Maybe someone told you that you needed a content marketing strategy. Or perhaps you’ve read enough about it on HubSpot, or Neil Patel, or on your LinkedIn feed and thought, great! Better get me one of those!
The truth is, there’s a reason that people are talking about content marketing strategies. Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to build awareness of your brand, encourage people to visit your website, and convert visitors to customers.
We know, we know, that sounds like a big spend. But like all strategies, with a little bit of careful planning, you can reap some serious rewards.
So… what is content marketing again?
Every touchstone that involves your customers interacting with you involves them encountering your content marketing strategy. Your blog is a great way to win over customers and experience what it is you do. After all, the internet is a scary place, and in today’s market, the customer is savvier and more aware that there are dangerous brands out there. To win loyal and engaged customers, fresh content is what you need.
It really is as simple as that. Sort of.
The key is fresh quality content. Crappy content isn’t going to do anything to win you any new customers. And like many things, the best copywriters make it look easy. Conversely, if this isn’t one of your skills then you’re not going to find it easy.
Don't panic; there are ways around this.
Create That Copy
We’re not going to lie - a full-time copywriter is a wonderful thing to have, but for a startup or a small business, the costs on this can be prohibitively high. The good news? You no longer need to have the cash to hire an on-staff writer.
Instead, you can now use a content marketing platform. A little bit like Uber, these platforms pool together talented writers who are just waiting to pick up jobs for your company and write the blog posts, website copy, and email wording that your company needs.
There are plenty of options out there for freelance writers. If your business is in a specific niche or industry, you may want to look around and see what your friends and competitors are doing to keep things fresh.
If you’re interested in getting a faster turnaround while working with writers who have industry-specific experience, you might want to consider using ContentFly. With algorithms that match you to the ideal writer, ContentFly can make sure that all your content needs are met.
The writers who work with ContentFly are constantly striving to provide the best work, and with a star-ratings system, your work will only be offered out to those who are 4-star and above. ContentFly charges a simple, flat monthly fee for clients, not to mention a comprehensive 14-day free trial, which includes content revisions if needed, research and royalty-free images.
Keep It Brief
Whether you have decided to outsource your writing, or are offering it to somebody within your company, having a successful brief is important for making sure that you get what you ask for.
The formula here is pretty simple: The better a brief is, the better the content will be. Copywriters actually love to receive clear and precise briefs, so make to make it as informative as possible.
The basics would be making sure you give a word count and a title idea. But offer more and get more. Is there a company whose blog you really enjoy? Or perhaps you read an article about a similar topic and would like to see a fresh take on it. Where in the world is your company based, and are you aimed at experts in the field or your everyday interested reader?
If you think you’re providing too much information, think again. Everything that you add allows the copywriter to understand who their target audience is, and speak directly to them. Don’t worry about not having enough - any sensible copywriter will know to ask if things are vague, and services like ContentFly always encourage copywriters to ask questions rather than assume anything.
Once you have your content, you can then also ask for revisions. This is a natural part of the editing process. You may find that the tone is slightly off, or there are facts and figures that are mentioned that don’t have much to do with the topic.
Point out where the mistakes are, and how you’d like it improved. After all, if your content marketing strategy is going to work effectively, you want to make sure that the content is doing exactly what you want it to.
Consistent, fresh & delicious
Congratulations, at this point you’ve gone from an absolute beginner to having in your hand your first blog post or article. (This metaphor definitely worked better in the days before we all went digital.)
No matter how good this piece of writing is, however, it’s not going to be enough.
Consistency is key when it comes to your content marketing. Every brand that you encounter, both competitors to brand-crushes is trying to do the same thing that you are. In order to make sure that you stay on top of everything means making sure that you have a consistent schedule so that people are regularly reminded you’re out there.
Think of it this way. There are two bakeries. One makes delicious bread every morning and opens at 7 am on the dot. You can get free recipe cards, as well as know the history of the bakery and the people who work there. They even have advice for those who are gluten intolerant. The other bakery does even better bread, but the last time they opened was eight months ago. When they open tomorrow, is anyone going to be there?
Instead, make sure that you stay on top by offering fresh, delicious content on a regularly delivered schedule. This is a great way to stand out from everyone else around you and establishing you as the expert in what you do. Publishing these thoughts can also establish you as a leader in your field, as well as setting the scene for strong ROIs.
Reuse, re-use, recycle
Once you have a content posting schedule, the final step is to examine where you've been and what's worked for you. This allows you to then dictate where you should be going, and how it is you'll get there.
Metrics help you to calculate which post got the most by way of engagement. What are people sharing with their friends? What's sparking a fire in your community? You can also be nitpicky about what works. Is it a specific topic people can't get enough of?
Or is it perhaps a headline?
We all know about clickbait, but if your Top 10 posts are performing well, or your “How To” blog posts are, you might want to consider using more of these in your future post offerings. This then gives you information you can feed back into your strategy, to inform your future blog posts and blog post briefs.
As for what the heck you even write about? We're so happy you asked...