It is no secret that content marketing is the most effective way to reach and retain customers. Newsletters, direct mail, blogs and social media platforms, when utilized correctly, allow you to reach a broader audience, connect with other experts in your industry, and establish trust within your ideal client market.
Unfortunately, being a broad topic, content marketing often leaves a lot of people scratching their heads, not knowing where to even begin.
Don’t be intimidated.
With some dedication, brainstorming and some tips from us, you can master content marketing.
Here are a few tips – on the house – to help you buckle down and get started.
Focus – Ideally, you want your brand or business to be in the public eye as much as possible. However, starting out, it is a good idea to choose just a few platforms to begin with. Get really good at using those specific platforms and then add on from there. This is especially true if you are feeling overwhelmed. For example, choosing to start with a blog or newsletter and then between 2 – 3 social media platforms would be a great starting point.
Schedule – Now that you have decided where you want to begin to add content, decide how frequently you want to post to each platform. Making a content calendar is incredibly helpful. You can plan out, ahead of time, what kind of content you will be posting and when. A lot of companies even do daily, weekly or monthly themes to help them create cohesion across all of their platforms. Working on content a week or two ahead of schedule is a good idea too. This will ensure you don’t fall behind or miss scheduled deadlines. Content scheduling with software, such as Meet Edgar and Hootsuite, are very helpful as well, allowing you to write and schedule content to post automatically.
Be aware – When planning your content, you might also want to take into account the time of year and events taking place in your area. This of course isn’t mandatory and depends on the type of business that you have. It can also be helpful to check out what your competitors are sharing on social media. It’s not a great idea to do the exact same thing, but taking a look can help you determine the types of content customers in your industry are responding to. Maybe they like funny, but go crazy for celebrity endorsements, or maybe they are more fact driven. Checking out the competition will give you a good idea of which approaches to take when creating your own content.
Play to the senses – Use descriptive and active language to engage your customers. Even more importantly, use professional, high-quality images to accompany your written content. As people, we are visually motivated, and the image alongside a blog post just might be the thing that compels a person to stop and read what you have shared. Also, it just makes everything look more appealing as a whole. A website, blog or social media platform with absolutely no images usually makes people think “snooze…and pass.”
Add Value – Try to avoid writing the same things your competitors are. There will always be some overlap, that can’t be avoided, but make sure you are adding your own spin or perspective to things. Share content that you believe in, feel strongly about, or that can in some way help your customers. People respond best to authenticity and originality.
Build an Email List – If you don’t already have an email list, start building one today. Content marketing through email can be highly effective, and even if you don’t use it right away it could come in handy in the future when you have a product launch or new promotion. To get started, set up an email capture on your website. Sometimes giving away a free template or e-book can be really helpful when asking people to sign up for your list. If you already have an email list, remember to be respectful of the people who have signed up. Share exciting and useful information about your industry consistently, and save the pitching and selling for when you have something new to offer—the response will be much better.
Edit Carefully – Always read anything you have written at least three times before sharing. It can also be helpful to have another set of eyes go over it first. We all miss things, especially when we have been staring at a screen for a long time. But you really don’t want to mess up here, typos and inconsistencies breed distrust. Also, don’t just look for typos, make sure that you stand behind what you are saying and that the message you are trying to get across is clear to the reader.
Hire a professional – Content marketing can be time consuming and it can sometimes get overwhelming. If you simply don’t have the time or don’t enjoy it, hiring professionals can allow you to focus on the aspects of your business that you do enjoy. Quality is important with content marketing, so investing either your own time or money for someone else’s is a worthwhile business investment.
These steps can all help you to step up your content marketing game, and establish expertise within your industry. If you are looking for a little help and guidance to get started, you can always call us at Beard & Hound. We would be happy to help you out.