According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” www.contentmarketinginstitute.com
Here’s the big secret to successful content marketing: Instead of pitching your products or services, you must provide truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
Why should you have a content marketing plan?
Content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers
One of our company core values is that connection matters more than anything. This is what we strive for in all interactions with our community. When we focus on connection first, we increase sales and build a community of loyal, raving fans.
We aim to consistently deliver useful, relevant content from us and our partners that support creatives in growing profitable businesses.
So how do you get started with a great content marketing strategy? Following the steps below to get started.
Step 1. What is the goal of your content marketing?
- Build a tribe of raving fans
- Create more visibility
- Get clients
- Establish yourself as an authority, expert or thought leader
Step 2. Two parts to creating great content that accomplishes your goals
A. Know your ideal client – who are they and what do they want to learn from you?
B. Share your personal story: passions, interests, hobbies, core values – create connection by letting people see the face behind the business
Step 3. Brainstorm content ideas with these questions:
Ask yourself: what is the problem my ideal clients have, what is the result they want, what is the tone I want to create? Playful, serious, humorous?
Then ask yourself these questions:
What is the outcome you want for your ideal client?
What is important to you for them to understand?
What do you want them to get excited about?
Shift your perspective and stand in your client’s shoes and answer these questions from her perspective:
What do you find most challenging?
What do you really wish an expert would help you with?
What exact help do you need/want?
What is your biggest frustration right now?
What would your life be like if you were to solve this problem?
Step 4. Decide what channels you will use – start with 1 to 3
Once you have created some ideas for your content, you need to decide how you will share this content. You don’t need to use all the different marketing channels – pick one, two or three to begin with. And pick the ones where your clients are spending their time!
What is a content marketing channel? Here are a few popular ones!
- Your website or blog
- Email marketing system
Step 5. Create an editorial calendar
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to plan your content in advance. You don’t have to create all of it in advance but you do need know what promotions you are focusing on, what topics you want to share, etc.
You can use a spreadsheet, paper calendar or digital calendar for this process. Plan your content at least 60 days in advance. Know you need more support with this? Join me for a live virtual workshop: Creative Marketing in Action. I will teach you how to do this! http://bit.ly/creativemarketingday
Step 6. Block time in your calendar for both content creation and distribution
An editorial calendar won’t help you if you don’t commit the time to create the content. Block out time each week to create your content. I like to do a little content work every day. Other people like to batch their writing all at once. There’s no “right” way to create your content. What’s important is that you are consistent!
Have fun creating content and if you’d love more support on this topic, join me and my friend Molly Mandleberg for a Creative Play Date! We will make marketing fun, guaranteed. Plus you can participate in your pjs from the comfort of your living room! Go here for details now: http://bit.ly/creativemarketingday