A Step-by-Step Guide to Content Marketing
Content Marketing works. It’s been shown to reduce the cost-per-lead of businesses by 60%-80%. It works because it taps into our fundamental nature as human beings.
But, there is still one question that must be answered, how do I “do” content marketing. Content Marketing isn’t easy. It requires a lot of work an organization to produce all that content and put it out so that you get maximum exposure. So, how do I do this content marketing gig? Here’s a step-by-step guide to content marketing to help get you started.
Research isn’t sexy, but without it your content marketing strategy isn’t going to get very far if your content is properly targeted to your audience. You need to figure out where your audience spends their time, what they do, where they live, etc. Every business is unique and so every business’s target market is also unique. You need to understand yours before you can begin producing content.
Ways to Research your Audience:
Forums and Blogs are a great way to get to know your audience. See what their reading, what they’re talking about and what they want to know more about.
The Google Keyword Tool is another way to see what your audience is up to. What are they searching for? What problems can you solve?
Talk to them. Sure, it’s not all new and techy, but having actual conversations with your current customers is the most effective way to learn what problems they have and how you can use your content to solve them.
Once you feel you have a basic understanding of your audience and what voice they will resonate with, it’s time to move on to step 2.
You know the saying, “half the battle is just showing up?” Well, that’s kind of true when you’re just starting out with a content marketing strategy. You’ve done your research so you can make a good educated guess at what kind of content your prospects will engage with, but until you start publishing, you can’t know for sure.
Ways to Publish:
Blog. If you don’t have a blog right now for your business, that’s not good. Blogging is one of the best ways to engage with your audience and the fundamental piece of a good content marketing strategy.
Social Media. Start publishing content relevant to your audience on social media. When you just start out, don’t bother pushing your own product or service, focus on publishing content that will be relevant to your audience.
eBooks. An eBook is a great way to start generating leads right off the bat. Right an eBook solving whatever you identified as your audiences major need and start generating email opt-ins.
Once you start publishing content, you’ll get something pretty amazing: feedback. These may be in the form of social media engagement, blog comments, email responses, or phone calls. The important thing is to listen and see what your prospects are saying. What do they like? What don’t they like? What do they want more of?
Once you see what your audience wants, give it to them. Your number one goal in the early stages of content marketing are to grow your audience and grow their engagement. When you see an opportunity to solve a problem or address a need in your audience, take advantage. If you’ve built a large, highly-engaged audience, it’s a LOT easier to sell to them.
One of the aspects that often gets overlooked by SEOs and other internet marketers is the value of relationships. All the super secret google-hacking tricks in the world don’t add up to the value of one quality relationship with an influencer in your niche. Reach out to other influencers in your niche and connect with them. Offer to do guest blog posts that will engage their audience. Engage with them on social media by commenting and retweeting. See how you can team up with them on projects to expand both your businesses.