[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6884017/height/45/width/700/theme/standard/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/” height=”45″ width=”700″ placement=”top” theme=”standard”]Content Marketing.

Either you already have a plan in place, you’re actively avoiding it, or you have no idea where to begin.

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you’ll know that content marketing is the currency of digital marketing and what makes the Internet go round. It’s why there are 300 million + blogs active in the world and why SEO (another topic for another day) is so important.

But there are a few problems with content marketing:
>> It’s too easy to get caught up in the creation and forget to make it beneficial to your business.

>> With so many experts teaching online businesses “how” to do content marketing, it’s easy to get paralyzed and quit before you get started.

If you’re going to have a content marketing strategy that works you need to do this:

1. Get crystal clear on what your content marketing should look like. Do you want to create cat videos with voiceovers? A top 10 list each week? A book review? A video interview series? A stream of conscious audio about your expert topic? The sky is the limit. The key to creating content is to make it A) FUN and B) something you’ll enjoy creating, not something everyone else tells you to do.
2. Know why you want to create content. Don’t EVER do something because someone tells you to do something. (Myself included). The thing about being an entrepreneur is that YOU are the boss and you make the shots. My goal (and ostensibly the goal of other consultants and strategists you surround yourself with) is to help you make informed decisions and strategic moves that equal growth and increased revenue in your business. But, you have to also see that whatever you do WILL make sense for your business and is in alignment with who you are as an entrepreneur.

3. Who the content you want to create intended for? The more you niche down for a specific type of person in a specific business with a specific problem, the more likely you’ll find your rabid fans and they’ll want to work with you/purchase what you’re offering.

4. How do you want to create content? This comes down to what medium do you want to use? This is tied to #1 above, but this is where you decide what platform/format are you going to deliver this on. Ideas of content marketing examples:
– A blog (obvs)
– A podcast
– A video series
– A weekly Facebook Live show
– An audio clip
– An interview series
– List format
– Book reviews
– A weekly local event
– Video-based tutorials
– Visual marketing (through Instagram)
– Free wallpaper (backgrounds) for phones (especially if you’re a designer, funny or motivational biz)
– Music playlists
– Slideshare
– Conferences
– Summits
– A guide
– A magazine
– A book
– Your own column
– Teach classes
– Webinars
– Online course
– Education center
– Ebook
– Downloadable PDF
– Infographics

The point is to pick something that feels like you and will be fun to execute, or it’ll never happen.

THEN put up blinders and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing in your market. And write it down. It gives it more credibility in your mind that you’re going to do this.

5. Is someone already doing this exact thing in your market? If they are, it’s OK, but you have to either do it slightly different or better to stand out and make content marketing in this same fashion actually benefit your business.

A book I can’t recommend highly enough: 10X Marketing Formula by Garrett Moon (this is my Amazon affiliate link). And if you’re on Kindle Unlimited, it’s FREE!

6. Find topics that are resonating with people online. Look at the comments section, look at Quora, hop in Facebook groups. Anytime a question is asked, it means that someone wasn’t clear or thorough enough, and that’s your opening. What a different spin on what’s out there and a favorite? How can you be so thorough in how you help your audience that’s different than everyone else.

Something most people don’t realize about marketing is the more helpful you are and specific in your responses, the more desperate people will be to work with you.

There’s a funny thing that happens in our brain. Instead of greedily absorbing everything you put out and walking away feeling like their problem is solved, the person consuming your content will be flabbergasted that you’re THIS helpful and their brain tells them: If they are giving me this much stuff for free, think of how much more amazing it would be to actually work with them. You are not giving it all way.

A good resource on this and knowing how to operate in a space where you’re not in competition with anyone else is Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim. 

7. Create a marketing strategy plan that works for you. Basically, I’m telling you my favorite mantra: You do you.

This means if you’re type A and like to operate with a color-coded calendar that’s 6 weeks ahead of your production schedule, then you’re going to want to find a system that does that exact thing so you are successful.

But some of you are going to want to write down ideas on sticky notes or on your phone and create the night before and cross your fingers that you remembered to do everything. (While not optimal, it gets the job done.)

The key here is to set up a system (yes, something that’s repeatable) and consistently follow it.

If you can’t be consistent, then don’t even bother doing it. I’m not even kidding. There’s too much.

8. Freaking promote your content people. 

Most people who create content have zero strategies for how to promote it and nobody knows the content exists.  Here are seven ideas for how to promote what you’re creating:
– Brainstorm all the places you could share content. (I also call this brain dump or word vomit often). *Make a note if there are restrictions on when and where you can share content (cough, cough Facebook groups)
– Look at your best channels for visibility. Where are you already doing a great job at being out there?
– Commit to sharing it in at least 5 places each time you create something. Most of us stop at our email list, FB biz page and sometimes a friend.
– Start a spreadsheet or a tracking system to track your content. Make a note of the title, theme, keywords, links, etc. so you can refer it on other posts or when topics come up, etc. and it’s easy to access it. You can also merge related content into an epic optin, etc.
– Make sure Google Analytics is set up on your site so you know what’s working. Most places you can add it through Google Tag Manager in the head of your website, through a plugin if you’re on WordPress like me, or in the setup section of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website builders. It’s the best free website analytics tool out there.
– Schedule it to be shared on channels that repeat with tools like Smarterqueue, MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, Pinterest.

Content strategy is amazing for your business because once you post it, it’s searchable and can be found over and over again to new people. You can always and update it and add to it at any time.

It’s also what makes SEO happen for your business, and allows you to get organic traffic to your site for free.

Now go get into action and commit do something sustainable.