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If I've learned a few things from my teenaged kids, it's that "everyone's doing it."
What "it" actually is doesn't matter. It applies universally. It's the running face of logic in their young worlds.
I can relate this logic to those of you just starting out in the Content Marketing world because let's face it, everyone is doing it.
Tl;dr – skip to the infographic.
Why should you start Content Marketing?
Look…70% of B2B marketers say they've increased their content creation over the past year. (Content Marketing Institute data.) That clearly shows you the impact of Content Marketing on overall marketing plans in today's business.
But just like I tell my teenaged kids: This "everyone" you speak of doesn't always know what they're doing.
How should you start?
Remember this: Content Marketing is a mindset. Like I tell my kids about most things in life, doing it the right way makes all the difference…especially when it comes to saving time and money.
Ready to make your move? Join us at our upcoming Lunch and Learn for lessons on getting started in Content Marketing. For those who can't wait or can't attend, keep in mind these tips on what to avoid doing
Avoid this #1: the ambiguous strategy
I've spoken about the benefits of documenting your Content Marketing strategy before, but it bears repeating. Not having the rules of your plan worded out and shared with your team is like trying to drive cross country without GPS. You'll wander and waste valuable time.
In a nutshell, take time to establish and document:
- Your marketing goals
- Your brand message(s)
- Your audience
- Where you'll publish and when
- Estimated time and resources
- What success looks like
Want proof it works? Nearly 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves successful in Content Marketing, versus the 32% of those who claim to have a verbal strategy.
Avoid this #2: content for the sake of content
Quite often I talk to business owners who passionately speak about wanting a blog or some other social media activity. I always ask them "why?"
It's not that I think they don't need it, but the reason for using it should be realized well before any thought of typing a single post or article. Most often they don't have a solid answer.
Nearly 80 million blog posts happened in June 2017, and that's on WordPress alone and not considering countless other publishing platforms or networks. So. Many. Words.
If your answer to my "why” question doesn't include some version of engaging more customers, solving problems, or expanding brand awareness, then you're likely to fail.
Plan to create and share content that educates, inspires, or assists a particular audience. Don't create more noise.
Use a listen-first strategy before planning your content. Do some research on the terms and questions your ideal customers are talking about.
Avoid this #3: Publishing without promoting
How much time do you think you'd need to spend writing a blog post? It's probably too much. And, a lot of people think if they had more time to create content they'd be able to get more readers. I'm here to tell you that's not true.
So often good content gets posted and is met by the resounding sound of crickets. What a waste of time and effort.
That's why here at Liquid we evangelize the 80/20 rule: Spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.
Let's face it, only the most brilliant content is going to be automatically found and shared—or the most ridiculous. Promoting your content is a much better use of your time. And it's a heck of a lot easier than aspiring to write brilliant content.
The steps for publishing and sharing your content should be spelled out clearly in your documented Content Marketing strategy.
Make sure it includes:
- Channels: where you'll share, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, other blogs
- Posting requirements: character counts, image sizes, tags, and formatting
- Schedule: when and how frequently you will share the message
Ready to succeed?
I hope so. And I hope you realize it's important to begin your Content Marketing with the right mindset, otherwise you'll join the fray of the "everyone else" who are simply just doing it.
Fortunately, there's a tremendous amount of value to be gained from Content Marketing. As author Seth Godin says, it's all the marketing that's left.
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