# 1 Identify your target audience
If you do not understand this, then all your content marketing-related strategy and its implementation will not save you. Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal reader? Who are the people you want to attract to your business in the hope of turning them into profitable customers and customers in the future?
Being guided by these people, create for them one or many images of the ideal client for you. Imagine them as detailed as if you were actually addressing a living person while writing articles. Select a label for these people with whom they will associate with you.
Be as specific as possible. After all, you want to reach your target audience, and weed out those people on whom this information is not calculated. Thanks to this, your content will not be considered mediocre, people will not feel that you are trying to please everyone.
# 2 Clearly understand the purpose of your content marketing
Your primary task is to attract new potential customers to your business and profit from it. How exactly does the content fit into this picture?
Well, the content carries a lot of things for you, which is why it exists. It helps you gain trust and gives you some influence. He is what sets you apart from your competitors. It creates trust and understanding between you and your customers. And even more – it carries out preliminary sales, as a result of which a person is one step closer to making a purchasing decision.
Think about your global content strategy, but do not forget about individual goals for each piece of information that you publish. What do you want to achieve? Do you want your content to be shared on social networks? Maybe an increase in the number of comments? Do you want to conduct a business survey? Attract the attention of the press?
Call to action every bit of content that you publish.
# 3 Create an editorial calendar for each platform
By creating a very simple editorial calendar for each social media platform, you will bring your content strategy into action. Think about all the social networking sites on which you are registered. Think about the different channels that you use to promote your content, and then create a basic calendar on an individual basis.
Create one for your own blog. The calendar should contain the type of content that you will publish, the publication date and the work title. Create two more calendars: one for your business page on Facebook, the other for messages that you leave on other sites as a guest.
It’s easiest to set aside a few hours for each platform, and then sit down and schedule ideas for the content in advance. Since in the process you will go through all the important categories, take some time to dig into your bookmarks, links to Evernote.
So you can define a plan for publishing your content for a few weeks. I would recommend not to paint it for months ahead – the nature of things on the Internet is quite volatile.
# 4 Follow the 80/20 rule when publishing content
Rule 80/20 states that 80% of your results are based on 20% of your efforts. Apply this principle to your content marketing strategy.
First, you need to assess the current state of things: what works and what does not. If you have a dozen accounts on social networks, but you see that most of the traffic comes from two or three places, it may be worth focusing on the latter, and abandoning the rest.
Secondly, apply this principle to your own blog. Spend 20% of your time creating content, and the rest – to promote it. Especially in the beginning, when your traffic is low enough, or your audience is extremely small. For each post that you write on your blog, publish 3 or 4 on other sites. Apply this rule to the very essence of your content: 20% advertising and 80% educational.
Finally, always remember that quality is more important than quantity. Unlike the days gone by, when there were no millions of sites fighting on the Internet for every pair of eyes, now we are faced with oversaturation of content. More is not always better.
# 5 Create different types of content
You do not want to be branded monotonous, do you? This will certainly happen if you stick to the same type of content. Do not hesitate to change it from time to time. You can write blog posts or make audio podcasts. You can create video tutorials or infographics.
Engage all your strengths, but do not hesitate to hire someone to create content in a different format. Especially if you have people who are good at it.
In addition, think about the type of content that you create.
You can publish educational content, or create something that inspires or entertains people. You can tell stories from life, you can cover the latest trends and news, even call customers and customers to yourself – you too can.
# 6 Learn how to write killer headlines
Do you know a 100% way to sabotage your own advertising tactics? It’s writing bad headlines. It will be enough to destroy everything that you worked on.
Identifying your potential audience is an important step, and making an effective content plan is a must. However, the title is the last piece of the mosaic. People can forgive you for the error in formatting the text, even for boring prose, they shake their heads disapprovingly at the sight of pictures that you have chosen, tell your friends about your new content, even if you did not ask for it (or rather, you forgot about it) but boring and meaningless headlines? They will be ignored before you have time to say: “content marketing.”
Think carefully about your headlines, because this is a skill that takes time to develop. If you do not understand anything about it, or if it turns out to be bad for you, hire someone who will do it for you!
Most people can make a reasonably decent heading themselves – it’s not for you to launch missiles into space. All that is required of you is to make it useful and cause curiosity.
# 7 Be interesting
Publish content that people really want to read. It can be educational, inspiring or funny. As long as it means something to people, they will consider it interesting.
Remember that you write on the Internet. Here the rules differ slightly from those used in writing articles for printing, or even from the corporate press. Pay attention to your expression and tone. Make your text more personal, try to find a link with your readers on a deeper level.
Write in a conversational style, as if you were communicating with your friend. Do so, but do not forget about editing. Use short sentences and shortcuts.
