When we say content marketing services, we don't necessarily mean you have to go out and hire a digital marketing agency. This three-part series is designed to offer content marketing tips that will help you do it yourself or know what questions to ask as you look for the perfect internet marketing company to assist your efforts. In Part 2 we talked about content optimization and why blogs are such a great tool. Part 3 looks at inbound methodology and why you should consider it. We hope you find it useful.
What's the goal of your content marketing strategy?
The first order of business is to have a clear idea about your end game. Obviously, the ultimate goal for everything you do is always sales, but each piece of content should have its own part to play in that process. Are you building your brand? Making an offer? Do you want people to call? What content you create will be determined by what you want it to accomplish.
For instance, if you're making an offer there's a whole string of content that must be created around the offer itself before you can even think about writing a blog post to promote it. What's the offer? Is it something tangible like an ebook or a coupon that people will need to download? Guess what — you'll need to write, illustrate and publish the thing that will be downloaded. And you'll need a landing page that tells people enough about the offer to make them want it. The landing page should also include an opt-in form they'll need to complete in order to get the download — and get on your list. And what happens after they submit the form? Do you take them straight to the download page? Do you send them the link in an email? Both? Your answers will determine what content — and how much — you need to create.
The point here is that you really need to think through the process — and what that process is exactly will be determined by what you want your prospect to do.
Where do you get good content creation ideas?
Ripped From The Headlines. Ever hear this phrase? Well, that's always a good place to look. What are your customers or people who could become customers talking about ... and how can you tie that in to your product or service? Sometimes a major news story will be a perfect segue into a conversation about your business. Watch for these — and be ready to quickly create and publish your content to take advantage of the "buzz".
What Questions Do You Hear Every Day? No matter what business you're in there are questions or comments you hear over and over from customers and prospects. Write down the top five or ten and create content that provides answers.
What Do You Want People To Know About Your Company Or Product? Perception is reality, right? So, what should people know about your company? A word of caution here: Always think about this from the point of view of your customer or prospect. Don't tell them you make the world's best ... fishing pole. Show them how they'll catch the biggest trout in the stream ... using your fishing pole.
Repurpose your great content! A lot of people frown on "re-gifting" but when it comes to content creation it's always a good idea to use your original content in a variety of ways. What do we mean by that?
Well, some people like to read the written word; others prefer video. Someone else might prefer to listen to a podcast during their daily commute. And those preferences might change for any single individual depending on where they are, what the topic is or any number of other factors.
You need to hit 'em everywhere they live — and that means producing your content in a variety of ways. You might start with a blog post. From there you can, with minimal effort, also create a slideshow. And a slideshow can easily be turned into a video. And with a little planning you can easily take the audio portion of your video and turn it into a podcast.
Voilá! Your single blog post is now four pieces of content. And that gives you four times as many chances to make a good impression!
Don't let the thought of "what will I write about" intimidate you. There are lots of good ways to come up with ideas for content. Get busy with that now and you'll be ready when the next installment of this series — content optimization — comes out.
About Deborah Young
Deborah is a reformed tennis bum and inbound marketing strategist whose main professional purpose is to support local business owners, experts and entrepreneurs by helping them understand the impact and importance of online marketing. She is one happy camper when she can help clients be more visible on the Internet, increase their own customer base and become more profitable. How can she help you?