Content marketing is a must for anyone hoping to grow their business. In a previous post, “What is Content Marketing?” we explored the basics: what content marketing is, why you want to do it, and what kinds of things qualify as “content”. Today, I want to give you some practical advice and tips on developing a content strategy.
This is the first in a three-part series of posts. This first post will cover things you can do within the first 30 days to start building your content marketing plan. Subsequent posts will cover 60- and 90-day action plans.
Your First 30 Days Of Content Marketing
My philosophy is start with what you have. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so use this first 30 days to build on what you already have going on. If you’ve never engaged in content marketing before, you might not even realize that what you’re already doing qualifies as content marketing, or can with a little tweaking.
Here are 5 simple steps you can take in the first 30 days to get started with content marketing:
- Take Stock. Sit down and make a list of all the ways you’re reaching out to customers, advertising your brand, or engaging with consumers. Chances are you already have at least one or two of the following: a client email list, social media pages, a website, business directory listings, PPC ads. Guess what? All of those things can be worked into a content marketing campaign!
- Focus on What You Have. Now that you’ve created that list, focus on utilizing those channels. Don’t worry about what you aren’t doing yet. It’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have to do everything at once, but you don’t. You’ll drive yourself and your team crazy and set yourself up for failure if you try to bite off more than you can chew. So, take a step back and think of ways to leverage your existing content channels. Email lists are a perfect example. If you’ve already got a client contact list, build on it! Set up an autoresponder to collect and add email addresses so you can more easily reach out to those who are interested in your brand, products and/or services.
- Create a Realistic Plan. Once you have identified your existing content channels and decided which ones you want to focus on, create a short-term plan for generating content. What can you realistically do in a month? Even if you don’t start this month, what kind of content can you create and how frequently can you put it out? 2 blogs a month? 3 social posts a week? 1 email a week?
- Identify Your Resources. Part of developing a realistic plan is identifying your resources. Do you have internal staff who can create content or will you need to hire outside help? What kind of budget do you have? Can you draw on experts in other departments to assist in content creation? Identifying resources will help you figure out how much you can handle each month and help fine tune the details of who will create what and when.
- Don’t Rush It. One of the great things about content marketing is that it’s a process. To be honest, it can be quite a long process, but that’s okay because results improve over time. The more you do and the longer you do it, the better your results will be. Content marketing is a perfect example of slow and steady winning the race. Consistency and quality is way more important than flooding the Internet with content all at once and then forgetting about it. So, do not feel pressured into developing a grand content marketing plan all in one go. You have time.
You Are Ready To Take The First Step
Getting started with content marketing doesn’t have to be intimidating. By breaking it down into practical steps and getting a solid plan in place before you jump in, you are far more likely to experience success and develop a sustainable plan. 30 days can fly by in the blink of an eye, which is why I suggested spending that first 30 days getting organized and starting small. In our 60- and 90-day posts, we’ll explore how to fine tune your content marketing plan even more and branch out into new channels.
If you need help getting started, contact The Marketing Shop! We can help you evaluate your current efforts and develop a plan for success! Schedule a consultation online or call 860-615-6182 to get started.