Content comes in all shapes and sizes and different types of content will have a different place in your content strategy.
It is therefore most important to first establish your content marketing strategy and build a content roadmap to work off of. The core of the strategy should include:
- What is your target audience? Who are the customers you are trying to reach?
- How regularly will you be able to produce content (Weekly, daily, etc.)?
- How will you distribute the content?
- What type of content are your customers interested in?
Once you have a strategic framework in place it is important to build an editorial calendar for at least the first month so you have a guide to follow and keep you and/or your team on track.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT SHOULD I PRODUCE?
Common content pieces include blogs, infographics, memes, 3rd party produced content, whitepapers, eBooks, detailed guides and more. Knowing what type of content to produce depends on your audience, the resources you have available for producing content and what channels you will be using for distribution.
DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Is your business selling a consumer product or are you offering a professional service? These types of distinctions will help you determine if whitepapers or Memes for social media will make the most sense.
Generally for business audiences you want to produce content that will answer a question that potential customers have and establish yourself as an industry expert. Then for consumer products you will want to have more fun with your brand and engage consumers that will be shopping for a product like yours.
WHO SHOULD PRODUCE THE CONTENT?
It is time consuming to produce high-quality content, but it is worth the time and financial investment. There are several options for producing content- produce it yourself, have employees produce content, contract with a writer or hire a marketing agency.
If you are a small company with extremely limited financial resources then it may make the most sense to write and distribute content on your own. This can be a great starting point for every growing business.
For companies that are strapped for time, but have financial resources to hire a marketing company, it is well worth the investment to develop a holistic content marketing strategy and ensure proper distribution by utilizing the expertise of an agency. This avenue is often more cost effective than expanding your in-house marketing team and you can gain access to strategy and content development resources in one place.
Most companies are surprised at the affordability of content marketing plans, especially in combination with SEO services. At Raindrop, we work with companies of all sizes and budgets to develop tailored plans to build and distribute content because we believe in the long-term benefits.
Whichever model works best for your company, we recommend producing new quality content at least twice per month.
HOW DO I DISTRIBUTE MY CONTENT?
Once the content is developed it is essential that it is distributed properly. Most content marketing campaigns are anchored by a company blog that houses all content. Then from there the content can be distributed through social networks, content sharing sites, email campaigns, forums and more.
The most important part of content distribution is understanding the proper channels for your content. The key to digital marketing is reaching “the right audience, in the right place, at the right time”, so when deciding which channels to distribute content through consider where your audience is most likely to be.
Here are a few content distribution examples:
- Local Cupcake Shop: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Company Blog, Company Email, Food/Restaurant Review Site
- Legal Firm: Facebook, LinkedIn, Company Blog, Company Email, Lawyer Directory, Legal Forums
- Guitar Manufacturer: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Company Email, Guitar Magazines/Websites, Music Forums
In addition to distributing content through the proper channels, SEO is critical to any content plan. When posting content to your company’s blog it must be optimized for search engines to maximize visibility. The goal is to get your content in front of potential customers and one of the best places to do that is Google when a potential customer is actively searching for a service or product like yours. By having high-quality, relevant content on your industry you are ensuring that you will be visible as potential customers search.
One of the benefits of working with a marketing agency is that they manage the distribution and optimization, maximizing the benefits while limiting amount of time you need to focus on these steps, which can seem overwhelming.
HOW DO I GENERATE LEADS WITH MY CONTENT?
The final step in the content journey is making sure that you have an infrastructure on your website that will allow you to generate leads from visitors. The best way to do this is to leverage the blog itself by including email capture forms and call-outs, phone numbers, links to purchase products and whatever else makes sense for your industry.
By collecting emails you will generate leads and future sales as well as build an audience for sharing your future content with. This audience will then be an outlet for you to seed all new content and to generate referrals from.
Content marketing is the outcome of a digitally connected world that is starving for information and entertainment. Business owners and brands have an amazing opportunity to actively participate in this conversation by providing value to their potential customers and driving sales at the same time.
The most important things to remember are:
- Produce high-quality content
- Always create content that answers the needs of your target audience
- Distribute your content where your audience is
- Generate leads/sales from your content
Good luck on your content adventure! If you would like advice on how to start or help producing content reach out to us today. We would love to show you how a content marketing strategy is more affordable and beneficial than you think!
—Article by Alexandra Black, Brand Development Strategist