How does one go about planning a content marketing strategy? - Many small business owners quickly grow tired of the expenses involved with their available marketing channels. Advertising, telemarketing, and pay-per-click campaigns can quickly exhaust budgets and deliver disappointing results. As a result, many entrepreneurs are looking for better ways to attract customers on the cheap.
Content marketing has become one of the most affordable and powerful ways to drive website traffic and generate publicity for your business. At its core, content marketing is essentially the process of publishing great content both onsite, and off, to develop, grow, and engage a larger audience.
To be successful, your content must be found, paid attention to, and ultimately shared. To avoid coming up short, and to achieve the results to which you aspire, you must start with a solid content marketing strategy.
When planning a strategy, you should think of content marketing as a process. Successful marketers define and set some realistic expectations to avoid discouragement. Implementing a successful content marketing strategy requires planning, effort, and options.
If you expect to solve all of your problems and see an avalanche of traffic after you publish a few articles, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Without a detailed strategy and clear expectations, your marketing plan will never gain traction.
Next, you should identify some SEO opportunities to expand your footprint. This can include guest posting, social networking, and quality article and directory submissions. Use some of the many available tools on the web to research your competitors’ strategies and analyze their ideas.
This can help you determine the approximate amount of time and effort necessary to surpass them, and what resources will be required to see your plan to fruition.
If you have little or no content marketing experience, you still have options. You can outsource your efforts to a third party, hire staff internally, or you can learn to do it yourself. If you are a part of the majority of small business owners who don’t have the resources to pay for basic services, don’t fret. There is nothing wrong taking charge and doing it yourself. Quite often, this can be the optimal method as nobody understands your business and industry better than you do.
However, taking on the responsibility for content marketing is a commitment. You will be tasked with generating quality, unique content on a daily basis. Remember, while your goal may be traffic generation, you must deliver content that adds value to your readers.
You should remember to consider both the quantity and quality of the traffic you desire. This means you must resist the temptation to create content just for the sake of generating content.
Attentive readers will quickly pick up on any content that looks forced. On the other hand, readers will appreciate authentic effort and quality content. Understand how your content fits into your overall marketing strategy and process.
Attentively planning your content marketing strategy will help you understand where you are lacking, the task at hand, and the resources required to meet your objectives. Most importantly, proper planning will help you drive more and better traffic, and ultimately sales.
Image courtest of Flickr user: Piitaaraq