Sometimes it’s nice to get back to the basics, right? No longer how long you’ve been in business, hustling and creating and networking, this quick-start guide to organic content marketing is for entrepreneurs like you who are craving a blank slate.
Content marketing isn’t what it used to be. There are so many paths forward, when just a few years ago blogging was queen. Now, to grow a successful business it feels like you have to be on every platform doing all the things just to keep up in the name of staying relevant.
Don’t worry, this is not a blog post where I’m going to tell you that you have to show up everywhere. In fact, I’m going to tell you to slim it down.
They say what you focus on grows, and that adage couldn’t be truer even for content marketing. When you slim down your focus you concentrate that focus. And what you concentrate grows in potency and, thus, grows.
We’re going to dive into content marketing fundamentals including the difference between organic and paid content marketing, why it’s so important even today, what you need before getting started, the types of content marketing you can pursue, and how to create your first content strategy.
It’s going to be simple and painless, and I hope by the end of this you’ll feel you’ve been certified in content marketing 101, ready to create and implement your first content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is often called inbound marketing. Its goal is to bring new leads into your business through the creation of content that speaks to the needs, goals, personalities, and values of those in your target audience.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves creating and distributing valuable information through various channels. It helps businesses build relationships with customers by providing useful, relevant, and interesting content.
It involves creating, producing, publishing, and sharing valuable information via different media channels. This includes websites, blogs, social media, email newsletters, mobile apps, etc.
Organic content marketing takes content marketing and whittles it down to all marketing done without putting money behind it. Think, ads. Advertising is content marketing, but it is not organic. Organic means natural, survival of the fittest to an extent. Paid content, in a way, is inorganically boosted. Of course, there’s strategy involved in advertising but it’s not organic, not “natural.” Organic content marketing is content created, shared, and grown organically.
This kind of marketing generates traffic and leads over time without the use of paid advertisements. Organic content marketing looks like blogging, SEO, email marketing, and social media to name a few.
Marketer Lee Oden once wrote, “Content isn’t king, it’s the kingdom.” This is a marketer’s favorite quote because of how true it really is.
You’ve likely heard that content is king, and that may have been true years ago as bloggers and creators “built” the internet piece by piece and blog by blog. Opening your phone, that’s content. Every app, every platform, every post, every blog, every show – everything – it’s all content everywhere all the time.
Content gives context, it places us. Online, it places our business and gives context to who we are and what we do. Without content you wouldn’t have a website. You wouldn’t exist online right now.
It’s through content that we build relationships with our customers, clients, and peers. It’s how we sell, how we connect, and how we grow online. Even today, content marketing matters more than ever because we need more context to differentiate us from our competitors.
Content marketing helps businesses build relationships with customers by providing them with relevant, high quality, and helpful information. It also allows companies to connect with potential customers through various forms of communication.
Specifically, content marketing builds brand equity. Or, the commercial value of a brand built from audience perception, experience, and interaction.
Brand equity is built from the components of a strong brand including brand awareness, brand identity, brand image and brand loyalty. Each of these elements is established and grown with consistent, valuable, and engaging content!
Getting started with content marketing is simple, but you’ll need to have a few things in place first. Generally speaking, you’ll need a sellable product, someone to sell it to, someone to speak to, a message that truly connects with them, and specific goals in place before you begin.
Conduct market research to ensure your product is needed in the market place and to learn more about the goals, desires, and struggles of your target audience. You’ll also need to learn where this target audience is hanging out online and what kind of content will best speak to them.
From there, you should develop a strong brand story that communicates how your product steps in to help your customer or client move from a state of struggle to a state of success.
Then, determine your goals and objectives when it comes to content marketing. What effects in your business are you ultimately wanting to see – lead generation, brand awareness, subscribers, or sales?
For the purposes of this quick-start guide to content marketing, we’re going to keep it fairly simple and straightforward. Here are the several types of content you could employ in your content strategy:
Content marketing is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing for small businesses – if not the most important. But if you’re not sure where to start, here are a few steps to help you create your own content strategy.
There are so many avenues we can take to create content. Often, business owners will burn out because they’ve taken on too much, are creating content they don’t enjoy creating (ahem, hate social media?), or, are creating and publishing content to the wrong audience on the wrong platforms.
My best advice, keep it simple. Select 2-3 content types that align with your target audience needs, where they hang out, and your content creation preference. You might decide to focus on creating blog posts, infographics, ebooks, white papers, or other types of content.
Business owners often think social media is the end-all-be-all. I hear it all the time – “I’d love to get off social media, but I have to stay on for my business.” Nope. Look into video, podcasting, blogging and SEO, networking, anything! There are plenty of opportunities elsewhere.
Content planning is so much easier when you have a few narrow lanes to run in. Instead of writing about “marketing,” for example, you could write about organic marketing, marketing without social media, and mental health for business owners (I may be pulling from experience here!) What three specific lanes will you (for the most part) run in?
One of the first things you need to do when creating content for your website is to establish an editorial calendar. This will allow you to keep track of what needs to be done and when. You should also make sure to set aside some time each week to write blog posts, articles, and other pieces of content.
It’s also helpful to think about how often you will post each piece of content. If you only post once every few months, then you probably won’t see much growth in your subscriber base. However, if you regularly post at least once per week, you’ll likely see more engagement with your audience.
If you want people to read your content, make sure it’s written well. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. You also need to write with an eye toward search engines. Make sure your text includes keywords that will help people find your content when they search online.
Once you’ve written your content, promote it! This means sharing it on social media sites, sending out press releases, and posting it on blogs. Don’t forget to tag your friends and colleagues so they can share it too.
Once you’ve published your content, make sure to measure its success. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track how people interact with your site. These metrics can help you determine what type of content works best for your audience.
From here, tailor and tweak your content marketing strategy over time. Don’t give up, stay consistent. Your efforts will pay off!
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