5 Steps to a Great Content Marketing Strategy

By Sharon MacLean posted 12 days ago

  
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In my previous blog, I explained why (good) content is important for your audience AND for the search engines: 

  • Google and other search engines gauge the frequency of published content;
  • Search engines monitor the full range of SEO (search engine optimization) including keywords used by your clients and prospects; 
  • The engines decide how to rank your website based on whether a search for words and phrases match what you have to offer by way of fresh content.

How do you build a content marketing strategy for your business? Begin with these five steps topped by an understanding that frequency serves top-of-mind awareness and the generation of leads. 

Step one: Share your messages online using platforms that strategically suit your customer. Focus on two or three networks at a time and master them. By the way, please do not post a string of social icons on your website if they are not linked to your platform and you haven't mastered them.

Beginning in 2012, I sat down every week to compose a well-researched essay. The blog turned around 5x by posting in these locations: website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Troy Media, and for my subscribers on email. Of course, each placement needed to be tweaked for each network.

Should you prefer YouTube, consider taking lessons to discover the best lighting and sound techniques and how to speak in front of a camera. Or hire a videographer if you need higher-end output. I’ve got amazing collaborators should you go down this route.

Step 2 is social media to build more lists. It's alarming to know how many business people say they have no customer list or their lists don’t have updated email addresses. It happens more often than you think.

This is where you circle back to strategically choosing social networks. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (if you still support FB), Instagram, for example. Your end game is to encourage connections to join your own email community. After all, what happens if that network goes away? Your own email list is golden.

I’ve been fierce about list building from my earliest days in fund development where campaigns lived and died by their seasonal mailers. The great direct mail guru, Dick Benson, said: “No mailer spends enough time on lists.” Benson was referring to advertisers who mailed promotions through the post office. I like to add-on by saying advertisers who sent unaddressed mailers to households were running a blasting business - not a direct marketing campaign.

The same is true today when letters are emailed to “Dear No Name” without using an ESP (email service provider) to personalize their marketing campaigns.

Step three: Take your content and turn it into a video or podcast. This means that your audience can download an audio or video file to watch or listen to on any device or computer. Think about Apple’s iTunes to send out your podcast to their many hundreds of thousands of listeners.

Step four: Write a book. Transcribe the content from your blog or original video and edit into a book—both hard-cover and an e-book to be read on e-readers, tablets, and cell phones.

Social media influencer Olivier Taupin with 1 million LinkedIn followers and I spent many days together writing weekly blogs on digital marketing for CEOs. That content was repurposed for the best-selling book titled Build to Grow - 14 Thought Leaders Deliver Engagement Strategies for the C-Suite. 

The project was led by Fortune 500 C-Suite Leader Miguel de Jesus who attracted experts from the U.S., Australia, and Canada to author the Amazon bestseller.

Step 5 is your phone. This step easily could be number 1 since text marketing is moving like a bullet train. For example, we’ve got a cool TPNI mobile app to help with conferences. Think about this idea: Gather up all those business cards from a huge special event, take an image of their contact information, and upload instantly to your lead generation system...before you build a series of followup letters with landing pages.

Oh, yes - the landing page. This tool is one of the main ways that websites and social media attract traffic. In its purest sense, a landing page stands alone to market or advertise a single objective. This is a sample of my own landing page.

Here's more evidence for how to generate leads (source):

  • Businesses with over 40 pages generate 12x more leads than those with 1-5 landing pages
  • Companies that increase the number of landing pages on their website from 10 to 15 see a 55% increase in leads.

Anyone on the planet can open a social media account. The digital marketing industry continues to make great sense to me when done well.

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About the Author— Sharon MacLean
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Entrepreneurship, Magazine Publishing, and Social Marketing are the threads that weave throughout my career. They reflect my professional life driven largely by purpose and relationships — most recently through WorldGate Media and Boards of Directors for TechInvest Alberta, Alberta Council of Technologies, and RoadShowz/StreetSeenz.

Yet, it was through starting up and running Edmontonians magazine for 21 years where a reputation for community engagement flourished. In some ways, I see the magazine that covered leaders of commerce and the community as a predecessor to social media!

My world changed dramatically in 2010 given the disruption of traditional media which led to the sale of the magazine…and my launch into new media.

The disruption opened doors for an investor start-up in online wellness with an international team. Experience with journalism media and community publishing incubated an understanding of content creation, distribution, and network platforms.

Every skill acquired during the foundational years has been leveraged to serve my passion for professional communications in the digital age.

Social enterprise fired up all my neurons and stretched my resilience. I now help professionals and business owners flourish using traditional and modern forms of communications marketing. Learn more.

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