Kiara Halligan works as a content marketing consultant for small businesses. Kiara believes that every marketing campaign could be spiced up greatly with quality content. Feel free to contact me on Facebook or Google Plus
Content marketing requires you to constantly produce content in order to be effective. Better yet, it requires quality content that is engaging and that serves a purpose of turning visitors into leads. This is a challenging process that sometimes even leaves adept experts baffled. So
How to prioritize content creation? What to put out there first when there is so much to choose from and to tackle?
Here are just some of the examples of content you might need to consider creating, depending on your industry and type of business:
- Landing pages
- Facebook ads
- Email marketing materials
- Cornerstone marketing materials
… and the list just goes on! And if you’re just launching your content marketing effort, it can be very difficult to decide what to do as a first step. Ideally, you will want to do everything, but we all know that that’s not just unrealistic, it’s nearly impossible. Even if you have a large enough team, the quality will end up suffering. Remember, the only thing worse than no content is bad content. You will end up spending time and money on it, and have nothing to show for it.
Every type of content requires a different deployment and nurture tactics, and when you’re starting these all look like insurmountable obstacles. There is no definite answer to the question ‘Where do I start?’ This will ultimately depend on your goals. You will also have to know what you have to start with. If you already have some content you can repurpose and use it hardly makes sense to start everything from scratch.
Things to Consider Before Starting
There are certain dependencies you need to consider before you even start entertaining the idea of creating content. Whatever content tactic you decide to employ, make sure that the conditions exist that will make your efforts worthwhile. If there is nothing to gain from a piece of content, then it is hardly worth your time, right? Consider the following:
- There is no point in publishing a great post or looking for guest posting gigs if you have no way of capturing leads. Make sure you have an opt-in form on your site and create a custom one for your guest posts.
- Creating email marketing materials depends on you having a large audience and their emails. Don’t waste your resources doing this before you’ve captured enough emails from other sources.
- Engaging Facebook posts are a great way of connecting with your audience but you have to have an audience first. Make sure you get enough people to like your page before focusing your content on that particular channel.
Know What You Need To Achieve
The content you create has to serve a specific purpose. In order for you to define that specific purpose, you will need to know what the ultimate goal you want to achieve is. For most businesses, it is making a profit, understandably. Try to be more specific than that, however. Selling a product A, or upselling customers on product B are better answers.
Knowing what you need to accomplish will make it easier to create content that serves that purpose, regardless of whether we are talking about emails, landing pages, how-to articles or something else.
Getting Started Content Marketing
There is one other thing to consider when you’re starting with your content marketing efforts and that is the speed with which you can create and deliver your content without compromising quality. Why is this important? You need to know what is working for you and there is no way of knowing that until you run a live test and let your audience tell you whether or not you’re on the right track.
The bare minimum you need to do is:
- Setting up content pages with your cornerstone materials. This allows you to build visibility and be accessible and available when prospects are searching the Internet for keywords you are targeting.
- Create a piece of gated content you will use to collect email addresses of your prospects. This can be a free tutorial, a great video, an informative whitepaper – whatever works best for your industry and business.
- Once you’ve gathered enough emails, follow up with a strong email marketing campaign. Make your copy enticing and inviting and offer up and incentive to buy. Discounts and coupons usually work the best.
- Follow up on people who made a purchase by sending out articles and how to guides for the product or the service they’ve bought. This allows you to nurture the relationship and keeps you at the top of their mind.
Following these simple steps will allow you to have everything ready for starting out. Then it’s just the matter of expanding and branching out. Additional email autoresponder series, elaborate whitepaper and case studies, detail how-to videos are all something to consider at a later point but are not essential for starting out. Stick to the basics and test your content first. This will allow you to see whether or not you’re on the right track.
The following list of tools, some free and some paid, can help your content marketing efforts tremendously. This list is by no means comprehensive but we’ve included some of the most popular tools successful content marketers are using today.
Evernote – This is a great app for getting organized that allows you to store your research and clip things from the web to it. You can also use it to maintain your editorial calendar as well and the best part is that you can access your content from multiple devices.
MailChimp – Use this excellent email automation tool to regularly keep in touch with your list of subscribers and schedule delivering content to them on a regular basis.
Google Analytics – Measure everything. Analytics tool allows you to measure the impact your content had on visitors, allows you to see unique visits, recurring visitors, bounce rate and much more. Make sure to use it to find out what type of content you should be focusing on.
Gorkana – Gorkana allows you to search the web for bloggers and journals you might want to contact about publishing your content. It cuts down on the time you spend searching for contacts – a time that is usually wasted. The service is regularly updated and has plenty of search options.
Copyscape – It was easy to publish plagiarized content in the past. Unless you wrote it yourself you were never sure about its originality. This was a problem since both search engines and readers punish plagiarism. Copyscape allows you to affordably check whether or not content you have is original. Use it and save yourself the embarrassment and repercussions.
Grammarly – Bad spelling and grammar are the fastest ways to undermine your authority and credibility. Even if you’ve written so many texts you’re nearly a 100 % sure you can’t misspell anything, it doesn’t hurt to use Grammarly to check your work out.
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