To generate more sales, what exactly is the step-by-step process that you need to undertake?
Without initiating a clear-cut sales and marketing process, the chances of any company ’lucking in‘ to reaching its sales objectives are highly unlikely. As a CEO or business owner, you know that success in sales requires planning, execution and continuous review.
Often, I am asked how to exactly go about the process of creating a real marketing plan that will usher in a new level of sales. Exactly what do we do first? What follows as our next move? How can we know that our plan is gaining ground? These are the types of questions and concerns I hear from those who look to obtain higher sales and more effective content marketing. Listed below are what I believe to be the basics of any content-marketing strategy.
Step #1. Create a blog to feature the best in your field
To create brand awareness and build a connection with an audience, you must provide information and insight on the best of what you offer. Your blog should be updated two to three times per week. This content is then distributed via email and posted on all your active social-media channels.
Search engines are keen to websites that blog often. When a company blogs regularly and shares their content marketing, they are engaging in what amounts to the best SEO practices.
Step #2. Establish your marketing goals
Your entire content-marketing effort requires that goals be set for your business. To engage in content marketing for its own sake can be fun. Factually, however, if we are not connecting it with the purpose to increase revenue and new clientele, then interest will soon diminish.
This should not be a difficult task for you, nor should it take important time away from running your business. In fact, marketing your business is what will grow it. Base you goals on your experience and what excites you most. By taking stock of the in-house resources that you have available, you will be able to establish what type of content would be best to feature and share.
Be sure to do your homework to discover what the 8 to 10 keywords are that you will want to rank on Page One to achieve your best SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Step #3. Repackage and leverage your content
Whenever you create or receive a new piece of content (blog post, video, online review, eBook, etc.), you need to repackage that information into other formats. In the content marketing industry this is referred to as “repurposing”.
Let’s say that you are writing a blog article about a new service that you are offering. Here is an example of how to create content and then repurpose that content into additional content in other formats:
- Write and publish your blog article
- Send out an online press release regarding that service
- Make a short video about the new service and place it on YouTube
- Email the article as well as the video to your list
- Tweet 10 to 12 links back to the content over the next week
- Post the blog article on Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social platforms.
Step #4. Feature resources on your website
Concurrent with launching the best practices blog, consider creating multimedia resources on your website, such as whitepapers or eBooks that provide longer versions of the blog content. You may consider launching a webinar series to provide even more informative content. These resources can be archived on a unique web page on your website.
In addition to videos and whitepapers, add “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) sheets that can be downloaded. You can also have a Media Room page for all the press you garner, links to press releases your have sent, plus your contact information.
Step #5. Reach out to strategic partners to increase the content volume
Attempting to create all your own content can be a daunting task. Consider partnering with other companies for both your content and your webinars.
There are many companies and leaders in your industry who would love to share their product knowledge, insights into trends as well as fun and interesting facts that your clientele would find entertaining and even useful.
When looking for strategic partners, reach out to peers who don’t quite occupy your specific niche. That way, they are serving the same space, but aren’t really competitors. Reach out to other vendors, supporting firms and industry associations for partnerships.
Step #6. Seek spin-off opportunities to further spread your content around
Whenever you consider that you have generated a particularly high-value piece of content, be it a whitepaper or blog post, search for ways to leverage that content as bylined articles in other media. Another way is to seek speaking engagements to share the content.
Those talks can be recorded to create even more content.
Step #7. Utilize press releases to tap into SEO power, as well as to drive more traffic to your blog & website
Sending out press releases based on all the new content being generated will improve your SEO strategy as well as drive increased traffic to your website and blog.
While there are some very upscale online press release providers whose services can be costly, there are alternatives that are extremely affordable to small businesses and bootstrapping entrepreneurs. Simple releases of videos with blog posts can be more effective in driving traffic than blog posts not supported by a release. It helps to add photos, as well as crafted headlines, to the release to attract attention and social sharing buttons.
Step #8. Offer content for a wide range of audiences
Although your website might focus on your company’s main products and/or services, do not limit the scope of your blog. It can be written in general terms, geared toward anyone interested in anything you have to offer.
By offering and publishing much broader blog content, you may be seeing conversions from people who might not have otherwise thought of looking into what you offer. For instance, you may own a local café known for its imported coffee, but you can blog about the homemade muffins, the green tea and your Friday-night acoustic hour.
Developing content marketing is a vital component of business success. As a C-Level executive who possesses long-term experience in developing a wide variety of content, I bring a level of professionalism and expectancy that generates higher sales and revenue.