Content marketing has gained traction in the last few years and rightly so. It is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your business – especially if you don’t have a big marketing budget.
Content marketing can help your businesses by attracting more traffic and customers to your site, positioning you as an authority, building trust with your audience and influencing people to buy from you.
As with anything new, it can be difficult to know where to start with content marketing. Looking online will probably leave you feeling overwhelmed that there are a 100 things you have to do as part of content marketing. Not true.
My suggestion is to focus on one key form of content marketing first rather than trying to master everything at once. Writing a blog is the most effective and achievable way to engage your audience with your brand using content. The following four steps will get you started with blogging and help you maintain your efforts in a time efficient way.
Step 1 – Set up a blog
Speak to whoever built your website and ask them to add a blog.
Ideally it should live within your site as that is where traffic will be heading and visitors will want to browse for more information. So it’s best if this happens in one environment.
Step 2 – Create a topic list
> 15 minutes per week
People buy products or services from you because they solve a problem or make their life easier. In the process of buying, customers ask questions and these are a great source of content topics. ‘How to’ articles are great examples of blog posts that answer common customer questions.
Write down as many customer questions you can think of and browse your ‘contact us’ emails for others. Online forums and LinkedIn discussion groups are also a great way to find out what problems and questions people have relating to your product or service.
You can even get on the front foot and solicit them in your processes. If people sign up to your site/newsletter then this is an excellent opportunity to include a ‘What’s your biggest challenge?’ type question.
Going forward, you should be vigilant during conversations and record the questions people are asking you. There is nothing worse than sitting down to a blank screen with no ideas!
Want more articles like this? Check out the content marketing section.
Step 3 – Blog at least once a week
> 30 minutes per week
Your blogs don’t have to be long. Between 300 and 500 words is plenty. To minimise time spent writing, aim for 300 words. Writing in your own conversational voice will also help the words come easier. Blog at least once a week, every week. It’s important to set time aside and be disciplined, as posting regular content encourages readers (i.e. potential customers) to return to your site.
Once you have finished writing a post, check that it answers a customer’s question or addresses a problem. If so, you are on the money.
Step 4 – Re-publish content
> 15 minutes per week
A blog doesn’t have any value if no one knows about it. You have to get it out there and promote it. Here are some simple ways to spread the word about your content.
Post it to your Facebook and/or Google+ page
Tweet the link
Post it on your LinkedIn profile and in relevant groups
Include the title and a link in your email signature
Email it to your database
Approach industry relevant sites to re-published your post
So, in just one hour per week you can create regular, valuable content that helps attract more customers to your business. And now that you’ve mastered your blog you can go back and do the other 99 things on the content-marketing list!
How do you make content marketing more time efficient?