If you are in charge of marketing and generating leads and customers for your business then understanding content marketing, if you want to be successful, is important. "But why?" I hear you ask.
People today consume more information than ever before in history. Emails, Facebook posts, LinkedIn discussions, Blogs and the Internet in general. To learn something, or to solve a problem, people turn to the Internet to start their research. So the question that should be on every marketers' mind is,"How can we make sure our target audience finds our company when they search online?" And I would like to make an important point that this is true across all businesses; B2B, B2C, professional services, contractors, retailers etc....
The answer is .... CONTENT! Content includes; blog articles, web pages, emails, ebooks, press releases, images, presentations and videos. The problem with this is that many marketers get overwhelmed, and with good intentions start, but aren't consistent and run out of ideas. The following 7 steps steps will help you plan your content marketing so you have a consistent flow of fresh content publishing weekly.
1. Set aside 4 hours each quarter to plan your content marketing for the next 13 weeks. This might seem to be a lot of time but when you're planning an entire quarter of marketing content it will actually save you time in the long run.
2. Identify your buyer persona. Make sure you know your buyers, their need, frustration and how you help. Don't guess make some calls if you have to and talk to people, (I've included some links below under resources to help you through the buyer persona process).
3. Understand the buy process of your customers and the information they need to know before they convert to a customer. Awareness. Trust. Credibility. Action. What information can you publish that covers theses four key elements of the buy process? Information kits. How to guides. Instruction videos. Thought leadership Ebooks. Educational presentations and webinars. Calls to action like, free trials, consultations, specials and discounts, including a prominent telephone number, email, or inquiry form, so they know how and where to take the next step.
4. Now list 13 topics you can write about to; answer questions, provide updates on news and relevant research, explain your product or service, introduce your team, highlight your expertise and achievements and anything else you know is important to your target audience.
5. Once you have the 13 topics, work out what format each topic will take. Repurpose each topic into 2-4 formats. Eg, blog, press release, video, how to guide. You should now have new content to publish every two to three days for an entire quarter.
6. Use a Content or Editorial Calendar to list the various topics with a reminder 1-2 weeks prior to get started with writing the content and not miss a deadline. When it comes to writing, chances are you have a lot of information already on file so take some time to review your current documents and emails.
7. After you have completed your article , write 2-3 calls to action that can be posted on social media sites that will compel people to want to read your content, watch your video, sign up to the webinar (or what ever you're publishing). Keep these calls to action to 100 characters so they can be easily tweeted, allowing room for the link and retweet ref.
Do you have anything to add? Or do you have questions? Please use the comments section below, I'd love to hear from you.