Contributed by: Sophia Conti
You’ve probably heard that “content is king”. Maybe you’ve even created a blog and taken the first step towards building a content marketing strategy. If so, good job. This is increasingly important as consumers become immune to traditional sales pitches and advertising methods. Companies must start delivering their marketing in another way. Original content is that vehicle.
Creating content that is useful or entertaining to your target audience draws organic traffic and social media shares. This in turn increases leads and conversions. Establishing and implementing a content marketing strategy isn’t easy but you can reap the benefits even with limited resources. This post highlights some key elements of content marketing and provides resources for developing your content marketing strategy.
Check out these basic guides to get you started on your content marketing strategy:
- Getting Started from the Content Marketing Institute
- Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing from Moz
Who Is Your Content Marketing Strategy For?
Before creating content, think about who you want to view the content. Creating buyer personas is a tried-and-true way of developing and exploring a target audience. These are detailed profiles of the ideal buyers within your audience. Knowing demographics such as age, occupation, and income will shape which topics your content covers. It will also help determine the delivery medium. For example, say your ideal customer uses social media to gather most of their information. In this case, you need to adapt all the content you create so that you can easily share it on the appropriate social channels.
Types of Content
Blogs are often heralded as the cornerstone of content marketing. Blogs can provide everything from brief insights on newsworthy topics to in-depth examinations of foundational industry practices. That’s because it is easy to host visual content on a blog in an organized manner.
Diversifying content formats will expand the reach of your content. You can use infographics and other charts to present data visually. They are popular because they are so easy to understand. Video content is also easy to grasp and so you should include that in your lineup.
The resources below list tons of different content types to peruse to spark ideas:
- 8 Main Types of Content and How to Use Them from AdEspresso
- 101 Types of Content from Zazzle Media
Some content marketers think their business or industry is too boring to create engaging content. This may be because they stick to industry-related topics and traditional presentation. However, it’s better to get creative with your content. Adding some variety will improve your content marketing strategy.
- Flowchart infographic for landlords
- “Page Fights” video series from a software company
- Cancer awareness resource page from a t-shirt company
Brainstorming Topic Ideas
Brainstorming is a crucial part of content creation. Make this an on-going process. Schedule brainstorming meetings so that you consistently generate new ideas. Plan your brainstorming sessions early in the day when you are most alert and productive. Make the meetings brief and focused so no one loses interest. Throughout the week, write down your ideas so that you are ready for your meetings.
Here are some tips for invigorating your brainstorming sessions:
- Top Brainstorming Techniques for Every Situation from Envato Tuts+
- How to Brainstorm Like a Googler from Fast Company
Of course, it’s important to create well-organized content that looks attractive on your website. To achieve this, you’ll need to create clear and specific tags and categories. As your content archives grow, you might reorganize them. Later, you can create a resource center or learn page. Here are some further resources:
- 5 Tips to Make Your Website Attractive from The Next Web
- 101 Content Ideas for Your Website or Blog from Audience Bloom
Creating an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar can help keep your content marketing strategy up-to-date and consistent. Editorial calendars should include a regular posting schedule. With that you should include all necessary resources and images which accompany the pieces. Finally, include any directives to share the content on different platforms.
The best editorial calendars are flexible to allow for interruptions based on trending news or industry topics. They work with other marketing strategies, like social media, to elevate the results across the company.
There are countless tools and tips to help create and maintain an editorial calendar. Here are some good places to start:
- 10 Reasons Your Editorial Calendar Sucks (and How to Make it the Best) from Convince and Convert
- The Best 2018 Content Calendar Template from CoscheduleTop
- 16 Life-Changing Editorial Calendar Tools from Writtent
Promotion and Interaction
After creating high-quality content, you need to promote it and interact with the followers that engage with it. First, respond to comments on blog posts and social media. Also, retweet or share reader insights. And definitely follow your readers back on these platforms. These small interactions can build stronger, long-lasting relationships with customers. And it may just reveal new opportunities for content creation.
Maintaining an active presence on all your content can be a challenge, especially for small companies. It will be worth it though. For some best practices on accomplishing this, check out these resources:
- How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media from Social Media Examiner
- The Art of the Response on Social Media from Entrepreneur
- How to Reply to Comments on Social Media from Falcon.io
It is vital for smaller businesses to adopt a content marketing strategy because it helps businesses get found. This leads to growth and every business wants that. Dedicating time and resources to developing your content marketing strategy will get you there. It takes time and effort though. While small businesses won’t necessarily outshine major national brands, it is within reach to develop a loyal following.
About the Author: Sophia Conti is a contributing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new blog that curates the best ideas and information for small business owners. She specializes in helping businesses streamline their processes and procedures.