How do I get started in content marketing?
You’re a newbie to content marketing.
Probably you read an article online about a content marketing strategy that gave you a wake-up call.
Maybe a lot of people in your network have been encouraging you to incorporate content marketing within your digital marketing efforts. But you keep getting the same question stuck in your head “How do I get started in content marketing?”
The reality is that you really don’t know squat about how to create and execute a content marketing strategy.
There’s nothing wrong with that. As Robert Iger says in his recently released best seller The Ride of a Lifetime : Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,
“You have to be humble. There’s nothing less confidence-inspiring than a person faking knowledge they don’t possess.”
The first step towards creating a strong content marketing plan depends heavily on you acknowledging that you don’t know what to do. You’re reading this article because you embrace this fact.
Since you’re not faking knowledge you don’t possess, you’ve just saved yourself thousands of dollars in failed content marketing strategies.
Our Organization is New to Content Marketing — Where Do We Start?
With that said, it’s usually best to hire content marketing experts who can help you get the best bang for your buck. This article outlines important tasks unique to a company with little or no content marketing experience.
We’ve explained these tasks so that you know what to expect from someone who claims to be a content marketing expert.
What does a Content Audit do?
A content audit helps you track your content and analyze how it impacts your audience so that you can make improvements. We tend to think about a content audit from the perspective of a brand that already has copious volumes of content online.
However, a content audit can also be done with organizations new to content marketing. Being new to content marketing doesn’t mean your organization lacks content. You may have instructional videos, podcast episodes, whitepapers or other content pieces that were never used as part of a content marketing strategy.
Here are some questions a content marketing expert may ask during your content audit:
- Who is your target audience?
- How do you presently reach your target audience?
- How is the existing content on your website performing?
- Have there previously been any attempts to create content for digital marketing? If there were, how successful were these initiatives? What lessons were learned?
- Does your organization have any existing content such as videos, whitepapers, press releases and so on? Can these existing pieces be used as content for a content marketing plan?
Content creation Case study – Part 1
One of our new clients came to us for help with their content strategy. They had been creating content every day for their website and were bewildered with the serious lack of results. They recorded an audio podcast, which they had transcribed and put on their website. Every. Single. Day.
Yet, they were not seeing any increase in traffic form all of their efforts!
Here are the results they were getting as seen from Google Analytics for April 1- July 20, 2018…
Sure, They had listened to all the gurus about making sure to add content, but what they failed to realize was that they were putting out the wrong type of content!
Results to follow…
Do Competitor Research
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a content marketing newbie is ignoring your competitors. Competitor research isn’t exclusively important for product development and fulfilling business plan requirements.
It’s also very important for creating a strong content marketing funnel.
Competitor research helps both you and the content marketing expert you hire identify gaps in content your competitors have already posted online. This knowledge allows the content marketing expert to create a content marketing plan that helps your organization fill those gaps in a way unique to your brand.
Some things a content marketing expert would look out for when doing competitor research include:
- How your competitors’ audiences engage with website and social media content
- Questions the competitor’s customers are asking that aren’t being adequately addressed
- Viewing the competitor’s most popular content and identifying how your brand can create fresh content related to the same topics
- Identifying the keywords your competitors currently rank for
Set Goals and Keep Them
Goal-setting is one of the most important aspects of a successful content marketing strategy. It provides direction for the strategy and serves as a reference point for evaluating performance.
DataBox lists 32 possible content marketing goals in this article. You’ll probably have multiple goals that are segmented into specific content marketing campaigns.
A strong content marketing goal is to increase leads from organic search. If you choose this strategy, it’s important for you to quantify it. How much do you want to increase leads by, based on your current lead generation results?
This objective can then be linked to your content marketing funnel. Ultimately, your aim is to convert those leads into paying customers. A strong content marketing funnel can help you achieve this.
Content marketing can become challenging. It’s often difficult to consistently come up with content ideas and post relevant content. No matter how difficult it gets, stick with it. Brands that achieve the best results from content marketing efforts set goals and stuck with them.
For a detailed guide on how to create high-quality content, check out this article
Create a Content Calendar
A content calendar helps a content marketing team plan and keep track of the content for marketing plans. Content shows have become an integral element of content calendars, especially since the coronavirus pandemic.
Jay Baer describes content shows in this article. It’s an interesting concept because it uses the powerful benefits of live videos, podcasts, and YouTube to attract a steady audience. It’s something the content marketing expert you hire should consider if it fits with your brand and content marketing objectives.
Aside from content shows, your content calendar can include blog articles, white papers, social media posts and other content pieces. The content should be organized in monthly blocks based on themes. Organizing content in this way makes it a bit easier to consistently come up with content ideas.
Finally, a content calendar should include plans to promote and track content. Promotion is ultimately what helps get your brand the organic reach it needs. Tracking helps your content marketing team make adjustments based on how each content piece is performing.
At Swingpoint Media, we are all about tracking the results of the efforts that you make. If you do not measure what is happening, how do you adjust to get the right results?
Content creation Case study – Part 2
So, back to our case study of the client that was adding content every day!
Once we took a look at what they were doing, we basically followed all the steps that we have just outlined in this article.
We took a look at what the competitors were doing and we “plussed “it. We made that content even better and we mapped it out into a calendar.
What happened to the content that they had already created? We simply went back and renamed it and re-jigged the words to reflect what people were searching for.
Our client was being too cute with fancy names, terms and jargon that his ideal audience was not looking for…so, Google were never dishing up his website in the results as no one was typing those terms into the search bar.
We took a look at what people were searching for and gave them what they wanted.
As a result, here are the latest figures for the website for the same period, just 2 years later…
As you can see from these results, their traffic has quadrupled. This was entirely due to making sure that the content that was being produced on a consistent basis was the most relevant content for their audience…
Now, it won’t take you 2 years to get these results, as we are seeing dramatic results in just a few short months when we use this strategy…which is every day!
You may be on a tight budget but hiring a content marketing expert can help you achieve content marketing success. Sure, you could try to do a content audit, do competitor analysis, set goals, and create a content calendar. However, you’ll probably give up on your efforts sooner rather than later because you’re balancing many responsibilities as an entrepreneur.
By the way, the content that you produce is an ever working asset for your business. It will continue to bring you traffic as long as you have it published on your website.
We have a team of content marketing experts who’re ready to assist. Schedule a consultation today.