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10 Basics Content Marketing Strategy You Need to Know To Grow Your Business

The rest of this blog is dedicated to helping you create high-quality content that grabs attention, builds trust, differentiates you from your competitors, and can be scaled.
How to Create a Content marketing strategic approach for your business
Let’s start with a content marketing strategy.

There are some things that are non-negotiable when it comes to creating great content, which is why I have found that drafting a 
content strategy, before you dig into plans and execution is a good move.

Remember, you don’t want to spit out just any 
content at a rapid speed. You want to do it with direction.

Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I find it more natural to “wing it” than have things documented all the time.

Still, when it comes to a 
content marketing strategy, it makes sense to write it down.

When you are on your own, you might get by with a “make it up as you go” approach.

If you want to build a real long-term machine, you need to remove yourself from the process at some point.

You need to define a strategy and then build processes around that strategy.

 Vision – What is your blog about when it reaches its full potential?

 Values – What are the key values that will inform your content choices?

You can refine these over time. They will end up being a blend of your personal philosophy and what has worked well with your 

 Inspirations – Where do you look for inspiration (design, content, voice, etc.)? These can be direct competitors or people in a totally separate industry.

 Strategy Comment – Do you have a high-level description of the overall strategy behind the blog?.

 Target Communities – What groups of people are you creating content for, and where do they hang out?

 Differentiation – How will this blog be different from what is already available? You might have a handle on this now, or you may refine it over time as you learn what’s working.

 Unfair Advantage – What about you, your business, your style, your team, etc. gives you an advantage? Again, you might know this now, or you might notice it over time as people start engaging with your content.

8. Key Relationships – Who are the big influencers capable of boosting your content if you get them on board? These will be the ones who have a decently sized audience within the types of communities you are going after. I find normally it’s not that hard to figure out who these people are.

 Metrics – How will you know when your content is successful? If in doubt, use my three key metrics of total shares, comments, and email replies (more on these later).

 Lead Magnets and CTAs (Calls to Action) – What items can you use to encourage people to opt-in, and what will your CTA be?

Your Content Vision
It’s going to be very hard to make a content marketing strategy work if you aren’t clear on the end game.

A good way to think about your vision is answering the question, “What will I/we stand for?”

When I started edoup, I knew the world didn’t need more marketing blogs. It certainly didn’t need more “How To” 
WordPress blogs.

There wasn’t a lot of unique value to offer there.

However, I knew my entrepreneurial friends and I needed more “real” entrepreneurial content.

By creating a lot of content in this space, I gradually found a voice that really appealed to other entrepreneurs. Themes began to emerge.

Entrepreneurs could relate to it and be fascinated with what I was doing.

Often they didn’t agree, and they left passionate replies to that effect. But they were interested.

They were engaged. Radical transparency became a theme.

My stories about my previous failed businesses have resonated well.

Entrepreneurs have ups and downs—they don’t want to see only success stories; they want to know what others have learned along the way.

Some of my deepest content has been about when I was struggling through difficult times, and that has had a great impact on my audience.

The deep emotional connection also became a theme.

Our blog has turned into a place where bootstrapped startups can get real advice about how to start, grow, and market a business.

We don’t post the typical fluff you find on other similarly-themed sites. We post detailed lessons learned from the trenches of our 
own business and others.

We began to notice that the highly tactical, actionable, detailed, step-by-step content resonated well.

Actionable content then became another main theme.

These themes turned into a vision of a blog where entrepreneurs could come for real, transparent business advice; real-life entrepreneurial stories; and highly actionable, applicable resources.

We release intimate details about our own business, including our income, our 
traffic stats, our team size, our revenue/costs, etc.

People love this sort of content because it makes everything real for them.

We interview other entrepreneurs and learn how they started, got through the rough times, and ultimately grew their businesses.

Giving away detailed processes or tools that have helped us grow is another important factor.

For example, they get to see our policies on hiring developers or managing guest authors. 

This is useful for other entrepreneurs, and it’s not the typical content you get on 
startup blogs.

I believe a lot of information you get from business books and traditional “expert” business channels is generic and boring.

I wanted to resolve that with a blog that provides something interesting, up-to-date, and real.

This philosophy emerged as the vision behind the edoup blog.
  • What is the vision for your content?
  • What will separate it from others in your industry?
  • What do you believe will influence your content strategy?
In short, what do you believe people want that they aren’t currently getting?

You may not have a clear idea about this at first, but keep coming back to the vision as you go through this article and, over time as you create more content, something will emerge that will give you a unique edge and take your content to the next level.

That is the essence of an effective content marketing vision.

What is your vision?

What place do you fill in your market?

What do you want people to think of when they think of your brand?

What do you believe people want that they aren’t currently getting?

This might be something you are clear on from the start, or perhaps you’ll build this over time as you learn what works.

Maybe you see an unmet need or maybe you are passionate about a subject that you like to talk about.

Keep coming back to this and work on a unique vision for your content.

It will impact every decision you make about content, and will ultimately be what helps you grab attention and direct it to your business.

