If only I had the time to devote to content marketing …
I know content marketing would work if I just had the time to do it …
Do these statements sound familiar?
It’s true … content marketing takes time and patience. It’s more about building a loyal audience than turning a quick sale. But you can build an effective content marketing campaign by writing and publishing a single article per month.
Here’s how …
Content Marketing Defined
First of all, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about content marketing. Here’s how the folks at Copyblogger define it:
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Convert prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers …
Driving profitable customer action …
Customers, repeat buyers, and profits. The lifeblood of business, right? Let’s keep those end results in mind as we continue.
Publish Valuable Content
For your content marketing to do its job, the information you share must be valuable to your reader. In fact, your content should be useful all on its own, even if your reader doesn’t end up buying your product or service.
This is a hard concept for many people to come to terms with.
You may think that if you give away all your best stuff for free, people won’t buy from you.
But it’s been proven time and time again that providing highly valuable content positions you as the go-to expert — the authority in your field. And people WILL buy from you … Because they’ll know without a doubt that you know what you’re doing and that your products and services will give them the results they’re looking for.
Remember, your goal here is to build a tribe of followers who will think of you first when they’re ready to buy. Your goal is NOT to make a simple one-time sale from your article.
By the way, the content you publish can take many forms, but the strategy I’m sharing here is centered on articles. In fact, it’s centered on you writing and publishing just a single article per month.
So what do people ask you about as it relates to what you do? What questions do they need answered before they do business with you?
How can you really help them … even if they never do business with you?
Answering those questions will give you topics for your articles.
Give Away a Related Useful Tool
If you can give away something that will help your reader take action and implement the information you’ve shared in your article, you’ll really position yourself as a helpful ally and trusted friend.
Consider creating a downloadable document such as one of the following:
- Action Steps
- Resource Guide
It should be separate from your article and downloadable so that you can collect your reader’s contact information in exchange for access to it.
For example, I’m offering you a one-month Editorial Calendar Template and Roadmap that you can use to map out each step of the strategy I outline in this article. I’ll tell you how to get your hands on it in just a minute, or you can get it here if you don’t want to wait.
Offering a free gift specific to your article will make you stand out because most marketers, even the smart ones, don’t.
Yes, it’s a little extra work … it will be worth it.
Make Your Article Multi-Task
We entrepreneurs are very familiar with multi-tasking, so this should feel natural to you. Once you publish your article to your website (because your content should always live on property that you own and therefore control), you will want to use it in other ways as well to get it the most exposure possible.
So you’ll publish it on …
- Your website/blog
- Your newsletter
- LinkedIn (where it will get exposure on Pulse)
- Syndicated article sites (type “article syndication” into Google for a list)
You also can submit your article to relevant industry or association publications. For example, if you’re a service business on Angie’s List, submit your article there as an Angie’s List Expert.
Go Multi-Media with Your Article
With more than a billion unique visitors, YouTube is another place you should be promoting your monthly article. And creating a video doesn’t have to be elaborate or time consuming.
Simply use a camcorder, or even your smartphone, to record yourself giving your audience a brief summary of why they should read your article. Imagine that you’re sitting with one of your most ideal customers at a coffee shop … or perhaps at a bar sipping a glass of wine … and simply tell them about the article.
Then record a second video (do a quick wardrobe change first if you like) sharing a specific tip or useful bit of information from the article.
Upload the videos to YouTube — and to Facebook, and to any other social site that you use that hosts video — with a description that attracts search results and you’ll get added exposure to people searching for your topic, even if they aren’t following you already.
Send Emails to Your Existing Tribe
A few weeks after you’ve published your article on your website and after you’ve used it in your newsletter, send a broadcast email to your list with the subject line: “Wanted to be sure you saw this …” Provide the article’s URL in the body of the email.
Email the video of the tip pulled from the article the following week.
With each of these emails, encourage your tribe to share your valuable content with others they know who will find it helpful.
Drive Traffic from Social Media
Throughout the month, you’ll post quotes, highlights, and images from your article to the social sites you and your audience are engaged on. The intention of these posts is to get people to click through to your website to read the full article … where they will be offered the opportunity to receive your related giveaway if they opt-in to your list.
Follow general best practices for social media marketing, and make these posts engaging and shareable. The more your peeps share your posts, the wider your reach becomes, the larger your list … the more profitable your tribe.
Your social strategy should include sharing other content as well as your monthly article, but as you’ll see on my Editorial Calendar Template and Roadmap, you can easily generate at least 14 posts directly inviting people to take some action related to your article.
You Can Do This!
To recap …
- Write an article that provides highly valuable information that your prospects and customers can use.
- Create a giveaway tool related to the article that helps them take action on that information.
- Publish the article on your own site as well as other venues where you can get added exposure.
- Use video, email, and social media to drive traffic to your article.
- Download and use my Editorial Calendar Template to organize and schedule the sequencing of your content marketing campaign … all based around the single article that you write each month.
Do this consistently every month — from just one article each month — and you’ll build your tribe … and your profits.
Your turn …
I’d love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below. And be sure to tell me about your success with this strategy once you start using it!