If you’ve been thinking about starting a content marketing program, but don’t know where to begin, this is the article for you. Additionally, if you’ve already started, but could use a few ideas, this article will be helpful for you as well.
When applied strategically, content marketing can be extremely valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. We consider content marketing to be an investment that will reap rewards both now and in the future and can deliver some of the best returns for your company.
WHERE TO START
1.) Identify The Key Issues Facing Your Industry
- Map those issues to your business offer. For example if one of the critical issues facing your industry is how to address rising fuel costs on menu pricing, AND your company offers a solution, you will want to create content specifically addressing those issues.
- Most brands start with the products and services they offer and try to develop content from this point of view. While you want to keep your services in mind when creating content, this is not the right place to begin. I think of it this way: Angelsmith is not in the business of selling website development or social media services to companies, we are in the business of solving marketing problems for people we care about. We do our best to write solution, not product or service, oriented content.
2.) Understand Your Customer’s Pain Points
- Solve your potential customers problems, not yours. You can cheaply and easily find out what these are by doing a survey on Facebook or simply jumping on the phone and asking your best customers for input.
- One of our start up technology clients created their product specifically to address the category leader’s shortcomings. By aggressively writing about solutions to common industry problems, they’ve been able to steal market share in record time.
3.) Evaluate Your Resources
- Creating compelling content is CHALLENGING. Before you get started, understand which resources you have to develop, distribute and monitor your marketing results.
4.) Rifle Through Your Office
- This is my double-secret weapon to quickly developing and sustaining a rockin’ content program. Most organizations have loads of content that is ready and waiting to be repurposed into content gold. Emails, customer questions, presentations and more are all existing pieces that can be used as a platform to create amazingly rich content.
- During one meeting at a client’s office, I overheard 1/2 of a phone conversation that sounded like it might lend itself to an article. After the sales rep hung up the phone, we chatted, I took copious notes and that piece has become one of the company’s most shared articles on their blog. It was all generated from a customer asking a question.
- Conference calls are also a great resource for content ideation.
5.) Develop A Company Blog
- If you don’t already have one, a corporate blog is the best place to house your content. Think of the website as a company billboard on the highway and the company blog as your personal direct office telephone line. Besides the search benefits, it’s a spot to have a deeper more meaningful conversation with your customers.
6.) Understand What Role Content Will Play In Your Organization
- For most of our clients we use content as a lead generator, however this hasn’t alway been the case. Content is excellent as an awareness tool, to build leadership positioning, address customer service issues, and of part of a SEO and SEM program. The really cool thing about great content is that it can achieve all of these things, but the issue you want to keep in mind is how will you know if it’s working for your organization?
7.) Determine Success Metrics
- In advance, decide how content should be measured for your organization.
You know that content marketing can be a great tool for your company, but getting started can be intimidating. These are just some of the ways to help you jumpstart your program and I want to encourage you to ask questions and share your content tips with others. I will follow this article up with more in depth features on content marketing specific elements.
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Photo Credit: Libby Levi