Content marketing is not a one-man show.
I’ve been writing on what goes into creating a highly-functional content marketing strategy over the last few months, and it’s probably the most valuable lesson that’s stood out so far. There’s much for your business to gain from employing a content marketing strategy, and learning how to implement one is no less important.
Content marketing’s greatest strength is that it naturally aligns with how our buyers search, decide, and buy, and given its predictable and stable return on investment, it’s well worth diving into.
One of the things that is most important to consider when implementing a content marketing strategy is who your content creators will be. The plural here is important - there’s a handful of reasons to expand your content creation roster from one writer. This article is going to address why your content marketing can’t just be all up to one content writer, and how to find the motherlode of content expertise that’s right under your feet.
Effective Content Creation Is Intensive Work
Recently, Hubspot ran a study on more than 13,500 content marketers to work out where the benchmark was on content marketing. In doing so, they were able to determine how much traffic and how many leads to expect from businesses that published content on a regular basis, and how often a business should publish content in order to see a certain level of results.
The findings were surprising. The majority of businesses were seen to raise their amount of traffic significantly by publishing 16 or more pieces of content per month, while the amount of leads generated rose significantly for businesses publishing more than 11 times per month (400% higher than businesses that published 0-1 per month.)
What does this mean for your content creators? That’s a lot of content, and a lot of work. It’s fair to feel a little put-off by the numbers, but keep in mind - a business that says ‘no’ to 11 pieces of content per month is also saying ‘no’ to four times the amount of leads. What your company stands to gain from a content marketing strategy is a massive increase in growth, and not just in traffic, but in tangible business leads too. And unlike traffic, which only looks good, leads will yield profitable business.
If you want to set up a way to do high-volume, sustainable content marketing, you’ll need a plan.
Step 1: Design A Content Creation Schedule
Unless you plan how to achieve a goal, you simply won’t be able to reach it. This is true for any large goal, and holds when looking at content marketing too. The first thing you’ll want to do with setting up a schedule is develop a long-term goal, where you decide your rate of content publication, and the overall shape of your marketing strategy.
Next, you’ll be able to sit down and write a three-month plan for your marketing. This will help you take into consideration how your ideal buyers are searching for you and what keywords they’re finding you with. Research like this will help you plan content guaranteed to resonate, and will help your content writers understand where and what they’re writing about next.
Planning your content creation in advance will also help you decide where to add in guest posts, or content from other sources (both sources inside and outside of your business.) Being able to divvy up your planned content between writers will share the responsibility of creation around, making it much easier to plan and work with.
Step 2: Enlist Multiple Content Creators
The number of content creators you get on board will vary according to business size and capability, but don’t think that having multiple content creators means you have to go searching for a group of trained writers. Your content is about answering the profound questions that your buyers have concerning the problems you solve for them, and that’s a skill that your existing staff are already very good at.
Consider how you consult your sales team when researching what an ideal customer looks like to them. Because they work with prospects all the time, they will have a good feel for how an ideal customer would look and behave, allowing you to market to that kind of person. Likewise, you’ll have staff on your team who understand the problems that buyers are researching, and be able to write content that immediately meets them. (Who better to write on the signs of termite damage than the pest exterminator?)
Thinking beyond sales, you could also get in contact with your support crew. Your customer support team will have an acute picture of pain points that a customer might be dealing with and will be able to write and address those needs perfectly.
Working to the strengths of your team, and encouraging staff to write content that stems from their expertise, is a great way to add diversity to your content publishing lineup.
Of course, you don’t just have to look at your own ranks to find writers for your content. Consider trading guest posts with your contemporaries, or contracting writers from content marketing specialists, when you need the boost.
Step 3: Build Up A Surplus So You Can Roll With It
Once you’ve got a content publishing schedule planned, and your writers know in advance what they need to write about, it’s wise to start writing posts in advance, as soon as possible. Doing so will allow your website to maintain its content release schedule even if unexpected things happen, like a guest post taking longer than planned for to write, or your content writers being unavailable for a period of time.
As we pointed out earlier with the study, the best results for businesses have always stemmed from companies who were publishing content on a regular basis. Maintaining a consistent publication schedule will help further your strategy and carry your regular readers as they continue to tune in and convert.
Having a buffer of ready-to-go content also frees up your dedicated content writers for other content-based jobs, such as creating marketing offers, or writing other sections of copy for your website. Both of these tasks are important for securing leads, and therefore have a direct impact on the amount of business you’ll receive from your website traffic.
Some pieces of content will take more time to write than others, and being able to take this into account will help your content creators build a variety of content that can resonate with your audience on different levels and through different means.
Plus, if you find that one piece of content that was supposed to go live won’t be done in time, you can simply slot another in, maintaining your consistent publication schedule without breaking a sweat.
Variety Is How You Keep Things Interesting
There will always be certain formats of content that resonate better with your viewers. These could be tutorials, infographics, videos, troubleshooting guides - the list goes on. Different types of content will appeal to buyers as they move through the decision making process, and you want to create a variety of options that appeal at each stage.
What’s important to remember is that what is popular now will change tomorrow - you’ll want to create a variety of content types, addressing a variety of themes, in order to build up a library of authoritative content that will continue to perform well over the long-term.
The authority of your content is also something to keep in mind - it’s what a search engine uses when deciding where to rank your website for certain keywords. If the search engine can see your business and your website have a lot of frequently-updated information on a given topic, it’ll ascribe more weight to it when providing search engine results. It follows then, that building authority on a variety of subjects that your business addresses can only be a good thing.
If you want your content marketing to take off, you’ll need to decide how much content to create and how often you’ll publish it. Given that there’s a need for a lot of content to be created and published, you’ll want to enlist more than one writer/content creator.
Having a bank of writers with a planned content publishing plan helps your content marketing team plan further ahead than the next blog post, and will allow you to give an overall shape to your content marketing strategy.
Your content creators can come from a variety of fields - enlisting the help of your business specialists can result in content that carries the expertise and experience that will draw in your readers and connect with your customers.
When you’ve got a group of content creators and a plan for writing in advance, try to build up a surplus of articles. This will allow you to maintain your content publication rate on days when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to have material ready. Doing so also allows you to spend time researching new topics that have the potential to resonate and bring in more leads.
Content creation is hard work, but the payoff is visible and definitely worthwhile. Keep in mind that a great content marketing strategy relies on a team effort, and works best when you have a group of creators working to a common purpose.