“If people aren’t talking about you, they’re not talking about you for a reason. And the reason isn’t that they dislike you. They’re not talking about you because you’re boring.” ~ Seth Godin
Ok, so you have a new start-up business or maybe you have an existing small business – kudos to you for having what it takes. Now you find yourself saying “I need to be seen online”, “I need to have a Facebook page”, “I need to be on Twitter” and so the list goes on. You know what I mean – you’re thinking it!
You are correct. In this day and age it is essential to place your ‘digital footprint’ on the internet for your business. In terms of how you do it and how you go about it, believe it or not – there is a method behind all the content marketing madness!
Not alone is it just enough to have a website where you own your own space or corner of the web, you need now to try create a tribe through which you can engage with your targeted audience. To do this (and ultimately drive traffic back to your own site) you need to create an effective and manageable content marketing strategy which you can spread across your networks – your “Loudspeaker” so to speak.
Whilst neither exhaustive nor tediously intense, the following will hopefully give you – a busy business operator – an easy to follow guide to get you on the right content path.
As Sarah Mason of Uncommonlysocial.com says ‘thanks to the Internet, you are now the network. You own your space (a key difference between renting space on social networks) and can produce the content you want on your corner of the Web’.
To set your strategy for content marketing, start with the following at least;
a) Define who your target Audience is
Where do they reside on the internet? What channels do they use, in other words – Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Forums? Etc
What do they talk about, what are their driving factors that really interest them.
b) Establish in your own mind what you want to achieve – Your Objectives
Do you want to be seen as an ‘expert’ in your field? Do you want to be your audience’s ‘agony aunt’, answering questions and providing support to those you are trying to reach and draw into your digital tribe? Or, do you simply want to increase awareness for your Products or Services?
a) Set out the Type and Mix of content you’ll produce – and ‘diary it in’!
To do this effectively, first make a match between what you are good at and what your audience is looking for. If you can blend your ‘unconcious conciousness’ (a level of experience where you don’t even have to think about things – you are that competent on your subject) with satisfying your audiences’ needs, you will be well on the right path.
Provide answers, solve problems, sometimes entertain, sometimes instruct and inform, be the ‘go to’ authority and yes – sometimes sell!
b) Set Actionable, Achievable and Measurable Goals
Just like visualizing sinking that put on a par 5 – what do you visualize for your business in 12 months?
Do you see yourself having built an email list of 1,000 subscribers?
Do you see sales having increased to €x?
Do you see yourself with an engaged following of x people?
Get your efforts Seen.
Once you have established your plans listed above, determine where, when, how all your hard work is going to be seen. All your effort so far will be in vain if no one sees it – think of what you will be depriving them of!
To get your efforts to spread online won’t happen overnight – be sure of that. You can however, influence the spread of your content and gain the attention of your targeted audience.
Email lists – offer reward for email sign up (informational piece/’how to’ instructions or similar for example in return for ‘signing up’). Incorporate the ‘sign up’ forms on blog posts, on your blog/website and elsewhere. I would suggest these as part of your page/post rather than pop ups which require you to opt out before you actually get to see the content which first attracted the visitor to your site.
Create a Facebook tab with sign up form (mailchimp for example). Use Facebook Notes to inform and give presence to your content.
Tweet links to your content but make sure the subject is eye-catching and interesting enough for a fellow Tweeter to click that link!
Create a mix of visual/informative/informational/instructional social media posts and then – introduce your own personality. Beware though – not too much of it! Remember your Objectives and Goals.
Finally, make it so that from each and every channel or platform where you have placed your ‘bootprint in the digital sand’ that you provide a routemap to all of the others. No matter where they find you first – make it easy for them to find your other digital habitats and to share your value amongst their peers.
Now go and look after your business!