Content marketing is the creation and distribution of highly relevant and valuable content in order to attract new prospects. It is a form of inbound marketing. There are a dozen of different definitions floating on the web, but we like keeping it short and simple!
With that said, let’s move to a checklist that you can rapidly go through if you want to use this marketing strategy.
1. It’s about Them
People do not really care about you. They are not interested in knowing where you come from, or what you want in life. All they care about is themselves. This is what your content needs to be focused on; them.
Your content needs to be about what’s in for them (the benefits, how it can help them).
2. Pick 1 of these 2 Mini-Goals
Your content needs to have a direction. If you do not already have a plan, 2 good directions to take are listed below:
- Informative and educational
- Entertaining (Stories that they can relate to, humor, etc.)
Pick one, and formulate your content strategy based on that mini-goal. A mixture of both of them will get people browsing for more and recommending (and sharing) your stuff.
3. Identify their Pain Points
If you really want to generate more comments and shares for your content, identifying your target audience’s pain points is the way to go. If people see that you know how it feels, and that you can provide a solution to stop the pain, there will definitely be recommendations and referrals coming in.
Not sure how to do that? Here are 3 ways: Browse forums, create a survey and set up Google Alerts.
4. Send a Clear Message
What makes you or your brand different? Why should people be coming to you instead of your competitors? What is your core value? What makes you unique?
Have a unique view that other people can align with. Once you do that, every follower you get will stick to you (be loyal) for a long time to come.
5. Get Organized
Content creation and publishing is not the fastest traffic generation technique (if you want speed, try PPC!), but it’s the one that brings in the most consistent, long term, and quality traffic.
If you are getting into it, it’s going to be wise to consider making a schedule and getting organized about the whole thing. One day of the week could be booked for brainstorming and research, another for conducting interviews or surveys and another one for publishing and distribution of the content.
Don’t forget that the content can be re-purposed. A video can easily be turned into an “iPod ready mp3” and a “digital PDF transcript”. So it’s not only to YouTube and Vimeo that your content is going on, but also on Podcast directories and document sharing sites, and of course, your blog and other people’s blogs.
6. Making it about Quality
Massive amounts of content are produced every single day. Only a few of them receive any recognition and appreciation though; they are the pieces of work that have quality as their backbone.
If you have the time and resources, consider investing them in your best content. It can make the difference between good content and excellent content. A good piece of content can be an awesome article. The same article spiced up with relevant pictures and graphs or data tables would become excellent.
7. Making it Flow
The marketing and the products you are selling need to be in line. The consumer has to recognize your brand at the sight of your product and its sales efforts. For example, you cannot send the message of fasting for weight loss in your content marketing and then sell a product that bashes up fasting for weight loss. Consistency is important. It builds trust. And trust makes sales.
8. A Call-to-Action in Every Property
While it’s good to distribute good information, information only will not make any sale or generate any lead. Integrate a call-to-action in every single piece of content you publish, irrespective of the format (video, audio, text). Tell the user what to do next (sign up, check out a product, etc.), because if you don’t, someone else will and they will be making the sale.
9. Get Social
This is not “pure bred” content marketing, but it is certainly making an establishment with strong roots in it. A social media presence can help you get the initial word out if you are connected to the right people.
10. Do it…Then Repeat
Still wondering if content marketing “works”? This is what holds back most people. This is why most people fail. Ignore that little voice that keeps asking, “What if…?”. This is a 10-point checklist. Follow this, and repeat. Take action. This is how results are obtained.