Everything in business needs a plan. Marketing, and Content Marketing are no exception, so let’s look into what that plan might entail, and more importantly, why.
To clear one thing up, you should have a plan before developing content (it helps).
First thing in any plan is to understand the goals. This is somewhat review from our discussion on the Business case & introduction to marketing on social media.
These goals can include:
- Driving traffic to a website.
- Make some sales.
- Improved brand recognition.
- Prove that you and your company are though leaders.
- Improve SEO performance.
- Engage with your customers.
Now, let’s break those down a little, one by one.
That pesky bit about driving traffic to your website isn’t as easy as some people think, and is one that is quickly just thrown out as a bullet point, but how is that accomplished?
Lots of different ways!
- Blog Posts/Articles – not just on your website but on others as well. Find people who are looking for content in an area you are a thought leader, offer to write something for them that links back to your page.
- Videos – The creation of a video and put onto your website, or onto TikTok/YouTube makes it easy for other to share your video, and it could lead back to you. If people watch it, more than likely it will have you or your brand in a way that can be recognized by those viewing it.
- Lists – One of the most looked at bits of content running around the web is a “top 5 list” That can be a list of dos or don’ts or it can be a list of professionals that are experts, even a top 5 books on a subject. These articles are very popular.
- Social Networks – Commonly posting on social media will increase brand recognition, and if the social media profile has a link to the website, it will help drive that desired traffic!
- Build relationships with influential people – Content can help build relationships with others who have influence. Use those networks, they may end up sharing your content and helping you build that traffic!
How to make or increase sales with content marketing –
- When developing content, it is possible to have some sort of an action request. Once someone reads the full article, for instance, you can have a link to the product or service discussed so that people who read it can become a customer.
- When a customer has a question, either on the website, or on social media…Answer it, if at all possible, take that question and turn it into content. If one person had that question, it is likely other people have it as well.
- The Golden Ratio for content marketing is make it very small percentage wise pushing a sale. It should be 90% or more informative, probably more like 98% informative, with the remainder being sales pitch.
- Focus on the customer or audience needs. They came to you for a reason. That is either information, a product, entertainment, whatever it is they came to you for a reason. Focus on their need and things will go smoothly.
- The proof is always in the pudding (as my grandmother used to say, but not that many people eat pudding anymore). If you are claiming your product or service does something…prove it. It makes it easier for customers or clients to make that buying decision.
Remember that customers are not instantly going to appear. This is clearly a marathon, not a sprint. In other articles (some for our members only) we will cover the remaining four items: Improving brand recognition, thought leadership, improving SEO performance, and engaging with your customers.