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Marketing for businesses is different from published content as this is a force of a different cause. Many publishers concentrate purely on page views, which many businesses consider useless. Content is not a strategy, but it fits within an organization's framework on what content should do to help businesses build their worth. There is undoubtedly no fully developed playbook for every possible marketing plan. Book an advice meeting at our office to discuss your success goals.
Set goals, sub-goals, sub-sub-goals, and then do it again – setting each subsequent layer with a more detailed goal.
However, all marketing plans have some structure – even if it is only the gut feeling of an individual or a group. This article will give you seven basic content marketing frameworks used by businesses across various industries to drive traffic and build a reputation with your target audience. These seven foundations have been developed from conversations with our customers and what we have heard from other people in the industry.
Get your business started.
Geolance is a marketing company that specializes in helping businesses grow. We understand that every business is different, which is why we take the time to get to know you and what you hope to achieve. Then, we create a plan tailored specifically for you that will help you reach your goals.
With Geolance on your side, you can relax and focus on what you do best – running your business. Leave the marketing to us, and watch as your business grows!
But before I start, I must say that no one framework is better than another unless your organization's goals are aligned with its use case. When everyone agrees on using a clear goal at every framework level, success becomes possible through intentional communication and focused collaboration.
For example, a marketing plan can help you build your brand and increase sales. The two may seem unrelated, but there is a clear goal at the end of each step, making producing content easier and measuring its success. On the other hand, if your only goal is "build a bigger website," it does not mean that this will automatically lead to more income. But with a plan that considers what you've learned from past mistakes or successes, you'll be able to develop a strategy that works for your business.
1) Content Marketing Framework: Generate leads using curated content
The first question everyone asks when they come up with any kind of content marketing plan is – "how will this benefit my business?" The answer to that question is what you should base your strategy on.
For example, suppose the goal of your marketing plan is to build deeper relationships with customers or generate more leads. In that case, one way to do that is through carefully selected "content curation" posts. Most businesses use curation posts as a part of their thought leadership marketing. For example, Slideshare presentations are regularly updated by leading industry experts in different areas of expertise and are easy to share on social media. Using curated content can help humanize your business' brand while increasing awareness for both you and the original poster through link-building efforts.
2) Content Marketing Framework: Increase organic traffic
Creating fresh content can attract new visitors to your site. This is one of the easiest ways to increase organic traffic because you only need a blog template and a writer – everyone has both! In addition, search engine marketing is becoming more about optimizing existing content than trying to acquire new customers.
57% of marketers have found their most successful marketing channels from an existing piece of content. So using this method can give you more bang for your buck if you are willing to produce lots of digital content that suits your target audience's needs.
3) Content Marketing Framework: Improving SEO
This type of strategy aims to get better rankings on Google with long-tail keywords that are related to your business's specific industry or interest area.
The key here is to publish evergreen content that educates your audience and gives them what they want. This means focusing on creating blog posts full of information instead of trying to sell something.
In the past, you would have had to wait a long time for your website to rank higher in search engines, but today – things have changed! While it still takes a bit of time for your website's authority level to increase, getting started with this type of strategy has become much easier thanks to tools like Searchmetrics & HubSpot's Content Optimization System (COS).
4) Content Marketing Framework: Build social proof
Build up your reputation by publishing brand-related content on sites where customers spend most of their time on social media, forums, and other user-generated content sites.
For example, if you can position your company as a thought leader within its industry, getting new customers and clients through word-of-mouth referrals will be much easier. This is not just limited to B2B companies since consumers also tend to trust peer reviews before making any purchase decision.
The key here is to build up an audience by engaging them in conversation about their issues/problems while offering products or services that go hand in hand with what they need. In the end, this will help your business stand out from competitors!
5) Content Marketing Framework: Create Content & PR Strategy
This type of strategy is beneficial, especially for companies that need to build up their reputation. Sooner or later, you'll find yourself at the center of a crisis which will determine if your company is still afloat or not! Having an expert PR team like our company can come in handy.
