by Melissa Harrison | Featured Contributor
You company needs content marketing. In fact, according to Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get information about your company through a series of articles rather than an advertisement.
Adding this to the list of the million and one other things we need to do as business owners, how can we fit it all in? I’m here to help.
Content marketing involves engaging with your audience. To educate them. To connect with them. And rather than just wing it, developing a solid content marketing plan will add to your success, outline your goals and track actions.
Keep the following 4 must-have content strategy components in mind when moving forward with your company’s content marketing efforts:
We all start somewhere. Know where you stand before setting forth to do more. Check in on your Google analtyics. Do some online listening to see where your brand is being talked about online. Take a look at your email open rate, your engagement percentages on social media channels–all of the information that will give you a good baseline of where you are and where you should strive to be.
Relate all of this to your business goals: If you are unhappy with your email open rate, what would it mean for your business if you worked on increasing that number by composing solid, engaging content? If you want to be the go-to source for widgets, are you getting the word out about your brand online? To you see adequate reach on your social media channels, for instance? Get cozy with your spreadsheets, track this information and set goals for moving forward.
If benchmark data is used to gather initial information about your brand’s success online, then this research step is meant to determine the needs and wants of your customers. What content topics appeal to them? What keywords are they using to get information on your products and services (or your competition?) Do some research and ask some of the following questions to start:
- What types of content have you created in the past that has been well-received?
- Are there pieces of content that flopped? (Even if you thought it would be great, did your audience like it?)
- Who are your current customers? What do they talk about? Where do they go to get information?
- What pain points do you solve for your customers? How can you convey that in meaningful messaging?
Who are you online and in person? If your brand WAS a person, what would they look like? How would they dress? What type of language would they use? Content marketing uses many tactics, yet consistency is a key component and that includes your brand voice.
Think about your brand identity and small business brand package. Utilize these components when developing your overall content strategy and keep them in mind as you tweak and develop ongoing pieces of content.
Results will not happen over night. Heck, results may not even happen in three months. Content marketing is about relationship building and connections. Be consistent. Have a plan. Check your analytics and results will happen over time.
Melissa Harrison – Marketing and Small Business Executive from Allee Creative, Twin Cities, MN
Melissa Harrison , CEO and founder of Allee Creative, LLC , has more than 13 years of experience in content management, marketing strategy and branding, working with small to mid-sized businesses to build strategic online content and traditional marketing strategies.
Listed as one of the “Top 36 Content Marketers Who Rock” by TopRank and Content Marketing Institute, Melissa believes that businesses must adapt to what customers want, which includes using social media and creative online content to provide relevant, consistent information, in order to survive. It is no longer business as usual and only the companies that strive to embrace change will remain relevant.
Melissa is also a four-time recipient of the Hermes Creative Award and a national speaker on the topics of branding, content marketing, marketing strategy and social media. Melissa is also certified by Google Analytics Academy in Digital Analytics Fundamentals.
In addition to her professional life, Melissa is a mother of four, a certified fitness instructor an avid reader. If you look up “insane multi-tasker” in the dictionary you’ll most definitely find her picture. Melissa is forever pushing the envelope, starting her company when she was pregnant with her second child at the young age of 27 years old. Named a “Mover & Shaker” by the Star Tribune, she’s fought with the “big boys” for her spot at the table and continues to challenge herself each day.