Have you implemented a content marketing strategy in your business yet?
Many entrepreneurs hear that this type of marketing is important, but they aren’t yet really sure how to implement it. The result: Lost time, energy, and a whole lot of frustration.
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Business owners are busy people (as you well know!), so when they don’t see a ROI, they look for other solutions.
The problem is that content marketing is the solution.
So why isn’t it working for you?
Read on to find out why so many businesses struggle with this type of marketing, why you shouldn’t give up, and what you can do to ensure success!
Content Marketing: Why So Many Companies Fail
There are two main reasons why companies who try content marketing don’t experience the success they desire.
- They don’t really give it a chance
- They don’t have a proper content strategy/plan.
A lot of business owners don’t give themselves (or their marketing team) enough time to see results from their content marketing efforts. They think they should be able to put out a couple of blogs and start seeing results right away.
Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works.
Content marketing takes time. Some sources say it takes six months. Others, like Neil Patel, say it takes up to two years. The reason you won’t see success overnight with content marketing is because it takes time for you to get views, shares, and backlinks. With these metrics, Google will rank your content higher and higher – but again, it takes time.
Another reason businesses fail with their content marketing efforts is because they don’t plan things out properly. Planning doesn’t just mean having an editorial calendar – it means figuring out who you’re writing to, what you hope to achieve, and how to create something that will appeal to your readers. If you want a good ROI from your marketing efforts, you need to plan properly.
Why Content Marketing Is Vital to Your Business’ Success
Regular content establishes you within the online community as an authority or expert. The more quality content you post, the more people will see that you’re the person they need to go to for more information or services.
Another benefit of this type of marketing is that it’s a great way to stay in front of your audience and to develop a relationship with them. The more you post, the more they’ll see you and what you have to offer. And the more people will read, the more they’ll get to know and trust you.
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Of course, content marketing is one of the best ways to improve your SEO. Having a website, being present on social media, and offering fantastic products and services are great – but not enough. Regular quality content is a sure way to improve your Google ranking, which makes it easier for your ideal client or customer to find you.
7 Ways to Ensure Content Marketing Success
To achieve success with your content marketing, try implementing these seven steps before you write even one word for your blog post.
1. Identify Your Goals
Content marketing guru Robert Rose says that all marketers and business owners should ask themselves a simple but essential question: Why? Why are you creating content and publishing it? There should always be a goal and strategy behind your marketing efforts.
To help you figure this out, consider these questions.
- Would you like to drive more awareness for a new product or company?
- Are you trying to assist the lead nurturing process and pull more people into your funnel in an effective manner?
- Do you have loyalty issues? Are you trying to solve a customer retention issue?
Your goal in answering these questions is to figure out what problem you’re trying to solve. When you know that, then you’ll be able to create content that supports your problem solving goals, whether you hope to drive more leads or drive more traffic to your company’s site.
2. Who Is Your Target Audience?
Once you’ve figured out what problem you’re trying to solve, the next step is to figure out who you’re trying to reach. Who is the audience for the content you’re about to create?
This is the time when buyer persona development comes into play. You need to look at your audience and figure out what their needs are.
What buyer persona development isn’t: The general demographics of customers.
Instead, you need to look beyond a person’s age, gender, and income level and figure out what’s important to them.
Adele Revella of the Buyer Persona Institute is one of the best in the business when it comes to figuring out buyer persona. In fact, she wrote a book on the subject, which points out that the most important part of the buyer persona is “understanding how, when, and why that person…makes the decision to…buy something new.”
When you figure this out, you’ll be able to develop content that appeals to the multiple stages of the buying cycle: the beginning (Awareness), middle (Consideration) and late (Buying) stages. Doing this allows you to speak to your audience at the stage of the buying cycle they’re currently in.
3. Create a Mission Statement
A mission statement shows your audience what makes you unique from everyone else who puts out similar content. What differentiates you from your competitors? Some things to consider:
- Your approach to business
- Your product
- The services you provide.
Write down what makes you unique, and make sure to add to the list your goals, purpose, and audience.
Joe Pulizzi – AKA the “Godfather of Marketing” – provides entrepreneurs with the ideal mission statement framework. Become a premier destination for [your target audience] interested in [what topics?] to help them [customer value.]
4. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Another important part of the SEO process is finding the right keywords and phrases that you’d like to rank for. Without creating a keyword audit, though, you’ll never be sure which keywords work best for your business.