While it's always good to have professionals on board who are responsible for crisis management, it's even better if you can prevent emergencies from happening. To do this, consider what types of issues could potentially arise and then develop a plan for each scenario before it happens.
When something unpredictable occurs, you might find yourself scrambling just to keep things under control – but that doesn't mean your business should suffer as well! The trick here is to find a way to turn this negative experience into something positive. For example, you could try hosting an event where the public can get involved and possibly input possible solutions for your issue.
6) Content Marketing Framework: Build a content team
Take a look at this great way to get started with this type of strategy - creating a small blog that's closely related to your company's industry just before hiring a writer who fits in well with its specific target audience. Next, look at ways to increase this blog's exposure through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
The key here is to make sure you hire someone who knows how to write correctly since publishing good quality content will help attract new visitors and help you attract the right kind of people. From here, you can evolve your content strategy by turning this blog into a full-blown news website that's ready to publish breaking stories at any given time!
As you can see, there are several different types of content marketing strategies that each target a specific type of person or business. While some strategies are more beneficial than others for certain groups, all effective types of content marketing come down to getting your audience involved, so they feel like part of your company's team. With so much competition these days, it has become even more essential to take advantage of online resources. The key is knowing how best to use them!
Content without the right audience is just content
Of course, that's like saying money is money. It's true, but there's more to it than that because knowing where to spend your dollars (or time) makes all the difference in the world.
Think about it this way - you could go out and spend thousands of dollars on Facebook Ads only to find out nobody likes your company or its products/services. This can be incredibly frustrating since it's not cheap when you need to pay for quality traffic from people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer!
While there are many types of online marketing strategies available for companies looking to boost brand recognition, content marketing is one of the most popular options for a reason. According to recent surveys, 88% of marketers say that inbound marketing is essential for generating high-quality leads, while 70% of business executives agree that content is crucial for connecting with customers.
The bottom line here is simple - get involved with good quality content marketing, and you'll get the results you're looking for. Just make sure to put yourself in your audience's shoes before you start thinking about what type of strategy would work best!
Audit Your Existing Content and Analytics First, before trying to do anything else
Take some time to look at what you already have in place. The last thing you want to do is build an entire marketing campaign around content that isn't helping - or even harming - your brand!
This way, it's always best to check out your analytics and see how well (or poorly) each piece of content is performing. Then, if any updates need to happen, this would be the perfect time because it's easier than ever before with free tools like Google Analytics.
Create Your Content Plan Any well-organized plan for building better relationships with customers should start by setting specific goals. This way, when something goes wrong (and trust me, something will go wrong!), you'll know how to work through it.
For example, setting up a blog for your business isn't enough these days - you need to know why you're doing it in the first place! By taking some time to write down specific goals and objectives so you can keep track of how well (or poorly) things are going, you'll be able to approach content marketing in the right way.
Once this is done, it's time to start thinking about what types of content will help move things forward. As mentioned above, there are many types of online marketing strategies that can do amazing things when used correctly, but not all of them will appeal to your audience in the same way. For this reason, always listen carefully before diving into anything new because chances are it could make or break your business!
Fill Your Framework Plan With Unique Content
Unique content is a must-have for any marketing strategy - especially if you're looking to develop relationships with customers online. In all honesty, this isn't just true because it's what most people want nowadays but also because Google has been actively penalizing sites that don't provide unique information for quite some time now.
Of course, making sure your articles contain 100% original material doesn't mean simply lifting them straight from another website (duplication) or copying/pasting someone else's work (plagiarism). There are many ways to make sure everything matches up while still providing fresh ideas and information. All you have to do is find the right balance!
Reasons you need a content strategy framework today?
This is because there are so many exciting new developments in the world of content marketing right now that it's not always easy to know where to start. From interactive infographics to video tutorials for beginners, there are tons of great ideas out there that can help you develop better relationships with customers - but only if you're willing to take a closer look at what everyone else has done before!
