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Your business is KING. Content marketing is the QUEEN.
So, after a series of setbacks, you’ve finally decided to start your online business.
Your website is killing it.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are all set.
Products (physical or digital) are thirsty to get in the hands of your buyers/clients.
BUT (here comes the but) you caught yourself saying…
Hmm, my store is STILL empty.
I’m not getting any traffic.
My Facebook page has no engagement.
Everything looks lonely.
This is where content marketing comes in. So what is it and how do you get amazing results for your business?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a sales strategy that aims to identify an existing need and present a valuable solution for free.
Different forms of content
- blog posts
- social media text posts
- Downloadable worksheets
- social media image posts
- Pinterest pins
- Google 360 view
- Instagram and Facebook live
Pros of content marketing for your business
1. Brings traffic to the website
A newly-launched website is obviously, empty. Sure, you have the common web pages all put up
- About us/me
- Contact us
But apart from these, the website literally has nothing to offer. To start building, put up a blog page, and consistently publish posts that are relevant to you and your leads.
For example, you are starting an organic skincare brand. Blog post ideas can be:
- The truth and myth behind organic skincare
- Best organic skin care products for sensitive skin
- Natural remedies for eczema and other common skin problems
- Natural vs Organic skincare products: which is better?
- Weird skincare practices in the Elizabethan era
So, how do you come up with content marketing ideas? There are free online tools you can use for inspiration and what people are searching for.
Another trick is to stalk your competitors. Check out what types of content they do to attract leads. I’m not saying duplicate, but create something better.
For example, your business is selling mother-daughter custom clothes. Your competitor created a catalog in the form of blog posts about beautiful color combinations and cloths ideal for kids with sensitive skin.
So what do you do? You create content related to what’s trending, what looks good on Instagram, FAQ’s, and mother-daughter bonding ideas. Same market, same target audience, better content.
2. Helps with brand awareness
When you’re starting out, remember that you’re a nobody. Unless you’re a celebrity with millions of online followers, lots of partnerships, and now putting up a business. Think Millie Bobbie Brown.
What if you’re not? What if you’re just like me, building a small space on the internet, and hoping that your voice will be heard by the right people, and not just talking to yourself or the wall?
Content marketing is the way to go. If you’re comfortable talking on camera, you can talk to your target audience via IGTV, Facebook Live, and YouTube. Create amazing images on Instagram. If writing is your strength, write long-form blogs (like this) and share it on Facebook.
3. Builds trust
I saw a Facebook ad the other day saying, entrepreneurs don’t have to hide behind their logo. Instead, BE THE LOGO. It just makes sense. Right now, online buyers are wiser. Once they saw your Facebook ad, they go to the page, they check if you have Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, and a website, they look for product reviews, they check if you’re on Amazon or Lazada. Think of going through a strict body search while entering a government facility, like in the movies.
This is good actually. This is why you need to cover your tracks. And by cover I mean, not having negative reviews, or the website has a scammy feel. And this is their money we’re talking about. Money earned which deserves to be well spent. So if your audience feels that you are someone they can trust, there’s no need for hard-selling.
4. Positions you as an expert
I don’t know who these people are, until I watched their YouTube videos, read their blogs, saw their Facebook ads, joined their Facebook group communities, and subscribed to their emails. All of which are content marketing strategies that aim to boost their credibility and sell products/services.
Just like what I said in number 2, if you’re a nobody, you gotta start with something. Create a buzz (the right one) so people would recognize you and the products/services you offer.
Soon, you can create your own tribe, meet potential business partners, and of course, get MORE clients.
5. It helps customers make decisions quickly
To buy or not to buy, that is the question.
Content marketing is about addressing an existing need for free so you can offer a paid solution.
But what if…
your target audience is not aware of this particular need?
the need exists but it’s not a matter of life and death situation?
there is a need, you have the solution, but it’s not urgent.
Or worse, they’d rather not pay because they can get the solution for free somewhere else.
This is where you come in. Your business needs to create content that will help them decide. At the end of the day, all we want is a sale. BUT, we don’t want to be pushy or sound desperate.