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Once you complete a keyword audit, your keyword report will help you optimize your site and find content ideas. Basically, it’s a way to research what you’re audience is interested in and searching for.
Skipping this fundamental step will make it difficult to know whether you’re content marketing efforts are successful or not as they pertain to SEO.
5. Setting Up Your Editorial Calendar
Now that you have your goals, audience, and keywords all figured out, the next step is to create a content calendar. This calendar will outline when to write, edit, and publish your content.
Developing a workflow process for your content will keep you on schedule and make the process seem less daunting.
6. Which Platforms Should You Use?
A lot of entrepreneurs get caught up in the idea of utilizing social media to get their content in front of their audience. While social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are important, the most important platform is your website.
Joe Pulizzi warns against “building a house on rented land.” You want to build your house of content on land you own – your website. And any content you put on social media should link back to your website, blog, or video channel.
Using social media alone as your platform could spell disaster. The social media platform you use could potentially fail, leaving you without an audience.
Plus, linking social media content back to content on your own website is a great way to boost your SEO ranking with Google.
7. Check Your Resources
The final step is to check your resources. Do you have employees who know your business and audience better than you? Ask them about the type of content that should be produced. You might even find that you have some people that are great writers or who are handy with a camera or who look great in front of the camera. (Yes – content marketing includes text content as well as video content.) You can save a lot of time and money by utilizing the skills of your team in your content creation strategy.
Once you’ve identified who can help on the inside, the next step is to find out what kind of outside/freelance/professional help you need. Make sure they’re on the same page with you regarding your strategy and mission.
Don’t Lose Out – Make Content Marketing an Integral Part of Your Marketing Plan
Content marketing is one of the best tools in your arsenal as an entrepreneur. If you want to drive up business, stay in front of your target audience, and have a business that thrives – you need to incorporate content marketing.
It’s important to remember that this type of marketing is not a one-stop-shop. You can’t just put up a blog and hope for success. Content marketing is an ongoing process. There’s always going to be planning, testing, and content development tasks to perform.
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In the long run, though, the results you see from this form of marketing will make it all worth it. In fact, with consistent effort, you will most likely see a better ROI from content marketing than all your other marketing efforts.
What are you waiting for? Start planning today!
(1) Author Bio:
David Reimherr is the founder of Magnificent Marketing, a full service marketing agency with a specialization in Content Marketing, SEO, Email & Social Media Marketing & Advertising. He brings 20 years of sales, marketing, strategy and branding to the table and you can check his blog or his Magnificent podcast to keep up to date on all the latest things happening in the marketing world. He is a lover of dogs, marketing and life!
(2) Company Bio:
Magnificent Marketing is a full service digital marketing agency with a specialization in content marketing, SEO, email marketing and social media advertising & management. We help companies with full marketing plans as well as help fill in any specific gap they might need help with. We also believe strongly in helping educate everyone and we do this thru our Magnificent Marketing Podcast.
(3) What challenges and obstacles do you feel your customers face and why?
Our customers face a variety of challenges and obstacles and our job is to identify what these are and find out where we can help. Some of the main areas that businesses reach out to us are to help with lead generation, branding or growing their digital presence. The method we move forward with will depend on their specific situation and we work with them to identify where our focus should be.
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Many times an SEO and/or content marketing plan will prove to be the best course of action, other times, it will be a focus on social media advertising. It all really depends on each clients unique situation and we treat every new inquiry individually vs. trying to push the same services on each client because again, sometimes it make sense to focus on organic rankings and other times this will not prove to be the smartest course of action to take.
Furthermore, many times larger companies come to us and have most of their marketing activities taken care of, and need us to help specifically with their e-mail marketing or social media management needs. Other times, companies that are just getting started need help starting with the development of a new website as well as a complete marketing plan put in place and we are happy to help out with each scenario.
(4) How would you convince the reader to start using your services?
We are a company that has employees that have grown up in the traditional age of marketing as well as the newer digital age. We live our tagline of “Blending Old School + New School To Create The Best School Of Thought” and are dedicated and focused on making sure we apply the right forms of marketing depending on the situation and type of client. We also had the luxury of being presented with the challenge of growing a company from the ground up which has given us a unique perspective of what it takes to be successful.
In addition, you will be working with the type of people you would want working in your company. We all truly care about leaving this world better than when we entered it and you won’t find a friendly staff anywhere. Working with competent people is one thing, but working with competent people you love working with is the key.