If you're just starting your content marketing journey, or you need some content marketing inspiration, it's time to brush up on the basic steps for achieving content marketing success. Contrary to popular belief, content marketing is not just setting goals, creating content, and then distributing it. Those three steps are a part of a whole process. So, what does it take to be a content marketing professional? Read further and learn how you can become one in 10 easy steps.
Know Your Goals
Before you begin your content marketing journey, create a list of what your business wants to achieve. The customer lifecycle is very much like the content funnel:
- Generating awareness (promotion)
- Acquisition through education (your content)
- Engagement and conversation (feedback)
- Conversion (download or sign-up)
- Retention and support (follow-up)
- Loyalty (word-of-mouth promotion)
It is how you communicate, educate, and attract customers not by selling but by engaging and providing content that with its value entices people to convert.
Have The Soul Of An Editor
Great content marketers can spot typos and grammatical errors from a mile away. But that's not all they do. Being an editor means that you know the audience you're talking to.
As a content marketer you have to understand your target. That you have to keep in mind:
- Tone of voice
- Topic relevance
- Content that compels people to convert and share
- Address the reader and their possible success
Be Ready For Extensive Research
Preparing content requires thorough research. Don't be afraid to share case studies based on statistics and analytics your company collected. Insights and stats sourced from the finest in your industry will be reliable and more interesting to your readers than guesses.
Provide content with reviews, projections, and new industry solutions. Create content based on information that will change the way your customer works.
Learn About SEO & Influencer Marketing
Content that excels and reaches the right people, must work hand in hand with the right keywords and targeting:
- Write targeted meta descriptions and meta tags
- Use proper headings and subheadings
- Optimize images used in text
- Make use of internal and external links
Foster relationships with influencers in your industry and cooperate with them to generate awareness and increase demand. Influencer marketing enables your content to reach a broader audience and to build trust as people are more inclined to rely on the word of influencers.
Understand The Magic Of Social Media
Content distribution and engagement travels through social media. In the words of Jay Baer:
The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior.
The goals of social media are participation, then behavior.
Social media allows for paid promotion and targeting of lookalike audiences - which aids in distributing your content to those that have not yet converted.
Partner Up With Other Platforms
Expand your promotion to platforms that will help you reach broader audiences, use marketing automation to help in the promotion process, and find content marketing platforms that will help your team poleim yoeir work.
For promotion use platforms like Insightpool or Buzzsumo.
To help you reach broader audiences use email marketing like GetResponse and social media listening channels like Mention.
Keep tabs on your plan, work flow, and distribution through platforms like CoSchedule.
Create A Plan For Thought Leadership
Content distribution grows your company's brand and thought leadership value. Share insights that your company has to offer using different media such as:
Establishing your thought leadership will bring in more valuable and loyal customers that are more likely to become your brands affiliates and evangelists. This step takes a big part in word of mouth promotion.
Becom A Great Storyteller
In the words of Andrew Davis "stop creating campaigns and start making a commitment to tell a valuable story", in four points:
- Build suspense
- Foster aspiration
- Drive empathy
- Harness emotion
With all the promotion, social media listening, and engagement from your customers - learn to hear their voice and answer their needs in a way that they can connect with. As a content marketer it is your job to bring out the human in your brand's voice.
Generate Loyalty Through Your Content
If you follow all the previous steps correctly, you will see that people are eager to reach out to brands that offer content that resonates with them.
- Give out special content pieces to those that are your advocates
- Create master class webinars
- Offer a guest post opportunity to those that reviewed your product well
- Give out social media shout outs
Draw Conclusion With Analitycs
Review your data, compare it to your KPI's, and draw conclusions:
- Engagement numbers (social media, email, blog)
- Webinar sign-ups
- Follow-ups after receiving content pieces
- CTR and conversion rates
Looking at your results in comparison to the campaign you will be able to see what worked, what didn't, and what can essentially be improved. Understanding the 10 steps and seeing their results will help to start a new 10 step cycle with an improved strategy.