To start with content marketing, you will need a plan. Simply starting a blog or uploading random vlogs on YouTube as your way of publishing content is not enough. Instead, think of content marketing as a tool to help you achieve your goals, regardless if that is increasing sales, generating new leads, or driving conversions. These goals are so important because they affect the type or kind of content you are going to create, as well as the channel where you will distribute content. There must be a need for a plan for you to know what to publish when and where and why.
You may start planning by thinking about your target audience (or target market) and what kind of content they would like to read. It has to be something interesting, helpful, engaging, and relatable — and of course, profitable. It has to be a content of high quality — not just quantity. Start by brainstorming some ideas that first come to your mind (especially if you were in the place of your customers), and then choose the ones that are most likely to bring a lot of visits, i.e. a lot of potential conversions. When using external resources, you should always use credible ones and make sure you provide a reference in a form of a link or have a list of resources at the end of your content.
There are many types of content, and different types of content have different purposes. For example, “About us” page should be informative and provide details about you and your company. On the other hand, a “how-to” type of post will feature instructional text, preferably with images or videos. Purposively, there are different kinds of content to publish in each part of the marketing funnel. You may want to bear this in mind.
What you need to remember all the time, regardless the type of content you decide to create, is the fact that each piece is a segment of overall content marketing strategy. Therefore, it needs to be in accordance with your marketing goals, and it has to follow the approach your company is taking.
In terms of content marketing, branding is another aspect you should think about. Emarketing Institute (2018) describes branding as the one that represents the process of creating a unique name and image for a product. This is mainly used in advertising campaigns, to create a sort of differentiated presence on the market and to make a product stand out from its competitors. When it comes to content marketing, content enables you to develop a branding strategy. It allows you to tell a story about your brand and create influence through high-quality content.
Finally, after successful content creation comes content distribution as a way to spread the influence of that content and eventually enable it to achieve its purpose, regardless if that is gaining conversions, leads, visits, etc. There are many different ways to distribute content, which will be explained in a separate chapter, but what is essential to think about in relation to content distribution is the following:
Data from the previous campaigns
Take a look at the data from the previous campaigns to find out which distribution channels provided the best results. When it comes to the best results, make sure you analyze the performance and how each channel affected your business. For example, if you notice a large number of visits from Facebook, but hardly any conversion, maybe this social network is not the way to go in your case. On the other hand, if you notice that email campaigns produced great results in the past, make sure you include this channel when planning content distribution for the future campaigns.
Everyone interested in promoting their business online has to keep up with current trends. Things on the internet change all the time. Some social networks are growing in popularity, some are introducing new features, search engine algorithms are updated, etc. Since all of these, and many other factors affect content distribution, you need to keep up with the current situation and keep an eye on trends that are being introduced because these trends can affect your content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is a tedious process that involves planning, abiding by branding guides, and content distribution. Whenever you create content, never forget the goals why you're doing it so. If you need a content marketing strategist for your business, I can be the guy for the job!