Content marketing drives business results
By Cindy Schrauben
Great Gus Marketing
If you aren’t using content marketing to drive business results, you’re probably losing out to your competitors. Why? Because these days, the internet is nearly always the first place people look for information. According to smartinsights.com, the average internet user is online for almost two and a half hours every day. With good content marketing, your business will capture the attention of your audience during their time online.
But what exactly is content marketing? Content marketing is the strategic process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. This content helps you connect with your target audience, tell your story, and improve search engine results.
What type of content should you be offering?
When people turn to the internet, they want to connect with other people, be entertained, learn something new, or be inspired. Savvy businesses use content marketing to present this type of information to their audience through their websites and social media channels. In return, they increase leads, build trust and credibility with their audience, and raise brand awareness.
But how do you do that? Start by creating a content strategy. For this blog, I will focus on content strategy for websites and social media since they are the most commonly used content mediums for businesses. Check out the list below for the five types of content to consider when creating your content strategy.
Create a content strategy
While there isn’t one single strategy that will work for every business, here’s a quick overview of what content strategies should contain:
Content pillars – These are the subjects that are most relevant to your audience and your business. Determine which three or four topics – i.e., content pillars – that matter most to your audience. For example, a financial advisor could break their content down into retirement savings, educational savings planning, tax planning, and debt retirement.
Annual content plan – Once you’ve established your content pillars create a yearly plan with a subject assigned to each month. The first quarter of our financial planner’s annual content plan could look like this:
January – yearly tax planning suggestions
February – strategies for paying off credit card debt
March – tips for saving for a child’s college education
Blog – I suggest you base the rest of your content strategy on the monthly topics in your annual content plan and recommend beginning with a blog for your website. (If you don’t have a blog, read my post about why you need one.) You should write and publish a blog at least monthly, but if you can do it more often, that’s all the better. The point is to offer new relevant content to your audience regularly.
Monthly content calendar – Around the middle of the month, plan the next month’s content. I begin with that month’s blog post and repurpose parts of the blog in separate social media posts. Usually, you can pull about four posts and videos from each blog. Then, take your content pillars and assign them to different days of the week. From there, plan and create the specific content for each day. You don’t need to fill every day with content from one of your pillars; you can fill in with holidays, special events, and offers from your business. For more information on creating the right social media content mix, read our blog.
Other content strategy tips
Regularly review your analytics – Your website analytics will tell you which keywords bring your audience to your site. Be sure to include these keywords in your blogs. Your social media analytics will tell you which content performs highest. Give your audience more of what interests them by keeping popular subjects in mind as you’re planning new content.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose content – It’s perfectly acceptable to use content more than once. Consider using a new photo or graphic with repeat information, and you’ll capture your audience’s attention again without breaking (much of) a sweat.
Make content shareable – Once your content is shared, you’re getting great mileage out of it. You can make your content more sharable by:
Presenting relatable, human stories
Making your content positive and uplifting
Offering value to your audience
Writing good headlines
There are five types of content:
Written – blog articles, product descriptions, landing page copy, email copy, ad copy, eBooks, white papers, and case studies
Video – video blogs (or vlogs), video interviews, animations, or promotional videos
Social – posts that entertain, inspire, educate the audience with occasional business promotions
Graphics – infographics, photos, and illustrations
Audio – such as podcasts, webinars, and recorded interviews
Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Great Gus Marketing specializes in strategic marketing, copywriting, and content writing.