The rise of content marketing popularity is hard to deny. I’ve already shared an infographic on the topic. And to drive home the point, look at the Google trend for the search term “content marketing”:
And yet, not everyone is sold on the idea that content marketing is right for them. I’ve found that this is especially true for two types of companies:
- Larger, inflexible companies that are set in their ways (not to be confused with larger companies that are flexible). These are usually the companies that don’t push a corporate culture of creativity and get bogged down in a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset. There is no incentive for employees to change things.
- Small companies, or “solopreneurs”, who feel they don’t have the time to learn and implement a strategy they aren’t familiar with. Content marketing can be especially scary because it doesn’t necessarily show immediate results, but is rather something you build upon.
Selling Your Company on Content Marketing
Before companies can begin to implement content marketing to sell to their customers, they must first sell themselves on the idea of content marketing to begin with.
With small businesses it often takes an outside force to nudge the owner in that direction (especially in the “solopreneur” scenario). That is what I’m here to do :).
In the scenario of larger companies, someone on the inside needs to pitch the idea of content marketing to the head-honchos. This is a great way for an employee to get ahead in the company. The results may not be immediate, but eventually they start snowballing.
Of course, employees who do not get rewarded for such “outside-of-the-box” thinking might want to look for a better job (especially because content marketing is becoming more and more “inside-the-box”). I’m not trying to preach here…just speaking from personal experience of working in such a company.
The idea should be an easy sell given the results that can result from the creation of content:
- More Organic Traffic
- More Authority
- More Trust
- More Bran Awareness
- More Leads
- More Loyalty
The Implementation Timeline
Coming to the conclusion that content marketing is appropriate for your business is a good first step, but the actual implementation of content marketing is where thing can get a bit messy (especially at larger companies where there may be many hands touching the process).
1. Decide Who’s In Charge. The first thing that is absolutely necessary is to decide who’s in charge so that the content marketing process doesn’t become a monster with too many heads. Input from multiple sources is definitely a good idea. Creativity works at its best by fielding more than one idea – but someone needs to make the final call.
Of course, this is more of an issue at the larger companies. If you own a small business we know who’s in charge – you.
2. Establish Responsibilities. Who is going to be involved in the process? A larger company will probably have more than one person in charge. Maybe more than writer. Maybe someone strictly in charge of editing. Things can vary greatly from company to company.
3. Identify Goals. Before putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard in this case), decide what you are trying to accomplish. The basics usually hold true across the board: traffic, leads and sales. But what is the process? Do you need readers to subscribe to a list first? Do you want to make the sale right on the spot? The user experience is a huge part of the strategy that can not be ignored. This decides how your content will be delivered.
4. Establish Guidelines. Again, this is probably more of an issue at larger companies. If you have one person creating all of the content then things may not vary so much. But if you have multiple people creating content guidelines are a necessity. Fonts, headlines, word counts and image placements are all things that need to be established ahead of time so that there is a consistency throughout content no matter who is creating it.
5. Establish a Platform. For my money there is nothing better than WordPress (can’t beat free :)). I have listed a few benefits of WordPress already. But to be honest I am not doing it enough justice.
6. Set a Schedule. Like I already mentioned, content marketing is a process that needs to be built upon. Keep a schedule of content in order to hold people responsible for doing their part. And don’t be afraid to test out different posting frequencies. Usually, the more you create the better the results. But past a certain point, incremental results may not be worth the extra cost (measure your ROI).
7. Track the Progress. Track and alter the process as you go. There is a lot of “art” in the “science” of content marketing. Plus any good scientist experiments until they find the best formula :).
Call In the Troops
While the process isn’t necessary a complicated one, it isn’t necessary easy. Bringing in outside help can go a long way in selling your employees on the idea of content marketing and establishing a successful process.