5 Steps to Great Content Marketing
We hear a lot about content marketing—using great content to inform and educate, which positions you as an expert and gets you clients. It’s not about advertising, and it’s not about a quick return. It takes patience and a long-term commitment. There are two big dependencies: 1) you need to have comprehensive industry knowledge and 2) you need to be a good writer to engage your audience. Here are 5 steps to great content marketing.
- Take Inventory. Chances are you’re already using some forms of content marketing. Think about your blog, newsletter and social media—all good components of content marketing.
- Identify a budget. Enough of figuring it out as you go along. You need to know if your marketing dollar is working. If it’s not delivering ROI, you need to make adjustments.
- Create a strategy
- Establish goals. Think about what you want to accomplish: new clients, speaking engagements, new blogging opportunities, etc.
- Identify your audience. If you say everyone, you’re not thinking. Where does your audience hang out online? Think about how to reach them.
- What information are they seeking?
- Identify the platforms on which you’re going to focus. Let’s get serious here. You really need to be doing it all—producing a world-class newsletter, award-winning blogposts, updating your website on a regular basis and posting to social media about a gazillion times/day. The reality is that you probably have to make choices. If you have more than 100 email addresses, do a newsletter—it’s low-hanging fruit. Social media? It’s great for SEO and the right thing to do, but the ROI just isn’t there. The people for whom social media is working are really working it—like a 12-step program, it works if you work it.
4. Develop a schedule/editorial calendar. Writing this down validates it and keeps you on track.
5. Track what’s working. This is critical to #2 above, Identify a budget. A caveat: Marketing is not a quick fix, but a sustained content marketing strategy is an important part of building relationships.