White papers. Blog posts. YouTube videos. If you’re wondering what commonality runs through this list, you may not yet know about content marketing. Content marketing is an Internet marketing strategy that allows you to use tools like videos, blogs, podcasts, and even ebooks to attract new clients to your business. The best content marketing strategy is focused, coherent, and long-term. If you’re just now setting up your own online marketing strategy, these five keys will help you.
1. Who Is Your Audience?
If you don’t know who would be interested in your product or service, how can you know how to develop your strategy? You have to know where you’ll find these potential clients. For some businesses, the people they most want to appeal to hang out on social media sites like Twitter or Instagram. For others, they have better luck attracting their ideal client via their blog or YouTube channel.
Your first step in creating a coherent strategy for your online marketing efforts starts here. All your content marketing should address your demographic in some way, and there should be an invisible thread of sorts that binds all of these media together. The thread is your message. How that message manifests depends on the media platform you’re using to spread the message.
2. Create a Website and a Blog
Once you know about what makes your clients tick and where they hang out, make a website with a blog. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it gives you a place to direct potential clients when they’d like to learn more about your business.
Second, the blog keeps your site current with the search engines. This is important because it makes it easier for people to find you during a search online. This would be a general search and not specifically for your business per se.
For example, if you are a self-employed dentist in Tennessee, anyone searching for “Tennessee dentists” could potentially find you if these are keywords you’re using on your site. You’d use keyword phrases like this on your blog post with the intent of attracting people to your site and, ultimately, to your business.
3. PPC, Social Media, White Papers, and Reviews
This category is pretty wide open. It can include PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaigns on Google, email newsletter campaigns, social media marketing, and even white papers and reviews, which you post on various review sites as with these Success Path reviews on HighYa.
Speaking of posting to other sites, you may also want to look around for niche blogs related to your field. Entrepreneur.com cites blogging on niche blogs as one of the most powerful steps you can take in an online marketing strategy. It positions you as an expert in your field and drives traffic to your site from these niche blogs.
4. Start an Online Group
Groups in your niche on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook can help you promote your business. These provide a place where like-minded individuals can interact, ask questions, and post answers to inquiries. Being the originator of the group positions you as an expert in your field.
You may be concerned that people won’t follow up with you for your products and services because they won’t know to do that. However, there are ways around this. When you create such a group, design headers that identify you and the group. This provides an indirect form of advertising. Because of the headers, people who are on your site will find you if they need your services.
5. Write an eBook
Nothing positions you as an expert like having a book with your name on it. This is also a smart content-marketing strategy for a couple of reasons (aside from positioning you as an expert.) First, it sends traffic from sites like Amazon to your website via links in your book. This allows you to build up an email list.
Second, you have a paperback book to give to face-to-face clients. Many authors only create a digital version of their book. However, you should take this one step further and have a paperback version made as well. (You can do this through CreateSpace.) Doing this allows you to marry your online content marketing strategy with your offline marketing efforts.
Solid content marketing strategy works best if you have a solid plan that you want to implement. It also fuses well with offline marketing platforms like TV, radio, ads, speaking engagements, etc. The best content marketing positions you as an expert in your field. Ideally, your content marketing efforts eventually make you the go-to person in your industry, which in turn, will make you more financially successful in the long run.