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Crawl, Walk, Run: How to Get Started with Content Marketing

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By now, you have probably read countless articles about the importance of content marketing and the role it should play in your marketing strategy. And if you’re like a lot of brands, you may not have a formal content marketing strategy in place or know where to start. In fact, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute, only 30% of marketers think their organizations are effective at content marketing and only 18% had a formal document outlining their content marketing plan.

These numbers start to paint a clear picture about the issues surrounding content marketing and why organizations think they are so unsuccessful at it. It comes down to an undocumented strategy. Whether you are just starting out, or in the process of revamping your content plan, you must document your strategy in writing so you and your team have a clear roadmap for the goals you are trying to achieve. Otherwise, your goals will change week to week and your content will ultimately suffer.

It’s always best to keep in mind the “crawl, walk, run” approach as you are documenting your strategy. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the amount of content work that needs to be done. Start slow, identify the low hanging fruit, and shoot for quality content (not quantity).

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind as you are developing a content marketing plan:

Start with your website

The natural first step in content marketing is to make sure your website content is up-to-date and optimized to generate organic leads. You should also consider implementing a blog on your website, as this will allow you to generate and promote content on a regular basis. Plus, it will give your customers a reason to come back to your website.

Set realistic content production goals

When you are setting content goals, don’t over commit on the amount of blog posts, email communications or social media posts you plan to write. You don’t have to produce mass amounts of content to be an effective content marketer – take your time and write quality posts that will engage your customers in two-way conversations. Once you get comfortable with your approach, start adding to your production schedule incrementally.

Don’t forget about content distribution

BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman said it perfectly, “Content is king, but distribution is queen - and she wears the pants.”

As you already know, interesting and relevant content is extremely hard to produce – but don’t focus all your time and energy on production. Having an effective content distribution strategy is just as important. There are three types of distribution channels: Paid (advertising, PPC), Owned (newsletters, brand Facebook page) and Earned Media (reviews, @mentions). Developing a distribution strategy around these three channels will help you reach your target audience more effectively.

Just getting started with content marketing? Let us help you develop a content marketing strategy that will generate leads and create brand advocates. Contact us.