These days, if you want to have potential clients find you, you know that your business needs to be online. A website and social media are critical to your online marketing.
Good content should drive your online marketing. Now that you’ve set up your website, how will you ensure that users will find you online? What are you going to tweet about and post updates about?
This is where your content marketing comes into play. You need to determine what kinds of content will be of interest to existing and potential clients. What information do they need that you can provide? How can you provide that information in a way that will be interesting and informative?
Why Content Marketing Is Important
Content marketing is important for a few reasons:
- Most people today don’t want to be bombarded with advertising that may or may not be relevant to them. The old method of marketing “at” people (through billboards, commercials, etc.) is not nearly as effective as providing information that is relevant to a potential customer at the time that they’re looking for it. Content marketing helps you to provide useful information that people are looking for right when they’re ready for it.
- Search engines are driven by content – every single search consists of someone using keywords to look for something. You want the people who are looking for what you have to offer to be able to find you.
- To bring in fans, followers, and readers (all of whom are potential clients), you need to give them something worth reading, watching, or listening to. As many people have noted, when it comes to online marketing, “If you build it, they will come” does not apply – you need to give people a compelling reason to engage with you.
- Blogging for business is recognized as one of the best forms of marketing your business online, and good blogging requires that you have a clear idea about the content you want to deliver via your blog.
In short, content marketing is the process of creating content that will be valuable to current and potential clients and then making sure that your content is shared online so that people can find it.
Tips to Get You Started
Be aware that working on your content marketing will take time. You will need to:
- Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve through your marketing? What is the target market that you are trying to reach? Developing a marketing plan and a social media strategy should be your first steps in this process.
- Keep it manageable. Content creation can include blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations, and more. As a small business owner, it’s important to stick to doing something that will be manageable, especially if only you and perhaps one other person will be creating the content. Don’t feel that you have to do it all.
- Develop a system for implementation. This doesn’t need to be too complicated, but you should at least be clear about who will develop the content, where will it be published, how it will be shared through social media, and how you will respond to comments on your blog and Facebook.
- Develop an editorial calendar. This is a handy way of planning what you will post and when. You can identify the types of blog posts that you want to write, as well as plan ahead for your Facebook updates and tweets.
- Identify appropriate content for each of your channels. People will engage with your content differently on your blog than they will on Facebook, and they will engage differently on Facebook than they will on Twitter. For example, when people go to your blog, they are looking for specific information on a topic that they want to learn more about and it will take more than 140 characters to provide them with that information. When they see your status update on Facebook, it will often be mixed in with updates from their friends and family, and they are more likely to click the “like” button if it’s something that they can take in really quickly.
- Incorporate your keywords. This is particularly important if you are blogging for business. Make sure that you use keywords that people will use to search for your product or service and incorporate those into your blog title and posts. Although the search engines are constantly changing the way that they serve up search results, people are still entering keywords in their searches and you want to make sure that they can find you.
- Be aware that this will take time! Like all marketing, this will take time. It’s not a simple matter of setting up your social media profiles and just sending out a few tweets. You’ll need to work on this regularly, but over time, you will begin to see the results of your efforts.
7 Steps to Online Marketing Success
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