If you market with your website 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 website show up well in search engines must implement a content marketing strategy. There are no shortcuts 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 ignore it and you will find it 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, which includes creating buyer persona, editorial calendar, mapping out the buyer journey, sales funnel, and mapping the appropriate content to the sales funnel, 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.
Content Marketing Services
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 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. Finally, you will want to understand the buyer journey for each of your buyer persona. Not every group will go from prospect to customer the same way or in the same time frame. What it takes one group to get there may be entirely different for another group.
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. This step also involves creating a sales funnel and mapping your content to that sales funnel. Content for prospects at the top of the funnel is different than content for people at the bottom of the funnel.
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 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…
Outsource Your Content Marketing
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.
Benefits of Outsourcing
High Skill & Low Investment
Digital marketing is all we do. Our team of experts have decades of experience. We bring an incredible amount of knowledge, skill and experience for a modest monthly retainer. It would be very difficult for most businesses to hire, train, and supervise the employee’s necessary to duplicate what we offer and certainly not for the same investment. In addition, we can tailor our offering to match your specific needs and budget.
We structure the service plan so you always know exactly what you are paying and what will be delivered for that investment. We will provide regular progress reports to demonstrate we are delivering what you are paying for.
We can structure services to fit your budget and change, reduce, expand or stop services on a very flexible system that won’t be jarring to your strategy and easy on your budget. By contrast an employee is either on the payroll or is not. Once on the payroll, laying them off or firing are how you reduce and adding more employees is how you expand. Both options are expensive, take time and can be difficult. We offer flexibility and skill on demand that is difficult to match by hiring employees.
Train & Advise on Content Marketing Strategy
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.
Built in Knowledge
Your employees will understand company culture and have industry knowledge that can be invaluable in a content marketing strategy when infused with the skills we can teach them.
Employees are closer to the day to day activities and can often adapt and change strategies quickly based on how close to the business activities they are each day.
We are phone call away if you need support. We can structure it so your employees will handle items they are good at and we can fill in the gaps with our skill on demand services. We provide as much or as little support as you need to be successful.
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.
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