Are you thinking about starting a content marketing program? You’re not alone. Smart marketers know that great content creates website traffic, engages prospects, builds your brand’s credibility, and generates leads that ultimately turn into sales. If you’re not creating content these days, you’re ignoring what needs to be a natural and essential part of your overall marketing plan.
But you’re also not alone if you don’t know how to get your content strategy kicked off and moving ahead. We see this every day at Brandpoint: Prospective new clients know they have to be creating content, but they just don’t know where to start. We love to help … whether we end up building a strategy and content plan for them, or just getting them going on their own.
The questions that budding content marketers ask always revolve around these three topics:
- Just what kinds of content should I be creating?
- How much of it?
- And how often?
It really can paralyze a person. That’s because it’s easy to try and make the whole process more complex than it really needs to be. In the end, content marketing must be an elegantly simple proposition to work: Create material of value that your prospect will value, and you become a) a trusted provider of information that makes your prospects’ lives better and b) the product or service that rises to top-of-mind in their time of need or desire.
The trick to starting to generate those kinds of results is twofold: Coming up with a simple strategy to get your content marketing efforts going. And then just get doing. To that end, I’m going to outline a simple content marketing strategy that will get your program kicked-off and moving ahead right now. This take-it-and-use-it formula will give you confidence to start on the road to content marketing success immediately.
Blog 3 Times a Week
There’s nothing worse than a blog ignored. On the surface it’s bad because a couple old and lame posts from months (or more) ago make you and your website look like you don’t care or don’t know what’s going on in your world … and probably both.
On the inside it’s bad because your blog is your goldmine for creating the consistently new website content that keeps the search engines coming back to index what you’ve added and reward you for being an active content creator.
If you’re writing about topics your prospects care about, the combination of new and relevant content will bring traffic your way.
So feed the blog beast! He’s a good beast that will soon become your best friend. How often should you be blogging? Start with three times a week. If you’re not passionate and geeked-out enough about your business that you can’t blog three times a week, you’re probably in the wrong business.
How many words? A few hundred (let’s say 300) is fine. Go with more words if you want, less if that’s all you need. But write and post three times a week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are good. Mid mornings work. But don’t get too wigged out about “when.” Just getting fresh content up is job one.
You can always blog more often later, but this is a place to start. The aforementioned link will provide you with some great ideas for making a fresh content stream for your blog.
Create One E-book Or Other Downloadable Content Piece of Value Per Month
Another secret to an effective content marketing program is creating content that people want to download and save for reference. Your blog pulls them in; and your e-books and e-guides keep your expertise and insights top-of-mind.
I’ll say it again: Don’t make this process more complex than it needs to be! And keep in mind that an e-book doesn’t have to be what you usually think of as “book length.” A compact, efficient and information-filled 10-page e-book is just fine. Or make it a 1-page tip sheet or e-guide.
Invest In Social Media Time Every Day
The social media platforms you use will vary by your industry, and whether you are B2C or B2B. Consider Twitter a given either way. If you’re B2B, Linked In is essential. If you’re B2C, Facebook is a must. It’s also a good idea to use Facebook if you’re a B2B business.
Like your blog, you need to feed your social media regularly. By this, we mean every day as far as managing the accounts, getting interactions going and crafting responses goes. It’s also essential for generating the shareable content you need to really spread your word. For posting, this schedule makes a smart start:
- Twitter: Four times per day, plus a post promoting every new blog.
- Facebook: Two times per day, plus a post promoting every new blog.
- Linked In: One time per day, plus a post promoting every new blog.
There you have it. While your business will probably end up needing more content than what this simple content strategy prescribes, you need to get going now. Don’t fret any longer, and don’t let analysis give you paralysis. There aren’t any guarantees in life, but I can flat-out state this one: Getting active with content is going to benefit your business and produce results. Just get started, keep it simple, give people content about the topics you (and they) share a passion for, and get going.