A guide to creating engaging content across all online marketing channels
WHO THIS GUIDE IS FOR PA G E 3U N D E R S TA N D I N G C O N T E N T M A R K E T I N G PA G E 4C O N T E N T C R E AT I O N PA G E 5CONTENT D ISTRIBUTION PA G E 8CONTENT ATTRIBUTION PA G E 1 1OTHER P OINTS TO CONSIDER PA G E 1 3 2
This guide is designed tohelp small business ownersand professionals who areworking on contentmarketing on their own or aspart of a small team.While the information here Additionally, this guideis helpful to companies of assumes minimal priorall sizes, the knowledge of contentrecommendations are marketing and is suitable fortailored towards those who beginners or those withhave constraints on both intermediate experience.time and budget. 3
Content Marketing may the newbuzzword in online marketing,but the practice is nothing newfor many business owners.Simply put, content marketing isthe practice of creating andcurating content that has valuefor your target audience.It allows you to establishthought leadership, increase thetime visitors spend on your site, Think of content marketing holistically, as aimprove organic SEO, and it part of your overall online marketing strategy.helps to build your brand. 4
Content Marketing Commandment 1: Create Only Valuable Content Because of the many benefits content marketing offers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “more is better”. In reality, more content is only better when it provides value to your audience.The more valuable your content, the more likely your Content marketing is pointlessaudience is to share it and improve your reach. if the content is spammy, unoriginal, or just plain boring. 5
Content Marketing Commandment 2: Always Verify Your SourcesThis applies in particular tonews-based posts, but isapplicable to any fact-basedposts or content you create.Make sure your sources arereputable, and that theinformation you are providing If you quote statistics in your content marketing, be sureyour audience is factual. to list the study, publication, or other source for the data. This lends credibility and builds trust.Taking the extra step to verifyinformation outside your area ofexpertise will ensure that yourcontent is consideredtrustworthy. 6
Content Marketing Commandment 3: Commit to Content Production One of the biggest mistakes* small business owners make when it comes to content marketing is lack of commitment. Before you ever start writing, plan an editorial calendar that will let you create content regularly.Even if it’s only a few times a month, a regularschedule is preferable to sporadic updates. Keeping to a schedule sets expectations and encourages*Most often it isn’t a mistake, but a lack of time. visitors to return to your site to see what’s new. 7
Content Marketing Commandment 4: Refine Your Distribution ChannelsThis comes back to avoidingspam. Don’t simultaneouslytweet, post to Facebook, andupdate Google+ about thesame blog post unless you wantyour audience to tune you out.Choose which content you willshare across which social Sharing across social media is great, but don’t letmedia platforms and make it automation turn you into a spammer. Focus on 2 or 3 social media sites and use automation carefully.relevant to your followers oneach. 8
Content Marketing Commandment 5: Find Your (Social) NicheOr in simpler terms: youshould be active on the sitesthat are popular with yourtarget market.Smaller social mediaplatforms like Quora or There are a lot of social media sites out there. TooPinterest can lead to better many for a small business owner or professional to be active on them all. Pick the ones that matter mostengagement if they are to your target demographic.popular with your audience. 9
Content Marketing Commandment 6: Be Ready for FeedbackContent marketing is almostnever a one-way street. Evenif you’re only publishing blogposts and whitepapers, youcan expect feedback in theform of comments andquestions.Be ready to engage positively For every one person who asks a question, you canand proactively in order to be sure that there are many more who will be watching to see how you respond. Always keep thebuild a good reputation in the tone positive and productive.online community. 10
Content Marketing Commandment 7: Give Credit Where Credit is DueDon’t be afraid to link out toother blogs, infographics, andarticles on the web. If you founda great idea on a differentwebsite that inspired your blogpost, say so. Try to cultivate online relationships with sites that serve the same target audience but with complementary services – this allows for growth andYour audience will recognize the partnerships.fact that you link to qualityresources and information,which in turn helps establishyour own expertise. 11
Content Marketing Commandment 8: Track What Matters Most The only way to refine your content marketing is to track the metrics that matter the most to your bottom line. If you use content as part of the conversion funnel – whitepapers for qualifiedKeep in mind that this can include social metrics as leads, for example – keepwell. Different types of content are needed for everystep of the conversion funnel. track of how many of your leads actually interact with your content. 12
Content Marketing Commandment 9: Be GenuineYou’ll get better results if yourwriting reflects your brand andcomes across as genuine.This is easiest when you writeabout those parts of your businessthat truly excite you and that youenjoy. Sometimes, being genuine can feel at odds with beingHowever, even if the topic isn’t your “official” or “professional”. The best way to keep thefavorite, treat every piece of balance is to use the same tone in your writing that you use when talking to a client or prospect.content you write as a chance toconnect with your audience. 13
Content Marketing Commandment 10: Be FlexibleContent marketing is an art aswell as a science, and there’sno one way to do it “right”.Finding what works for youmay take a few days, a fewweeks, or even a few months.Take your cues from theengagement level of your In the end, what you are looking for is balanceaudience and adjust your between the content you create, the engagement your content produces, and the benefits to both you andefforts accordingly for the your target audience.best returns. 14
Need More Help? Let’s Talk.My name is Ereika Stimley and I help small businesses andindependent professionals establish online expertise, grow their onlineaudiences, and improve conversions through planning and executingcontent and conversion optimization strategies.(All of which is a very long way of saying I show you how to use contentto grow your business and make more sales.)If you have any questions, please get in touch and let’s talk about how Ican help you.
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