The world of digital marketing and social media is evolving at a fast pace. We’re seeing brands re-invent themselves through content marketing, gain huge followings on various platforms, and even make multimillion-dollar sales without ever having to leave the house.
But to stay relevant and up-to-date, marketers have to constantly be on the prowl for innovative ways to attract, engage, and convert their audiences, and the industry is blessed with prolific content creators who have honed their skills to the point where they can turn their hand to anything.
Whether you’re an experienced marketer or business owner, you might be wondering how you can also harness the power of content to grow your business. And boy, have we got a content strategy for you.
The Rise Of In-House Content Marketing
In-house content marketing is all the rage when it comes to digital marketing these days, and it makes sense – why pay expensive freelancers when you can have content creators work directly within your teams?
The beauty of in-house content marketing is that marketers can focus on producing amazing content that speaks to their audience, which in turn drives more leads and growth to the brand, and keeps the content creators engaged and motivated to produce more valuable content for the brand.
However, if you’re looking to get started with in-house content marketing, make sure you’ve got the right people in place. Start by setting up a small team, comprised of marketing managers, content strategists, and writers. Next, look to hire experienced journalists who have the knowledge and skill to cover your industry. They’ll be able to produce valuable content that can be used across all platforms and used to generate leads and engage with your audience.
If you’ve never attempted content marketing, maybe it’s time you gave it a try. What we have here are some of the most inspirational and insightful blogs, websites, and videos coming out of the content marketing community. Keep these resources in mind while you craft your own marketing content to produce the best results possible.
Step One: Create a strategy
Before you start creating content, it’s important to lay your groundwork. Even if you’re an experienced marketer, creating an in-house content strategy and marketing plan is still vital. You don’t want to throw together content and hit the road without a plan, because chances are you’ll run into roadblocks and challenges that you didn’t anticipate. So lay the strategy first and give yourself the best chance of success.
Step Two: Identify the target audience
The first step in the content creation process is to identify the target audience and create a buyer persona. It is imperative to understand who your ideal buyer is at this point in the process, and what they want from your product or service. This way, you can craft content that will resonate with this specific audience and encourage them to take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter.
Step Three: Create a content schedule
Once you’ve got your ideal buyer in mind, it’s time to flesh out a content schedule. Decide on a regular publication schedule and consider developing new content types, such as eBooks or guides that you can distribute as part of your in-house content marketing strategy.
Step Four: Create compelling content
As a marketer, you’re likely familiar with the term “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is a short, one- to two-minute video or a written piece that aims to quickly introduce your viewer or reader to the essence of your product or service.
In order to create an effective elevator pitch, you need to have a clear understanding of what your product is and what it does. A simple way to come up with compelling content is to ask yourself questions about your product or service. For example, if you sell shoes, you might ask yourself, “Why do I need or want to own shoes?” This type of “customer-centric” thinking will guide your entire content creation process. You’ll produce content that is tailored to answer the questions of your target audience.
Create A Clear Call To Action
Your call to action is a clear invitation to your audience to click, buy, or take a specific action, such as subscribing to a blog or downloading an eBook. Make sure that the call to action is consistent across all of your content, otherwise, you’ll confuse your audience. Additionally, make sure that the call to action is straightforward and easy to find.
Step Five: Test the waters with white papers and explainers
Once you’ve got your strategy and content calendar in place, its time to begin testing the waters with white papers and explainers. White papers are valuable because they can act as an information repository or a primer on a certain subject. They can also be used to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. An explainer is similar to a white paper, but it’s usually shorter and more succinct, and may include multimedia content, such as video tutorials or infographics.
If you’re looking for a way to introduce yourself to the marketing world, consider producing a white paper or an explainer. Why? These are pretty popular when it comes to winning new clients and establishing yourself as an expert in your industry – and trust me, being seen as an expert is one of the best ways to land new business.
Step Six: Measure the results of your strategy
Now that you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to measure the results of your strategy. Just like when you set out to create a strategy, it’s important to track the effectiveness of your plan. Think of this last step as a review of your strategy, and the first step in the ongoing process of improving your content marketing strategy.
The final step of a content marketing strategy is to review your results and determine what you’ll do next. In order to do this, you’ll need to sit down and look back at everything you wrote and published throughout the whole content marketing process. You can also use software that will track the number of times your content generated traffic (as measured by the amount of unique visits) and the types of visitors attracted to your site (such as search engine visitors versus social media visitors).
By taking the time to plan out a content strategy and follow-up plan, you’ll ensure that your content marketing efforts are aligned and focused on the right areas of growth.