I often hear the internet being compared to a rabbit hole – people complain that they get sidetracked when they are meant to be doing “productive tasks”, and fall into the rabbit hole of the internet. If people are doing it anyway, wouldnt it be nice if they were stuck reading/watching YOUR published articles/videos/other content?
Whether you are doing it or not, it’s plain to see that content marketing is hugely valuable for your business to show your uniqueness, usefulness, and value.
Quick definition: Content marketing is the creation and publishing, curation, and sharing of relevant content – blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, PDFs, images – to the audience you want to attract. As a business, there is a balance to be taken between being generous with information and advice, and reminding people you are a business with services. Certain tactics help (like “success weaving”) and adding a clear call to action in between paragraphs and at the end of the post.
As a business, you have ulterior motives for content marketing. Sure, you may be kind and generous, but your time needs to be well invested.
The regularity of quality content, and the quality of regular content
By continually being “there” in front of people, in a useful (not repetitive or annoying) way, you will get others helping you out – sharing your stuff, marketing for you. Using this kind of smart online content marketing just multiplies your reach – even to hundreds and thousands of people!
- More people know you
- More people remember you
- More people like your content
- More people trust you
- More people refer you!
Ok, so you get it! But where do you start, and how do you ensure success?
3 steps to getting people to get stuck in your content:
Step 1: Create great content
I admit this takes some skills, some practice, and it really helps to read other people’s great content. In addition, if you want to “skill up” just ask for our help! we have a couple of free guides about this which you can email and ask for. Below though are the basics to give you a leaping head start!
- Identify your key messages
- Write a selection of great headlines which help to prove each message (planning these is an important part of content marketing)
- Create a content calendar to plan when each piece will be published. Ensure that there is variety between the posts – different topics, types of headlines, key messages and lengths, so you keep people interested.
- Batch your tasks: Draft a few pieces of content, then source images separately, and format separately, and publish according to your content calendar
- Ask someone you trust to review your content for readability, usefulness and errors
- Include calls to action, such as encouragement for people to sign up to your newsletter, a promise of free information, or a free consultation.
Step 2: Promote your content:
Any piece of content you produce does require some work to promote. There are many ways to draw attention to your work, including:
- Share your posts on the channels you are active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
- Ensure you also share other people’s content, so your feed doesn’t just look like you only share your own content
- Include your latest content in your e-newsletter, with an editorial summary and a link (ask for our guide to effective newsletters)
- Include a link to your latest content in your email signature – with a clear headline (tip: make the headline text into a hyperlink, and watch formatting – it looks cleaner)
- Send specific links to content to potential clients and partners where the content is relevant to them, especially if it’s something they have asked for already (this shows you are listening!)
Step 3: Repurpose and cross link
This is the rabbit hole part. Once you have a few different published pieces of content, there is a chance that someone “sideway surfs” their way to ONE of your pages or posts, and then see links to other things you have done. Here are some tips to try:
- Repurposing content – if you have written a great blog post, you can also use the same content in a PPT file, infographic, or parts of it in a sharable image
- Linking between different blog posts
- “Related Posts” plugin
- Bringing your favourite posts onto the right side column of your blog under “most popular posts” or “featured posts”
It’ may sound like hard work to some of you, but this collection of activity is really an amazing way to get those who land on your blog or website to stay there – and market your business and services in a non-salesy, helpful consistent way. You start to create an archive of content that people can see building up, and once they read one thing, they can get literally stuck in. That rabbit hole of the internet that people fall in could be your rabbit hole!
Image: Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons, – Amanvana Spa Resort (Own work [CC BY-SA 4.0] )