The What, Why, and How
If you’re at all familiar with marketing online, you’ve probably heard or read this phrase: “Content is King.” And, there’s a reason for that. Having a site full of informative, well-balanced, and useful content can make a world of difference in building brand authority and reaching the #1 spot in Google. But, such a powerful tool can be intimidating for novice marketers.
You’re probably wondering how you can use it to your advantage. For starters, you should create a comprehensive content marketing strategy. There’s no real definition to what content marketing is, but most experts agree that it revolves around creating, publishing, and distributing content to your target audience with the goal of attracting new customers.
A well-rounded content marketing initiative involves social media networks, blogs, visual content, and premium content assets like tools, ebooks, and webinars. Despite what you may be thinking, content marketing isn’t just for big businesses. It can help attract customers no matter what industry you’re in, as long as you really understand who your target audience is.
I know, that sounds a little overwhelming. What you probably need is an easy guide for getting the ball rolling in the right direction.
How about a checklist?!
- Start by getting to know your audience. Without a clear understanding of what they’re looking for, you wont be able to provide it. You can start by looking into what your competitors are doing to attract an audience, and evaluating your own top performing posts. Google Analytics is also really valuable during this process, giving you insight into what your audience gravitates toward, where they come from, and their shopping and browsing habits.
- Set some goals. Before you even begin to brainstorm, you should decide on some goals you want to accomplish with your content marketing efforts. Use this as an opportunity to isolate your target audience, the type of content you plan to produce, and your main objective.
- Research, research, research. Keyword research is essential for ensuring that your content will hit the mark with your audience. Use tools like the Google Keyword Planner and Google Insights. Additionally, look at terms you already rank for and think about how you can target them in new and creative ways to improve your current organic standings.
- Brainstorm. At this point, you should have a good idea of what your audience is looking for and how you plan to deliver it. Start drafting a list of ideas; jot down anything that comes to mind. It’s good practice to use this as a chance to create evergreen headlines that include your keywords.
- Narrow it down. Pick your best ideas, and figure out what delivery method will work best. In most cases, a simple blog post will do. But, in some cases, an infographic or video will work better. Understanding the environment can help you capture a larger audience, increase brand awareness, and engage readers on different platforms.
- Establish an editorial calendar. Now it’s time to make a plan. This should include social media posts and regular content audits to help keep your efforts on track. Make a plan that will be easy for you to keep up with – don’t sign yourself up for more than you have the resources to handle. Being consistent with your efforts is essential.
- Publish, promote, and monitor your content. Make sure your finished product is useful, informative, and easy to understand. Before you publish, double check that your tone is easy to understand and that you haven’t missed any grammatical errors. It’s also smart to ensure that your posts are properly optimized for SEO; include keyword-rich headlines and meta titles and descriptions.
Once you’ve made it here, you’re ready to wash, rinse, and repeat!
Ready to go even more in-depth? Check out this comprehensive content marketing guide from our friends over at HubSpot.