If it’s a no, it’s a no. It happens.
But if you can turn it into a yes, much better.
Also, if you are using content marketing as part of your market research or case study, this where you can get data of what works, what doesn’t, re-strategize and recreate. Besides, content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all.
6. Give customers a reason to stay
This is where long forms of blog posts come in. According to research, a good session duration is 3 minutes and above. To reduce bounce rate, analyze your content based on
- Bullet list
- Numbered list
- Bold keywords
- Call to action (encourage readers to participate, comment, ask questions, share, or like, and not just read)
B. The right content
7. Generates social media traffic
Social media is fast-paced. Therefore, consistency is key. If your audience likes seeing your post at 7 am while traveling from work, or at 6 pm while on your way home, publish consistently. That way, they have something to look forward to.
We’re not aiming for viral posts, though at times viral is good.
Create content for the right reasons, and the right audience will come.
8. Works in any industry
The internet has opened doors for a lot of business and job opportunities. In fact, Glassdoor created a list of 15 awesome jobs that didn’t exist 15 years ago.
Since more businesses are popping everyone, the need for more content increases. Therefore, content marketing is not going anywhere.
9. Helps you remain competitive
For example, your competitor is publishing blogs every Wednesday, posts on Facebook twice a week, and has no Instagram account.
So what do you do? You double (or triple) the content you provide to your target audience
- Publish blog posts every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
- Post on Facebook every day
- Create an IG account and utilize IG stories and IGTV
Also, Google favors websites that are frequently updated. Your website will likely rank significantly if you publish content regularly.
Moreover, Google will stop sending people to your website if it’s out of date. It will assume that the brand is no longer active and it’s contents are no longer relevant.
It may look like it’s a lot of work. But if you have a content marketing team, this is easy to attain. If not prioritize. Is your audience primarily on Facebook? Then post twice a day, every day. For Instagram, try an IGTV series. The possibilities are endless.
Cons of content marketing for your business
Okay, so we’re done with all the good stuff, here comes the BUTs.
1. High learning curve
If you’re a startup business, chances are, you are now overwhelmed by too much information you can find on the internet, Online courses popping everywhere, and different online marketers discovering new ways about what works and what doesn’t.
It pays to be fully equipped with information about what goes down in content marketing. But, know that there are ways to be productive than spend months learning everything.
This goes with number 1. If you choose to learn everything from scratch, prepare to spend hours reading, attending webinars, networking, and market research. But then again, if these tasks are delegated to content marketing team members, that will be a great use of time and resources.
3. Difficult to manage
I’ve been mentioning having a content marketing team throughout this blog post. And that is because there really is a need for having one. If the budget is in question, hiring a Virtual Assistant is a solution. But remember that one person can only do so much.
4. Can be expensive
Crafting a successful content marketing strategy can put a hole in someone’s pocket. On average, a company spends $5,000 to $50,000 per month for content marketing planning, creation, and strategies. However, content marketing is still 62% less than other online marketing strategies and generate leads 3 times more as long as you’re producing relevant content.
5. Takes time to see results
Content marketing is a long-term strategy Obviously, businesses wanted a quick return of investment, but this rarely happens in content marketing.
6. Hard to measure results
Your Instagram post about a women empowerment quote from Beyonce earned 20 likes in 24 hours You have just over 400 followers and you post once a day except on weekends.
How do you determine if this is good content or not?
Will that post generate sales?
Will it help you get new leads? Unlike other marketing tools like Click Funnels or Landing pages, content marketing can be a little tricky when it comes to measuring success and effectiveness. There are factors to consider, like views, engagement, reach. Still, it’s not a 100% guarantee sale, which is why content can also be used for different purposes like SEO.
7. Finding unique content ideas can be challenging
Try to Google How to Survive till next payday you will find thousands of search results telling the same thing over and over, just with different writing styles and approaches.
With almost everything published on the internet these days, producing original, unique, and attention-grabbing content does seem much of a challenge.
And by unique, I mean not just content which will go viral for 1 to 3 days and that’s it. Something that will endure too much noise on the internet. Something that will help you stand out.
