Content Marketing can make a positive impact on your business. In terms of types of marketing, it is probably one of the most effective and longer lasting a company can implement. But it can be difficult to implement it correctly.
In fact the web is full of companies with poorly executed content strategies, and many of these aren’t even blogs, just plain old web sites that haven’t been given much thought.
Many companies still haven’t moved on from the “take company brochure and put it on the web” mind set.
Poor execution usually comes down to a lack of investment in time and planning, with a good sprinkle of misunderstanding mixed in; a recipe that leads to a cake that just doesn’t rise.
Follow these easy steps to ensure you bake the perfect cake every time.
The Right Ingredients
To make a basic “Content Marketing Cake” that gives you a return on investment you need:
1. A quality product or service
Without this all the marketing in the world is not going to build you a sustainable business. If you product or service does not offer something different to the rest of the market, adapt it so that it does. Give it focus and a niche from which you can drive a differentiator.
2. Market knowledge
Don’t be a pretender, you’ll get found out. To be able to add value with your content you are going to need knowledge of your marketplace. If you run an existing business you should already have this. To ensure you maintain it, keep up with the latest industry news and events by reading widely.
3. Passion and enthusiasm
You’re going to need passion and enthusiasm in abundance. For Content Marketing to work you have to be consistent, and initially you are going to need to output something everyday, whether you publish it or not. You need to get in the habit of producing content some will not be good enough to go live, but all of it will be valuable in terms of experience.
The Right Equipment
So we have the ingredients, in the right measures, ready to be mixed. Now we need to put these together in the right way to ensure our cake rises every time we bake one. The elements required for this are:
1. A Chef
You need to find someone who is going to bake regularly for you. If you fancy baking yourself then all the better. Just ensure that whoever is charged with this role has the right ingredients available to them. Yes you can employ an external person, as long as they can get under the skin of your company, market, product and service.
Do not make the mistake of thinking Content Marketing is a quick and easy alternative to other forms of marketing. It can be a far more profitable form of marketing with far greater longevity than other types of campaigns; it is not a quick fix! If you try to take your cake out of the oven too early it will flop.
Not only do you need to allow enough time for the cake to rise you need to give the Chef enough time to bake. How much and how long will depend on the type of cake, this should be defined in your planning and strategy.
3. The Oven
The most effective type of oven is one that circulates the warm air evenly around the cake. It is set at the right height for ease of access and the contents are clearly visible whilst cooking. The ideal oven for Content Marketing is a blog. The blog platform is purpose built for “cooking content” and more importantly allowing the wider world to access it.
The Right Method
Okay we have the ingredients and the equipment, now we need to put these together in the right way.
The Method is your Strategy, it’s where you need to define your budget in terms of time and resource. The Method will vary dependant on your overall objective, though there will be one constant; the return will be directly related to the investment, in terms of time and resource. The Method is your starting point.
If you need help defining The Method for your Content Marketing cake get in touch, I’d be more than happy to help.