Let’s start with the definition of Content Marketing, which is the art of socially engaging your brand with your customers and prospective customers via original content produced by you, without selling to them.
1- Center Content So Your Customer Can Find You.
If you are still in the mist of creating the right brand persona for your company then setting up a content marketing program is not the place to start. However, as I write this, online marketing tactics change so fast, that this may change as well.
In the meantime, start planning your content based on keywords, business goals, product launches, FAQ as well as brand image problems. For example, you can address a recurring sales objection based on an incorrect brand image through content marketing. By developing a series of blog posts that either challenge the misconception or that shows proof is a great way to help change your brand image.
Just to reiterate, this type of content needs to based on facts and not just a single post that is simply venting and complaining about your brand image.
Also, there are some content basics that we, as humans, like to read. Things like content that reminds us that time is short, this can be an annual looking back article about your business. Content that reminds us that dreams can come true, this can be a blog post on the road to success for either you or on one of your employees.
Create a content calendar to take advantage and leverage important dates. This is more than, “Hey, we’re heading off to a trade show, met us there!” post.
2- Become Knowledgeable in Content Strategy
This is very important for you to become knowledgeable in how content is shared, understand how your content affects SEO and social sharing. There are several content marketing tactics, which are:
- Case Studies
- Email Marketing
- News / Press Release
- Article Submission
- Guest Blogging
The following are also considered tactics for content marketing but I don’t agree, these are pure advertising.
- Native Advertising (although I don’t consider this content strategy)
- Print Advertising
3 – Be realistic in your goal setting
You should commit to a Content Marketing program for at least 6 months, because you need time to gather data. It is unrealistic to believe that one blog post will create tons of leads for you. Unlike media relations where if you get written up by a third-party, you will most likely get leads from this write-up.
Also, clicks and opens are the typical measurement but not the true measurement for content marketing success. Instead you need to measure sustained levels of engagement and the impact to your sales cycle.
4 – Integrate with the total marketing plan
That being said, define why you need content marketing in your marketing plan. Most importantly, this program is not free, even if you plan on using internal staff, they will still need the time to write, edit and implement the right technology, share as well as look for creative, photos and then learn what to measure, correctly.
Regarding the topic of measurement, like any marketing tactic, clicks mean nothing if it doesn’t support sales and/or revenues. Any content marketing plan should be designed to either shorten the sales cycle or increase lead generation. If not, then it is really not worth the effort.
Should you be looking for fast results in way of lead generation, then consider Google Adwords, a tactic that is the most cost effective in the digital marketing mix.
5- Determine Your Channels
Any content marketing plan needs a home. This means you will need to add a blog to your current website or set up a blog. In addition, conduct an online research to find out where your customers and prospective customers hang out. Not all social media platforms need to be used if they don’t fit your target audience.
Finally, don’t worry, you won’t get it wrong. Content marketing is a new tactic and new for everyone else!