Content marketing is not something that businesses or advertisers should attempt to do without a plan. To be successful, a content marketing strategy needs to have all the right pieces in place, and it needs enough time to work. If you are considering launching yourself into the world of content marketing, here is a 5-step plan for success.
1. Get it in Writing
Your plan, that is. Only 35 percent of B2B marketers said they had a documented content marketing strategy for 2015. Perhaps this is why so many companies are struggling to get their strategies off the ground? When you take the time to write out your plan, you can make sure all of the paths are connected and that every angle is covered. It also helps keep everyone on your team accountable for their contributions and keeps everyone on schedule.
2. Open the Creative Doors
You may have someone in mind for creating all your content, or you may be thinking that you will be the one doing all the creative work. The problem with this is that creating amazing content on a regular basis is demanding and time-consuming. Even if one person can keep up with it at first, there tends to be a pretty quick burnout rate. Instead, open the creative doors to anyone in your organization who can contribute a unique angle and useful information to your current and potential customers. You might need to enlist the aid of an editor or professional writer to polish the content for final publication, but having a wealth of content is worth that small tradeoff.
3. Set Your Goals and Measure Your Success
Some businesses think that simply having an updated blog and a few associated social media accounts is enough of a goal. The truth is that you need to have specific, measurable objectives for your blog and social media accounts, and you need to check in on these goals on a regular basis to make sure you are dedicating your resources properly. Set specific conversion goals for your blog and look for measurable engagements from your social media feeds and tweak your efforts to achieve these goals.
4. Consider Different Outlets
Reaching the right audience is what content marketing is all about. It is not enough to keep a blog running if you are not making sure that your words get in front of the right people. Promoting your content is a big part of the equation and getting this step right means researching the various promotional opportunities to make sure you are getting into the right ones. For example, social media platforms are a great place to promote your blog, but not every platform is right for every business. Have you thought about guest blogging yet? Are you considering a video channel on YouTube?
5. Premium Content for Conversions
Once you have a steady stream of free, readily-consumable content available to a wide audience, and you are promoting it to get enough traffic, you will want some premium content to start working on obtaining leads. Premium content includes things like whitepapers and ebooks, and it contains detailed information to help move prospects down the funnel towards becoming better-qualified leads or paying customers. When you have premium content behind landing pages that are designed to collect customer information, your content marketing efforts will start delivering leads and the investment will start paying off.