We’ve all heard the adage that content is King.
But, as someone marketing a business, creating content that drives ROI can feel elusive.
In fact, it can feel downright impossible.
Whether you’re flying solo or working within a team – finding the perfect balance, rhythm and flow for your online content is crucial.
So where do you begin?
Last week I was honored to Keynote at the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association where I shared:
- What type of content drives ROI
- How to attract the right type of customers
- How to conduct relevant content marketing research
- What channels work best to promote your content
- What content marketing tools every digital marketer should be using
- How to measure content marketing success
If you’ve ever wanted to learn the same, then you’re in luck! I’ve broken down the highlights below and shared the presentation on Slideshare.
Read on to learn how you can use content marketing to tell your story, break through the noise and connect with your target market!
Become a Content Marketing Powerhouse: Secrets to a Super-Sticky Strategy
What is Content Marketing?
My answer to this question is always simple.
Content marketing at its core is connection marketing. It’s offering the right content to the right people with the right frequency and consistency.
But it’s also relationship marketing – something many companies are still (IMHO) failing at.
Many see people as numbers rather than looking at the engagement process as this:
How can I bring more food to the table then I came with?
In other words, how can you become a resource so vital that the marketplace simply can’t live without your product, service or app?
The key to that is through the content you create.
Whether it’s blog posts, videos, presentations, webinars, Infographics or podcasts, your content – when shared with the right people – helps tell your story in a powerful and meaningful way.
Great Companies Tell GREAT Stories
And that’s the secret great companies understand. They know that stories can create an emotional bond with customers.
Just look to brands like Apple, Coca Cola, GE, Facebook, and Disney as examples. Each one weaves storytelling into their marketing in a way that immediately connects their audience to their mission and vision.
But it’s not just big brands that get it’s the WHY that connects people to you, not the WHAT.
Look to social media marketer Peg Fitzpatrick, author of “The Art of Social Media” and you’ll see a brand that stands out from the crowd. No matter where you look, Peg’s signature look is undeniable.
Allow you to stand out in a crowded marketplace
Denise Wakeman of “Adventures in Visibility” uses stories to bring her fans and followers along on her adventures. By creating a fun and interactive space, Denise shows others how to use a personal journey to make better (and stronger) online connections.
Offer maximum impact with little effort
Donna Mortiz of Socially Sorted is a master at taking one piece of content and turning it into many. She makes storytelling and content repurposing look effortless!
And the beauty behind this tactic? You offer maximum impact at a lower cost.
In other words – more bang for your marketing dollar.
Why You MUST Make an Impact
And given how crowded the online marketplace has become, making an impact is more important than ever before.
- Twitter has 284 million monthly active users
- Instagram has 300 million monthly active users
- Facebook has 1.35 BILLION monthly active users
- 23% are on Twitter
- 71% are on Facebook
- 74% of online adults (ages 18+) use social networks regularly.
While those stats are staggering, they don’t show a complete picture.
In fact, you may see those stats and think – if you’re going to be seen or heard – you have to produce and share more content.
To that I say – STOP!
The idea isn’t to create more content, but rather the right content that connects with your audience.
The only way to differentiate your business is to realize that it’s your message and the value you provide to your community that set you apart.
Steps to Become a Content Marketing Powerhouse
1. Define Objectives:
What are you looking to achieve with content marketing? As Chuck Palahniuk says,
“If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.”
Grab a pen and paper or your favorite app and start writing. What are your objectives? Here’s a few examples:
- Raise awareness
- Extend your reach
- Build thought leadership
- Grow your brand
- Launch a product
- Promote a book
2. Get Specific
Now drill down into specific goals. They might look something like this:
3. Do Your Research
Who is your target market?
What do they look like, do for a living and what problems do you solve?
Build out your persona by looking at the data. Uncover who you’re talking with and how you’ll be able to help them on a daily basis. Look to this article from Boxes and Arrows to begin your research.
4. Identify Content
What content do you currently have in place and what will you produce?
To become a content marketing powerhouse, you have to create SHARE WORTHY content!
Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel. Begin by identifying what you have and how you can repurpose it for your online marketing.
Then look to tools for content curation. My favorites are:
5. Know Your Networks
Understand each social network: how will they support your objectives?
Here’s an example of what Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest and YouTube might look like for you.
6. Commit to Consistency
Commit to a consistent content creation and posting schedule.
Download this free template from Hubspot and begin to look ahead at what and when you’ll share content.
7. Get Involved
Get involved in the conversation. It’s critical that if you’re going to use social media, you stay interactive.
And most importantly – create content that shows you’re a giver, not a taker!
A few of my favorite tools to make listening and injecting yourself into the conversation effortless:
8. Create a System
Now its time for you to put your content marketing into a system. The goal is to use what works best for you.
While there are many tools to choose from, stick with what’s easy.
- Google Calendar
9. Promote Your Content
A mistake I see many make is posting content once and then moving on.
It’s not enough to tweet or post once. Not only do you miss getting that content in front of a larger audience, you lose the ability to touch every single one of your fans and followers.
Because let’s face it – not everyone is online at the same time.
Promote, promote, promote!
Check out this great breakdown of how to best promote your content from Marketo.
10. Create Your Daily Workflow
What does a basic social media marketing workflow look like? Buffer has broken it down!
All that’s left to do now is synthesize this great pipeline of information you’ve created and find all the ways you can begin to act on the results you’re seeing. As you do so, make sure the information keeps flowing. If you’re on your own or at a small company, it should be easy enough to share and act on what you’ve learned so you can keep getting better.
Create your daily workflow – rinse and repeat!
No matter how you’re using content marketing in your business currently, in order to survive – you must create a roadmap to ensure sustainability.
Whether you face seasonal or economy issues – prevent them from impacting your business.
Instead, allow your business to thrive, regardless of conditions – and cater to a community that’s living online 24/7.