This is why I've put together my unique content framework plan, which will show you exactly how I go about rolling everything out. By following these simple steps, you'll be well on your way towards developing better relationships with existing and potential customers alike!
Content Framework For Relationship Marketing
Now don't get me wrong - creating a content framework for relationship marketing isn't impossible (or even complex), but it's something that requires a lot of time and effort to get right.
The hardest part is identifying the best content to share with your target audience, so you should always take some time before diving in to do some research first! This way, you can find out exactly what type of information people are looking for at this very moment so that you can use it as the foundation for your articles down the line.
Once this has been done, simply follow each step listed below to discover how easy it is to create an entire marketing campaign around helpful content that will help build better relationships with customers online!
Step 1: Content Analysis Those New To Marketing Online If you're new to marketing online, there's a good chance that you'll need to spend some time building your brand before doing anything else. This means producing high-quality content without worrying about whether or not it "sells" right away - because the only way you're going to build trust is by helping others first!
You can do this by writing one new article per week for as long as it takes to build up enough social proof so people will begin sharing them with their friends and colleagues regularly. In my experience, relationship marketing works best when you offer help first, so don't be afraid of asking questions as soon as you start interacting with others online!
Asking Questions For Better Results Instead Of Articles I can't stress enough how important it is to ask questions to get the ball rolling. My personal favourite question at this point is to simply "Ask Your Audience What They Want To Know." This way, your article will contain information related to the feedback you received so people can tell whether or not they'll find it helpful!
Once you've created a few of these articles, continue asking different types of questions until you've found one that strikes a chord with your target audience. You should also make sure someone from your company answers every relevant comment as quickly as possible, so people know their message has been read!
Step 2: Optimizing Existing Content For Search Engines Once enough social proof has been gathered, you can begin sharing your existing content with more people online. This will help attract even more attention to your brand and give you a chance to see what type of content your audience prefers!
As you produce new content, make sure it contains the same information initially provided in the earlier articles you wrote for this purpose. Doing so will build trust within your target market and encourage people who saw these articles before to check out the new stuff you've been working on behind-the-scenes!
Step 3: Develop More In-depth Content For Customers Who Want To Go Deeper Once enough time has passed, it's time to use all that social proof as a way to get others excited about writing long posts about anything related to your industry. These posts should include links to your existing articles whenever possible so new readers can understand what you're all about at first glance!
However, don't be surprised if some people who see these posts choose to write an article of their own instead. If this happens, make sure you consistently comment on their blog by asking specific questions related to the article so they'll feel compelled to check out your brand as well!
Step 4: Create A Content Framework For Relationship Marketing Once you've established yourself within your industry, it's finally time to create a way for potential customers and friends alike to learn more about how you can help them succeed online. This means creating one final post that contains all the relevant information listed above with even more insight for those who want to know more about your brand!
Once this framework has been created, continue publishing new content that's just as helpful but doesn't contain any of the information included in the earlier posts. Again, your target audience will appreciate not seeing something they've already seen before while still gaining insight into how your company can help them online based on all the related articles you've published so far!
Step 5: Build Trust By Replying To All Comments The last thing you want to do is ignore any comments made on your blog. If someone says something nice about your brand, be sure to thank them for their kind words by replying directly below their comment. This will help establish trust within your target market and encourage others who read these responses to return at a later date!
You should also reply to every negative remark maturely and professionally by simply agreeing with what was said and adding something specific of your own related to the criticism. Doing so will help others understand you care about your audience and aren't afraid to create dialogue when necessary!
How to Build a Workflow that Keeps You Organized
As a digital marketer, you understand marketing is about being where your audience is. Therefore, it's essential to have a presence everywhere – from social networks, the blogosphere, and the news media. Without this type of presence, it's impossible to earn any loyal client base or attract new traffic to your website. The main problem most marketers face is figuring out how quickly everything can be done without sacrificing quality. This especially holds when developing content for various social networks and creating online contests and promotions.
