What Is Content Marketing + How Do I Start?
February 20, 2020
You’ve probably heard of content marketing at least a half a dozen times by now, but what is it really?
Here’s the official definition:
Content marketing = a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Basically, it’s just creating content in order to get people interested in your services.
But why am I telling you this?
Because you probably struggle with coming up with things to create as part of your content strategy. And I want to help.
Choose your content marketing strategy
Are you going to blog? Create videos and share them on YouTube? Will you start a podcast? Or will you stick to social media?
The only wrong answer to this question is the one that will make you crazy.
If you choose something you can’t commit to or you’ll hate, you’ve chosen wrong. Because you’ll resist sticking to your schedule and actually publishing that content.
Brainstorm the topics you’ll share
I’m not going to beat a dead horse about this, because I’ve already shared my very best brainstorming hack here on the blog. Content Brainstorming Quick Guide: 50 Topics in 15 Minutes.
That post will walk you through everything you need to start generating content ideas.
Just keep in mind that in order for it to qualify as content marketing, the topics need to be things that will build interest in your services.
So what does that mean?
- Don’t create random content that doesn’t relate back to your business, clients, or offers.
- Don’t share personal stories unless they relate back to your business, clients, or offers.
- Always relate what you’re sharing back to your business, clients, or offers.
Are you sensing a theme here?
Two strategies to consider for your content
There are two different ways you can get your clients’ interest with your content.
- You share the tips, strategies, and advice that you’d teach them while working with them or that closely relate. A lot of people struggle with this concept, because they worry that giving it all away means no one will hire them, but I want you to remember one thing: reading about a concept is not the same thing as implementing it. They’ll hire you to help them put the work into action and get it done.
- You share the type of content they’ll be looking for. What’s interesting about this strategy is that it’s not about helping your potential clients DIY a solution to the problem you solve, but instead giving them the things they’d search for on Google. It requires knowing your clients in-depth, but it’s also a stronger strategy because nine times out of ten, people don’t know they need what you got unless they hear about it from someone else.
Start creating your content
It should come as no surprise to you that content marketing does you absolutely no good if you aren’t creating content. (*insert shocked face here)
The most important piece of advice I can give you on this is to have a set schedule for when your new content gets published. Once a week, once every two weeks, once a month…and preferably on the same day of the week.
So first things first, you want to set up a content creation schedule. And aim to get that content created at least a week in advance, so you aren’t scrambling to write or record the day before publishing day.
Then the only thing left is to create well-developed content people will want to read or follow.
For that, you can use my How to Plan a Blog Post in 3 Easy Steps post, which works whether you’re doing a blog, podcast, video, or social media.
Promote your content
The last step in content marketing is promoting your content. Wheee!
Here’s my recommendation: Start with one main promotion strategy, and use it until you master it.
Only then should you expand into more methods.
Here’s a list of common ways to promote your content:
- SEO (oh look at that, another post to help ya out)
- Social media
- Email list
- Podcasting platforms
- Syndication (I’m no expert on this, but Harvard Business Review will give you an awesome overview in this post)
Content Marketing can be an incredibly valuable tool for your business
As long as you’re consistent with it, it’s one of the quickest ways to build trust and expert status with your audience.
Just make sure you’re creating valuable content that your clients want to read, that your content is well-developed, and you’re promoting it like crazy in whatever way fits your business.