Paid advertising has one big problem: once you stop paying the advertising stops. Content marketing, on the other hand, may have an initial cost, but that initial cost can be amortized over many years.
Once you’ve decided to use content marketing for your business, you’ll wonder how to get started. These five tips will help.
1. Research Your Customers: Who Are They?
Start by considering your customers. Create some customer personas. “Personas” are personifications of your typical customers. Every piece of content you create will target a specific persona. It’s a good idea to give your personas names.
Let’s say you’re a home renovation company. Your “Sally” persona might be those clients who’ve just bought an old fixer-upper, and want to redo the place before they move in. Your “Bob” persona might be those clients who want to extend their home.
Create as many personas as you need. Then consider what kind of content each persona might respond to.
2. Plan Your Content: What Kind of Content?
Content may be text, video, audio, images, slides…
When you start out, experiment to discover the kinds of content your personas prefer. You may be surprised. I worked with one client who was certain his customers would respond to video. That wasn’t so. He did much better with text; his customers often shopped on their smart phones.
Plan a couple of months’ worth of content.
3. Tweak and Optimize
Once you’ve created some material, tweak and optimize it with meta data, so that it can be found on the search engines. Consider page titles, page descriptions, and keywords. Tip: your content title may be different from your page title, which is written for the search engines.
Everything you create should also have a takeaway, or some way for readers and viewers to take action.
4. Publish and Promote
Of course, you’ll publish your content on your own website and blog. In addition, consider promoting it on other sites, like document sharing sites, and article directories.
Tip: promote your content as soon as its created. Start by promoting to your customers, on your newsletters, and customer updates.
5. What Was the Response?
You’ll get an initial response to your content, but it takes around two weeks to assess the impact.
Check your tracking software to see who viewed the content, and which keywords brought them to the page. Make a note of this.
If the initial response was slight, take heart. With content, more is more. Each webpage is a gateway to your site. As you publish more, your traffic, and your sales, will grow.