Content Marketing 101- Resources for Content Marketers

If you are reading this blog, you likely have an interest in content marketing.

Perhaps you are convinced of the importance of getting it right when it comes to strategy. 

To that end, you are on the lookout for good resources to help you become a great content marketer.

This is a good thing, as research indicates that those who have

a clear understanding of content marketing strategy are much more successful than their counterparts who take a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants approach.

Content Marketing 101-Resources for Content Marketers is a basic guide designed to help you with strategy and go to resources.

Defining the Outline of Your Strategy 

Because your business is unique, you must have a unique content marketing strategy to complement your particular products or services.

If the thought of coming up with killer content makes your head hurt, take comfort in knowing that content creation is really about answering some basic questions.

You know the ones.

They are: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Taking these questions one at a time, you can get a good starting outline of what your marketing strategy should be.

The "Why"

The most obvious answer to the "why" of content marketing is that you want to attract traffic and generate leads that convert to sales.

This means that for every word you craft, video you produce,

or content of any kind you include in your overall strategy, there must be a clearly defined reason for that content.

When evaluating your content, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Why is this content necessary to my business objectives? 
  • Why is this content of value to my target audience? 
  • Why am I using this particular method of communication to get my message across? 

Once you have established the "why" of your content, it is time to consider the "who". 

The "Who" 

This one is perhaps the simplest part of the process.

Picture your ideal customer.

Create a backstory for your typical lead to get a clear picture of your buyer persona.

You can find much valuable information to help you with this in the reports that are generated by your CRM.

Once you have your buyer persona in mind, target your content to engage that persona.

The "What"

Think about what you want the reader or viewer to get from your message.

Then, put yourself in the mindset of your ideal customer.

Reviewing your content with a critical eye, is the message it conveys clear to the casual observer?

If so, you have a good piece of content.

If not, re-tool it until the message shines.

Here are the basics of the "what":

  • What action do you want your audience to take once they access your content?
  • What should be included in your message to entice your audience to engage with your company?
  • What is it that you have that is unique and exciting? Does your content reflect that uniqueness?
  • What are your existing customers saying or doing regarding your content?
  • What can you do to make your content more relevant to your targeted audience?

The "Where

Remember that a basic tenant of marketing is that you must reach people where they are. 

Crafting the most compelling content in the world will do you no good if no one sees it.

Much like putting a beautiful billboard on a dead-end road, simply creating a static website is no longer enough to attract traffic.

Inbound marketing strategies include multiple social media platforms.

However, inbound methodologies take time and effort to master.

So, it is important to first determine where your target audience is on social media.

Data you mine from a good CRM can provide solid information about your customer base and their social media habits.

Examining your strategy on the following social media platforms will be helpful:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

You will likely find that some of these platforms work better for your particular business than others. This will help you hone your content marketing strategy more effectively.

The "When" 

The adage that timing is everything is, to some extent, still true.

It is important to time your content to encourage the specific action you want your audience to take.

For instance, if you are unveiling a new product line, you will naturally want to produce content about the release date, the things that make this product exciting, and clear information about how your audience can benefit from its use.

Additionally, capturing information about when your audience is using social media, browsing the web, or using email can help you time your content accordingly.

For example, you can find much information about when it’s time to email communications for optimal open rates.

Sending out your message when people are most receptive to hearing it is both cost-effective and effective from a marketing standpoint as well.

The "How" 

Much can be said about how to be a great content marketer. The basic rules of content marketing include:

  • Craft your content with your ideal customer in mind.
  • Make it clear to that customer why coming to you is the best decision he or she can make.
  • Be entertaining, engaging, and enthusiastic about your content message in every communication.
  • Provide something of real value to your audience every time you release content.
  • Anticipate where your audience will be, and make your presence known there with content that entices people to interact. 

Beyond these basics, there are many resources available to you as you craft a killer content marketing strategy. 

Here are a few of the most informative places you can go to get the nitty-gritty on content marketing today:

Hubspot: Hubspot's co-founder, Brian Halligan, is credited with coming up with the term "inbound marketing". A leader in inbound strategies, Hubspot provides a continuous stream of information about how to optimize your inbound efforts.

Content Marketing Institute: Providing a solid body of whitepapers, ebooks, and other content about marketing, Content Marketing Institute is a go-to source for timely marketing tips and trends.

MarketingProfs: With tutorials, articles, podcasts, online seminars, and other nifty marketing tools, MarketingProfs provides a variety of ways to learn the ropes of content marketing and sharpen your skills.

The science of inbound marketing, is very much tied into the idea of content marketing and it involves a well-developed discipline of web analytics, and web design including the formulation of a sales funnel.