From B2c to B2B industries, there’s no denying that more marketers are trying their hand at content marketing this year.
For the one-man business who has barely managed to maintain a company blog, the thought of promotion is discouraging to say the least.
It’s one thing to create the content you know customers will love.
It is a different ball game to serve it to them where and when they are likely to take action. The Internet is crammed with tools that claim to make this easier, but relying on tools alone is a big mistake. For one, these tools usually have a steep learning curve. The next flaw is how helpless you become if these tools break down during use.
If you don’t have a promotion plan in place, relying on tools will only lead to confusion. One more point to note is that as more marketers are using content marketing, customers tend to become ‘content-blind’. If you don’t stand out, they won’t see you.
How then do you balance the two halves of this equation in a way that returns a measurable and worthy ROI?
Search and More has managed to distil this into 5 easy steps:
Choose Your Weapons.
A good promotion strategy starts with researching the existing landscape of influencers. This research will help you understand which channels wield the largest influence among your target audience.
The insights you gather will help build an ideal marketing plan and decide which channel gets what type of content. Marketers must do this research before hand as they can gain deeper insights that will help create the best type of content.
Tools for this research include:
- Social Crawlytics – Used to identify the influencers to approach during blogger outreach.
- BuzzSumo – Used to analyse the type of content that gets the most shares and engagement.
- HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – Crowdsource expert sources for content creation.
Marketers must also have a firm grip on using Google Trends, Google’s Keyword Planner, and the Google Analytics tool for research and data gathering.
Which Options To Deploy?
A multi-channel promotion approach is always recommended when marketing your business. The same goes for content marketing where you can implement elements of paid media, owned media, and earned media to create a more powerful marketing tool.
Paid Media – This involves any form of content promotion where a brand pays for access to a new audience. These can be extremely helpful as they provide immediate feedback and returns.
Earned media – This involves creating content that gets your brand noticed by influencers. Blogger outreach and press releases fall into this ‘free’ category. The downside is the traffic may not be as targeted as with paid media.
Owned media – Promoting content, by broadcasting to the brands own channels e.g. an existing email list, RSS feeds, social communities.
Planning for The Desired Outcome.
Once the content marketing mix that fits your budget has been identified, it is time to plan the campaign. Start by identifying your goals. Is success measured in the number of new leads in a given time period? Or is success defined by impressions, social shares, or a combination of everything? Knowing what you are aiming for will simplify the measurement process.
What is your Budget? Paid advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. Impressions can be quite cheap if the sponsored post is highly targeted. Remember, paid ads can also serve as a litmus test for what your audience wants.
Is there potential synchronisation with existing marketing? Staring a new campaign doesn’t mean you have to abandon existing ones. Brainstorm how they can be used together to maximise your efforts.
The point of thorough planning is to give you a detailed 10,000 foot view of what the marketing plan for a period of time looks like. A detailed schedule should be drawn up at this point so that the plan is strictly adhered to. You can create and print out a detailed Decision Tree. This document will be passed to everyone that is involved in the campaign; freelancers, editors, social media assistants etc.
Assuming a small budget is in place, a three month content promotion may look like this:
Week 1 – 3: Promote Own content while creating a list of influencers.
Week 3 – 5: Use paid updates on highly targeted social channels that target audience visits.
Week 5 – 7: Use paid content on targeted blogs that target audience visits.
Week 7 – 10: Reach out to Influencers who might share content or allow guest blogging.
Week 10 – 12: Repeat the steps above.
Accurately tracking your success depends on which metrics matter the most to you. Despite that, tools like Google Analytics are so robust that they can track multiple variables, as long as the campaigns were set up correctly.
Other tracking tools include:
- BuzzSumo to track the engagement on your content.
- Unique tracking URLS for different calls-to-action.
- Tools like Moz Anlaytics can also be used to track your rankings and link metrics over time.
2015 has been described as the year marketers go from content marketing to marketing content. Don’t create content that floats into the ether of the Internet. Promote it to the right audience at the right time and see what a difference it makes in your business.
If you want to learn more about creating and marketing content, the experts at Search and More can help.