How to Start a Content Marketing Campaign like a Pro
Should you build a blog for your business?
A little backstory. I started my first blog in 2011. It was for my personal documentation of my journey with a rare condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I had no other intention than to write as a release and to share my story with other patients suffering from the same fate. I had no idea then of what SEO, content marketing or social media are. One day, I got a comment from an international foundation who found my blog and wanted to chat with me. A few Skype calls later, they assigned me as the liaison officer for the Philippine chapter. That’s the power of Google or should I say, the power of content?
In this digital day and age, having a blog is no longer a nice to have. It is a necessity. Regardless if you’re B2C or B2B, building content on your website benefits you three ways:
- It adds credibility to your company showing you are smart, human and an expert in your niche.
- With the right content, your blog feeds the search engines, helps you appear in relevant search keywords, and lists your website on top of SERP.
- Posting relevant content keeps your readers coming back for more – you become their go-to resource and in turn, they become accelerators for your social media growth.
The greatest impact that today’s business bloggers have on their organization are: thought leadership, SEO and brand visibility and buzz. (Curata)
To put things in a business perspective, first let’s define Content Marketing:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. – Content Marketing Institute
Early in my freelance career, I got the chance to work with the second biggest Search Marketing publication in the world, Search Engine Journal. Their content marketing strategy and editorial process opened my eyes to the essentiality of providing informative yet easily digestible content. Blog posts, Guides, Podcasts, Videos were some of the formats offered on a daily basis. I do regular audits to determine which types of content or topic get the most traffic. I share it with the team and our writers use these insights to create a better piece for our audience. I take pride in the three years I’ve worked with the team because I learned a lot. In fact, the existence of this blog is an attempt to apply my takeaways from being exposed to such a successful publication.
But what about leads, sales, numbers? Can content help a business succeed in their bottom line figures? I’ll let the statistics convince you:
- 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (DemandGen Report)
80% of business decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Exact Target)
Content marketing produces 3 times more leads per dollar. (Kapost)
34% of all leads generated by marketers in 2013 come from inbound marketing sources. (HubSpot)
Brands that create 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. (HubSpot)
Ready to put your content marketing know-how to practice? If you’re a blogger or a marketer tasked to start a content marketing campaign for you or your client’s business, have a look at this 7-step guide.
Seven Essential Tips To Jumpstart Your Content Marketing
- Set a goal for your content marketing campaign. Even if it’s tempting to start blogging right away, I strongly suggest you start with an overall strategy. You must define what you aim to improve with your blog. Keep in mind how it fits with your overall brand or company goals. This will ensure your efforts have a cohesive theme, your channels complement each other, and your message amplified.
- Know your audience. Who do you want to write for? If you already have a pool of customers, list their profile, demographics and interests. Understand their behavior. If you are starting from scratch, create buyer personas to help you target an audience. Share content that resonates with most of them. Speak their language!
- Use Analytics to guide your content creation. Invest time and delve into your analytics data. These are readily available from your website and social accounts. Analyze when your readers are online and find out what types of posts are getting the most traffic. Pivot if you see that your metrics are not hitting your goals.
- Keep an editorial calendar. This will help you ensure that you can consistently provide fresh content to your audience. Stick with a schedule so you can fulfill their expectations for a new post on a regular basis. But be reactive and on top of breaking news or events.
- Use one voice. Your blog, website and social media posts can communicate different messages, but you must be able to maintain a single tone of voice. Are you helpful? Friendly? Authoritative? Snarky? B2B companies are often informative while B2C can be more flexible and fun.
- Add value. Your content must be fresh, unique or upcycled. Add in your thoughts but back it up with evidence, research or case studies. You must be able to teach something useful to your audience. Diversify content to cover what’s relevant and trending. Have a clear CTA. More importantly, engage with your readers. Respond to comments and queries. Get content inspiration from them.
- SEO-proof your content. Identify your target keywords and make sure it’s well meshed into your articles. Add useful links from your blog or website and from external sources as well. Use helpful plug-ins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast. Sujan Patel talked about the intersection of SEO and content marketing in detail here. I would also suggest enriching your knowledge by reading The Art of SEO or following blogs like Moz and Search Engine Journal.