Building a Content Marketing Machine

Marketing Strategy, Marketing Tactics

Content marketing is probably one of the most common buzzwords used by digital gurus. The reason why it has stuck around for so long is that, if implemented properly, it really does work wonders. Content marketing is a cost-effective tool to increase brand awareness, nurture customer engagement and generate more leads. But many small B2B companies still find themselves struggling to create compelling and effective content to achieve their business goals. Truth is, without a sound strategy, regularly creating quality content can be daunting. Here are a few tips to get started.

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you begin any content marketing campaign, you must first engage in some introspection and answer this simple question: “why should your prospect buy from you and not from the competition?” Your unique selling proposition (USP) will help you differentiate your business. If you have difficulty articulating your USP, you can start with finding out your potential customer’s challenges and pain points. What keeps them up at night? Are you able to address these problems with a better-quality product or service? Or perhaps offer more convenience such as free delivery? Are you able to give them what they need at a cheaper price? This will be the cornerstone of your business and it will set the direction and tone of your marketing campaigns.

Create Content Personas

Now that you have a clear idea of what you are offering, you would need to visualize your ideal customers. Creating personas requires examining your customer base as well as engaging in market research to develop a deeper understanding of your target buyer. Who in the organization would most likely encounter the problem you are trying to solve? Who are the personnel likely to advocate for your product or service? Who are the decision makers who can initiate the buying process? Imagine what their job description looks like. Determine the type of advice that would be relevant to their role in the company. Their expertise will determine how technical your content will be. Personifying your audience will help you create content that is not only valuable to them but will also push them further along your sales funnel.

Develop a Keyword List

You may be creating great content, but unless your blog posts are being indexed by popular search engines such as Google and Bing, you are missing a huge opportunity to reach your prospects. In marketing lingo, this is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is crucial to choose high-performing keywords that drive relevant traffic to your website. You can start with free tools such as the Google Keyword Planner or Keywordtool.io. Once you understand your potential customer’s needs, you will be able to predict the type of questions that they will most likely ask search engines and incorporate them into your blog posts.

Use a Content Calendar

Have your team brainstorm on various content topics that will resonate with your readers. To ensure that you are tapping a wide range of relevant themes, a content calendar can give you an organized system to manage your ideas. You can start with a simple Excel spreadsheet that tracks information such as the topic, SEO keywords, date of publishing, author, and status. If you want to share this file among team members, it can be uploaded to Dropbox or you can use Google Sheets. Planning with the help of a content calendar also keeps team members on schedule and accountable for assigned deliverables.

Enlist the Help of Experts

Tap into the expertise and wealth of experience of your team. Gather insights from subject matter experts on common issues faced by a typical customer. Not only will they be seen as thought leaders but also potential life savers by your audience. Engaging these experts will breathe life into your content and add authenticity to your marketing endeavors.

Repurpose Old Content

One clever way to keep your content calendar full and save yourself precious time is by recycling content you already have. Try different formats to extend the life of your digital assets. For instance, you can turn a blog into an infographic or a video. By developing different formats, you are also able to improve your content’s social reach. So now instead of just sharing an article on Twitter or LinkedIn, your new video can be shared on Youtube and Vimeo as well. You may also want to look into updating posts that have become outdated to improve your content’s relevance.

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Originally published at www.vapartners.ca.

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