Everything You Need To Know About Successful Content Marketing

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So you’re looking for a way to grow your business but not sure how to go about it... Content marketing is sure fire way to make a difference.

There’s so much to know when it comes to content marketing. I’ve learned a lot over the years and decided to put everything I have learned into this post so that you have a place to refer back to whenever you need to.

I’ll start with my first question I typed into Google when trying to get this right…

 

What is Content Marketing?

 

Content Marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online (Source).

What does that mean for you?

It means creating content that is valuable and relevant, like blog posts, photos, podcasts, videos or social media posts and sharing them across different online platforms in order to reach your brand's goals.

The truth is not many people understand how to implement content marketing correctly. Heck I didn’t till not too long ago. Posting content on a regular basis isn’t the only requirement for content marketing— there’s WAY more to it than just that.

Content marketing requires strategy and goals in order for it to be effective. The days of putting content out there for the sake of getting something out are no longer the best way to see results. If we take the time to plan properly and create a strategy and a calendar, we’ll start seeing some amazing results.

I’m going to break it all down in this post. I’ll address:

  • What is the purpose of content marketing?

  • Why is it important to have a content calendar?

  • What are common mistakes in content marketing?

 

Once you’re done reading this post you’ll be able to put together your own strategy based on your goals for your business :)

Let’s begin.

 

What is the purpose of content marketing?

 

Content marketing is how we build trust and develop an audience for our brand. The idea is to provide extreme value in the content that we are putting out. This gives our reader a chance to get to know our brand and fall in love with it.

Our content is the starting point of the relationship. If we can put out content that solves a problem for our reader or provides help in some sort of way, we will start to create trust. The more help and value we provide, the greater chance of them returning to our content and looking forward to the new content we put out.

Ultimately they will become a fan and start to keep up with our posts, videos, newsletters, and any other forms of content we put out. This can even help them to become a customer down the road because they already know and like us — which is always a plus  :)

Like any relationship, it takes time to build and grow. Through our content we have to show our personality and really connect with our audience. Being consistent with our voice and providing amazing quality content, will give the reader time to get to know our brand and support it.

To be effective, we shouldn't just put anything out there. If we’re spending all this time posting to several social media channels,we’re going to want to see some results.. ami’ right?

It’s important to have a goal in mind that our content revolves around. Our topics should feel like it flows together rather than all over the place. For example, if you’re in the Nutrition business and you’re about to launch a new vegan cookbook, the content you put out weeks before should relate to topics covered in your new cookbook.

Your blog posts can be:  

 

  • 5 Reasons Why You should Switch To Vegan

  • Why I Live A Vegan Lifestyle

  • A feature of a recipe in the cookbook

 

The idea here is that with each topic, it has to do with the item you are selling and will plant the seed in the readers minds. These posts will have them interested and thinking about eating vegan and might help push them to make the purchase down the road.

It’s not going to do us any good to be posting pictures of turkey burgers a week before our vegan cookbook comes out. This is why planning ahead for these types of events are a must.

 

Why is it important to have a content calendar?

 

Although winging it might work in some cases, it’s not really that effective in business. Just like we have a business plan, it’s very important to have a marketing plan. A content calendar allows us to see important dates related to our business, such as a product launch, and then plan content for the weeks before and after it.

There’s many different ways to go about creating and using content calendars. Throughout my research I have learned that many people use two different types of calendars— a 12-month and 90-day. The 12-month calendar allows us to see the bigger picture of our business and set themes to go alongside the key events. If we know we’re going to be releasing a free e-course in the beginning of the year and release a book at the end of the year, the calendar will help us set up themes.

Using the same Nutrition example, if we’re launching the free e-course on healthy eating habits in March and a vegan cookbook is being released in November, the 12-month calendar will help us visualize what months should be used to put out content relating to each release.

After seeing the big picture, then we can work on creating our 90-day calendars to coincide with the product launches. The 90-day calendar with the free healthy eating habits e-course launch will have content relating to the healthy eating habits in the weeks leading up to it. The weeks following it can include answers to questions that came up in the course, or feedback from the course from their experiences putting the information into action. This will keep the momentum going and help encourage others to take the free course.

The last 90-day calendar of the year will be focused on the launch of the vegan cookbook. Again, the weeks leading up to it will have articles and other content that will relate to eating vegan in order to get the buzz going on the topic.

Without seeing all these key events on a calendar, we might realize the week before the launch that we don’t have a promotion plan in place and will be scrambling to get the spark ignited on the product. With the calendar everything is planned in advance so all we have to do is stick to sched ;)

 

What are common mistakes in content marketing?

In reference to blogging, which is often the starting point for a content marketing plan, there are three common mistakes that can really do some damage to your marketing plan.

 

1. Short mediocre posts

Many times people will not spend the time to develop content that is useful to their reader. This results in a short mediocre post that doesn’t do our brand any good. It’s very hard to take away any information from a short piece of writing.

Putting in the time to develop a longer post will go a long way. Long posts have shown to do better in search engines and have way more to offer. Which brings me to my next point..

 

2. Not useful or valuable

If we’re putting all this effort into our posts and want to see results, then we HAVE to provide useful, valuable information. Would you return back to a site that put out a post that didn’t do anything for you? I wouldn’t either.

Fixing this is easy. For example, we should provide actionable steps in our posts if we’re teaching something to our readers. This guides them through a problem they’re having, so by the end of the post their problem is solved and we’re the hero :)  If we’re sharing a personal experience, it’s best to provide things our reader can learn from it or mistakes to avoid.

With every piece of content we put out, we need to ask ourselves “is my reader able to take away something from this?” If the answer is no, then we have some editing to do my friend.

 

3. Focus too much on quantity and not quality

Many people think this is a numbers game, when it shouldn’t be. Quality is key! It’s way more important to have 5 really good posts that solve 5 problems your readers are having than to have 20 posts that dance around the subject. We want to be seen as a leader by providing the best content to our readers, so it’s super important to focus on the content within our posts rather than the frequency of our posts. By doing this, we’ll start to build a loyal fanbase.

 

Now that I have taken you through all of the key points to content marketing, I know you’re ready to get to work creating your strategy!

 

Here are some free content calendar templates to help you get started :)

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