Our Guide to Content Marketing
The great thing about content marketing is that it can take so different forms. As such a vital part of your inbound marketing strategy, content is the perfect thing for anyone who loves a challenge and thinking outside the box.
So….what exactly is content marketing?
Although you’d probably associate content with blog posts and anything written, there’s actually so much more to it than meets the eye (hence where creativity comes in!). Content marketing encompasses everything from blog writing, to e-books, and videos to podcasts etc.
The aim of content marketing is to create and distribute valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a specific audience, and ultimately, drive profitable customer actions.
Wow, that was a pretty long explanation! So, to put it simply, you need to stop being paranoid about someone stealing your know-how, and share your tips and tricks. As one of the core principles of inbound marketing is helping your audience solve their problems, content marketing is a perfect way of doing this while at the same time you’ll also gain trust.
Content Marketing Is Easy
We’ll show you how
Step One – Create a content strategy
Like everything in marketing, it’s super important that you put pen to paper and plan before blast off. Rather than creating random pieces of content, you really need to think about the bigger picture, and how all the pieces of the content puzzle fit together. Put together a plan outlining your vision, goals, buyer personas, research, style & voice, graphics, and most importantly who will do what. Once you’ve got all of those ideas in place, it’s time to put together a content calendar, which’ll contain when you’re going to do which piece of content, what type of content it is, and who’ll be doing it.
Step Two – Plan out where your content fits in the inbound marketing stages
There are four stages when it comes to inbound marketing, and these are based around where your buyer is in the buyer’s journey. The four stages are ATTRACT, CONVERT, CLOSE, DELIGHT, so you have to make sure that your content fits the purpose of one of these four stages, and that every stage is equally represented in your content strategy.
Step Three – Put together your content team
Now that we’re getting ready to create our content, it’s time to put together a team. You’re going to need a:
And most importantly, you need to make sure that you have all the technical equipment you need for doing podcasts, shooting videos, photography etc.
Step Four – Content creation
Now you’ve got your plan sorted and your team ready, it’s time to create your content. Work with your team and make sure you’ve given yourselves plenty of time to perfect your content before it’s ready to go out. If you’re teaming up with influences or other businesses, make sure they have plenty of time to do their part so they don’t feel rushed. And most importantly, content is creative so make sure you have fun and let your company’s personality shine through!
Step Five – Content promotion
Once you’re content is ready, you need to get it seen. You can do this a number of different ways, e.g. PPC, social media advertising, mass e-mailing, or even things like Youtube ads. One of the most important things is that you SEO everything you do, so that people find you organically and you don’t have to keep chasing them.
Step Six – Analytics and reports
The final piece of the content marketing puzzle is analytics and reports. The great thing about inbound marketing is that everything can be measured, so you can really see what was successful and where you need to improve next time. If you’re using software like Hubspot, you can track everything in so much detail that you can even see which pieces of content are attributed to sales.
Content is the glue that holds marketing together
As marketers, everything we do revolves around content, and we have to master different types of content depending on what we’re trying to achieve. Take SEO, for example, we have to write content with SEO best practices in mind. For PPC, we have those crazy character limits to work around. On social media, Facebook needs fun content whereas LinkedIn needs to stay professional. Instagram needs pictures, and for PR you have to get rid of absolutely everything promotional to simply inform.
The moral of the story really is make sure your content is appropriate for the marketing channel you’re using. And that you’re giving value. Follow the golden rules of inbound marketing.
We hope our beginner’s guide to content marketing didn’t put you off. Remember – there is no pressure to do this alone. You can always reach out to an agency like us to see if they can help. At the end of the day, this is what we’re here for. We’re here to get you results and make your lives easier at the same time 🙂