I know, you’re trying to run a business. You have to focus you time on building, fixing, and delivering your product. To do that, you have developed systems to help your business run smoothly. But do you have systems for your marketing, specifically content marketing?
A marketing system transforms a series of unrelated activities into a process that is repeatable and easier to measure and manage. One way to begin building your system is to start thinking like a publisher. A magazine publisher doesn’t wake up on Monday morning and decide this month, the magazine is going to feature articles about fish. Successful magazines plan out the entire year–you should too.
Define the Major Themes
Start by selecting your major themes. What do you want to be known for? What are your key products or services? As you start thinking about themes, take time to check out Google keywords. Very often, you will find alternative phrases and themes which are searched more often than the keyword you are thinking about.
Create a Content Marketing Calendar
Once you have picked 8 – 10 themes for the year, it’s time to start mapping out a calendar. Advance planning gives you time to identify where your information will come from, clients to interview for case studies, photo sources for blog post images and new product information. Depending on your business, this may be a weekly, monthly or annual calendar. Just be sure to work far enough ahead to give yourself time to create great content.
One of the advantages in taking a themed approach to your marketing is the ability to create multiple pieces of content at once. Start with broad topics and write long form articles or white papers. This content can then be sliced and diced for newsletters, blog posts and social media updates.
Working on themes over time gives you an opportunity to find great locations to share your marketing content. For example, our social media survey, in addition to providing content for our blog posts, is a great starting point for seminars, presentations and guest posts on other websites. Having multiple pieces of content on the same theme gives search engines more to find and gives people multiple places for them to bump into your information. Don’t limit yourself to online. Consider submitting some of your most informative content to offline publications and using it in printed sales literature as well.
Measure Your Content Marketing and Start Again
The best thing about the Internet today is the ability to measure results. If you have actively worked on developing content around specific terms, you will see very quickly if it is paying off. Are you getting traffic to specific pages based on your content? And more importantly, is that traffic converting to prospects? Review your metrics and get ready to start planning your next publishing cycle.