Quickly go to the point, but do not forget to present it correctly. Use more paragraphs to break down your voluminous paragraphs into easier to read. Use images, markers, italic and sub-headings for the convenience of your reader.
If people find your text useful and easy to read, they will pay attention to what is said in it, and most likely will share it with their friends.
# 8 Write for both people and search engines
The content marketing of the old hardening was more like the practice of creating links, but now it is not. In fact, if your approach is just this, Google will not treat you very friendly.
You must create content using the very same method on which the modern market is based. Use phrases that people use in search engines to find what they are looking for. Thus, you will not only deal with those who do not already know about you, but also with search engines
Do not create content just to get traffic and build links – it smells of spam, so it’s unlikely someone will like it. Create content that will be appreciated, one that people like and they will gladly share it with their friends.
All this will only increase your traffic. If you add organic links to content, that’s fine, but do not put them at the head of your content strategy.
# 9 Call to action
When organizing your content marketing, always call for the action of your readers, because without this all your efforts will go to waste.
Make sure that your call is appropriate and corresponds to the context. It may contain a request for: downloading an electronic version of the book, subscribing to a newsletter, participating in a survey or buying. Do not add a call to action asking for a purchase after every bit of content – because you do not want to turn everything into a sale? Do this only when it makes sense, and is considered quite appropriate for your audience.
On the other hand, do not avoid mentioning your product or services at all, otherwise you will greatly reduce your payback. Remember that the right context is the key to success.
# 10 Always find new ideas
Content marketing is a continuous activity in which you must participate day after day, week after week, but someday there will come a time where you will begin to feel slightly limited.
The key to salvation is the constant updating of your Swipe file. Install Google Alerts. Subscribe to the industry’s leading blogs and magazines. Pay attention to what people say in communities, forums, social networks and groups. Make a list of questions that are constantly asked by your own readers.
Refer to this material in search of inspiration when you are composing your content plan. Save the Swipe file on your hard drive and remember that its contents can not be thoughtlessly copied.
The content, which was paraphrased and compiled in a hurry, is very easy to detect.
# 11 Get support
Do not waste all your efforts in content marketing to create brand awareness. In fact, you can make other people do this for you.
Contact important and influential SEO users. Before you ask to do something in return, you need to establish good relations with them. At the right time, you can ask them to share a piece of content with their “tribe” (which usually has hundreds or thousands of followers, if not millions).
In addition to direct assistance, supporting you with “big cones” is like icing on a cake.
Instead of creating new content each time, you can ask your readers, with provocative or amusing questions, to share their opinion. Such content, created by the users themselves, will be to your advantage.
Ultimately, the goal behind content marketing is to turn your users into your supporters. They will spread your word, and will be an excellent support group for your brand. When they praise you, it has far more impact than if you did.
When your clients work for you, their actions look 100 times more authentic.
# 12 Optimize landing pages for your content
The landing page is created with a special intention – that the reader has taken a certain action, read some of the content, for example. The templates for such pages include a squeeze page, whose purpose is to collect email addresses, a home page, a help page, or any other content-filled page. For example, a message from a blog, video instruction or presentation.
To make your content marketing work to its fullest, you must take care of your landing pages. They should be optimized, that is, you have to make it so easy for the reader to find the most important information, and they did not have to search for it throughout the site. There should be: a strong title and a single, but understandable, call to action, which must be drafted so that people happily perform the action you need.
All of your landing pages should be credible, be trusted, and emphasize your difference from other brands.
# 13 Create such “buns” from which you can not refuse
If you think that you need to blog to have a successful content plan, you are mistaken. In fact, you do not need to do this, although the blog gives you quite a lot of advantages for your business, if properly and professionally arranged. Content marketing relies on the creation and distribution of content for business purposes.
In addition to regular posts in blogs, it can be: e-books, e-courses, Web conferencing, real meetings, conversations, podcasts, white books, infographic, training videos and presentations.
Most of them, if not all, should be created in order for people to subscribe to your e-newsletter. Thus, over time they will serve you as the main means of generating proposals. More importantly, you can have several suggestions developed for different channels of their distribution.
# 14 Stop looking for instant revenue
Of course, content marketing is designed for a long-term strategy. Sometimes it is difficult to get any results instantly, and you have a feeling that nothing will come of it. Do not despair. Be consistent. Plan for updates and watch them regularly.
Make decisions for the future, based on data analysis. If you continue to do everything correctly, you are guaranteed to begin to see the results.
Ready to start?
After all, content marketing is a process in which you create and disseminate useful, relevant and extremely valuable information to attract your target audience. To make it work, you must be consistent, have clear and pre-determined intentions.
Which of the above actions will you take today? Share with us in the comments!
Image credit: geraltPin It