If you market with your web site you have probably heard the term content marketing before. This has become one of the core principles of digital marketing and shows no sign of slowing down or changing. Businesses both large and small have adopted this strategy with gusto. The search engines have rewarded them and new customers have flocked to them.
Businesses that want to be successful at generating new leads, boosting sales, and having their web site show up well in the search engines must implement a content marketing strategy. There are no short cuts and it is by far one of the most effective strategies available, but two main questions probably arise…
What is content marketing?
Content marketing, in a nutshell, is utilizing content in many forms from written material, podcasts, blogs, videos, graphics and photos to bring in new customers and boost your sales and brand. This content can be in the form of eBooks, white papers or blog articles for written content. Videos can range from entertaining to educational and graphic content can be info graphics, illustrations and other useful material.
No matter what format the content comes in the underlying principle of effective content marketing is that the content you produce is useful to your audience, i.e. the people you wish to bring in as new customers. It must answer the questions that your audience want answered. If they don’t find it useful they simply use it and it will be an incredible waste of your money, time and resources to produce. How can I implement a content marketing strategy?
How do I implement a content marketing strategy?
Implementing a strategy implies that you have a strategy to implement. The first step will be developing a comprehensive strategy, buyer persona, and editorial calendar as well as a few other items. Once you have these items in place you simply need to execute. This can be hired out to a digital marketing agency, like us or in house by you.
There are probably more ways to execute this strategy incorrectly than correctly. We can help you avoid the costly mistakes and implement a content marketing strategy for your business. The first part of the process is the same, but the actual implementation can have some options depending on your needs. Here are the initial steps:
Step 1: Layout a Base Strategy – In this first step we meet to discuss what you are trying to accomplish, possible goals, who your core audience is and what they want in terms of content. In this step, we determine how our services match with your needs and how (or if) to proceed.
Step 2: Develop Buyer Persona(s) – This is a core step of the entire process. If this step is not performed well nothing that follows will be effective. In this step, we identify who your ideal customer is and gather as much information about them as possible. You could have one core customer group or a few. We will research and develop a type of dossier on each group, which in the industry we call a buyer persona.
Step 3: Create Content Strategy – If step 2 is executed well then you understand not only who your audience is, but more importantly what content they want from you, the preferred format of that content and how you should use it to help them. We also lay out goals and metrics for success so everyone is on the same page from the beginning.
Step 4: Create an Editorial Calendar – The calendar is your companion and guide in implementing a successful strategy. It will guide you week by week and month by month and layout what content you need and when. Without a calendar, you will always be scrambling for ideas and content. Your entire strategy will lack direction and focus. In addition, you will be inconsistent in delivery and the strategy will generate mediocre or more likely, poor results at best.
Step 5: Evaluate Resources – It is at this step that we determine the best fit for delivery of services to you. We help you evaluate your internal resources to see if you have members of your team with the skills, knowledge, desire, and time to implement the strategy that was developed in steps one to four. Many small businesses, especially those just starting this strategy, don’t have these team members. Other businesses do. Either way we
help you honestly determine this capability in your business and based on step five offer two possible implementation strategies…
In this package of services, you simply outsource your content marketing strategy to us. We perform every step of the strategy, evaluate the data, adjust strategy as needed and meet with you to give periodic reports. This is a done for you service that you don’t have to think about. We work in tight partnership to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We will meet with you on a regular basis and bring reports and information about activities, goals, and results.
In this package of services, we will train your team on the skills they will need to successfully implement the strategy for your business and help them launch the strategy while offering generous support in the beginning and slowly backing off that support as they build skill and confidence. The goal is that as your strategy is implemented and begins to grow we move to an advisory role on an as needed basis.
With our two models for delivery we are confident that we can find a way to work with your business and implement a content marketing strategy that will generate leads, boost sales and avoid costly mistakes along the way. If you still have questions about content marketing in general or how our services work please see our various articles on the topic or visit our FAQ page.