Content marketing really hasn’t changed much since its inception. The only thing that changes are the tools at your disposal for making content marketing work for you. Tools like blogs, social media, email autoresponders, streaming video, and more are developed all the time.
Often there are multiple options for each type of tool such as Instagram versus Pinterest. Audience knowledge will help you decide which tool is best to use. To understand what tools you might need for content marketing, let’s go over the basics of using content marketing to support your business.
Understand the Order of Operations
Content marketing is designed to bring more traffic to your website, first and foremost. You want more hits on your blog, landing pages, products, services, and so forth on the pages they can buy from. For this reason, content, for the most part, should start on your website, and then you should take action to promote it by using the other channels and platforms at your disposal – like email and social media platforms.
Develop Your Brand Voice
It can really help you understand your brand voice. Your brand voice includes the selection of words you choose, the attitude and values you display while addressing your audience or others, and how you make the audience feel about you and themselves. Some business owners like to make a brand persona to help them remember their mission and reason for being.
Develop Buyer Personas
One way to really help you target content to the right person at the right time is to develop buyer personas for your audience members that you want to target where they are in their buying journey. When you – or someone you have hired – create specific content, you can use that as a guide on who you’re trying to target with the information.
Conduct Keyword Research
Based on the knowledge you have of your audience and your product, take the time to conduct keyword research. Start with brainstorming a basic list of keywords about your product, services, and audience. Use these keywords to help you find others using tools like Google Trends, SEMrush.com, WordStream.com, and others.
Identify Types of Content You Need
Do they like videos, or do they like reports? Do they like webinars live, or will they watch your YouTube.com channel? Do they like reaching educational and informative material on your blog? Determining the types of content that you need will require you to understand how and where your audience likes to receive information. Take some time to explore and even test the formats of content and types of content they prefer.
Know Where You’ll Place the Content
Audience understanding always helps you with all aspects of content creation, including distribution. Understanding the order of operations, plus where your audience likes to hang out to find the information that they need, will help you determine how you place and promote it.
Create a Consistent Strategy
It’s imperative that you create a strategy and then use it consistently for the best chance of success. Content marketing works. Content marketing is the most effective form of marketing ever to exist. If you publish and promote content regularly – the more, the better (if it’s valuable and relevant) – the more opportunities your audience has of finding you and for content marketing to pay off.
Analyze the Results
No matter what you do, you must always study the numbers. The metrics and data you look at come from the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are tied to the goals of each piece of content. For example, if a blog post is designed to pull traffic, look at the traffic numbers before, during, and after promotion to find out if it was effective or not.
Modify and Optimize
Using the data that you gather when you study analytics, you can choose to modify and optimize to improve results. Sometimes you may decide to do more of something, and sometimes you may decide to do less of something – all based on the numbers. This is the smartest way to ensure you don’t work hard for no reason. Focus on results and impact.
Mix It Up and Try New Things
After you’ve chosen how to get started, keep up to date on content marketing and what’s popular and effective so that you can occasionally try a new method along with the known working methods you’re already using.
For example, today, Facebook marketing may be a great way to distribute your content, but tomorrow a brand-new platform could rise, and you should be ready for it.
Taking the time to develop your content marketing strategy before you get started is the thing that’s going to really determine your success. Knowing why and how you’re doing any action is imperative so that you can reach the goals you set.
What Content Marketing Platforms Should You Utilize in Your Business?
When engaging in content marketing, one of the steps is to choose the platforms you’ll use to publish and promote your content so that you can reach your content marketing goals.
Which platforms you should utilize will depend on the goal of the piece of content, where your customer is in their buying journey, where the customer likes to get their information and hang out, and other factors.
For most business owners, there are essentially three platforms that you need to be aware of using in your content marketing efforts.
You’ll want to use all three, without exception: your website, your autoresponder, and your social media platforms. But there are also a lot of choices when it comes to each of these.
Your Website / Blog
Every single business owner, regardless of whether they are online or offline, needs to have a website with a blog. In fact, today, blogs are totally interchangeable with websites and should be thought of as the same.
The term “blog” should be thought of as where you will place the informative and educational articles needed to bring awareness about your products and services to your ideal audience.
The content you put here will be designed to bring awareness to the problems and solutions that you are promoting for your ideal audience. It should be focused on informative, valuable, and educational content that helps the audience become aware of their problems and the solutions that you offer.
Your Email Autoresponder
Content that you use in your email autoresponder, or even in one-time blasts to your list, is also an important aspect of effective content marketing.
The platform you choose depends on your budget and the features that you need for the type of business you have. Always read the fine print because some platforms don’t allow you to do affiliate marketing, and some do.
This content is designed to inform and educate list members further on the information they desire, based on how and why they signed up to be on your list.
For example, if you had inserted an in-content PDF file on your blog post about eating family dinner that required an email address to download, then you’d want to start marketing your products and services designed to solve their problem even more.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and so forth are great for promoting your content. You’ll want to choose at least the top three that you know for sure your audience uses.
It’s always a good idea to set up a presence on any up and coming platform, but if you place your focus on just the top three, at least until you get a grasp on your process, it’ll be a lot easier.
The type of content you put on social media will be designed to promote the content on your site and landing pages so that you can drive traffic and convert buyers. You can also use content that is designed to help new buyers use their products or services more effectively and create delighted customers that become brand ambassadors.
Using these three platforms to publish and distribute the content you develop and create for your audience is an important part of an effective content marketing strategy that you shouldn’t skip out on – no matter what other people say. Email marketing is not dead, and neither is social media marketing or blogging. All are effective forms of content marketing that you need to utilize to succeed.
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