Your Content Marketing 101 Checklist

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Gone are the days when content marketing was about newspaper ads, magazine ads and flyers. If you want to make the most of your marketing, then you have to move your content marketing strategy online. You need to set aside those “brick and mortar” outbound marketing techniques and instead focus on inbound marketing methods such as:

  • Blogs
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Infographics

Not only are inbound marketing methods proving to be more successful, but HubSpot has also recently reported that inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound marketing ($135 for inbound marketing versus $346 for outbound marketing). No matter if you’re a small business or a large corporation, saving over $200 per lead is money that can be spent on other parts of your business.

Here’s where it may get a bit tricky: there’s a lot of content on the web, so much so that it can be difficult to get yourself noticed amongst the clutter. So how can you stand out? First, you need to ask the right questions about your marketing:

1) Is your content delivering the right information?

Try to take a good, unbiased look at your content and then rate it on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how helpful it is to your target market. Does the content solve your market’s problem? Look at other statistics that you may have on hand, such as how many comments were posted with the information, how many times it was “liked”, “shared”, re-tweeted, and so on.

2) Is your content marketing consistent?

You want your readers to be able to predict when you’ll have new content coming out (i.e. if you send email newsletters, always send them on the same day and at the same time). This will help:

  • Build up a more professional image
  • Increase a readers’ trust in you and your company
  • Create familiarity with you and your brand

3) Is your content engaging?

How engaging your content is really boils down to two things: your tone and the information being presented. If you really want to engage your readers, opt for a more conversational tone and provide stories that your readers can relate to. It can take a while to really settle into the right “style” for you and your audience, but that will come with time and practice.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to be opinionated. This isn’t to say that you should be confrontational, but naturally weave your opinions into your content. For example, if you’re a small business, don’t write content that attempts to take down a larger competitor. Instead, write content that is all about what is great about your business – what makes you unique, special, and stand out amongst any big-box stores without mentioning any specific companies.

4) Does your content support the long term goals of your business?

Content marketing should be supporting both your long term and your short term goals. This type of marketing should be about building a long term, trusting relationship with a lead. Lightly sprinkle in any product or service recommendations and promotions. Then, when the time’s right, you can offer them that personal promotion or discount.

5) Are your topics interesting?

One of the worst things that you could do to your business is to use the same old topics over and over again for content. No matter how much you repackage it and resell it, having an article about the benefits of your super juicer is still going to be an article about the benefits of your super juicer. Go beyond the box in your thinking. What would people who buy your juicer also be interested in? Maybe some juice or smoothie recipes. Maybe some information about the benefits of popular food products that are used in juices, like the nutritional benefits of carrots. When all else fails, read what visitors, leads and customers are writing on your blogs, videos, and social media accounts, and use those comments and questions as inspiration for new topics.