It’s never been cheaper to start a business.
For example, if you want to style hair or train dogs, you can get in contact with potential customers right away through any social network.
Although starting a business is cheap, it’s arguably more complicated than it used to be.
Back in the day, to market your business, you’d find a bus stop bench or billboard along a road and plaster it with your brand.
In today’s world, there’s constant talk about algorithms and virality, two words that were historically found in science labs.
This article will help make content marketing simple again.
So, let’s get started on putting together a content strategy that will help customers find your business.
Think of your content strategy or content marketing plan as your internal source of truth and guidance.
Your content strategy should tell you and your team who your target audience is and how you are going to make their lives easier. (We will get deeper into this later)
The plan you put in place to deliver educational value to your target audience.
Remember when I said it’s never been easier to create content and get it in front of your target audience?
Well, unfortunately, that also means there is a lot of bad advice circling the internet.
Here’s the content marketing advice that does more harm than good:
Being that growth & marketing is my craft, I’ve been privileged to speak with tons of business owners and marketers.
Some of them have been able to get results that make them look like geniuses to their peers.
Others create a ton of content and most of it flops, never driving customers to their business.
What’s the secret sauce for the ultra-performers?
You might have already picked it up from the last section.
Ultra-performers spend a ton of time promoting their content.
Most people creating content use a ‘publish & pray’ thought process. (That’s a term I learned from an amazing blogger and SEO expert Brian Dean)
Understanding that leaves us with our 2 pillars:
One is useless without the other.
Let’s jump into creating your content strategy and circle back around to content promotion.
Early in my digital marketing career, I took a digital marketing course from Udacity.
The course was pretty basic and doesn’t go very deep into any channel, but they gave me a framework for documenting my target audience that I still use years later.
This one is pretty simple. What are you selling?
A little trick here, what you sell is not the item or service, it’s the result of the product or service.
For example, Volvo sells cars, yet all of their marketing shows that they really sell peace of mind that you’re buying the safest vehicle on the market.
Who are you selling to? What do they believe? What is their position at their company? Are they married? Parents? Surfers? Bikers? Car enthusiasts? Mountain climbers?
Focus on their demographics (age, marital status, political affiliation, job position, etc.), geographics (where do they live?), and Pshychograpghics (what are their beliefs, what are their values?).
When reflects the target audiences’ position in their journey.
Ask yourself what ‘stage’ your audience is in. For example, this blog post is written for someone that is a novice or intermediate marketer/blogger.
If I was writing for someone farther along in their journey this would be a much more technical article.
Where is your target audience, and where will they see your message? Remember my reference to the old days?
The where for them was a billboard or a bus stop.
This is the medium and the channel that you share your message on.
For you, it’s likely to be a social network or a blog.
The What is about what you’re offering. The how is all about how you get them there.
What is all about a feeling. The feeling of safety (in our Volvo example). The how uses logic to explain how you obtain that feeling.
Volvo’s how would be extra airbags, automatic braking in the face of danger, and rear view sensors that tell you when not to change lanes.
Fill out your What, Who, When, Where, & How and keep it handy as a reminder of your marketing objectives.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff, knowing what content to create.
RELATED: Understanding The Customer Journey.
In mid-2017 Hubspot came out with an article about the next evolution of SEO.
In short, they say that Google now favors content that covers an entire topic, using multiple blog posts that link together.
For example, let’s say I have a blog about dogs, and one of my topics is dog training.
My pillar content might be a general blog post that briefly talks about the different aspects of dog training.
Behavioral adjustment training
In that blog post, the section on leash training would link to another blog post that goes over leash training in much more depth.
And so on with the other subtopics.
If you create content for Instagram (or any other platform), this is still relevant.
Google’s goal is always to deliver the best experience for the end-user.
If Google thinks it’s best to create content using the topic cluster model, it’s also how the consumer wants their content delivered to them.
This makes knowing what content to produce a lot easier.
Just go through these 3 steps:
By the time you get 2 levels down, you’ve found enough topics to keep creating content for a long time.
If you’ve created a lot of content, you’ve probably realized the “build it and they will come” philosophy doesn’t apply to young online businesses.
Eventually, when you have an organic traffic base, the philosophy will apply.
For now, you need to focus on promoting your content.
Hint: When deciding what content to create, check what content has already performed well. If it has performed well for someone else, it can perform well for you too.
Through the internet, there are millions of ways to promote your content. Nailing down a strategy that works for your business can be tough.
Fortunately, through my own trial and error, I have discovered some guidelines that you should follow to see some early success.
Now that you have traffic. You need to turn that traffic into sales.
One way is to drive traffic directly to your product page.
If you’ve done all the previous steps, you can expect to see some sales assuming you have driven enough traffic.
A more popular strategy is to offer an exclusive piece of content in exchange for your prospect’s email.
Getting into their inbox is much more personal.
You can announce new product launches, new content, or just about anything really.
In fact, some bloggers (Including Brian Dean from backlinko) have taken their products off of their website completely and only offer them to their email subscribers because the conversion rate is that much higher.
If you want to learn more about email marketing, I recommend checking out the email section on Smart Passive Income.
There it is! Our take on content strategy.
It’s important to note that is not how content strategy is taught in college courses.
At The Kidd Group, we focus on delivering content that doesn’t have the extra fluff.
There’s certainly more to learn when it comes to content marketing. This article is meant to get you started working on what actually matters.
Looking for more education on content marketing & strategy?
Check out these articles:
The Content Pyramid - Smart Passive Income
The Beginners Guide To Content Marketing - Moz
What is Content Marketing? - Content Marketing Institute
Instagram For Business: How to Blow Up Your Brand [Guide]
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