How to get amazing results from content marketing
1. Define your goals
It’s difficult to come up with a solid content marketing plan if you don’t know what you’re doing it for.
- Why do I need content?
- What type of content does my audience want?
- Do I want likes, follows, and/or web traffic?
KPI or Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. High-level KPIs may focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs may focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, support and others.
Basically, the KPI tells you what you want and how to know if your business was able to achieve it.
The more specific your KPI goals are, the better.
For example, your objective is to increase revenue by 20% in January.
Therefore your KPI’s would be:
- Increase in the number of email subscribers using lead magnets (printables, downloadables)
- Increase in reach and engagement on social media
- Monitor revenue vs amount spent on marketing campaigns
- Progress will be reviewed by the end of the month
Another helpful guide for you to create a solid KPI for your business is by using the SMART method.
3. Create a buyer persona
I am in the process of planning a fresher look and perspective of my self-care blog Self-love After Ruins. Part of the process is taking a step back and re-evaluating the content I have already produced, and what direction I am going for in 2020. The first thing I did was create a new buyer persona.
Age: late 20’s to late 30’s
Relationship Status: Single, married, separated, divorced, Struggling to fall in love again
Occupation: Employed, Self-employed, Searching for new opportunities
Educational attainment: Undergrad or Postgrad
Financial status: Unstable, having debt issues
Where to find in social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
Other important traits/behavior issues:
- Had trouble starting over in life and in career
- Couldn’t handle career and personal life
- Wants to pursue her passion but can’t
- Experienced a really bad breakup and is struggling to find love again
Having a brand new buyer persona for my blog allows me to have a clear picture of what type of women I want to speak with. This time, it will be a lot easier for me to find my voice which my target audience will understand.
4. Identify what platform works best for your business
You don’t have to have everything.
Identify where your audience is and focus on creating content there.
Of course, you will get a grasp of where they are through testing the waters.
If you are in the eCommerce industry selling clothes, shoes, and/or makeup, try Instagram.
Is your demographic is aged 18 to 25? Try to use Snapchat.
Do you want to create a tribe or an online community? Create a Facebook group.
Do you create video tutorials, go with YouTube.
Test what type of content your audience like. Whether it’s text-based, images, and/or videos, social media has everything you need to identify what type of content is relevant to your audience.
5. Allocate resources
You can’t do this alone.
Over the years, I learned to always, ALWAYS look at the big picture. If I want to run a successful online business, I need people who can help put my ideas in action.
A startup business can run smoothly with a team which consists of:
- Web developer (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)
- Graphic Artist
- Virtual Assistant (admin tasks)
Other responsibilities can be assigned to:
- SEO specialists
- Product listers
- Customer service (chat, email, or voice support)
- Social media manager
Solopreneurs start by doing everything on their own. As the business grows, there are instances where tasks are outsourced to manage other aspects of the business.
For example, a copywriter can hire a VA to help out in getting leads and creating content on social media, while he/she provides service with existing client/s.
A YouTube content creator hires a video editor so he/she can release videos every day, while he/she attends meetings, and reach out to companies for collaborations.
Or, a business owner hires a project manager to lead his/her team, while he/she takes care of new leads, partnerships, and/or collaborations.
It can be overwhelming, what needs to be done. But if have a strong team that cares and understands your vision, everything can be carried out according to how you see it.
6. Create a content calendar
Planning content can be done monthly, quarterly, or annually, which depends on what you and/or your team can handle.
So, what types of content can you plan ahead?
Evergreen – those that are ALWAYS timely and relevant
Holiday-themed – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, etc.
Download your FREE content calendar here.
7. Start creating content
- Create content that’s worth reading
- Feed curiosity
- Trigger emotion
- Become a solutionist
8. Measure results
I mentioned that content marketing is difficult to measure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t.
Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author said
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Monitor website traffic
Check reach and engagement on Facebook
See how many follows you’ve earned after starting a new campaign.
This way, you would know what works, what doesn’t, and what your audience really want from you.
Content marketing is here to stay.
As long as there’s information to
People will never get tired of looking.