Being a steady being of this digital age we all understand how powerful the digital space is. You also understand the power of content. No matter what business you are into, you have to create content in various formats for your target audience. Content is what explains your business to your target audience. It allows your audience to understand how you can fill in a demand they have and why you are better than others in the market. Doesn’t this make it obvious for you to pay for attention to the catalyst between you and your audience?
Things are extremely difficult for us. Being a one-man army requires you to take ownership of every tasks that needs attention. You probably do not have the bandwidth to hire a team that will plan the design, schedule and content, like MNCs. But that’s okay, the detailing that’s required for your business is not as intricate as a MNCs either.
Understand what is content marketing first?
Content marketing is the art of seducing highly targeted leads into taking the desired actions. This makes for an extremely important aspect of your marketing strategy. It allows you to influence people without spending much on your marketing budget. This also gives you the liberty to experiment with how you want to share free information with your audience. It could be in forms of infographics, videos, images, blogs etc.
“The idea is to stand out loud in a world full of content. It’s a crowded space that’s highly flexible. That’s both, the beauty and the ugliness in it.”
“Content marketing is not a night stand, it is a life long love story”,
So don’t expect quick results, you go to invest some time in it.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is the art attracting your probable customer on its own and not chasing them (like in the case of traditional sales based methods). This can only happen when you have solution based approach and not sales based approach. Understanding that every product or service which is sold has an end objective as solving a problem. If you can convince your audience that you have the solution of their problem, your product or service will be sold. This philosophy is called inbound marketing and it can be materialized using the executionary strategies of Content Marketing.
Even though both content and Inbound marketing have similar goals, they are quite different in their processes. Inbound marketing strategy aims at converting the visitors into possible leads by convincing (encouraging) them to take a desired action. This basically focuses around making your website a great and convenient place for your audience. You ideally take help of valuable and interesting content to do the same. This is where content marketing comes into picture, as a small yet dominating subset of your marketing strategy. As per inbound marketing strategy these are the four kinds of content which your website should have
When they work together, they can do wonders in terms of repeat customers, lead conversions and relationship building. Before I start, this sketch note
Here are the basics of content marketing formulas for solopreneurs/entrepreneurs
Have a look this sketch note which explains the four major steps of any content marketing campaign.
This makes for the most basic yet important part of your content marketing strategy. This is your opportunity to make a strategy that works for your business on your behalf. Make sure it is in tone with your business and ethics you follow. This is your chance to speak out loud about what you stand for. Answers these basic questions for your brand and you will be done with content strategy
- What do you want to be known for among your audience
- What is the problem your audience has which you can solve
- What kind of brand perception you want to establish in your audience’s mind
- What are the key elements of a typical day in your customer’s life.
These questions will help you develop your content strategy tree which has two circle of problems
Inner circle (directly related to his problems) and Outer circle (Indirectly related)
Let us understand it with an example: Let’s say you are a shoe shop owner, then your inner and outer circle problems can be
- Inner circle: Where can I find best and cheapest shoes, Where can I find shoes which fits exactly my size, Where can I find shoes which can last at least for 1 year.
- Second circle: What should be my choice of shoes if I am going to play tennis, Which do people observe in me when I go to parties: Does it matter which shoes I am wearing.
To build your content strategy you would need to invest in research, observation and brainstorming to get these insights.
Premarketing is the foundation you need to lay before you progress with your marketing campaigns. Before investing in creating content, try to know what your stakeholders would like to know. There is no point of providing them with content which either is already available or which they don’t want to consume. Major stake holders of your business who consumes your content and might help in direct or indirect leads are
- Existing customers
- Channel partners
- Industry influencers
- Industry critics
A quick example could be …taking a poll on Facebook group. E.g. We are planning to create a series of blogs and we would like to know what would like to know about shoes.
The premarketing activity will give you a very relevant direction for your content making and now you can be 75% sure that the content which you will create will have certain eyeballs because you took their suggestions. Now you can think of any form of rich content depending on your spending power and time it takes to make it. However, be cautious that you are still playing under the ambit of inbound marketing so your content has to cater to either of these 4 categories: Awareness, Consideration, Purchase and Delight
Under any category above, your content can be in the form of
So wear your creative cap and go all your creative guns blazing.
This is certainly the most important section of the content strategy but also the most neglected one as many entrepreneurs don’t know what to do with the content they have made. In my experience, 90% of the times, they say “I will share it on my social media” and then they expect that next morning the content will go viral which NEVER HAPPENS. Even gold needs to be promoted else it is just nothing.
Now, this is where your premarketing will come to rescue. Share the content with those stakeholders with whom you discussed (stage 2). They would love to see your content which you made from their suggestions and chances are high that they will reshare it. This is very organic and most appreciated way of content sharing.
But there has to be some more push to promote your content and this push comes from paid channels. Here are some of the ways
- Approach Editors: Get in touch with editors of popular newspapers or magazines and share about your content which you made. If your content is super cool, they might include in their publications for free but most of the time they might charge you. This is called outreach marketing
- Approach Influencers: Search for social media heroes from industry ..those who are popular on Instagram, FB, Twitter, Linkedin etc. and ask about their prices to share your content with their audience. This is called Influencer marketing.