The first step is always the hardest - getting started is tough. But you’re likely to have a Twitter account, you’re probably communicating with connections on Linkedin and maybe you’ve been liking and sharing all sorts of content on Facebook. You might even have joined the ever-expanding club of small business owners who are using Astonish Email to keep in touch with their contacts.
So however small, you’ve made a start with your content marketing. Pat on the back to you! The trick now is to maintain that momentum through a combination of implementing fresh new ideas, embracing the need to research and learn new strategies and implementing a well-defined plan of action.
Bite-sized goals are great and highly effective in this fast-paced, hectic world. So we’ve broken things down into small, manageable steps…
1. Determine your target market – This will depend very much on your objectives but be specific about who you wish to reach. Set your tone accordingly, using the right language, through the most appropriate channels. Follow publications they share. Consider the challenges that these individuals are facing and present the solutions.
2. Define your objectives – Be crystal clear about what you want to achieve. Raising the profile of your business? Improving customer retention? Promoting one particular service? Filling your diary with sales appointments? A combination is fine, but if you’re not absolutely clear about what you want, however will your audience know?
3. Position yourself – Become an expert in your field, sticking to what you know best. Be the go-to business for your clients. And prospects. Follow conversations on Twitter, join Linkedin groups and comment on posts in your sector. Build your reputation by connecting people together.
4. Practice what you preach – Engage and inform, interact and chat with others. Share relevant information, promote industry colleagues and retweet articles of interest.
5. Create a content calendar – A crucial factor to success. Plan out your content; a weekly blog, a monthly email newsletter, entertaining infographics, significant news releases, regular video testimonials or podcasts – whatever is suitable and manageable for you, remembering to post your content on your social media channels. Don’t forget the seasonality of your business and key industry events.
6. Set realistic targets – It’s likely to take at least six months for your content marketing efforts to begin making a difference – don’t lose heart and don’t give up! Instead, set small, manageable goals and celebrate your achievements. Give yourself some time and then create your milestones; a number of visits to your website, a number of retweets each week or a percentage of opens of your email marketing campaigns. Grow and build with small, sensible increases, sharing good news with your colleagues.
7. Review your work – Keep a close eye on what’s working well, re-use popular posts and learn from those that received little or no interest. This is where tools such as your email newsletter reports and analytics will be invaluable.
The key is to get cracking. Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day and it will take time and effort to build up your presence – but well worth it! Don’t try to achieve perfection, it’s vastly over-rated. Just devise your plan, get started, remain consistent and enjoy it!
And remember, once you have created your content, sign up for your free Astonish Email account to spread your valuable knowledge via email marketing.