Content Marketing … Tips to Get Started

Content marketing attarcts qualified leads as part of an effective inbound marketing strategyContent marketing is a marketing process that involves communicating with customers and prospects using various forms of content such as articles, videos, white papers, blog posts, and other materials. Though it is a form of marketing, content marketing is a soft-sell. When done correctly, it attracts, engages, and educates customers and prospects all while gently guiding them to a desired action such as forming a favorable opinion of your brand or a buying decision.

Because it’s such a vast undertaking, many would-be content marketers become paralyzed by the prospect of generating massive amounts of content. Others strive for perfection, and thus, nothing is ever distributed. Put these notions out of your mind, and jump in! Below are some tips to get started.

  1. Determine what you want to accomplish with content marketing. Are you simply trying to generate traffic to your website or do you want your content marketing to engage and inform prospects? Who are you trying to reach? Before you generate any content, you absolutely need to know what you want to accomplish, who you are trying to reach, and what you want them to ultimately do.
  2. Identify how your product or service solves problems your prospects have. Once you’ve identified your goals and your audience, consider your prospects’ challenges and how your product or services solve their problems. Your content marketing plan must address their problems and needs and position your company as an authority that can help. Content marketing is not about bragging about how wonderful your product or service is; it’s about helping your prospects.
  3. Choose a platform. It’s tempting to want to do it all – blog, article marketing, newsletters, white papers, videos, email marketing, social media, and so on – but it’s also overwhelming. If you’re just starting out, it’s smart to start with one platform and then build your content marketing strategy from there.
  4. Create a content plan. Once you’ve decided on an initial platform, what type of content should you create? How often? Come up with a plan and create a content calendar. If you’ve decided to start a company blog, create a plan for the next three to six months. Create a list of categories and topics to blog about, leaving some flexibility to keep the blog posts topical. At this point, you don’t need to be overly specific. For example, if your blog is about cars, you could plan on blogging about fuel efficiency topics on Tuesdays, performance tuning on Fridays, and preventative maintenance on Saturdays.
  5. Generate content. Having a plan is one thing, executing it is another. You have several options as far as generating content goes including using existing staff, hiring an agency, using freelance writers, using a video production company, and so on. The choices you make will depend on the level of in-house talent you have (and their availability to contribute), the size of your company, the size of your budget, and other factors. Whether you do create content in-house or use an external source, make sure that one person is assigned to ensure consistency.
  6. Monitor performance and revise your content strategy as needed. Because you know what you want to accomplish (tip one), you can measure the performance of your efforts. For example, if your goal is to increase your website’s conversion rate, monitor relevant metrics to determine if your content marketing is having the desired effect. Keep an eye on which types of content are most and least effective, and revise your content plan as needed.

Finally, once your initial foray into content marketing has proven successful, consider adding a new platform to the mix.

Comments are closed.