Honestly, how can Todd have a head that big and not fall over.
I took my son to a hockey game on Sunday. We "crushed" diet coke's, we "crushed" a bag of popcorn the size of my friend Todd's head. Todd has a massive head. To my surprise it was not the size of Todd's head that had me dumbfounded and deep in thought.
It conjures up thoughts of Mike Meyers and the movie So I Married An Axe Murderer.
What really had me dumbfounded was the types of companies spending money to sponsor the teams. Small businesses that could knock it out of the park with a local online marketing strategy. Unfortunately some are simply not aware of the possibilities and are shelling out massive moula in an advertising playing field reserved for large corporations building brand awareness.
Imagine if they dedicated that conventional advert budget to more suited and far less expensive marketing channels.
This problem has inspired this article regarding a content marketing minimum viable product/project (MVP) list to get these sort of companies started down the best path.
1. IDEA GENERATION
Simply put, moving forward with a content marketing channel requires a method of generating quality article ideas. There are many methods to doing this and no one knows what your audience is going to resonate with. Therefore you must incorporate a feedback loop which we'll discuss below.
In the meantime, a few tried, tested and true methods are to see what people want to read about and find useful enough to share. Quality tools such as Buzzsumo will give a great method of peeking in on your competitors popular posts. Don't think that Buzzsumo is the only tool to provide this. You can also simply visit blogs and site in your space and they often list their most popular posts.
If your business is based on topics that are not often shared with social media then your content marketing strategy should surround answers to questions. For example check out the pool website Swim University with the aid of Buzzsumo. You won't see much at all, actually check out the only video which is hilarious. Regardless Matt has developed the blog with articles that answer common questions and provide very useful information.
Remember these are simply ideas to get you going on the topics that your audience very likely wishes to read about.
2. QUALITY CONTENT GENERATION
It sounds simple but regular and quality content generation is key. It is also requires a major effort. This is very likely why very few individuals can keep consistent efforts.
Writing is a skill, its like cooking. You must regularly cook to develop the feel and intuition to create great dishes. I regularly employ a 30-articles in-30 days type goal, with huge personal reward, to keep myself motivated.
You must make efforts to stay on top of current content marketing channels. For example, content is becoming increasingly sophisticated with graphics and flow charts to increase engagement. You must stay on top of these shifts in quality and continually improve as a content creator.
The majority of my clients are companies, that see the benefits on content marketing. However they simply cannot set aside the time to first, develop the skills to become a great writer and second to regularly write. Often they hire out the content generation as a way of simply alleviating the workload. Content services provide more than a market place of writers, they actually guarantee your article's completion and delivery. A great solution for many business owners.
3. MEASURE SUCCESS
A marketing channel without a measurable success metric makes me nervous as all hell. I cannot imagine the minds of the small businesses sponsoring NHL hockey teams. What sort of discussions happen in the board room when the sales and marketing budget comes up. Without a doubt, I can tell you what the largest line item is. Worst of all its pretty much impossible to measure success.
You need a way to measure the effectiveness of you marketing efforts. I intend to make a couple of those previously mentioned companies aware of the tracking potential of content marketing channels. Google Analytics and social media shares are one thing. However, one must track conversions.
There is a misunderstanding with regards to marketing channel conversions. Some marketing efforts, such as content marketing, will serve to decrease your conversion rate. Why utilize this sort of channel then? Look beyond the metrics, review the bottom line and ask whether this channel is scaleable.
The conversion rate may decrease; however, the overall sales will increase. With a marketing channel as low cost as content marketing this is actually quite attractive. It is attractive since we can scale the marketing channel. Wouldn't you love a marketing channel that you can simply pour more money into and grow your revenue at a greater rate than your costs.
You can only find scalable marketing channels with measurable metric and content marketing is very easily measured.
4. MARKETING YOUR MARKETING CHANNEL
A basic telnet of sales professionals is to put yourself in front of the people who directly stand to gain from what you offer .... as often as possible. A long statement but very, very true.
No one can tell you how your audience or customers will find and consume your content. Some might trust you enough to already have supplied an email. Therefore, in an industrial B2B setting a monthly technical analysis of the industry and current experiments has often proven very valuable. Let's be honest the professional that practices for a living each day, very rarely wants to read about the profession in his spare time. However, if you helped that professional stay on top of the market with a nice overview it would keep him very current. Simply put that is valuable.
Other methods are far less focused and are very well suited to social media. Significant sources of content sharing are of course Facebook and Twitter. Other methods include a valuable giveaway in exchange for an email that will be sent regular content. Don't forget all the other small possible sub culture's such as Reddit, Pinterest and the like.
The goal is to experiment continually, and most importantly measure conversions of the different marketing and sharing methods.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
The goal with this article is to show that there is no single right answer. That should be good news as if there was one answer then it would be flooded by now. The door is open to many measurable marketing channels and creativity wins the day. In addition, these methods are marketing are damn cheap. Therefore, get out there, put on the creativity beer hat and experiment.
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