The best way to rise above your competition is to create and provide solid, smart and helpful content to your audience. This isn't a new idea. As inbound marketing has become more popular, more and more businesses are focused on producing top notch content. In fact, in a recent survey 70% of B2B marketers indicated that they intended to create more content in 2017 than ever before.
Content marketing helps businesses achieve reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. The reliable source of traffic and leads from your content will give you the freedom and flexibility to experiment with other marketing tactics. Plus, your content will not only help attract new leads—it will also help educate your target prospects and generate awareness and loyalty for your brand by providing helpful advice.
We know that good content is important, but it can be tricky to create really good content with a content marketing strategy. This blog post will help you get started.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
1) Define your goalS And your Path
Are you trying to become a thought leader in a specific area? If so, what steps do you need to take to achieve that goal? Define your goals before you begin planning your path.
2) Conduct BUYER persona/TARGET MARKET research
Who is your audience? Once you have a clear idea of your audience you can tailor your content in a way that will appeal to them. Sharp and relevant content will make readers want to continue reading. If your reader finds your content helpful they will be likely to return and hopefully convert.
Think about branching out to a new target market. Remember that your target markets are separate and distinct and shouldn't be thought of as a homogenous lump.
3) Review your content efforts
While most people start out with blog posts, it is important to create different content pieces. Consider stitching together a few blog posts into an ebook that provides an overview of larger subject. Blog posts can also be re-purposed into a newsletter.
4) Brainstorm IDEAS FOR NEW content
Now, it's time to start coming up with ideas for your next content project. We find that we get out best ideas for future content during the process of creating content. The tricky thing is to remember your great ideas!
5) WHAT KIND of content you want to create
There are a number of different types of content including blog posts, ebooks, videos, infographics, templates and podcasts. The best content marketing plan will include a variety of forms of content.
Blog posts are an important part of your website and should be published regularly in order to attract new visitors. Posts should provide valuable content for your readers. The more valuable or helpful the content, the more likely that your readers will share the post on social media. The more eyes on your blog post, the better. Blog posts can be as short as 500 words, but longer posts between 1,000 to 2,000 words are seen as more authoritative.
Ebooks are lead generation tools that potential customers can download after submitting a form with their contact information. Ebooks are longer and more in-depth than blog posts. As mentioned above, a series of blog posts could be the foundation of an ebook. Ebooks are the next logical step after blog posts. Readers who enjoyed your blog might want a more authoritative guide and submit their contact information in exchange. Ebooks are a great way to generate more leads.
Templates are a super popular form of content, because they are helpful. When you help your audience, they tend to stick around. Create a template that your audience can actually use to save time. Infographics are a great way to be persuasive. Data can be organized in a way that is much more compelling than words alone. Infographics can provide a great deal of data at once.
Videos can be a highly effective form of content. Engaging videos are easily shared across social media platforms. Admittedly, videos require a bigger investment of resources, but it's a medium worth experimenting with and happily, prices are coming down.
6) SHARE and REpurpose your content
Once you have created a critical mass of content on your own website, think about distributing your content to other sites, such as LinkedIn or create original content for other sites. You can repurpose your older content by updating and refreshing the information.
The hardest part of content creation is just getting started. So take a deep breath and start writing. You will be surprised at how good you are.