Make A Plan

31 Day Countdown – Tip #31: Make A Plan

Of all the things you do online (your website, blogging, newsletters, social media posts, etc.) to promote your business and engage with your customers, one of the most important things you need to do is plan! Having a strategic plan around your content marketing is the only way you will not only be prepared (and make your life easier) but also be able to measure your results to see if all the work paid off!

Researching what your customers are reading and searching for online that is related to your business or industry is the first step. See what they are saying and what they want (complaints, discussion forums, social media posts, etc.) Ask your customers what they look for when making a purchasing decision. Know what other knowledge or resources may help your customers as it relates to your expertise and business product/services.

Once you know what to talk about, plan for it! Decide which platforms make sense to you and for your audience; blogging, newsletter, social media, vlogging, white papers, case studies, etc. This decision is critical as it will dictate your time commitment to writing, publishing and tracking results.

Once your are ready to deliver your content, be sure you have a process to measure your results. This could be how many more followers/likes you get on social media, how often your content is shared or commented on, what readers are saying about your content, how much your website traffic changes, etc. There is a good deal of metrics to consider, it depends on what content your are sharing.

Being preparing with a content marketing plan will allow you to easily identify what needs to be adjusted early on before you put your efforts into something that may not be showing results. Results do not happen overnight, so be prepared to give your content marketing changes to show the results. There is no “magic number” of days/months it may take to show improvements (this all depends on business sales cycles in your industry, platforms you are using, frequency of your content sharing, time of the year if you are a seasonal business, etc.) but it is safe to say that any changes should allow for at least three months of monitoring at a minimum before making any significant changes.

For more about this series read our 31 Day Countdown to Your Success post.

Listen to your customers

31 Day Countdown – Tip #30: Listen, Listen, Listen

One of the biggest mistakes a business makes with their online content (social media posts, blogs, etc.) is that they make it all about them (the business, product and/or service.)

There are definitely appropriate times to focus on your business (telling your story, sharing success stories, etc.) but what your online content should do is provide information that will be interesting and helpful to your target audience. If you are a pet food supplier, then your audience is probably online looking for pet-related articles and information (training your pet, best chew toys, how to travel with your pet, etc.), or if you are a CPA, then your audience may search for the best deals in travel, how to reduce home maintenance costs, or better options for business expense management.

They key is to listen, listen, listen. Listen to what your customers are saying. Read related online forums on topics that may interest them and see what they are discussing. Look at comments on sites such as Yelp for related businesses to yours to see what is being discussed. Follow topics and businesses on social media to see what topics other businesses are posting about and discussing with people.

You will find a wealth of topics your audience is interested in that you may have expertise in or you can have a guest blogger/interview with to provide the information most discussed online. Your customers (and potential customers) will be a lot more likely to follow you and visit your site if you give them something they didn’t expect… ideas, inspiration and solutions that may not even relate directly to your product or services.

For more about this series read our 31 Day Countdown to Your Success post.

Content Marketing Holiday Opportunities

31 Day Countdown – Tip #28: Holiday Opportunities

The holiday season is a fun opportunity to engage with your customer and prospects. Dependent upon the type of company and industry you are in, you can be as whimsical or professional as you want for the holidays.

  • Creating a spooky theme day for your customer-facing office.
  • Sending valued clients a holiday card or eCard.
  • Hosting a holiday event for clients (and potential clients).
  • Honoring holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
  • Celebrating cultural holidays with social media posts.
  • Creating a holiday theme for your customer newsletter.
  • Facilitating a donation drive for a non-profit.
  • Organizing a volunteer event for your employees and/or clients.

Explore what other companies do in your industry during the holidays for ideas and ask your employees and customers for ideas!

For more about this series read our 31 Day Countdown to Your Success post.