There are a number of reasons to develop a sound content marketing strategy. Whatever your reason for marketing your content, you should know why you are doing it.
The reasons for setting up a content marketing campaign include one or more of:
Remember to track your goals throughout the campaign.
Your content has to be about something – and knowing what subject to cover isn't always easy. Whatever you create should be both unique and interesting to your target audience, - there are plenty of tools available to help you find the right topics.
Ways of generating content ideas, include:
And while you're looking, remember to always take notes! Use a tool like Evernote.
Content marketing is an continual process of building relationships with your audience over time. You need to develop a plan of the type of content you are going to deliver (Podcasts? Infographics? Blog posts?) and when you're going to do it (every 2 days? Once a week?).
There are plenty of content planning templates available – find one, or make your own, and make sure everyone involved has access to it.
All your content has a target audience; creating 'avatars' is a popular way of envisioning your audience. Answer these questions ... and think about what would appeal to them:
Your content is designed to appeal to people, after all!
Whatever your content, its creation will follow the same process: select your topic, research it thoroughly, write and edit, then publish the results. Create for the profiles you have already made in Step 3, and make sure that your headline encourages them to explore more.
Your content needs to persuade people to engage with it: have a great title / intro to get your audience's attention. Some key promises that will attract clicks through ...
For more on this, have a look at Jon Morrow's excellent Headline Hacks website.
When you have your content creation plan in motion, you'll adjust the way you look at the world - even when you are not at work.
The chances are you'll come up with ideas when you are on the bus, watching TV, reading the news, or just talking to people. This is where tools like Evernote, Google + and Hootsuite come into their own.
Just a few tips to ramp up your idea-collection rate:
Content comes in many forms – have you really explored all the options? What might seem like too difficult might be easier than you thought – and be more effective at generating engagement with your audience.
Don't rule any of these formats out - you may surprise yourself!
… on their own, or in combination.
Be ready to deal with the things that get in the way of your flow. People have been creating great content for thousands of years, and there are tried and tested ways of overcoming blocks in the creative process. From running out of ink to powercuts, from Coleridge's person from Porlock to the House of Unamerican Activities, we've been there before …
Some things just get in the way - but you can deal with them!
Whatever your content, there is no excuse for not optimising it for search - if you want to attract visitors. After all, that's why you made it in the first place! Text content is simpler to optimise, but you need to look at optimising all the formats you use.
You optimise everything else on your site (or you should do!), so don't forget your ongoing marketing content.
The more you do this, the more authority your site generates.
You can't just rely on search to entice visitors to your content – you need to promote it more pro-actively. Send it to your existing list and contacts, then find influencers you already know and follow them, develop relationships with them so they take notice of you. Comment and share their work, introduce other relevant work that you have found – as well as your own.
Now it's time to talk to people about the content that you have worked so hard on.
If leaders in your field feel that they have a stake in your finest content, they'll be much more likely to promote it to their own followers than if you just send them a message out of the blue.
“All my content is UNIQUE and obviously MINE.”
“There are no GRAMMAR or SPELLING mistakes.”
“All the statistics and data I have used are ACCURATE.”
“I have CREDITED all my sources - and asked permission where I needed.”
“I am PROUD of the content I have produced!”