Producing content for your brand is a great way to build recognition and engagement with your customers. Done right, content marketing can be a huge win-win for your audience, and your business.
Why? For your customers, great content (blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, etc.) is free and useful. It also helps inform and steer their buying decisions. In fact, 61 percent of consumers say that they feel better about and are more likely to buy from a company that creates custom content. From a business perspective, content marketing is also a hugely influential factor in boosting your search rankings; driving traffic to your website; increasing brand awareness and solidifying your position as an expert in your field.
The rewards can be great. But how do you find the time to produce content and do content marketing well?
Here are a few strategies to get started and implement a solid content marketing program in just a few hours each week.
Start with the basics
Don’t even attempt to launch a blog, send a newsletter, or share content on social media until you have the following basics in place:
Review Your Website – Think of your website as a hub for your content marketing and communications channels. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, reflects your brand, and explains why visitors should be interested in your work (what separates you from the competition, examples of your work, etc.). You should also ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.
Add a Blog Page – If you haven’t got a page to house your blog, add one.
Create Landing Pages – If you’re going to offer long-from content (whitepapers, ebooks) consider investing in a content management or inbound marketing system like HubSpot to help you build custom landing pages and sign-up pages, manage your campaigns/blog, etc.
Add an Email Sign-Up – Email still provides the most ROI of any marketing, so make sure you have an email sign-up page that connects with email software like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. Offer an incentive for signing up such as a free guide or tip sheet.
Claim Your Social and Online Listings – Other things to take care of include claiming your local listings on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yellow Pages, Yahoo as well as social sites like Facebook and Yelp. This is the information your customers will see when they search for you online, so it’s a great opportunity to allow you to control the content you place in front of your them and monitor what is being said about your business online.
Ok, the basics may take a little time (or you may have them in place already), but they’re a must if your content marketing efforts are to bear fruit.
Execute your strategy one week at a time
Now you’re ready to get started. Below are some fundamental content marketing strategies that you can take care of each week, that needn’t suck up too much time.
Research and Write One Blog – This puts a lot of non-writers off from the get go. But blog writing doesn’t have to be that difficult. In fact, you could spend as little as 30 to 60 minutes each week writing or curating content. If you have no idea where to start, read: How to Blog to Boost Business Growth. We’ve also identified 20 Tools that Will Take Your Blog to the Next Level.
Put out a Customer Newsletter or Email – This doesn’t have to happen once a week, once every two weeks is fine. Include links to your latest blogs, add promotions if you have any. You could also showcase examples of your work, upcoming events or new products. Then work on getting those emails read with these tips: 9 Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Email Open Rates.
Plan Your Social Media Activity – The week can rush by before your realize that you haven’t shared a social update. To avoid this, plan, write and schedule your posts in advance. Balance your posts between promotional ones (20%) and informative ones (80%). Informative content centers on things like your blog articles, pictures of your latest work/customers/staff, etc. Then spend 5-10 minutes each day monitoring and responding to comments. Tools like Hootsuite and Mention make this a breeze.
Repurpose Other Content – A great way to get around a time crunch is to repurpose your existing content. For example, you could turn a “how-to” blog into a quick video and share it across your marketing channels. Here are some more ideas: Why and How to Repurpose Your Best Content Marketing.
And there you have it. These are some basic elements, but they are enough to make a difference. As you being to get more content under your belt, consider turning those pieces into ebooks, whitepapers or even a webinar or workshop series.
Outsource (some of) your writing
If you find that time and inspiration isn’t on your side, then it might be worth investing in a dedicated writer. 61 percent of small business marketers outsource their writing; that’s a higher percentage than those who outsource other non-core functions like graphic design (56%). Hit up your network first, if you can’t find the right fit then check out online freelance listings.
This post was updated on September 18, 2019.