Content Marketing - how to do it successfully
Marketing is about doing lots of different things to gain credibility, trust and loyalty amongst your customers and prospects. If I was to prioritise any marketing activity, then content marketing would be very near the top of the list. Why? Because it gives you the opportunity to use lots of different tools, channels and formats to get lots of different types of messages to a very wide audience. It’s incredibly powerful.
If you’re not sure exactly what content marketing involves or how to go about it successfully, I’m here to help. Read on!
Content marketing describes the ongoing process of delivering consistent information to customers and prospects. If you want a more official description, then the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) describes it as, ‘a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’
If you think that you can sit back and let your website and good reputation do all the work for you, then take heed. There’s an incredible content marketing din out there, and you need to be heard amongst it – if not above it! In a recent CMI survey of content marketing usage and trends, the Institute discovered that 76% of B2C organisations and 88% of B2B are using content to market their company.
That’s an awful lot of businesses promoting an awful lot of content. And that’s why it’s so important that you not only get involved, but you get your content marketing right.
First things first – you need a content marketing strategy. In other words, you need a plan that is specifically focused on what content you are going to create and where you are going to send/apply it. Of course, it goes without saying, that your content marketing strategy should fit neatly into your overall marketing strategy and meet the same objectives.
How to create a content marketing strategy
Know your audience. You need to clearly define the type of person (prospective or existing customer) that you are targeting. In true Blue Peter style, here’s a blog I wrote earlier that should help you do this.
Figure out what formats, platforms and channels you are going to use. These should be the channels that your audience (as defined in step one) are going to readily access. They can include, amongst others, blog posts, published articles, social media posts, newsletters, PR, videos, white papers, podcasts.
Plan your content. Think of topics that are going to resonate with your audience. When you’re doing this, consider the purpose of your content marketing strategy and create a calendar of content that’s going to educate and interest your clients and therefore generate that credibility and that all important loyalty and trust. My advice would be to plan six months worth of topics at the very least.
When you’re writing your content, remember the din I mentioned earlier. There’s an awful lot of content out there already and you need to be heard above it. There’s another blog on my website that offers you tips for writing killer content – take a read.
If you’re going to be pitching your content to other websites and to the media, then you need to make sure that you hit their radar. As you can imagine, editors receive an awful lot of information, so you need to do all you can to get their attention. There are a few simple tricks that will help to get you noticed. Read my tips on how to pitch blogs and articles to editors.
Make use of all the free tools out there designed to help save you time. For example, DrumUp trawls social media sites to help you find quality content that you can share. There are no shortage of free content marketing calendars available on the web, such as Coschedule. They not only help you organise your content and remain on track, but also connect your content calendar directly to your WordPress blog and social media networks, saving you lots of time.
Finally, don’t forget to track your key metrics and map these to your marketing goals, so you know what’s been successful and what’s not. Google analytics, social metrics, cost per lead, downloads, new leads, new members/sign-ups are all very good ways of doing this.
My final tip...
Don’t reinvent the wheel! If you’ve written content in the past that was worthy of a read, then there’s absolutely no harm in re-purposing and re-posting it. All you have to do is pick a new angle discussed in that post and title it accordingly.
Need help with your content marketing? Get in touch!