There are many different ways to streamline your workflow, but here's a general list that should work well for many types of businesses: Outsource As Much As Possible - Since social networks change so frequently, it's a good idea to outsource as much as possible. You can either hire a single digital marketing professional or a team of them to help you manage your time wisely.
Organize Conversations - If you have a massive following on Facebook and Twitter, managing those conversations can be nothing short of a nightmare. The best way to avoid this is by having specific groups for each community that includes an admin who will keep the conversation going at all times, even if you're not around!
Be Active On Social Networks – This means sharing posts from other marketers whenever necessary and making sure everything is posted by the right person first. A Facebook FAN page should be used for general updates, while a personal profile should be reserved for sharing photos and other personal updates.
Create Blog Content – Most marketers simply create blog entries whenever they have the time. However, if you want to keep your workflow organized, it's a good idea to create content ahead of time since there will always be different deadlines along the way.
Create Long-Term Content – Social contests tend to do well no matter what industry you cater to online because the point is to get more exposure through social media. However, before creating these types of contests, it's essential to diversify your long-term content, so individuals are encouraged to return more often!
Track Keyword Performance - To quickly gain insight into how individual keywords perform on search engines, use Google Analytics. This lets you see exactly which articles are doing well and need more attention.
What is Your Online Brand? These days, most marketers know that branding can help or hurt their company's online presence. But, unfortunately, many of them still don't understand the meaning of "branding" in the first place. There are two sides to any brand – emotional and rational sides. The emotional side includes feelings towards your product/service/company, while the rational side focuses on the pricing structure and delivery methods. It's essential to focus on both sides when trying to find success within any industry online since our goal is usually to attract new leads who will become lifelong customers!
Use the right content tools.
Finally, it's important to mention that so many content tools are waiting to be used. If you can't figure out which one is right for your company, try looking at the results of three different kinds of tests:
Content Planning Tools - This includes things like Trello, Process Street, or Producteev that help schedule blog posts and other types of content in advance.
Content Creation Tools include things like Google Docs or Evernote that allow marketers to create new blog entries without leaving their computer!
Content Curating Tools - For those who don't have the time to create new pieces of content, this category includes tools like Scoop It or The Content Calendar which allows you to find successful articles within your industry long before your competition does!
When using a content tool, it's a good idea to keep in mind that each one is entirely different from the next. Because of this, you should try them all until you find the one which works best for your company. Then, once you've found the right fit, stick with it and reap the rewards by creating better online content than anyone else in your industry!
This includes the length of your blog entries, how often you write new posts, and even which topics you choose to cover.
Content Style - This includes whether or not you use a lot of imagery within each blog post and whether or not they focus on industry news vs advice/tips.
Formatting - This includes things like images, links, videos, etc.
Target Audience - Do they consist mainly of younger people or older individuals? Are they male or female?
Competition - How many marketers are currently in your specific niche? What types of content have they been creating for their blogs lately? In what ways can you improve upon that information?
Your Blogging Goals - Keep in mind that your online business might be different than the following company's, so make sure you know what works best for your customers!
It's a good idea to look at the statistics from each social media website and figure out which ones your customers prefer. The reason for this is that you'll want to make sure you're spending more time on the sites that give you positive returns rather than wasting resources on ones that don't bring in any new leads.
Tools - This includes things like Buffer, IFTTT, and even Hootsuite, which will help speed up the process of distributing individual blog posts across multiple channels!
Social Media Efforts - Remember that not every post makes it onto every site so try to experiment with each one!
Content Creation - Some marketers create a few different types of content while others simply supply their followers with links to great articles already available online. Experiment with both styles to see which one brings in the best results!
Competitor Research - How many social media accounts are your competitors currently running? What types of content have they been sharing recently? What channels are their customers most likely to visit?
Time Investment - This includes things like how much time you're willing to spend creating new blog entries, coming up with precise social media messages, etc.
