Content marketing is something that's crucial for businesses to embrace. It's important to get in the right mindset when it comes to crafting content for your brand. Here are seven tips to keep in mind while creating a content marketing strategy:
The first thing I did to train for the Marine Corps Marathon? I marked a big fat x next to the Marathon Day to focus on where I needed to be by what date – and worked backwards. I focused on the end result that I wanted first before even starting to pound the pavement. A solid 12 weeks to train gave me ample time to build mileage gradually. I also gave myself some breathing room to allow for minor hiccups that came up during training (potential injuries, bad weather, etc).
While you don't have to worry about bad weather for content marketing (besides the thunderstorm that knocks out your interwebs), you do need to focus on the end result. Do you want more sales? More clients? More web traffic? Lots of attendees at a big event? Figure it out. Put a big x through your calendar. Whatever you need to do to determine what that end result at the finish line looks like. It's the building block from which your overall content marketing strategy grows.
2. Do Research
Most runners don't typically show up at the starting line without knowing a little bit about the 26.2 miles ahead. Research is conducted to know when to expect hills and water stops.
Just as research is key to gaining a lead in a race, knowing where your website stands will allow you to take strides. Conduct a link audit, content audit, and monitor your social media to find out where conversions are already happening. It's important to be critical and honest with yourself. Use this research to build a knowledge base and execute on strategy.
3. Visualize success
Avid marathoners will give advice to focus on how it will feel crossing the finish line – to visualize successfully completing the race. Same thing goes for building a content strategy. This tactic will give you the mindset that's necessary to inform and arm your business with qualitative information – infoÂ to efficiently and effectively reach customers. It will also keep them around.
Whether it's 100 degree heat, or running an unexpected mile, no one ever knows what surprises race day will bring.
Creating content marketing requires the crucial skill of thinking through everything that might be going on inside the minds of your customers. Be prepared for whatever questions come up. What are they asking at each stage of the buying process? What content will help fill in these gaps? Prepare for any and all scenarios.
5. Go to the post-race party
Don't just show up on race day to run. Running is a lot about building a community, connecting, and engaging with others. Despite what some people think, blogging is not just about throwing as much content on your site as quickly as you possibly can. It's about responding to comments, starting conversations, and building relationships. You never know where it might lead.
6. Track your progress
Getting a PR (personal record) in a race is one way to track milestones. So is increasing the other PR – that is, your Google PageRank. This takes time – so allow an adaptable approach to be put in place. (Fun fact: Did you know PageRank is named after Larry Page of Google?).
7. You're in it for the long haul
Content marketing is not something that happens overnight. It can take months to analyze, create, and coordinate a robust content marketing strategy. It's a test of endurance. Don't let the long distance scare you. Capturing new clients via content marketing is an experience that's well worth sticking through.
What is your approach for content marketing? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.