Content marketing has become central to digital marketing strategy. Its objective is simple: create genuinely useful or entertaining content for many specific niches of your target audience – not to overtly promote your business, but to build rapport and brand equity – and give it away for free. –Scott Brinker
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, out of the 78% of marketers with a content marketing strategy, only 41% are documenting their efforts. When it comes to content marketing, the objective is simple. The execution isn’t.
Crank out content like it’s your job … literally
People don’t want advertising when it comes to content – they want valuable information at their fingertips. Start by looking to see what existing content your target audience is already interacting with and use that information to help choose relevant topics.It’s important to make sure you have something new and meaningful to say on the topic of choice. So how do you crank out content like it’s your job … literally? We have a few suggestions:
- Start a blog – This is one of the easiest and cheapest (usually free) ways to just get your content out there. Blogging is crucial to the success of your marketing strategy. Without it, your SEO will fall short, you’ll have less to promote across social media and fewer pages to generate inbound traffic. And on top of that, blogging is the best way to start establishing thought leadership with your audience.
- Post on your blog at least once a week – Blogs don’t have to be strenuous. Come up with a few topics ahead of time and prioritize. Come up with a series and write a new post for that series each week. It’s also important to make sure you are using third party references and adding imagery to tell a story and keep your audience interested in each post. This is another way to ensure you’re not establishing yourself as a selfish sales machine, but rather a trusted advisor.
- Assign other team members to do the writing – As a marketer you may be the most creative writer in your organization, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only expert on your product or industry. Interview other team members within your organization about it and use their answers to write your next post. Or who knows, you may have a star writer on your customer service team and you don’t even know it. Give them an opportunity. If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re in control of what goes up on your website so you can always tweak what other team members write.
- Create a guide for your writers to follow – Again, unless you’re a one man show, you’re probably not the only expert in your organization. Create a guide for others to follow when writing content for your blog. In your guide you can talk about your tone and voice, tips on writing for your target audience, word count, keywords, etc.
- Hire a freelancer – Hiring a content provider or even content marketing form may not be in your budget. But, you may have enough wiggle room for a decent freelancer and if you do, we say go for it! Sometimes even if you’re the main person creating content, it’s nice to give a freelancer a subject to write about and let them fill in the gaps. Freelance writers are also nice if you have a big project like an eBook or white paper. Let them write the main piece and you can create several new pieces off of it.
- Repurpose existing content – To piggyback off the last tip, don’t let good content be a one and done and go to waste. Have an old eBook or webinar leftover from last year? Repurpose old content to generate new. You can create several blog posts from one eBook, rewrite webinar presentations into blog posts, update video scripts into lengthier blogs, etc. Don’t ever let killer content be a one and done (yes, that was worthy of repeating).
- Just get it out there – Sometimes – in legal documents, mathematical equations and brain surgery – perfect is absolutely necessary. But when it comes to content marketing, most times done is better than perfect. Sometimes you just have to get the piece out there to see places you can make improvements. We’re not saying don’t have a second set of eyes read each post or skip using spell check. However, don’t continue making edits for the sake of making edits. Get your content out there and if you have to make changes later, you can go back and edit.
- Analyze and optimize – Ever heard the saying “the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google”? The first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate (Advanced Web Ranking) which means the second page is probably not the place you want to rank. With good SEO techniques you can produce high-ranking content that reaps the benefits of your SEO efforts long after it’s been published.
So you’ve created an awesome new piece of content, now what?
You’re done … right? Actually, the answer is no. Content creation is really just the beginning. A new piece of content is useless if you don’t finish the drill. It’s important to do the work to break through the noise and get each piece of content in front of your audience.
Start by using every outlet available to you – social media, content syndication, media contacts, email promotions and of course your website. And keep an eye on your analytics. The last thing you want to do is waste your time on dying topics or formats that aren’t registering with people. Instead of just cranking out content on a whim, look at what is performing well and prioritize your efforts.
Bill Gates wrote Content is King for a reason. He knew what he was talking about. Content creation is a craft that takes work to master but no company is too small to participate. Everyone understands that good content may not happen overnight but that doesn’t mean the efforts you are putting into content creation should fall flat. Do yourself, and your business a favor and do content marketing right, we promise it’ll pay off.