When I say to a client we need to implement a content marketing strategy, I usually get a deer in the headlights look. They either have no idea what it is or see it as yet another challenge in finding the time for content marketing. Until I explain what it is. So here goes.

A content marketing strategy is nothing more than providing informative content to your audience. Easy enough right? Well not really. Most often business owners get stuck in the weeds and bogged down with the idea of content marketing so let's go over a few ideas, so it isn't such a time suck or a stressful action you take to grow your business.

First, let's cover why a content marketing strategy is something you should consider when planning your marketing.

Content that you place on your website feeds the buying/sales funnel. As people search for information to solve a problem, this content can help attract and start to build trust and authority with the customer.

A more educated customer is a good customer.

We no longer tell our customers what they need or want. They are driven by their social networks and information is a Google search away. Often you do not even get to talk to the customer until they are at the end of the sales funnel.

Who talks to them before that? Your content!

The key to a good content strategy is consistency. Set a schedule that you will stick to whether it be monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, or a few times a week. We have seen overzealous clients commit to weekly when they only have time for monthly. Don't make that mistake.

educated consumer

Take small chunks of time and devote to content.

We all have 24 hours in a day that we must work our business, take care of ourselves, and spend time with family and friends. Use a tool like Google Drive, Evernote, OneNote, or other note-taking tools to work on content while you are going through your day and have 5 10 minutes where you can jot down notes.

As situations happen, jot them down. Maybe a customer asked a question or had a situation that might be helpful to your audience. This can help you along the way with current and future pieces of content you create.

Use a feed to get ideas, RSS Feeds, Feedly, and other news aggregator apps are a great tool for this.

work smart not hard

Delegate some or all your content development to your staff.

Your staff deals with your customers as well and may have great insight into something helpful for your audience. Let staff members contribute to your content, giving them plenty of notice so they can gather their thoughts and information for the content.

This is the best way to build up your staff to your audience. It shows they know their stuff and your audience will grow to know, like, and trust them. This is great for your brand!

2018 will see a rise of employee brand advocates overpaid influencers

Choose content types that work for you.

One of our clients was so hung up on perfecting a video that it never left the editing table. Don't pick content that will be hard or difficult to create. Keep it easy and simple. If you are going the video route don't get so hung up on it looking studio quality, well unless you are a studio. People like the raw look of a business, it gives transparency that your audience is looking for.

Content Marketing Types you may want to consider:

  • Video
  • Articles
  • How-To (videos and articles)
  • Podcast
  • Checklists
  • Case Studies
  • Infographics
  • Portfolio Pieces
  • Demos
  • Product Reviews
  • Whitepapers
  • Interviews
  • and much more

social posts win them over

64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos

Repurpose your Content

Yeah, there is that deer in headlights look again, admit it! Your content can be presented in different formats making it easier for your audience to consume. Let's say you do an article, a few months later you may do a video or an infographic that supports or expands the content.

This helps you in multiple ways; it puts the content in different formats allowing people to take it in how they prefer and it allows you to bump up the same content in a search by reposting it.

As content gets outdated you can go in and rewrite or combine pieces of content. Do not delete a post or page on your website without a little 301 redirect know-how. We do not want Google sending people to a 404 Page not found. Ouch, Right?

create an experience in your content

Content marketing in 2018 is no longer just about words but about creating experiences.

Outsource your content marketing

Do what you do best, and outsource the rest Peter Drucker

Often business owners make the biggest mistake by trying to wear all the hats in their business. I will admit, I catch myself being guilty of this. When budgets are slim businesses tend to go with a more DIY approach and try to figure out what works and what doesn't. Don't fall into this trap. If you outsource, the agency has plenty of time for content marketing, it is what they do.

A good content marketing agency or freelancer will work with you, allowing you to make a choice whether you want to be a part of the process. They will generate and use the content you provide them to post different content marketing types. An agency will take your goals and create a strategic plan to use content marketing to get you there.

Look for agencies with search engine optimization and a social media background. These agencies can help create and promote content that will be useful to your audience but also help you promote it in search and social.

49% of B2C Marketers outsource content creation activities (writing, design, video production)

Promote your content EVERYWHERE!

Add a link to your content in your newsletters, share it on social media, add it to your signature lines in an email. Drive traffic to your content on a regular basis to help get eyeballs looking at it.

As you are working on your content marketing strategy follow up by checking how that piece of content resonated with your audience. Look at comments, likes, shares, etc. Review analytics, social media reporting, search rankings, etc. all to get an idea of how your content is doing.

make your content about your audience

Stop talking about your brand, and start creating content people want to read, watch, or listen to.

Content marketing is a proven strategy to strengthen your connection with your potential and existing customer base, it has search engine optimization benefits, and helps convert your audience. Your needs and goals will dictate how much time for content marketing you devote or if you outsource it. There is no right or wrong answer here. The key is to seriously look at content marketing as one element of your overall marketing plan.

Lighthouse can help create a content marketing strategy and will work with you and your team to make it work for you. Request a free consultation so we can review your goals.

Hear from a few people we have worked with...

“We were looking for a company to rebuild our outdated website when we found Lighthouse Web Design & Marketing. I am so glad we did! Richelle met with us right away! She presented ideas and obtained information from us and went right to work on a new design for our business. We are so pleased with the outcome and look forward to an ongoing business relationship with her and her team.” ~ JEANNA GRAY

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