Great content marketers do two things:
- document their content marketing strategy
- review and consistently refer to the plan on a regular basis
Your unique difference is in how you communicate. use that to your advantage to build an audience. Find your sweet spot: the intersection of knowledge or skill area plus your passion point.
- make a list of knowledge areas and special skills
- make content for something you are passionate about
- for businesses, choose a customer pain point
Once you pick an area, focus.
Clarify your audience:
who is he or she?
how do they live an average day?
what is the person's need? what is their informational need and/or pain points?
why will this person care about us, our products, our services?
To be successful, you have to become indispensible to your audience so focus on your most defined audience. You can add other audiences later.
Content Titling: find a problem are that no one else is solving and exploit that area with content.
How do you solve a problem in a way that is unique?
If the content doesn't tell a different story, it will likely be ignored. So focus on what your customers want to be and help them get where they really want to go. Become the content your customers want to engage with over everyone else. Forget what your competition is doing and focus on what you are good at; your uniqueness.
If you are not sure what the pain points are, ask your audience. Setup up listening posts:
- one on one conversations
- search keywords
- web analytics
- social media listening
- customer surveys
"The ultimate content strategy is listening."
Social channels are a great place to build followers but you have no control over what those companies do with your connections. Only your website is under your control.
"The easiest way to turn off your community members is to broadcast the same message across multiple channels." Leverage your assets in multiple ways; act differently on different channels.
- Facebook: provide exclusive content as it is a gated channel
- Twitter: tell a story through tweets; make use of hashtags and use it as a testing ground for keywords; cover industry events
- LinkedIn: business publishing platform
- SlideShare: the YouTube for PowerPoint presentations
- Instagram: unique, behind the scenes and personal content. Turn followers into sources of content
- Pinterest: try pinning your videos, show achievements of your customers to 'share some love', share your reading list, show your personality
- Google+: see mashable for ideas
- YouTube - video delivery channel
- Vine: video sharing service
- Tumblr: blogging platform. Use hashtags, post snippets, reblog, link to your site.
- Medium: little control over the audience. Use if you want to share a particular point of view and get rapid feedback.
Make a dedicated plan for each channel (just because you can share doesn't mean you should)
- what is the goal of the channel?
- what is the desired action?
- what is the specific type of content the audience wants in the channel?
- right tone for the channel?
- what is the ideal velocity?
Paid search units on Google/Bing. Promoted listings on Twitter. Sponsored content on LinkedIn.
Questions to Ask
- Are members more likely to buy?
- Are members more likely to buy new products?
- Do members stay longer as customers?
- Do members talk about us on social media?
- Do members close faster than customers?
- Do members buy more on average?
Don't create content just for marketing; make something valuable
Build a content calendar:
- date content will be published
- owner of content
- current status of the content (updates as it moves through publishing channels)
Define your channels, your content types, visuals, topic categories, keywords, URLs, calls to action, and audience outcomes.
Add images to your text content, make content ungated.
Test your titles. Create 25 titles/headings for your email messages and test each to see which more people opened.
Advertise your content to build subscribers.
Make a list of influencers: who can we reach out to? Who is good and has influence? Can we nurture influencer relationships by getting guest posts, request to share a link, ask to be on podcasts, etc.
Subscriber importance hierarchy
- email subscribers
- print subscribers
- LinkedIn connections
- Twitter subscribers
- iTunes subscribers
You need an e-mail offering; a call to action on email. This should be your first choice for acquring leads as you have the most control.
Make a spreadsheet for the top 50 phrases and check each phrase to see its rank in Google (ie its placement). Compare to last month and show changes over time.
Research keywords with tools like AdWords, Serp Stat, Google Webmaster, Bing Webmaster, and SEO Chats Google Keyword Suggest Tool.
- is the keyword phrase relevant
- are we buying phrases through paid search
- am I already ranking for keyword phrases
- will the new page mention keyword phrases
- how much traffic do we get on a phrase
- am I refining my set of keywords
- is a similar phrase already converting
- are there calls to action on the page
- are there related pages to support an internal link
- will the phrase fit into future content
- is the phrase in the domain name
Repurpose your existing content
- take one story idea and make a general topic
- how can you alter this topic and apply it across content types
- research for your first content piece
- after the first piece is created, repurpose your research
- Plan to repurpose so every content asset you create is different.
If you are struggling:
- selfish content marketing: create content that solves a customer's pain points. Stop talking about your products so much
- you stop: biggest source of failure is inconsistency
- activity instead of audience: acquire an audience first
- no Point of View - to be an expert you must take a stance
- no process -plan up front, repurpose/create/distribute
- channel silo: paying attention to one channel only will cause you to miss the true power of content marketing
- forgetting employees - your employees give your brand life. Leverage them in creating content.
- editing - get an editor and use their services.
Our editorial mission is to ...
- Posts should advance your mission; have a specific takeway or key thought; logical and interesting; specific posts for your specific audience.
- Where possible include real life examples and/or case studies.
- Use a variety of media
- Include detailed instructions or specific recommendations.
10x Rule by Grant Cardone
Report on content marketplace options.
Experiences: the 7th Era of Marketing by Robert Rose and Carla Johnson
Digital Relevance by Ardath Albee
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki
Unselling and Unmarketing by Scott Stratten
Sorry for Marketing blog by Jay Acunzo
Convince and Convert by Jay Baer
TopRank Online Marketing by Lee Odden
Content, Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Joe Pulizzi
2016: McGraw Hill Education, Toronto
These are notes I made after reading this book. See more book notes
Just to let you know, this page was last updated Tuesday, Sep 17 19