Content marketing is an art, of strategy, planning, analyzing, and following through. Content marketing is about connecting to your audience, through a story, educationally, informatively, and by being entertaining, all while focused on an end goal, for both of you.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to layout a killer content marketing campaign, from beginning to end, in a way that I use at SimpleTiger to achieve huge growth for our clients. For related tips about SEO inbound linking strategy, you can check the interview with the top SEOs from the Philadelphia community.
Let’s get started, shall we?
First, answer these three vital questions
First and foremost, you have to answer three questions to give yourself direction in your content. You have to know where you’re going before you get started. Otherwise, you’ll just be wading through an aimless sea, and going nowhere fast. Before you start any content marketing effort, answer these three quick questions:
- What are your goals for this content?
- What are your visitor’s goals?
- Where can you focus your efforts to achieve both ends?
Pretty simple right? Let me break it down for you.
What are your goals?
What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to get more clients? Are you trying to get more email subscribers to follow up with other promotions? Are you trying to get more inbound links to rank higher for a certain key term? What’s your objective. Simplify this, and this will be your focus for the entirety of this content’s lifetime.
What are your visitor’s goals?
What is someone who will come across this content trying to achieve? Who would benefit from this? Is it someone looking for information, or just trying to be entertained? Once you know what they want, who are they? What do they like? What are they like? Where might they frequent on the web? What is their little silo of the internet that you might be able to tap into? What blogs do they like? What social media communities do they like? Figure all of this out, and this will be how you reach out to them.
Where can you focus your efforts to achieve both ends?
If the visitor is more likely to connect to something purely visual, this is great information to have. This means you shouldn’t build out a blog post for this specific piece of content, but instead possibly build an infographic, or a Slideshare deck. Figure out the medium to tell your story best, figure out the perfect story to connect to the viewer, and figure out how you can connect the content to them.
Even though content marketing is basically a piece of SEO, don’t leave it to search engines to do your work for you. The best way to guarantee your presence in search engines is to proactively seek out these interactions that will in-turn, grant you the links, shares, and visitors that search engines will reward you for.
Determine where you’re at
Simply speaking, depending on where you’re at, you could have resources at your disposal that could make this entire process so much easier, or potentially not. This is information that you need to know, though, and to be familiar with moving forward, so you’re not leaving any free fruit up for grabs.
There are three parts to this, simple in nature, but can be huge in promoting your content and taking advantage of information, so you don’t repeat potential problems in the future.
If you have any previous content on your site, of any kind, do an audit and figure out what works the best. There are plenty of resources on content audits, and the basis is to figure out what works best for your audience, and what you’ve done in the past that has connected the most, and where.
Audit your competition and keywords. Using tools like BuzzSumo and Open Site Explorer take your top competition (online, you don’t need to focus about offline competitors) and analyze them to see who has been linking to them, what media outlets have been mentioning them, who the authors of those posts were, and what posts they’ve had that got shared the most throughout your community.
Find out where the juice is flowing from, and why. Basically, you just need to know where all the influence and buzz is coming from in your community. Is there a single social media group that has a massive presence?
Is there a forum that has specific resonance with your audience? Is there a blog that has a ton of sway with your potential customers? All of these should be taken note of and closely examined and engaged with to try and create opportunities to contribute or give information to.