This blog post contains affiliate links. Thanks for keeping my creativity afloat!
Content marketing isn’t going anywhere. I’m living proof. About 30 minutes ago I Googled, found the solution I needed and bought a template. That company never would have made the sale if their webpage didn’t show up on the first page of Google. And how, you might ask, did their content show up on that page? Content marketing.
Here is the thing about content marketing. It takes a lot of time and effort to create valuable, SEO optimized content. If you don’t get ahead of content planning, it will weigh you down week after week. The ultimate solution is often outsourcing.
You can hire companies (like us) to generate valuable, ghost written content that aligns with your business goals and objectives. We even help drive organic traffic to your content by helping you post consistently on social media (yet another form of content that needs created).
However, I understand that many of us small business owners don’t have the luxury to bring on an agency to execute a content strategy from start to finish. Trust me, I get that, which is why I’m giving you an inside look at how we help our clients get ahead with content generation and promotion.
Step 1: Define What Needs to Be Created & When
First, you need to decide what channels you are going to create content for. If you are new at content marketing, I advise you to not start out with more than you can chew. Like I mentioned above, content marketing can be crazy time consuming. Pick one channel and get really good at it. Once you are able to consistently post on that channel, start to expand. Here are some channels you can choose from.
- Social media – a lot of people start here
- Blogging – requires great consistency, but very effective
- Email – if you have an email list, this is a great place to start
- Downloads – free content downloads like articles, eBooks, or white papers
- Podcast – regularly record episodes (very time intensive)
- Webinars – you can create presentations, deliver them, and record them
- And more…
Step 2: Align your Content with your Business Goals
Do not skip this step! This is where I see a lot of entrepreneurs go wrong. They are spending hours creating content, but aren’t seeing any conversions or sales. If your goals involve selling products, you need to make sure the content you are creating aligns with your products and provides a clear call to action to move your content consumer from someone simply reading an Instagram post, to someone browsing the products on your website.
Step 3: Generate a Long List of Ideas
With your business goal top of mind, start creating a list of topics. What type of content aligns with your product or service? You can think of topics like categories. For example, a health and fitness coach might have categories like workouts, healthy recipes, and gym attire.
Once you have 3-5 categories defined, you can move on to brainstorming topics which role up under your categories. See below for an idea of how this works:
- The ultimate ab workout
- Full body workout that only takes 30 minutes
- Workouts you can do at home
- Healthy Recipes
- Quick and easy dinner recipes
- My favorite snacks when I’m on the go
- One pan weekday dinners
- Gym Attire
- The best yoga pants on the planet
- My favorite sports bra & why
- Why you should ditch leggings for running shorts
I just whipped out that list in about 60 seconds. Brainstorming topics is one of my favorite things to do for clients. Spend at least 20 minutes coming up with multiple topics under each category.
Another way to think about content is seasonly. As a blogger, it’s important to have relevant and timely content and holidays and seasons can help you do that. This free content planner from Tailwind and free Pinterest planner helped me plan my entire year. I also love this Pinterest seasonal insights tool!
Keep this running list readily accessible so if new ideas spring up while you are, say… in the shower, you have a place to jot them down. Batching this idea generation versus trying to come up with ideas on the spot plays a major role in getting ahead of your content creation.
Step 4: Determine your Writing Frequency
You have to decide how often you are going to work on content creation. I used to write a months worth of Instagram posts in one sitting, but after a few months, I realized that just didn’t work for me.
Now, I write one week’s worth of captions at a time. Another example I can give you is blogging. I aim to sit down once a week and bust out two blog posts for the following week. You have to decide what is realistic and works for you!
Step 5: Create a Plan for Promoting your Content
Once you have a regular cadence for creating your content, you don’t want to skimp on promoting it! Take a look at all the marketing channels you are using. Which ones can you use to promote your content? Are there other people in the industry that can help you promote it? Design a “promo plan” utilizing your marketing channels and stick with it! Here is an example promo plan for blog posts:
- Promote on Instagram stories with a video
- Promote on Instagram stories with a photo template & “swipe up” link
- Promote on Instagram feed as a post with CTA “link in story/or bio”
- Create 5-10 pins that link to the post & share them on Pinterest
- Schedule pins using Tailwind
- Share the actual link on your personal profile & Facebook page
- Include blog post in weekly email newsletter (I use ActiveCampaign)
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Content marketing can 100% fuel your marketing strategy. If you need some help with content creation, please reach out! We love to help entrepreneurs and small business owners create and promote valuable, goal driven content that connects with their target market. Just click the link below & we can hop on a call & chat about your digital strategy.