Before you begin creating any type of content for your business, you must know who will be consuming it and how it'll help them solve their specific problems. According to Hubspot, "Content is King" for a reason since consumers tend to gravitate towards brands whose blogs provide reliable information which is easily digestible.
Because of this, it's a good idea to follow the next few steps when writing any new blog post for your website:
1 - Learn about your ideal audience members
2 - Find out what their online habits are
3 - Figure out how they prefer to consume information (in an infographic format with many images or a list with multiple bullet points?)
4 - Discover which types of blogs they usually visit and why
5 - Examine which platforms you can use to distribute your material most effectively!
Critical components of an effective content marketing framework plan
1 - Clearly define your target audience and what you believe their goals are.
2 - Find out where those individuals spend most of their time online and which blogs they've started following recently.
3 - Determine how to help them solve the biggest problems that they face in their lives through your blog material.
4 - Take a close look at each distribution channel and see which ones bring in the best results for your business! This will allow you to focus more on your top performers rather than constantly trying new things with every social media site.
5 - Invest as much time as possible into creating information-driven content so that it resonates better with all of your current customers! After all, there's no point in creating blog entries that they're simply not interested in!
Your audience research should include a few different components to ensure that you have a better understanding of who your market is and what type of things they find most important, so here are some tips on how to do just that:
1 - Look at their online behaviour - Where do your ideal customers spend most of their time? Which blogs have they been reading lately? What topics will they most likely be drawn towards?
2 - Determine who else is currently targeting them with similar types of content - How many other companies are trying to attract the same people as you are? What types of articles have those individuals written recently? In which ways can you stand out from all of the rest?
3 - Examine their goals and preferences - What are your audience members' biggest goals in life right now? How do they prefer to receive information (by watching an educational video or reading a list full of step-by-step instructions?)
4 - Ask them personally what they want! By simply sending out a survey and asking your customers what types of blog entries and social media messages will be most helpful for them, you'll get in touch with all of the individuals who already love doing business with you. This positive reinforcement will encourage them to keep coming back again and again while also allowing you to discover which platforms your ideal clients use so that you can construct a better content marketing framework plan for your overall company.
Following these steps will make it easier to develop a specific content creation strategy that your audience members will love! Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated, so spending some extra time figuring out who will be consuming your blog entries is well worth the effort.
The ones that are constantly replenishing themselves, but how does this happen? There are several different strategies that trees use to continue growing healthy and strong. Sometimes their seeds will fall onto bare soil or another type of location where they can take root. Just like any other living organism, it's much easier for them to increase when there's a new home waiting for them already. But what about the trees that don't get this benefit? They have no choice but to find an alternative path towards survival!
There are two main ways in which all of these organisms make sure that their seedlings and saplings get enough sunlight and rainfall:
1 - Some types of evergreen trees simply release lots of new seeds into the environment. If these seeds end up in a suitable location where they're protected from the elements and have access to all of the resources they need, then some of them will probably grow into healthy adults! Even if half of them don't have this type of good fortune, there's still a higher chance that many more will be able to live long enough to reproduce themselves on their own. This is why it's so essential for us humans to protect trees from deforestation and other types of harm since we can't always rely on mother nature alone to keep the forests alive!
2 - On the other hand, non-evergreen plants usually depend on animals or insects to spread their genetic material for them. Without pollination, none of their offspring will ever reach maturity and take root in a new location. This means that we need to make sure that the animals and insects have plenty of food, water, shelter, and even other places to reproduce so that they can continue doing their job!
The majority of trees are already equipped with mechanisms that allow them to grow no matter what environmental conditions surround them. But if any of these organisms ever get wiped out from an area because there's no more space for their seeds or saplings to flourish, then it could be years before they naturally repopulate themselves again. That being said, human beings should always try our best not to destroy these habitats just for a few moments' worths of convenience. We're all dependent on each other for survival, so if we all work together on this planet, it will become a lot easier for everyone to continue thriving!