Who Are You Creating Content For?
You might have heard the term “blogger” to describe people who create online content. “Blogger” became the term of choice when blogs were first introduced as a way for people to share their thoughts online.

content marketing as an idea has been around for hundreds of years, the focus on online content has thrust the content marketing concept onto a new level.

A blogger is someone who creates content on a blog.

As I’ve mentioned already, your job is not primarily about creating content. Your job first and foremost is about marketing business with content.

That’s why I prefer the term “content marketer,” and the focus for content marketers is, therefore, the business.

I want you to think of yourself as a content marketer.

You’re someone who has a business, wants to grow their business, and wants to use content to do it.

When you create your content it has to be targeted, because the ultimate goal is to sign up customers.

That doesn’t mean you expect customers to convert directly from your blog posts.

That is very unlikely, particularly early on.

Content marketing
 is a long-term strategy, not a direct response marketing technique.

However, how well your content is targeted is critical. 
There is an undercurrent that flows through all of your content, and that is your customer.

These customers are part of communities that your content has to appeal to.

There are two ways to define who you are creating content for. 
One is to come up with a “Customer Avatar” that describes exactly who your ideal customer is, what their wants and needs are, and what they are looking for in your content.

For example, let’s say we define a person: John, who is a 34-year-old male entrepreneur struggling to create an eye-catching site and grow his business.

The accepted wisdom around avatars suggests that you would create a piece of content for John; he would find it through Google, having never heard about your company before; and then he would sign up to be a customer because he trusts you.

The problem is, in my business and in most cases that I’ve seen, it rarely works that way.

That’s why I think taking this avatar approach is the wrong way to go about it.
Here’s a closer example of how it normally works. For edoup, our ideal customer is John.

He’s an established entrepreneur with a real business. He’s not super passionate about WordPress, but he does use it for his site and wants it to be secure and valuable to his business.

This is typically how content marketing works. 
Some of our customers had been following my content for five years before they signed up.

It doesn’t work the same way for everyone.

This indirect relationship between content and a sale means the typical advice, “Choose an avatar and create for them,” doesn’t really work.

Your ideal customers will hear about you over a long period of time, through multiple sources, and that is how trust is built.

A better way to think about it—and the second way to define who you are creating content for—is to choose a community and help them with what they need.

Some people in the community might end up becoming a customer. 
They might fit your profile directly. Most, however, will simply become consumers and advocates of your content.

Some may just read it and occasionally engage with it (comment or share). Others might become raving fans and share it with everyone they know.

These are all good results because they get your brand in front of more people through more sources.

Instead, our strategy is to help out web-savvy entrepreneurs with their business and 
online marketing.

While this is a broad strategy based on an ideal community rather than an avatar, it’s extremely beneficial.

I have no expectation that any of it will lead to direct sales, and it rarely does.

But it’s a content marketing strategy that works overtime.

Don’t be picky about whether each piece of content is generating leads. Just create as much value as you can for the most amounts of people in your chosen community.

Give away as many useful things as you can create content that people can really relate to, and if possible, offer a unique perspective that people haven’t come across before.

Who is your community?

How are you going to help them?

Spend a good amount of time thinking about this and have it documented in your content strategy.

Onsite vs Offsite: The 70/30 Rule
Since you are creating content for a community, it’s important that you get in front of those community members.

For people starting out with content marketing, I like the idea of the 70/30 rule.

When you have an established content marketing strategy, you have a big enough audience for posts to gain traction on their own.

If you’re starting out, however, you don’t have this luxury, so you need to focus on getting new people into your audience.

The last thing we want is for you to create a whole bunch of content, get no traction, and have your motivation suffer.

The 70/30 rule says that when you still don’t have a big enough audience for your posts to gain traction on their own, focus 70% of your efforts on off-site content.

This could include guest posting, content partnerships, interviews on other podcasts, or more actively promoting your content. The remaining 30% should be spent on on-site content.

Once you have your audience, you can flip it the other way and do 70% on your own site and 30% off-site.

As you get a more established audience you might find the off-site content portion goes down even further, but probably never stops completely (even the content godfather Seth Godin turns up on other people’s podcasts every now and then).

The point is: you need to get new people seeing your content because your small existing audience won’t do enough sharing to get your name out there.

So write some guest posts, go on some podcasts, and talk to other influential people in your niche about doing some co-authored content to increase the “new” traffic on your site.

That’s The Basics—Now What?

As you know, it took me a long time to get content marketing right.

I’m confident, with the lessons in this book, that you can do it much quicker than I did.

You’ve confirmed that your business either has the 10 Characteristics of a High-Growth Business, or you are working on building a business that aspires to have them.

You’ve taken some time to sit down and write out your Content Strategy and given some serious consideration to your vision and who you are creating content for.

You have accepted that you will have to take the leap of faith because it’s unlikely that you will get outstanding short-term results with content marketing.

But you have a trick up your sleeve. Create most of your content offsite to start with to get some early attention and traction.

Good luck!

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10 Basics Content Marketing Strategy You Need to Know To Grow Your Business Reviewed by MURLI on July 30, 2018 Rating: 5

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