You, the founder of a blossoming startup, are ready to take on anything. You’ve got an idea. You even built a kick-ass website. You’ve (maybe) got a few customers and even some revenue. But you’ve got one problem. You need to get your word out to the world, cost effectively.
Let us be the first to welcome you to the the king of online marketing techniques: Content Marketing.
It has been proven to be more cost effective than taking out an ad in your local newspaper and more proactive than handing out a business card to every stranger you meet.
It’s digital. It’s flexible. It’s the awkward, quiet Ally Sheedy to your cast of delinquents in your marketing strategy. You need Ally Sheedy.
You need content marketing. It is the key to starting your online marketing campaign, and we are here to help you.
The phrase ‘Content Marketing’ sounds intimidating, we know. But it will become your best friend when you want to begin promoting your content.
From the front page of your website to the tweet you sent out to your many Twitter followers, content marketing is the key to successfully promoting your content.
The content you put out there can be a video, blog posts, or press releases. It’s at the forefront of your marketing brigade and you should not take it lightly.
Search Engine Optimization, a.k.a. SEO, is a term you will hear again and again the more you immerse yourself in content marketing.
Good SEO is subtle, but killer for your competitors. To keep it simple, SEO is an online marketing strategy that uses a keywords and a variety of techniques throughout the content in order for internet users to find your content in search engines.
But what isn’t so simple is how the internet discovers and ranks your content.
For instance, if you are selling winter coats, then major brands like The North Face and Burlington Coat Factory will almost always outrank you in search engines (this is excluding any paid ads at the top of the search results). Which brings us to our next point.
Before you even think about choosing your SEO keywords you must do your research. Don’t just go into content marketing guns a’ blazin’, ready to hire a content creator once you get through the basics.
Take the time to research your competitors, who your ideal customer is, and the current trends in your industry. Just like the bright pink chucks everyone wore in middle school, trends come in hot, then go cold, and then come back hot again further down the road.
You wouldn’t want to be the outcast so soon in the game.
Keep up with trends with tools like Google Trends. With this tool, you can stay informed with topics you choose to be alerted by. It’s pretty much Facebook-stalking for businesses looking to find more info on their competitors.
Study their press releases, their interviews with local magazines, and their customer reviews any way you can so that you can create competing content.
Managing your startup already fills your day-to-day with budget meetings, interviews with prospective employees, and ordering materials.
But don’t think content creation is an easy step in the marketing process. It’s about time for you add content marketing to your to-do-list, because content doesn’t market itself.
Professional bloggers will even tell you that posting content on a regular basis is a must in any strategy for growing your customer base. Create a schedule and follow it diligently.
Writing about the ten best ways to care for your pet on a budget isn’t exactly what your audience will be looking to read if you are selling carpets. It’s unrelated and your customers will run for the hills before they even submit an inquiry.
If you’re funny, then write funny, engaging blog posts about your products and services. If you are the more serious type, then create content for your website that is welcoming, yet astute.
I mean, can you imagine if Bruce Wayne started a blog of his business?
Would he smooth talk his clients with articles about his rise to fame and fortune? Or would he escape to his batcave and blog angrily about the struggles of being a superhero fighting Gotham’s bad guys?
He would of course be dictating all of this to Siri in his Christian Bale voice.
Say you spend a month gathering the perfect content from writers and a group of SEO extraordinaires, or creating your own content from scratch. That’s fantastic!
But don’t start handing out press releases just yet. You won’t know how your content will be received without trying it out first. Whether you share it with social media or ask your current customers to check out your blog. Feedback, good or bad, will help your content marketing become more successful.
One of the best ways to utilize all the effort you put into content marketing is by interacting with your customers on social media with it. Tweet it, share it, email everyone on your website’s mailing list, and send text messages to your friends whenever you post new content. Your new content will be virtually useless if you skip this step. Find future clients and drum up some good customer service reviews with this technique.
And lastly, before doing anything else,
We know that after reading this content marketing guide, you’ll be ready to start your content marketing strategy immediately. (If not, comment below and let us know why not!)
But, don’t jump into the land of content marketing headfirst without a set goal. Before conducting research or contemplating keywords for your SEO, set a goal for your content marketing campaign.
Are you hoping to increase your customer base in a specific area? Are you opening an online store and want to create interest? Create content with a purpose. Post content that you feel will assist your campaign and spread the word on your new business.