Almost everyone undertaking a content marketing program wonders what they should talk about. Not only what but how much of each type of content they should include in the mix. The content marketing strategy you decide on for your business should be an appropriate combination of different forms of content (articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, webcasts) that speak to your audience while achieving your branding and marketing goals.
Here’s a recipe for your Content Marketing program:
25% Original Content
Blog posts, articles, white papers or videos that reflect your knowledge of your business. You present solutions to the challenges your customers face everyday. You provide “how-tos” for dealing with issues they encounter. Presenting your opinion and perspective about your industry and processes fits here. Posts can take the form of a numbered list, an essay, an interview with an industry standout, an infographic or a short video. Readers and viewers want to be educated, entertained and engaged. Give ‘em what they want…and need.
25% Curated Content
Researching and posting content created by others can also build your expert status. Followers will look to your posts to find information relative to their interests or industry. There is a “built by association” function here — if you’re trying to expand your audience or you’d like to bring in more work in a certain area, post related content. I’m a big believer in “What you put out there is what you’ll get in.”
15% Company News
Be sure to talk about what’s going on with your company — new projects, completed sales or projects, new hires, awards, achievements, pro bono projects you’ve taken on. Be sure to add: visuals (where applicable), the budget (when appropriate), the scope of the project and team members involved. Remember to give credit where credit is due; kudos to someone who referred you to the project or to the client who headed it up. Always be sure to get appropriate permission from your client as to what information you can share, and when.
15% Industry News
This goes to building expert status. When you read trade and industry publications, watch a related documentary, see something in the newspaper or hear it on the radio, post the link and a short intro (which could also be your opinion on the particular piece of news). Your followers will find it helpful when you tell them about a new regulation, guideline, software update or policy that could affect their business.
While professional, a working relationship is also personal. Companies, especially when looking for a new partner, want to understand the “personality” of the business they are about to work with. Periodic posts about staff activities like recent travels, a new family addition, the company barbecue or volunteer activities give a peek into company culture. Is your company hiring? Posts that feature staff and their achievements let potential candidates get a feel for what it would be like to work at your company.
This is the part where you straight-up make the ask. Promoting your business is inherently a pitch, but not an obvious one. Your pitch should let prospects know the value you offer and benefits of working with your business — what they stand to gain by hiring you.
These are only estimates of the content marketing mix, of course —you can specify your own ingredients. What’s important is that you are using content marketing to build your brand, to boost your “go-to expert” status, reinforce SEO and stay top of mind with existing and prospective customers.
The ultimate is creating original content. Well-written, relevant and helpful to your audience, it should be the star of the show. But, because it is time-consuming to research and create, there are limits on how much you can generate. On the other end is “pitch” content; like a call-to-action where you let people know why they should call you — and why. But too much pitching will have the opposite effect — your followers will opt-out and ignore what you have to say.
Once you’ve created and curated, don’t forget to promote. The content you have amassed should be distributed across multiple channels: your website blog, email marketing, on LinkedIn Pulse, as a guest blog and in social media updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and others. There is a lot of marketing mileage you can get out of all of your content.
Let’s talk about a content marketing strategy for your business: Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding, marketing and strategy expert. Using traditional and online marketing to start and grow businesses, she works with startups, entrepreneurs and small- to medium-size companies. Martha is the author of the content marketing book: The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog