If you’re the type of business owner who likes to do everything on their own, you’ve probably already started doing some content marketing. You might have read up on keywords, and written an article or two in the hope of driving more traffic to your website. That’s good enough for a start, but it probably won’t give you the results you could get from content marketing.
Statistics and surveys paint a pretty picture of content marketing: it’s cheaper and more effective than outbound marketing, it’s great for conversion rates, it drives traffic, and it increases brand recall. But the best thing about it is that you might be able to pull it all off on your own or with a small team. According to Eric Sachs, an SEO out of LA, it only takes one person to develop, implement, and measure a content strategy. If you see yourself in this role, there’s no better time than now to take your first steps towards mastering content marketing.
Think About Your Goals and Channels
Different types of content produce different effects. For example, an article isn’t going to influence purchase decision as much as a case study. But a case study won’t increase engagement and awareness as much as a well-crafted and illustrated article will. So, the first thing you want to determine is what is it that you want to achieve with content marketing. You can focus on a single goal at a time, roll out your content as you reach milestones, or just do a bit of everything.
Before you start creating content, you should also determine the channels you are going to use, and research your audience a bit. The content you create needs to be valuable to your audience. You also need to be able to reach your audience, so you need to determine who they are and which channel works best for getting to them.
Choose Your Content
Another thing that will determine the channels you’ll be using is the type of content you want to publish. Your articles will be up in the blog section of your website. Your videos will be hosted on YouTube. Twitter is your outlet for quick thoughts, and LinkedIn is for articles that should establish you as an authority. SlideShare is for presentations. And all of the above can be shared via Facebook.
You should make sure that you have a content schedule that will help you post content regularly. You don’t have to post on your Facebook page every day. If you’re new to Facebook, posting up to five times a month can be more beneficial than posting twice a day. Just make sure that your posting with consistency.
Create and Publish Content
Did you ever see yourself as a star of a how-to video? It doesn’t matter whether you did or didn’t — you should create how-to videos either way. The video’s been booming for a while now, and more and more marketers are including it in their marketing strategies. It’s not that expensive to make a video of decent quality, you can even make one with a smartphone.
Even if how-to videos are not the most effective type of content for your business, they can serve as an example of how easy it can be to create good content. So while you’re looking at the types of content you can use, you shouldn’t brush off anything because you haven’t done it before, and you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to do it. You can learn. If you can’t, you can hire someone to create the content for you. And keep in mind that “value” is what content is all about — always choose quality over content, and always develop content your audience will want to see.
Tracking and Measuring
At the very beginning, you set some goals for your content marketing endeavor. This helped you guide your effort, but it also helps you determine how successful your strategy and content were. And you determine that success by measuring and calculating metrics and KPIs.
There are more metrics and KPIs that you can imagine, but you don’t have to measure all of them. If the aim of your content marketing was to increase awareness, tracking reach, engagement, social media mentions, and even website traffic might help. If you wanted more sales, conversion rates and cost per lead are two of the metrics you might choose. Based on those metrics, you can determine areas where you can improve, and use your mistakes — if you made any — to learn something new.
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