Confession time: I used to suck at content marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I was good at writing blog posts, even finding pretty interesting topics to cover and having my own take on them. But that’s kinda where it ended. Write what I think is cool stuff, create some level of value for my audience, then blast the link on Twitter, LinkedIn, and my email list. It wasn’t good enough back then, and it’s definitely not going to cut it today. A while back I committed myself to improving my game, and that culminated in a new content marketing strategy that was easy to model, easy to execute, and easy to measure. Here are the basics of my set-up. Yours might, and probably should, differ based on what it is your ultimate goal for creating content is. But this is a good start.
THat content marketing strategy model life
Any repeatable task is going to be easier to accomplish when you can model the process for getting to a finished product. Then it’s just a matter of plug and play. Using a combination of best practices from content marketing research, along with my own little twists, here’s the model our team has been using at both BoomboxFM and Audiokite Research:
First, I recommend you take some time to watch this video from Susan Su, content chief at 500 Startups. It covers the basics and then some for content marketing (it’s also at the very bottom of this page).
My model is pretty straightforward, but does have some intricacies. Let’s break it down real quick.
piece by piece
Topic: The majority of my posts start with seedlings of an idea I get stuck in my mind based around some topic, or central theme. When I need help developing that topic a bit, or if I’m looking for a little inspiration, I’ll head to BuzzSumo, pop in my topic, and see what’s being written about and shared most often. You can also use Ruzzit, Twitter search, Quora, etc.
Primary Keyword: I like to have one primary keyword (or keyword phrase, more often) for each post. For some pieces, the primary keyword is actually my starting point; I then develop a topic around that keyword. You should assign different keywords to your blog posts, and they should each tie into your overall keyword strategy and research (more on that in a later post).
Supporting Keywords: These are 1-2 secondary keywords to integrate into the post, but not as prioritized as the Primary Keyword.
Internal Posts: Internal linking is generally a good practice, and it gives your reader more reason to continue interacting with you, if done correctly. Note: don’t link to other posts if they have no value, as now you’re just a poopface spammer. Example: I’m not linking internally in this post, because I don’t have great reason to.
Establish CTA: We forget this one too much. If I’m writing an article about how songwriters need to test their songs before going to production, I should probably include a call-to-action to check out Audiokite’s brand new Songwriting Analysis Report.
Landing Page: If you’re not an ecomm product, you may not need to complete this last step for every single post, but it’s wise to get in the habit of thinking along these lines. Anyone who is on your site, takes the time to read your post, and then clicks on the CTA button is a very, very warm prospect. Taking the songwriter example above, why would I bounce that person to my general products page where they’d have to search for the songwriting report? I already know what they’re interested in. Much like you don’t link your AdWords ad to your site’s homepage, you should have sales pages set up that tie into the topic and keywords of your post.
The biggest – and laziest – mistake I used to make is to simply share my blog through my networks right when it was done. Once. That’s it. THE HORROR.
With services like HootSuite and Buffer, scheduling your content is easier than ever, and repeatedly sharing awesome posts is nothing to be ashamed of. That being said, don’t be a schmuck and please use different copy each time you mention the same blog post on Twitter or Facebook, or whatever.
This content distribution model is easy to understand and to execute. Your audience engages you on different platforms and at different times, so reposting your content on multiple sites is expected.
chop it up
You’ll notice at the bottom of the content marketing strategy model graphic is a question: “What other content forms does this fit?” That’s something I bring up every time a new piece of content is created. Blog posts could easily turn into:
- social graphics
- white papers
- email courses
And certainly more. For example, I’ll take the two visuals from this post and put them on Slideshare, then tweet them out individually. There are infinite ways to slice up your content to create value outside of a long form article. Get creative with your content for a longer shelf life. Heres’ an example from Wordstream:
A friend of mine is the head of content for an advertising agency and he always reminds me that the typical brand has several audiences. He identifies them as Enthusiasts, Enthusiastics, and Casuals. Keep these varying levels of interest and passion in mind when you’re creating content.