Believe it or not, any person can be a content marketer. The kicker is that not everyone can do it well. Many individuals and companies that do content marketing tend to find that it is ineffective and end up giving up. However, in most cases, the reason that it is ineffective is because they don't set out to form a strategy from the get-go that will assist in the production and promotion of engaging content.
So, if you want to ensure that you are productive at content marketing, this step-by-step guide will outline seven important pieces of information that will help you come up with topic ideas, give you tips for creating enticing content, and provide you with information regarding distribution.
Step #1: Create a Plan to Help Come up with Enticing Topics.
With content marketing, one of the most difficult parts is actually coming up with new ideas for content. To keep your audience interested and coming back for more, it is important that you are constantly coming up with new angles and different perspectives on old topics that your audience is interested in. Ultimately, you have to figure out what your audience wants to read and then develop headlines that grab their attention, in addition to writing the content and promoting it.
To make sure you always have access to brand new ideas for content, it's a good idea to have a plan in place. Here is a basic plan that you could use:
- Use a tool, such as Buzzsumo, to locate topics that have previously proven to be popular to the public.
- Peruse popular website for enticing headlines that you can alter to fit your niche/topic.
- Create two separate titles for your content and have someone else (a colleague or friend) to choose the best one of the two.
2. Use Tools and Get Organized.
Content marketing can be very time-consuming; however, there are some tools that can make it quicker and much more effective. You can do a Google search to find tools that can help you reduce distractions, create content ideas and even schedule your posts on your blog and social media. However, to help get you started, here are some popular organizational tools:
- Evernote Web Clipper: As you are browsing the web, this tool will let you clip posts, images and pages that interest you. You can use these later for inspiration for new posts.
- Hootsuite: This tool lets you schedule your posts on social media and monitor them so you are always on top of what's going on.
- Ommwriter: This tool is a minimalist word processor that helps you to minimize your distractions as you're writing your engaging content.
- Trello: You can use this tool independently or with your entire team to plan blog topics in a single place.
3. Utilize an Editorial Calendar.
If you don't produce enough content, it's bad. This is because your audience could potentially forget about you and your brand. In some cases, they could unfollow you or unlike you because of it. But it can often be just as bad if you promote too much content. This is because you aren't allowing your audience enough time to absorb the content and appreciate the content's value.
This is why an editorial calendar can be so valuable to you. You can create a plan for the frequency of content creation and promotion, and the calendar will help you stick to it. Remember, the calendar is just for you, so it doesn't need to be super fancy. A few free templates and tools that you could use include Wordpress's Editorial Calendar plug-in, Hubspot's free editorial calendar template, and the free editorial calendar templates from Co-Schedule.
4. Set Aside 'X' Amount of Time Specifically for Writing.
If you don't outsource your writing and you do your own, it is critical that you set aside time every day to do some writing. If you don't set aside this time, then other activities and tasks will take over that time slot and you won't get the writing done.
To be more productive at writing, you need to turn your phone off, sign out of social media, and log out of your e-mail. You need to make sure that you have no distractions while you are writing. Then, give yourself a certain amount of time to get a specific amount of writing done and do your absolute best to stick to those pre-set amounts.
To minimize disruptions and distractions as you are writing, you may want to consider using these tools:
- Focus: This tool will allow you to block websites that can be distracting, such as Skype and Mail.
- RescueTime: This tool allows you to block certain sites, like Facebook, and even keep track of how much time you have spent on a certain task.
- Time Out: This tool will inform you when it is time for break and when you need to start writing again.
5. Consider Outsourcing Some of Your Tasks.
If your content production isn't going nearly as fast as you want and/or need it to, then you need to desperately consider outsourcing of your tasks. Believe it or not, it can make a large difference simply by hiring writers and editors or even social media managers. Not only can they help speed things up for you, but you will see a difference in efficiency and content quality.
6. Make Sure to Have a Plan for Consistent Distribution.
It isn't enough to simply create the content. You need to also make sure that the content that you create gets in front of your targeted audience -- an audience that will read your content, share it and comment on it. This is where a distribution plan comes in.
Every time that the "publish" button is hit, you need to have a set of steps that are followed to ensure that your published content is seen. A couple of ideas include sending the content to the subscribers of your e-mail list or posting a link to the published content on all of your social media channels.
7. Don't Forget to Reuse and Repurpose Your Old Content.
Developing brand new content is always more time-consuming and expensive than rewriting or recycling it. If you have been in content marketing for some time now, then you probably have plenty of content at your fingertips that can be reused and repurposed. There are many ways in which you can do this with your existing content:
- Create eBooks or similar info-products out of old blog posts.
- Shave some of your older content and create newer microcontent that you can use on social media.
- Rewrite some of your older posts so that they're more up-to-date and can obtain better rankings.
- Share some of your old posts with some of your brand new social media followers and fans.
When it comes to being productive at content marketing, there isn't just some huge secret. Honestly, you just need to be wise about how you spend your time and the aforementioned steps will help you utilize your time efficiently, which will help you get your content where it needs to be.
For more tips on how to be productive at content marketing or for help on getting a content marketing campaign started, reach out to us at WebDetail.