So here we are. The year is coming to a close. We are smack-dab in the middle of the holidays...
We cannot help you tackle that holiday shopping list nor collect W9s from everyone, but we can help you start off the new year with a solid content marketing strategy in place.
Why Content Marketing?
Good question. Content marketing is quickly morphing into the nucleus of any sustainable online marketing strategy. If you haven't adopted some form of creating content that appeals to the customers you are trying to attract, you should be looking into it. Consumers are well researched by the time they get to the point of reaching out to your business. They've done their homework and often times know exactly what they want. Content marketing provides the opportunity to become the educator they seek during this initial research phase. Not only will you position yourself as the expert in your industry but you'll be amazed on how much additional traffic you'll generate in the process.
5 Easy Steps to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing Strategy
1. Get to Know Your Audience
The very first step is identifying who it is you are trying to attract. Take some time to create your Buyer Personas so you have a clear understanding of who you are creating your content for, what keeps them up at night, where they spend their time online and where they turn to for information. The better you understand them, the better the content you create will convert into leads.
2. A Little Bit of Research Goes a Long Way
Figure out topics your Buyer Personas will find interesting. Don't try reinventing the wheel here... look at the blogs and online resources they turn to. What are some of the topics they are writing about? Conduct a survey asking them what they have the most questions about and what areas they want to be better educated. Talk to the individuals in your company that deal directly with your customers. What are some common questions they are asking? What concerns do they have?
3. Iron Out a Plan
This will be a team effort. If you are a team of one, then know you will have to wear different hats at different times. The main point here is develop a plan and stick to it. One of the best tools to use is a simple calendar. Note on the calendar when you want to publish all the blogs, ebooks, emails and other deliverables for the entire calendar year. Don't stop with just the publish dates. Be sure to include due dates for topic generation, when the rough drafts are needed, when the final drafts should be approved and when they should be scheduled for publication. Delegate each of these tasks to members of your team. Hold each other accountable for their contribution to the process.
4. Create + Distribute
Now create. Whatever it is that you've decided to create, make it as remarkable as you can. Good content will satisfy the idea that you have a content marketing strategy in place. Great content will get others excited about what you are talking about to the point they share it with their peers. Rockstar content will put you in the ranks with the Dollar Shave Club guy. Shoot for Rockstar content and be happy with great content.
Content is no good unless others know about it. Be proactive in promoting your content. Send email notifications out to your database letting them know about the newly published knowledge you've just dropped on the population of planet earth. Notify your social media audiences. Reach out to peers in your industry and let them know about the content you've created and why they might want to take a look. Don't be shy. If you are not the top expert in your field (most of us are not), that is okay. For every 1 person out there that might know twice as much as you, there are 3 out there that don't know a fraction that you do.
5. Track Your Successes and Failures
Know what works and what doesn't... do more of what works. Use your website analytics to measure your success. The numbers will not lie and can validate the efforts you put in which may take some time to bear fruit. Be patient as it all will pay off in the long run.