While some types of people enjoy the "hunt" for all of their desired products, others would prefer to have everything conveniently available for purchase right from the comfort of their own homes. This is where online shopping comes in since it allows us to input our credit card numbers or Paypal information to acquire anything that strikes our fancy without going out and finding it ourselves physically!
With more and more people using this approach every day, companies realize how much money is being left on the table by not selling directly over the Internet. Even though brick-and-mortar businesses still account for a majority of all purchases made worldwide, they're slowly but surely losing ground because eCommerce sites provide significantly better prices most of the time.
Marketing (Full Service)
As exciting as it is to make millions of dollars overnight, the reality is that most businesses don't have this type of luxury until they've been in business for several years or more. This means that smaller startups need to find alternative methods of acquiring customers to achieve significant success with their marketing efforts.
One option for these types of entrepreneurs is to hire a full-service agency to take care of everything related to advertising and promotion. They'll do things like help you create high converting landing pages, design eye-catching advertisements, build your website or eCommerce store from scratch, use advanced software strategies for conversion optimization, automate email marketing so you can stay in contact with everyone who visits your site, and even give you a hand when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).
In many cases, this type of agency will only charge fixed prices per month rather than taking a percentage of your sales. This means that if their strategies prove to be ineffective, then they'll have no way to keep making money from you since all of the profits will come directly back into your pocket! On the other hand, of course, these types of agencies tend to work hard on honing each unique campaign, so there's a good chance that they could help you achieve some long-term goals within just a few short months or weeks!
Establishing Popularity & Building Brand Awareness
As most people have already learned firsthand by now, anything is possible when it comes to the power of the Internet. The web has helped entrepreneurs develop all types of innovative solutions like affordable cloud-based services, powerful social media platforms and apps, and even marketplaces that make it easier than ever before for people to buy and sell goods without having to worry about certain limitations (e.g., geography).
For instance, instead of asking for donations on a website, many non-profits have successfully started accepting credit cards, thanks in part to popular eCommerce shopping carts such as Samcart. This allows much more money to improve their organization's operations from both a workforce and financial perspective. In addition, any business can potentially improve its bottom line by giving potential customers a way to pay online.
If this sounds like it's something that your organization could benefit from as well, you'll need to make sure that you have a compelling website along with lots of high-quality content for people to read. This is because popular search engines like Google want their users to find exactly what they're looking for whenever they perform various queries (e.g., "donating money"). If you don't provide adequate information, then the chances are good that you'll be pushed further and further down the rankings until someone may eventually come across your work.
Building & Managing Relationships With Your Audience
The only reason why there are so many different types of companies throughout the world today is that individuals can gain access to ideas faster than ever before. For example, it's no longer necessary to send salespeople out into the field or pay for expensive television ads that could easily be ignored.
All anyone needs to do now click on the link of your choice, and they'll be connected to you immediately. In addition, by using content marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), email lists, social media platforms, etc., businesses can establish relationships with people who may eventually turn into customers!
"Trifecta" strategy of Content Marketing
Content marketing is not new. It evolved many years ago, but its evolution has dramatically increased in the last few years due to four critical factors.
First, people use online channels more than ever before, on both personal and work computers. Second, people are increasingly multitasking while they browse content. Third, Google's algorithms reward websites with high-quality content that answers their audience's questions by making them easier to find via search engines. And fourth, the data shows that content works -- it drives business results.
From a high-level view of how you can use this three-pronged strategy, here are some excellent approaches:
1) SEO - Search engine optimization helps you rank higher in search engine results. The goal with SEO is to ensure that your website includes all of the words, phrases, and topics that potential customers are looking for when they search on Google. When people see your listing in the search results, they will have a reason to click through to your site because it answers their questions or provides information that satisfies their needs.
2) Social - Social media marketing helps you build a community around your brand or business by establishing relationships with people before they ever become customers. One of the most significant advantages of using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is how easy it is for anyone to share content leading back to you from their profiles -- making it easier than ever before for them to tell everyone about what you do!
