So, you have been doing Content Marketing. You’ve been writing stuff for weeks now and you haven’t noticed any significant increase in sales or leads. You are starting to feel like you were sold a bill of goods with this whole Inbound Marketing scam!
Woah, calm down, stop right there. Let’s take a look and see what we can do for you…
The first thing to note about content marketing is that it’s not an overnight strategy; as far as search engines are concerned, how long your website has existed for is a factor in how reliable or trustworthy it is. It can take 6 months or more to even rank for keywords as Google evaluates you.
That is just getting the search engines’ attention, what about catching and keeping readers? That means trust and engagement with real life people. It can take months to build a reputation as an industry expert and even longer to prove yourself an industry leader.
But that isn’t really your problem, well it might be, but I’m willing to wager it isn’t your only one. You started writing stuff on your website because you thought you should, so write you did, anything you could think of. Perhaps you didn’t really know why but you did it anyway. Well you are going to fail, work as hard as you like you are not going to get anywhere. Here is why. You have no direction.
You want a successful, client winning, revenue generating website with content that draws a crowd? Step one, have a plan.
Create a 3-month Content Marketing plan
Before you dive in head first, you need to know what you are going to do. Make a roadmap for your content production and have it line up with your Marketing Strategy. It can be as simple or complex as you desire, but make it and stick with it.
What I’m saying here is decide what you are going to write about and why you are going to write it. Connect it with your offline message if you have one. If not then make sure it represents your business in tone and topics. If you don’t know what to write about, we can help you with that.
In your 3-month Content plan, include the following:
A schedule of Content i.e. Blog Posts
Blogging is one of the best things you can do for your website. Google looks at your website’s “freshness” to help it determine how often to crawl your site. So sticking with a regular blog schedule means search engines will keep coming back regularly to check if your site has been updated.
Try to write at least one blog post per week about a topic relating to your industry and make sure it’s at least 300 words long. But plan this out, have the topics tie with industry events, both yours and your customers. Know when your deadlines are and stick to them.
Google’s Panda update also saw a shift in what Google defined as ‘quality’. There aren’t a lot of absolutes when it comes to writing. While a post of around 1500 words is more likely to have organically occurring keywords and phrases that your customers will search for, it may also be too long to hold their attention. This post is just shy of 850 words and it feels long doesn’t it!
The truth is article length is going to be, at least in part, determined by your audience and their attention span. Technical blogs tend to be longer as they need to be, lifestyle or Curated articles can be much shorter.
In the case of articles of 300 words or less, I’d recommend blogging at least twice a week.
Decide in advance how you are going to publicise your blogs. Are you using paid adverts? Then through which site, for how long and for how much money?
If you are using Social Media, which I highly recommend, then list the platforms you’ll share on. Is your article more suited to LinkedIn or Twitter? Obviously you can use more than one and share repeatedly, but find the best fit for the best results.
Check Your Analytics
It may seem silly to add this to your plan, but it’s important. You need to keep an eye on how your content marketing strategies are affecting your search results, traffic, lead generation and conversions. So schedule time in.
Resist the temptation to check in on your analytic data daily. The urge can be strong, especially the day after posting a blog article or hosting a chat. But it can be a real drain on your time. Instead, schedule one day per week to check your stats.
Then you need to use what you learn to your advantage, apply the lessons to your next 3-month plan. Remember Content Marketing is an ongoing process, there are no one hit wonders – Review and Revise.
Do you have anything you love to include in a Content Schedule? Need any help putting one together?
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