The idea of launching a content marketing program seems overwhelming to most startups and small businesses. The thought of producing regular content in addition to finding the time necessary to produce and place the content is frightening.
So why do companies produce content?
A content marketing strategy will help you in building relationships with your next customer as well as future customers.
Ask yourself, where is your next customer coming from?
Maybe from referrals, word of mouth, or the money you spent on advertising. If this is your current marketing program, you are missing a huge opportunity to grow your business through content marketing.
My business partner, Dagmar Gatell, and I run a startup, Sozial Monster. It is a three-month-old company and we do relate therefore do feel your pain in the thought of creating a content marketing strategy.
Here is what we do to accomplish content marketing for our startup.
We know potential customers are already searching the web for answers that our company may provide. They can find us and also you when you create high-quality, valuable content to attract, inform, and engage your potential customer, while also slightly promoting your company. As potential customers search the web for answers to their questions and solutions for their problems and pain points, your company continues to show up.
The basic content marketing strategy for your startup should address how you’ll provide value and how you’ll distribute that content to your audience. While no simple template exists for creating a content marketing strategy, your strategy should be unique to your business.
In short, a content market strategy answers the questions — who, what, where and why.
Who will our content appeal to?
It starts with understanding your audience. When you do, you can figure out what to create and where to share it.
Create a detailed audience persona. What are your potential buyers’ interests? How do they behave? How old are they? What common concerns or problems do they share and their goals?
What content will we publish?
Blogs, video, infographics, slide decks, ebooks, white papers, webinars, podcasts. So many choices.
We started with a blog and every startup should have one. Learn more about why you should have a blog. When your blog is established, try throwing in a new type of content. You will see new traffic and opportunities.
The more types of content you use, the more powerful your content marketing efforts become. Content on any platform speaks to an audience. That audience, in turn, listens, shares, learns and as a result can convert into customers.
Where will we publish it?
Each social media platform has a place for your content.
We try to help startup companies, entrepreneurs, and small businesses grow their company so we look for platforms that they frequent.
Our blog posts are on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups that relate to startups, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Dagmar just finished a Slideshare and created an infographic for Pinterest. Our next platform will be videos to be embedded in our website, YouTube and blog posts. We are also developing a weekly Live Streaming show.
What purpose will the content serve?
Always try to educate, inform, and add value to your audience.
Simply posting content on Facebook or another site will not sell your product or service or even strengthen your relationships with potential customers. You always need to focus on who you are trying to communicate to, with any post you write.
It’s critical to know what purpose does your content serve and also in the context of the audience your are addressing.
After you decide what type of content you are going to produce, you need to decide how often you are going to publish.
Both are influenced by the resources you have at your disposal which are skill, time and money. The principal objective being quality over quantity. Here is a graph via Hubspot.
As you can see by the graph, the more times you publish during a month, the more visits to your site.
Just increasing your blogging from 3 to 5 times a month can deliver 50% more traffic and potential leads. The key, however, is consistency. Keeping a posting schedule is the secret to greater traffic gains, as long as you can create quality posts.Water drops cut through a rock not because of their power but because of their persistence. ~Quote Unknown Click To Tweet
SEO page ranking is another reason you want to post regularly. Search engines continuously crawl your site looking for new content. Search engines will crawl your site more frequently and give your post greater weight if you’re constantly adding new content in addition to updating existing content.
Consistency in creating new blog posts will also increase the number of keywords for which you can rank. Updating your blog frequent allows you to devote individual posts to a wide range of keywords related to your business. This increases the chance that potential customers searching the web using specific keywords will most likely find you.
Dagmar and I try to post a minimum of four times month and did hit six posts in July. We try to rotate writing every other post and always striving for interesting and valuable content for our audience. If you are a solopreneur, writing twice a month would be a doable time commitment in order to grow your business. You can reach the growth that the graph depicts as you add to your team and they are able to contribute and/or free up your time to write more.
There are three types of social media promotion.
- The content you place on your own platforms.
- Your content placed strategically on social platforms via paid advertising and
- Earned when your audience shares your content with their audience. This is the most valuable form of promotion.
This may seem like an outrages statement but do not worry about the number of “likes and shares” you receive on your content.
The key is the number of comments, engagements, and conversations that lead to conversion.
There is no template for creating a content marketing strategy that will be unique to your business. Following the steps we outlined will help you develop a simple plan for your business. It should also be noted that success from executing a content marketing strategy does not come over night. We like to say, building your business is a marathon, not a sprint.While there is no simple template for creating a content marketing strategy, each.
Best of luck from the Sozial Monster Team.
Where are you at with your company’s content strategy? Do you think a better strategy would help you, or do you believe success is just a matter of producing more and better content? We welcome your thoughts in the comments.
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