3) Email Marketing - Gathering email addresses for your business is one of the single most important things you can do with content marketing in general. You may think that having an RSS feed or blog with lots of subscribers will help you in this category, but capturing quality email leads with permission can be game-changing in terms of building trust and creating opportunities for future engagement (and revenue).
Combining all three strategies will allow you to build relationships with people at each step of the "sales cycle" while also positioning yourself as a thought leader within your industry. This means more traffic sent back to your site, more potential customers, and ultimately -- more money!
Goals of Content Marketing
There are two primary goals of every content marketing strategy: lead generation and branding. No matter your company's size or how much (or little) money you have to invest, you should always go into any campaign with these two things in mind.
When it comes to lead generation for a business, there is typically one end goal in sight: capturing quality leads that will eventually turn into paying customers! This means getting people who may not even be aware of your existence to come back to your website where they can learn more about what you do and possibly sign up for an email list that could help grow your community further.
Branding & Awareness
It's also important to remember that building relationships with people in your industry can be an excellent way to position yourself as a leader in the space. This means establishing thought leadership by teaching people about topics they care about, sharing your opinions or research, and ultimately getting involved in conversations with others.
You must understand the difference between these two goals because it will help guide every decision you make regarding content creation and distribution strategy. In addition, communicating what you hope to achieve with any campaign will also help your team feel inspired and motivated to work together towards achieving specific objectives!
Content Framework - Everything Every Business Needs
Now more than ever, businesses need someone responsible for directing how everything fits into the big picture. A unifying framework that ties all of these elements together will help turn content marketing from a nice-to-have into an absolute necessity.
Reasons Content Marketing in the First Place
It's important to remember why this whole industry exists in the first place. Over time, businesses have started treating their customers more like targets rather than actual human beings with feelings and emotions they care about. To combat this, companies are looking for new ways to engage with prospects in a way that makes them feel special instead of just another nameless/faceless entity within the never-ending sea of users out there on the web.
Creating Buyer Personas
One of the easiest ways to get people on board with any idea (or campaign) is to show them how it will benefit them. In the case of content marketing, it's best to focus on one objective at a time. For example, you might want to start by establishing yourself as a thought leader in the market and then grow from there into lead generation strategies that have proven to work for others.
A great way to accomplish this is through buyer personas. These are simply fictional representations of your ideal customers -- including everything from demographics and psychographics down to product preferences or specific pain points they may experience in their line of work. Once these personas have been created, mapping out how each persona consumes content will help create a general outline of where/how/when they visit various distribution channels.
Demographics & Psychographics
One thing that's often overlooked is why people tend to seek out information in the first place. Of course, we all want more traffic, leads, and customers -- but at the same time, it's essential not to forget about things like demographics and psychographics.
Demographic factors such as age, gender, education level, or location can help tell you where your personas might live online (e.g., Facebook) or what types of activities they're pursuing (e.g., travel). Meanwhile, psychographic factors such as their motivations and influencers/media sources they trust can help determine what types of content they'll be most receptive to (e.g., Snapple's use of humour) and how best to communicate with them (e.g., a casual tone).
Once you have all of these factors combined, the goal is to map out how your personas consume content across various distribution channels. For example, people looking for tips on how to travel on a budget might be more interested in reading blog posts from bloggers discussing similar experiences or watching videos from YouTube personalities who can give them insight into local eateries and attractions they need to see when visiting a particular destination.
Building an Editorial Calendar
As far as a formal editorial calendar goes, it doesn't necessarily have to adhere to any strict deadlines or timelines. Instead, the real value is seeing at a glance what types of content have been posted previously and when new topics can come up again in the future.
To make this process as easy as possible, we typically recommend using a spreadsheet (Excel or Google Docs work great) and breaking down each content topic/angle into its worksheet. For example:
While the setup might seem complicated at first, it's just about creating a basic table to organize your thoughts so you can start mapping out how everything fits together mentally before writing anything down on paper. Then once you have an idea of what topics are most likely to attract your target audience based on past experiences, you'll be able to find new ways to adapt these concepts for future pieces of content -- all while remaining consistent with the general tone/style that's already been established over time.
