By Sharon L. Hadden on November 14, 2017
If you’re reading this post, you already know that marketing is the key to successful business growth (among other important things). Marketing, and more specifically content marketing can help you reach more women customers, through blog posts, social media sites, email, etc. But, where do you start?
We work with women in business who want to kick off a new stage of growth in their business, but are afraid to, or don’t know how to take action. Rather than remain paralyzed in your fear of what might work or what doesn’t, improve your marketing in 2018 with these content marketing tips.
1. Content Planning
Great content has a strategy behind it. It relates to your brand, your business goals and your marketing objectives. Before you get started with content planning, we recommend doing some audience research and a competitive analysis, to understand what types of content interests your customers. You can also use Google Trends, to learn what’s trending in your industry. From there, start organizing your content for at least one month in advance.
#ImSocialSavvy Tip: If you think in the now, you will never get ahead. Instead, opt to plan for the future versus making immediate shifts in your content routine.
Brainstorm blog post ideas, and if you don’t blog, brainstorm email newsletter or e-blast content. Not using email? Brainstorm social media posts. The moral of the story is BRAINSTORM. No matter what type of content it is, plan something, and plan it in advance.
2. Content Creation
So you’ve planned out some content. Don’t stop there. Keep going until you’ve created that whole months’ worth of ideas. I’m not telling you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. In fact, this summer, we started running Social Savvy Consulting like a lean mean content creating machine. This blog post that you’re reading was created a month in advance. Chances are, I’m already writing and editing the content you’ll see 30 days from now at the time this post is published.
In addition to written content, which can be the most simple and quickest to create, search for stock photos or create custom graphics that you can use in the month ahead. Two of our favorite content creation tools are Canva and WordSwag. Both tools are great for creating visual content in advance.
#ImSocialSavvy Tip: If you have time, which believe me, you do. Create video content while you’re working your way through this process. One live video, while you’re in the weeds of content creation, can turn out to be the reason you stay on course to produce a month’s work of ideas in advance.
3. Content Curation
Not to be confused with content creation, content curation can be used to supplement your marketing mix. Just think of it as a retweet in advance. Instead of sharing articles that you find instantly, store them away for the month ahead.
Our favorite content curation tool is ContentGems, which allows you to discover and share new and relevant content with your audience. You can search for content based on topics of interests, popular hashtags, what’s new in your industry—you name it.
#ImSocialSavvyTip: If you’re using Buffer for social media scheduling, ContentGems is a natural fit. In just one click, you can fill up your content queue with curated articles.
Content curation is a great way to improve marketing for women focused businesses. Women customers are more likely to conduct research before making a purchase. By curating and sharing relevant content, you’re letting customers know that your brand is the source of all the information they need to make a purchase decision.
4. Content Publishing
You’ve done all of this work, to plan your content in advance, and now you need to ensure it gets published. For social media scheduling, we highly recommend Buffer. All of our marketing activities are planned, created and scheduled in advance using HubSpot, but if you’re looking for an entry level solution, cobbling together tools like MailChimp (email in advance), or your blogging tool (articles in advance) can simulate a similar level of success.
5. Content Promotion
Notice how the tools and tips are getting slimmer and slimmer as this list goes on. It’s true that the bulk of the work is done on the front end, however, what good is all that content if no one ever reads it?
Promote your content on your business channels, as well as your personal channels. The Internet is just a giant word-of-mouth circle. Promote your content with the intention of adding value, rather than self-promotion, and in time, watch it catch on like wildfire.
6. Content Measurement
Every good content marketing plan includes milestones to measure and analyze content performance. How many likes, shares and comments are you receiving on social posts? How many people are actually opening up the emails you send? How many views are your blog posts getting? How many new blog subscribers?
If you’re just starting to measure your content, start by tracking the performance of your website, using Google Analytics. This analytics tool rolls up a few reports into one, showing you what percentage of social media, direct traffic and other referral sources are increasing your website traffic and ultimately your bottom line.
If you need help with content marketing, we offer project based and annual contract services. Drop us a line to schedule a complimentary consultation, or leave a comment if you need more content marketing tips for your small business.