Working out where to start can be the hardest part of starting something new. This is true of many different fields, and content marketing can feel no different. There's a new world to comprehend and work to, and endless possibilities can sometimes be more of a problem than a solution.
However, that doesn't change how passionate you are about solving the problems of your clients, and winning customers over for ongoing and productive working relationships. If you've got the sneaking suspicion that content marketing is something you want to try to draw in more customers, but you're not sure where to start, then this article is for you. Today we're going to look at three ways you can get a content marketing strategy for your business' website up and running.
First Things First
Successful content marketing is two things: Highly engaging, and powerfully effective. Why? Well, for starters, the whole mindset that business marketers used to carry has been inverted. Because our prospects have the ability to ignore traditional methods of marketing, we need a new way to attract their curiosity and hold their attention. This is where content marketing steps in - offering helpful and relevant information that will keep your visitors coming back, and encourage them to purchase from you.
When executed well, content marketing helps boost your website's visibility, making it easier for the people who are searching for the solutions you provide to find you. You'll increase the traffic to your website, and with the use of powerful calls to action and lead-capture forms, you'll grow your lead base, giving you a direct line to prospects who are actively considering purchasing from you. Because you'll be able to prove your case as a high-quality, customer-centric vendor, you'll be able to close more sales and build a successful and prolific business.
So, since we have empirical evidence that can attest to the effectiveness of content marketing, how can you go about planning for it to be incorporated in your website?
1 - Make Content A Priority
Consider this problem: Your New Year's Eve resolution is to exercise regularly. You're going to go for runs every day, starting tomorrow. And then you wake up the next morning and give yourself the morning off because you're honestly pretty tired. Suddenly it's June and sure, sometimes you go for a walk, but there's not that much of a change from your pre-resolution self. Why didn't the change happen?
Thing is, if you want to see something change in your business, you're going to need to make it a priority. You're only going to see success in the area of content marketing (and, like, everything else) if you're willing to put the time/money/effort into making it happen.
What does this look like in practise?
You need to consider budgeting for a content creator.
I know it can be tempting to go 'oh, but content creation is easy. I can do that myself on the side,' but unless you're already skilled in writing content for people who have never encountered the finer points of your profession before (and so don't understand your profession-specific jargon), you might want to reconsider doing everything yourself. You can contract a consultant, hire your own content creator, or train someone in house who has a knack for writing on how to write content, while expanding their job description to allow them to do the job.
2 - Get Your Co-Workers On Board
Consider the fitness metaphor from point 1, and the effectiveness of running groups for motivation and results. If you can get the people around you as excited about content marketing as you are, it's going to be a lot easier for this marketing method to take hold, and for a steady stream of published content to start happening.
When you get your co-workers on board with content marketing, I'm not just talking about merely reminding your marketing and sales teams that you're building an array of information that can be sent to warming leads to help trigger a decision. Your co-workers who are talking to customers day in and day out understand their pain points and concerns better than anyone else in your company. If you want to write content that responds to those concerns and pain points, then talking to them about client issues is a must.
Because successful content marketing needs to be more than a one-man show, you could also consider getting some of your co-workers to write pieces of content on the odd occasion. There's no one more qualified to speak on an issue of customer concern than someone who deals with this issue all the time.
Should you seek this route of sourcing your content expertise, make sure that you set the standard, too. Be willing and enthusiastic about writing your own content from time to time - doing so sends a clear message to your employers (that you think content has value and should be a priority), and helps your readers and ideal customers understand your business not just as a faceless vendor, but as a collective of humans who want to relate to them.
3 - Create Formats And Formulas That Make Regular Content Creation Easy
One of the hardest things when it comes to content creation is knowing where to start, and how to structure the points you want to make in a way that they make sense. And that's just if you're a regular content creator, who's been trained to write articles. If you're going to have multiple content creators, not all of who are natural writers (and many of whom will go 'oh I can't do that; I can't write.'), then you need to give them something to help them get started.
This is why recipes don't just list the ingredients, but also tell you what to do with them - providing a formula helps even the most inept of chefs to make something delicious.
So, when you hand a content brief to one of your non-writers, give them a formula to work to. This could be a template for written blog posts or quizzes, a basic layout guide for planning and recording video content or podcasts, or a tutorial on the writing of tutorials. Your content creators will have all the research and knowledge needed to build your content - often they'll just need a hand with getting started.
Keep your templates and guides simple but comprehensive, and you'll be able to modify them as you see fit to write content that will not only be authoritative, but also easy to understand and easy to write.
Finally, Keep Tabs On Your Published Content
if you're not already recording all of the information on your content marketing strategy and how it's panning out, then you really should be. The only way you're going to be able to measure how well your content marketing is going (and be able to continuously improve on it) is if you employ a closed loop strategy. A closed loop is a system designed to notify your marketers and sales teams when a lead moves from interacting with one sphere to talking to the other, and means that you'll know when and who you're winning over (and you won't have to keep marketing to them like they haven't made up their mind yet.)
Employing a method of recording views and interactions with your content will also help you understand which pieces of content you're writing that are resonating with your audience, and consequently, which topics to keep writing on and which to taper off. If you're looking for a way to record the success of your content marketing strategies, feel free to hit up this link, which explores this technique in greater detail.
Content marketing is a powerful and effective way to draw buyers to your website. However, in order to see results, you'll need to put some weight behind your efforts. Consider enlisting professional help until you've got someone in house to provide the push and direction for your website's content marketing needs. Get the expertise of your whole crew on board, and provide ways for even your most non-writer employee to create content that makes use of their knowledge and experience to reach and resonate with your buyers. Doing so will provide readers with a wide variety of content that is useful, practically helpful for thinking through the problem you can help them solve, and give your website visitors all the more reason to trust in what you can provide for them.