“Content marketing is the next big thing in online marketing.”
“Content marketing is hot. White hot.”
“Content marketing is the bomb!”
“Content marketing trumps paid advertising.”
“Content marketing rocks!”
I’m sure you’d have read and heard statements like these times without number. And I’m sure you’ve read posts that have convinced you – or, at least, tried to convince you – to accept these facts about content marketing.
Of course, the rationale for content marketing sounds very credible and makes sense: Instead of forcing sales pitches about your products or services on prospects, you attract them towards you by offering valuable content (for free) that they’ll find irresistible.
This way, they’ll deem you an expert, trust you, and allow you to send them more of valuable content (and even sales pitches). And most importantly, they’ll buy your products or services.
Because most people have realized that content marketing works magically as a lead generation tool, questions about its effectiveness are no longer common.
Ironically, most people have yet to launch their content marketing campaigns. Not because they’re not convinced about its productiveness, but because they just don’t know how.
So, getting started is the major problem most people have with content marketing. If your questions in this regard have remained unanswered until now, cheer up.
This post will guide you on how to launch and maintain a productive content marketing campaign. Just follow these steps and you’ll never go wrong:
1. Outline your goals
For you to achieve success with content marketing, you must clearly define the goals you’re aiming at with your campaign. Which of these are your own goals?
- To increase brand awareness
- To acquire more customers
- To generate more leads and sales
- To retain customers
- To boost website/blog traffic
- To engage your audience
- To establish and maintain thought leadership
Only after defining your goals will you be able to plan a content strategy that will help you achieve them.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan
There are different paths to achieving each of the goals listed above. For instance, the strategies and forms of content that will help you boost traffic are different from those that will help you retain customers.
So, only strategy A and content type A will help you achieve goal A, and only strategy B and content type B will help you achieve goal B. (Catch my drift?) Apply a wrong strategy and form of content, and you’ll fail woefully.
Now, in order to plan right, answer the following questions:
- What exactly are your goals? (It’s possible to have multiple goals.)
- Who are your target audience? Adults? Teenagers? Men? Women? Businessmen? Nursing mothers? Just state yours, and be specific.
- Are you targeting a local audience or a global one?
- What are the problems your prospects are facing, and what are the questions they’re asking?
- How can your business solve their problems and answer their questions?
- What forms of content will best convey your message to your audience? Blog posts? Videos? Free ebooks? Free podcasts? Whitepapers? Infographics?
- Can you give samples of headlines that can attract your target audience? List as many of them as you can.
- What strategies are you going to adopt to attract attention with your content? Guest posting? Content curation? Article marketing? Social media marketing?
Remember that your prospects care less about your business. They don’t care about your years of experience. They don’t care about your past and current clients. They’re not moved by whatever superlatives you choose to describe you describe your business with.
All your prospects want is value. They want useful content that will address their needs, answer their questions, and solve their problems.
So, you can only attract prospects (in the first place) only by giving them what they want and in the most suitable form. And not only must your content offer value, but it must be presented in the most suitable form. Never publish articles where videos would be apt.
No doubt, the planning stage is the most important, and the success of your content marketing campaign hinges largely on it.
3. Build your content creation team
Well, you may not necessarily have to build a team at first. If blog posts and other forms of written content would suffice for your campaign, you can write all your content yourself. But that’s if you’re a very good writer. (Remember, you’ll need high quality, compelling, and flawless content.)
However, to develop a more productive content marketing campaign, you’ll need a team of content creators – writers, copyeditors, video creators, graphics designers, social media managers, SEO experts, and perhaps, others.
By having a team, you’ll have a big pool of content ideas and brilliant strategies. Plus, you won’t break down due to huge workload.
Your team handles the content creation tasks, while you concentrate on other things begging for your attention.
It’s not compulsory that you hire these professionals full time. In fact, you’ll save much funds by hiring freelance professionals who’ll be paid on a “per assignment” basis.
However, if you’ll be hiring freelance professionals, ensure that they understand your business and goals, and that they can speak to your audience in your voice.
4. Draft your editorial calendar
How many times per week would you publish new posts on your website or blog? Who would create new content? How frequently would new ebooks be published? How frequently would new videos be uploaded? How frequently would new updates be posted on social media? How frequently would guest posts be written and submitted to authority sites?
All these questions should be answered by your editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is very important, as it keeps your content marketing campaign well organized.
5. Roll out your content and strategies
After creating an editorial calendar, it’s time to get your campaign running. It’s time to start publishing the content that you’ve planned.
Publishing high quality content (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) is not isn’t all you have to do. Remember that your content is dead if no one is attracted to it.
So, you must roll out strategies for attracting attention to your content. Do the following:
- Publish guest posts
- Do article marketing
- Upload your free ebooks to document sharing sites (e.g. FreeEbooks.net and Slideshare)
- Upload videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites
- Publish link baits
- Build relationships with experts in your field
- Optimize your content for your target keywords
6. Check your results and repeat what works
Sometimes, certain tactics would deliver more positive results than expected results, while others from which you’ve expected more would deliver much less. That’s one irony about content marketing.
So, to amplify your successes, you must always look into your campaign efforts and results. Which strategies are bringing the most traffic? Which forms of content are promoting audience engagement?
Repeat those strategies that are delivering great results and ditch those that are unproductive.
You’ve known it all…
Now, you’ve learned everything you need to put in place in order to develop a productive content marketing campaign. Follow these tips, and you’ll soon start sharing your success story with others.
Did you enjoy this post? Or do you have some additional points? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
PS. Are you still stuck on how to launch or develop your content marketing campaign? I’ll gladly help you. I’m a content marketing strategist, and my business is to help business achieve their goals through offering high quality content. Contact me now, and let’s discuss business!