In today's highly mobile and information-loaded environment, content marketing works. People don't have time to sift through mailbox ads or speak with telemarketers on the phone. When they're curious or interested in something, they go to Google. So if you want to get their attention, you've got to show up in the Google search results, and content marketing is the way to do just that.
To be successful with your content marketing, though, you've got to have a plan. The content you produce must be fresh, smart, and readable--always readable. But how do you start and maintain a killer content marketing strategy? Follow these five tips.1. Know what your readers want.
When you send your content out to the universe, you may not even know who your audience is. At the beginning of your content marketing campaign, you just have to define your ideal
audience and hope for the best. After a few months, however, you should take stock of which posts have been successful and re-focus your content marketing around those topics. You can determine which posts are the most successful by how many comments they received, how many times they were posted to social media, and how many Facebook "likes" they earned. Pay close attention to these attention-pulling posts. Analyze readers' comments to find out what they liked best about these posts, and model future posts after them.2. Make your content marketing strategy a priority.
If your content marketing strategy
only gets the leftovers of your time and money, it won't be successful and your business won't thrive. To make it a priority, get the very best writers, video producers, and graphics creators working together to produce exceptional content. If you're a gifted writer yourself, block out prime time during your workdays for your content writing instead of leaving it at the bottom of your to-do list. You won't produce your best work when you're tired and burned out. Remember that your content creates your image, so don't skimp on content creation resources.3. Build your social media presence.
Word-of-mouth used to involve one person recommending a company or service to another person. Today, one person can recommend you to hundreds of friends at the same time through social media. You can't afford to ignore the power of social media. It can boost your content marketing exponentially. To build your social media presence, spend some time every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other networks. Find out which networks cater most to your targeted demographic. For instance, Pinterest works well for promoting products geared toward women. In addition to posting your own content on social media networks, engage with others in your industry and community to build relationships and reach people outside your own network.4. Design and maintain high standards for your content.
At the very beginning of your content marketing campaign, you're full of good ideas and enthusiasm, but it doesn't take long, especially if you're busy with other tasks, for that enthusiasm to wane and for your standards to slip. Do everything you can to keep your content standards high so you don't lose followers. One thing you can do to maintain high standards is to create a style guide
. A style guide defines the writing and design of documents produced by your company, and it's especially helpful for keeping your standards uniform when you hire freelancers to help you produce content. Whether or not you use a style guide, put systems in place that ensure good grammar, spelling, and semantics as well as fresh, innovative ideas.5. Stay consistent.
In addition to maintaining high standards for your content, you also need to maintain a consistent schedule for content production and publication. When people see that you consistently post quality content to your blog, they perceive you as reliable and trustworthy. The best way to produce consistent content is to create an editorial schedule
and stick with it. Decide how many blog posts you want to publish per month, put them on the editorial schedule, and follow the schedule religiously. Add social media posting to your editorial schedule to keep you consistent, even when you're busy. You can also expand your editorial schedule to include how-to articles, landing pages, and other essential content.
If you follow these tips, you'll have a killer content marketing strategy. It will be low-cost, effective, and successful in driving new and repeat customers to your business.