already informed.