Adjusting Your Perspective
Content Marketing can be overwhelming, and although it takes time and practice to be efficient and good at it, the trick is to planning in advance and finding a manageable workflow that you can use that will keep you on track and will improve your effectiveness and reach by focusing your efforts. With a little exploration and planning, you will be well on your way to finding your content marketing zen.
Content Marketing isn’t about recreating the wheel. It’s about determining a few key ideas each week (or even month if that’s all you have time for) that contribute and relate to your product or service, and getting those ideas in front of the eyes to the people to whom it matters– your customers. The theory is that once individuals in the information searching stage see you as a reliable source to solve their problems, they should convert into customers. However, it’s often a slow and steady build to gain confidence and trust, and content marketing gurus stress the importance of fresh content, and SEO efficacy, and quality, and analytics, and advice often leads to more stress and confusion.
Content Marketing is further complicated with limited time and tight budgets. So if you find you’re doing it all yourself the best thing to do is to plan, plan, plan. And once you have a plan in place execution becomes much less intimidating. And the plan can always be adjusted based on results. Although it’s been shown that content marketing can help the big guys with the big budgets and smaller guys alike, don’t let it mess with your chi.
Start With Your Foundation
Here are some basic steps to follow when building your content marketing strategy:
- Define your target market: While this should go without saying, if you haven’t done an exercise where you develop your customer personas, doing so will really help with topics and tone. Personas can be a fun exercise in diving into the psychology of members of your target market. Give your personas names and ages and quirks. The more lifelike the better.
- Determine your core content types: Your core types are going to be the pieces that receive the most time and attention. This could be a blog, ebook, presentations, or video, but the core pieces are the foundation of pieces you will share. These should be as good of quality as possible. If you need help with something. Choose your core content type by being mindful of the following factors: 1) your target market, 2) your resources, 3) your competencies, and 4) passions (don’t jump on a bandwagon just because you will end up having to tidy up graveyard accounts).
- Determine key topics: Have a Brainstorming Session and just let your imagination fly. Resolve to at least come up with 52 topics and, and if you put your mind into the mind of the persona you created, you will be surprised at how quickly one topic for each week will come to you.
- Make an editorial calendar: Make deadlines for when all components of your chosen content type need to be finished and stick to the deadlines. If you fall off the horse, and start to get lax, forgive yourself, get back on, and remember that social media and content marketing is a long game.
- Balance your time between structured engagement and spontaneous engagement: Unless something is breaking news you probably don’t need to respond immediately. The trick is to learning the difference between urgency and importance. People are fine with you responding to them when you can as long as you do it. As your following grows, unfortunately the efforts of one person are not scalable, so there comes a point when you have to choose which engagements and relationships are most important for you and your company.
Hopefully these tips will help you get off the ground running this new year, and maybe not feel so overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.