B2B sales and lead generation.
With so many blogs out there, it's essential to stand out from the crowd and capture people's attention in a way that will make them want to learn more. Once you have their attention, though, you'll also need to build trust by demonstrating expertise through your content -- and not just in terms of knowing what types of products/services they're looking for. You need to know how they search for this information (e.g., Twitter vs. LinkedIn). Furthermore, connecting with influencers and thought leaders can help generate even more interest among your target audience because these third-party sources are perceived as being more credible than brands themselves (similar to the concept behind guest blogging).
Conclusion There are plenty of ways you can go about creating a solid content strategy, but the most important thing is to make sure all of your efforts are grounded in reality. You need to know exactly who you're trying to reach and why they're going to care enough about your content to visit it -- at least, that's what will ultimately help you stand out from the crowd.
Once you have a good feel for each persona's motivations and behaviours, all that's left is picking a distribution channel (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse) and finding ways to attract their attention with relevant headlines/images/video thumbnails so they'll be inclined to click over when visiting your site. From there, it becomes easier to establish an organic connection with readers by providing quality based on what they want instead of just using different search terms in an attempt to deceive them into clicking your links.
Simple warm acquisition and lead nurturing.
With that in mind, we recommend starting by focusing on two core pieces of content: a high-level strategy and an editorial calendar. First, you'll need to determine the type of content your audience is (or should be) consuming based on past experiences. This can help inform how your organization approaches various distribution channels and outreach tactics. Furthermore, it will also give you insight into why people might initially care about what you have to say, especially if they've been following other brands/publishers who consistently produce similar content types.
Once you know how people view certain types of information (e.g., through blog posts vs. infographics), it becomes easier to identify which topics would likely be the most effective at attracting their attention. Understanding what types of pieces to produce also makes it easier to develop an editorial calendar that outlines how your content will be distributed and promoted through various channels so you can measure performance and compare results over time.
Finally, we recommend using a content framework like Marketing Grader's Market Motive Matrix to help provide more insight into what people want to read and why they're drawn to specific topics/content angles. These insights should give you a better idea of which type of publishers your target audience trusts enough to follow or subscribe to based on their previous behaviour (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse vs. Twitter lists). From there, you'll know where they typically spend time online, as well as who they look to for advice on the topics you're most interested in covering.
In general, we recommend making sure your content is as helpful as possible by providing value through various formats (e.g., blog posts vs. infographics) and mediums (e.g., LinkedIn Pulse vs. Slideshare). Incorporating visuals into your marketing strategy can help make it easier to grab attention quickly while also helping boost the time people spend browsing your content further down the road because they'll be more inclined to view them once they've already been exposed to an image like. This should ultimately help increase how many people see what you have to say while also improving overall engagement with each piece, thanks to increased sharing among other social activities.
It's also important to remember that different types of content will be more effective for attracting attention depending on the topic you're covering and what your target audience is looking for at a given time (e.g., during end-of-quarter vs. end-of-year). For example, posts about industry trends tend to work best when people are searching for information they can use to make business decisions or learn how something is changing over time -- all things that would likely happen in Q4 instead of Q1 when most companies are winding down and focusing more on internal affairs/budgeting than external outreach. Understanding when people typically want specific pieces of content is critical because it helps ensure you're distributing it through appropriate channels with the right message at the right time to avoid wasting effort and resources on outreach that won't result in significant conversions.
If you need help putting together a content strategy or creating an editorial calendar for your new marketing campaign, feel free to contact us today. We'll be happy to discuss what we can do to help you reach your audience better with valuable pieces of content they'll care about having. Once we know how you'd like to approach things and why we can then put our expertise into action by creating/curating something that people will be sure to enjoy and ultimately spread through their social circles if it's as great as we say it is.
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