In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that content is king. Fast forward to more than 20 years later, and what he said still rings true.
But in the 90s, there wasn’t as much competition. You were good to go with a basic site with some text because that’s what all websites looked like then. But now content can be delivered in so many ways and on so many platforms. You need to have a clear plan with the following steps to ensure your content marketing is effective:
Identify your target market
Buyer personas serve as the representations of your ideal customers, so create them first before doing anything else.
Once you have them, flesh them out as much as you can. The more detailed you are with your buyer personas, the more you’ll know about the actual people you want to target. Don’t know where to start? You can use your current client lists or social media followers as a guide for making these profiles.
Determine what they want
Stuffing your content no longer works, but using keywords in moderation still, does. Thus, keyword research remains to be a useful tool. It helps you find out what your target audience is looking for and how they’re looking for it.
Engage your audience
Content that looks like an ad will turn off people because there’s nothing in it for them. Instead of hard selling, focus on engaging your audience with useful content. They’re giving you their time when they read your articles and watch your videos, so it’s only fair that they get the information they want.
If you establish yourself as an authority in your niche, they’ll also come back for more and may turn into leads. Make sure you have a lead capture tool when that happens.
Get creative with your ideas
Next, build your content calendar with your strong ideas. Start with the questions your customers are likely to ask then work on providing the answers. Also, let your creativity shine at this stage by creating infographics, slideshows, videos and other media to supplement your articles.
Plan out a doable schedule
Many businesses started out active online then failed to sustain it in the long run because they were too ambitious.
Quality, quantity, and consistency are the ingredients of content marketing success, so you need to follow a realistic posting schedule to achieve all three. Posting daily isn’t practical, but posting once or twice a week is.
If you’re too busy to write, hire freelancers or start an in-house writing team. But you can still squeeze out a blog post every now and then. Jot down ideas in bullet points, capture sources of inspiration on Evernote, doodle ideas on a napkin. You can also record your article on a voice message app and hire a transcriber later.
Automate what you can
Tools like HootSuite allow you to schedule your posts across different social media sites. You can draft all your posts for a week or month in one block then assign different posting dates and times to them. This ensures you’ll have published posts even if you get too busy later.
Most importantly … be patient
It takes a while to build a reputation as an authority within your niche. It can take a year of weekly posting, but once it picks up, it’s just a matter of maintaining your foothold. Content marketing is accessible to your audience and affordable for your pocket, so there’s really no losing here when done properly.