Firstly to define content marketing, this is in essence any content you create and publish for your business. This could be a blog post, a video series, a podcast, social media posts, ebooks and email marketing campaigns. Really anything which people can consume by reading, watching or listening to that you could create and it tends to be something that is educational, informational or entertaining.
Content marketing is especially important for small businesses as it allows us to compete with the bigger corporate organisations. Anyone can create content these days publish it via their own website or on social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube. This means if the content is good enough there is the potential for wide reach from search engines like Google or via the aforementioned social media channels.
Crucially this reach and ideally traffic to your website is ‘free’ at least in the sense you’re not paying for advertising, of course, you’ll invest time and resource in creating the content itself but read on as to why we believe that’s a great investment for your business.
So, if we’re agreed content marketing is an effective way to promote our businesses we then need to start off with a content strategy. This is essentially a document which outlines your goals for content marketing, how you’ll go about content creation i.e. in which formats and for which platforms and then who will create it and how you will measure it.
You need the strategy as otherwise it can be easy to get lost in content marketing as there can seem so much to do that you end up doing nothing at all. A clear strategy gives you a simple pathway to follow which helps to keep things consistent and structured.
Now as part of your content strategy you will create a content plan. This is basically the list of topics/themes you’re going to create content about. This can be researched in a number of ways from performing keyword research using tools like SEMrush as well listing out FAQs from your clients or simply topics you feel will help educate your prospective customers about your products and services.
From this list you can then start to schedule a plan both, firstly in terms of what type of content you’ll create, i.e. a blog post on the topic or a video and some social posts (tip: start with one piece and re-purpose it across multiple formats to get as much content from each topic as possible). Then you’ll schedule it in terms of date and times, perhaps 1 blog post per week, 2 videos and 5 social media posts plus a monthly newsletter combining the best of the month’s content.
Ensuring you then time block this content creation once you’ve assigned the roles & responsibilities of who’ll be creating what is crucial to keep consistent with your content strategy. The reality is it takes time to see results from content marketing so you need to be consistent to stick at it long enough to get that compounding effect so you can start to see the multiple benefits of doing so.
And as mentioned above it’s so crucial to be consistent with your content creation. Don’t give up, especially in the early days when you might not be seeing much results. It will be pay off in time and content marketing is one of the strongest marketing tools we have in our toolbox to compete with the big brands. They can’t be as creative, flexible, interesting and innovative as we can, even with their huge budgets. Keep going, the benefits of creating content are multiple and highly rewarding given time.
As always if you have any questions hit me up on Twitter or if you’d like help creating your content marketing strategy request a consultation call with me today.