I know it. You know it. I know you know it. It’s something that is said time and time again, sometimes to the point you get nauseous. Content. Is. King. What isn’t often said is the stipulation that goes along with this mantra: Good content needs to be marketed. It needs to be marketed in a way that works for your business. So let’s talk actionable content marketing tips that you can implement right away.
Tip #1 Identify Your Reader
Not just, “my reader is a home business professional looking to learn about online marketing.” Nope. That’s not enough. You need to be extremely specific.
- What gender is your target reader? What age?
- What does he or she look like?
You want to be so specific that you can almost picture that person in your mind. Okay, now let’s get even more detailed.
- Where does he hang out online? Social media? Forums?
- What types of content does she like to read?
- What is the first thing he does when he gets online? Check email? Facebook? Read the news?
- What is the reason she is coming to your website? What problem does he have that you can help solve with either your information or products?
- What exactly is it going to take to convert her into a paying customer later on down the road?
With content marketing, you’re not trying to please everyone. You want to hone in on your target customer and write with that person in mind.
Tip #2 Set Content Goals
You set goals for your business, right? You should also set goals for your content marketing. Content is used for a number of things, and you may place more value on some than others.
- Are you using content to get more traffic to your website? More social shares? Comments?
- Are you trying to build your authority and establish trust from your readers?
- Maybe you want to use content to pre-sell your products?
Think about what your main goal is and craft your content to match your overall goals.
Tip #3 Create an Editorial Calendar
Do you currently have an editorial calendar? Because you should have one. An editorial calendar can be as simple as wall calendar or a planner. But it is essential because it will really help you “see” your content strategy. Include blog posts and a working headline if you have one and any guest posts you are writing. Add (or create a separate calendar!) for your social media efforts – which platform on which day, what types of posts you will share, what groups or communities you will be active in. Not only will an editorial calendar help you strategize your overall content marketing, it will help keep your days and weeks organized.
Tip #4 Write for Readers and Search Bots
Long ago when the SEO began, all anyone talked about was using keywords and writing for search engines. Then Google did some lovely updating and it became a game of “write with your reader in mind.” Let’s get daring and write for both. Don’t keyword stuff, but do include some words and phrases that you know will be searched for. Don’t create content just for the links, but do write stuff that offers value and people will want to read and share.
Tip #5 Add a Call to Action
If you’re not asking your readers to do something, how do you expect them to know what you want them to do? At the end of your blog posts, emails, Facebook posts, etc., add some sort of call to action. It can be simply to share the post, or like something. Or it can be to leave a comment, download a free report or sign up for your mailing list. Your call to action doesn’t necessarily have to be to purchase something. Quite the opposite in fact. By adding easy (and free!) requests, you are training your audience to do something asked of them so that when you do release new products, they are more likely to click that link or make that purchase.
Tip #6 Have a Killer Freebie
Since we’re talking about asking readers to do something, you want to make it worth their time. Content marketing isn’t all about traffic and social shares; it’s about using content to entice your readers. Reports, eBooks, email courses, podcasts, white papers, tutorials. Your freebie can be just about anything that will resonate with your ideal reader (remember, the one we profiled in tip #1?) Utilize your freebie to get your reader to sign up for your emails so you can build a list of qualified leads to email whenever you have a new product or service to release. Content has long reigned as king when it comes to online marketing. The type of content that works best often changes, and what works for one person may not work for another. To make the most of your content marketing, start taking action.
Now to you: Do you have an actionable content marketing strategy? Share your best content tip with the rest of us.