As a business owner you are probably always on the lookout of how you can increase your visibility and attract more customers. It’s true that paid advertising is the fastest and easiest way to achieve this. But in the great world of the Internet, not all advertising needs to cost a lot of money to be efficient.
You probably heard about content marketing and if not, you need to read on, as content marketing is one of the best low-cost and high-return marketing forms that will get your business visible and increase your credibility.
The idea of content marketing is that you create a content that educates and/or entertains your target market. In return for sharing valuable information, your followers will reward you with their appreciation, trust and loyalty. Once such relationship is established, your educated followers will buy from you, even though you haven’t really pushed to sale to them. How wonderful is that.
This cute image explains how it works (courtesy of Aweber)
Content marketing is very popular with online marketers and if it works for them, then it works for anyone who has a website or uses social media marketing.
How to make it work for you?
The reason why many don’t tackle content marketing is the good old excuse of not having enough time. It’s a bit of a BS, as content marketing can all be done in advance, all you need to do is plan ahead. So the first step to make it work for you is, you’ve guessed it:
It’s simple. Answer these questions and you have your plan:
- What will I post? Will I educate, entertain, provide news about my industry, share tips, etc.
- How will I spread my word? Will I blog, guest blog, post on social media, use email, comment on forums etc
- How often will I post? Frequency of you communications is important factor as once you’ve established a relationship, people will expect you keep up with that frequency.
- Where will I find information to post about? What content you already have that you can re-use? Where can you find news from your industry?
Once you answer these questions, you have a plan. Now all you need to do is write your content.
The most efficient and productive way of performing tasks is to bulk them up. So, if you need to write content, the most time-efficient way is to sit down and write as much as you can in a given time. Once you have the content ready, then schedule it for posting. This way you will save heaps of time and you know how it is, once the pen (fingers J) runs smoothly, you don’t want to stop the creative flow.
Consider setting up one day in a week; let’s say Monday morning for 2 hours, to write one blog post, email newsletter and 10 Facebook posts. Then schedule them in WordPress and Facebook and you are done for the next week with your content. Now you can concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Think about which day best suits you to write. Unless you really have to, refrain from opening your email of Facebook until allocated time is over and you have some content.
Content marketing does not stop with writing and publishing. The next important step is:
Monitoring and responding
You need to regularly check all platforms where you publish your content for any comments, questions, so that you can respond in a timely manner. Especially when it comes to social media you need to respond quickly to elevate engagement, which prolongs longevity of your posts and give you more reach and exposure.
Set up reminders to check your posting platforms daily and for social media make sure you are available for at least 30min after your posts are publish, so that you can promptly engage with fans. Then set your smart phone with push notifications to follow any comments throughout the day. (Warning – create a discipline to only check business account notification, to avoid getting pulled into private conversations and checking upon your friends – this can wait until later. You have business to run J
Remember, a good marketing strategy combines paid and free advertising. Content marketing is not only cheap; it allows your potential customers to get to know you and build relationship with you. It also helps you build credibility by educating your market and presenting your product and services.
If you are already using content marketing, share what works for you in comments below.