You may not be familiar with the term “content marketing”, but if you’ve got a website, if you’re blogging, using social media and sending a newsletter to your clients and prospects, content marketing is part of your marketing strategy.
The great thing about content marketing? It’s free
There’s no price tag unless you value your time, which you absolutely must—now content marketing gets significantly more expensive, and you’re already drowning. The opportunities to position yourself as an industry expert and increase your SEO value are unlimited, but with those opportunities come the relentless pressure of having to consistently craft brilliant blogposts, post to social media sites and produce snappy newsletters to remind your clients that you’re still out there. Trying to make all of this work on top of your other responsibilities can be overwhelming.
Let’s make this easy for you: it starts with a blog
Content marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It starts with a blog—make this the workhorse of your content marketing program. Your blog accomplishes two objectives:
- It provides fresh content for your website, helping it rank in search engines, increasing your SEO value.
- You’re sharing your expertise, positioning yourself as a thought leader.
But it doesn’t stop there. Post your blog’s title to social media with a link back to the blog, driving site traffic. Extract excerpts from your blog and post to social media sites during the week. Add images to make this livelier. If you’re doing a monthly newsletter, it just got a whole lot easier—use the blogposts that you’ve created over the course of the month to flesh out the content for your newsletter. Use a paragraph or so, then Read more, linking back to each blog to drive traffic to your site. One more thing—post your blog in its entirety to Linkedin and reach a whole new audience. In this way, your weekly blog is fueling your entire marketing program.
Having trouble blogging?
A lot of people struggle with blogging. It takes a commitment, and they’re defeated before they begin. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. You’re not solving the refugee crisis or bringing peace to the Middle East.
- Talk about something you know—tell a story that shows how you work with your clients, that positions you as a problem-solver.
- Be funny and use humor as a tool. Everyone loves to laugh.
- Showcase a client, an employee, a colleague, a community event or something you learned at a webinar or workshop.
- Subscribe to industry publications and scan these for topics. Don’t copy and paste someone else’s ideas into your blogpost, but do take someone else’s ideas and either expand upon them or disagree with them and explain why.
- What’s going on in the news that’s relevant for your industry that you can discuss.
- For additional inspiration: Use amalgamator sites like SlideShare or Buzzsumo; key in your industry and pull up presentations and articles. These sites are invaluable when I’m running on empty.
- Identify a time every week to write and post your blog and own it.
- Do create a voice and tone and brand yourself with your writing. Don’t be afraid of your opinions. Those who love you will love you even more. Those who don’t, well . . .
- A blog should be 300+ words to rank well in search engines.
- It should be informative—not a promotion, but something that will help people do their jobs.
- Subject lines are, well, everything. There’s a lot of competition out there. You need to be clever to attract the attention of your audience. Be mindful of character limits—with mobile devices these days, stay within 50 characters.
- Make blogging part of your life. Think up blog topics when you’re exercising, stuck in traffic, during commercials.
Once you commit to a blog and make it part of your content marketing program, you’ll find that it’s a very easy way to both jumpstart and keep your content marketing program on track.
The benefits? Content marketing works
The key is consistent delivery of quality content. It doesn’t happen overnight, but people start seeing your name, reading your articles, then looking forward to your articles. When they need your services or know somebody who does, they will contact you.