5 Ways to Start Content Marketing

In earlier post, we talked about the basic ideas of content marketing. You learned what content marketing is, what tactics it includes, and why it’s important to your business. Now it’s time to learn how to start content marketing for your business.

Decide on Your Tactics

Strategy for content marketingThere are literally hundreds of ways to use content marketing to get your message out to your prospective customers. We already talked about the more popular ones in my earlier post, so let’s decide which ones to use.

According to CMI’s 2013 Content Marketing Report, businesses with more than 10,000 employees used 18+ tactics, while smaller ones use approximately 11. Don’t worry though, this doesn’t mean you have to start off with 18+ right away. You can start slowly, and then build up to other tactics. Remember, you can repurpose content for multiple tactics, so you don’t have to generate content for each one.

Here are the top 7 tactics and how they could be useful to you.

  • Social media – Content created specifically for Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. is a quick way to determine brand awareness and drive engagement. See where your potential customers are and use that platform.
  • Articles on your website – This is different than your blog, and is used to create awareness and increase credibility for you. Add this to Google AuthorRank, and you’ve gained a lot of trust points.
  • eNewsletters – A great way to provide consistent information to your prospects, including links to web pages and landing pages.
  • Blogs – A semi-official way to provide customers with a behind-the-scenes look at your business, your processes, and things that you’re interested it.
  • Case studies – An essentially part of any B2B marketing campaign, they give the facts and context about your successful problem/solution stories.
  • Videos – They’re not just for training sessions anymore. They’re an effective tool for B2B product demos and a convincing way to engage customers.
  • Infographics – Capture the attention of the visual learners and mobile users with an infographic. Previously the domain of graphic designers, there are now online services that will help you create them. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Who’s the Author?

keyboard workAfter deciding which tactics to use, you’ve got to figure out who will generate the content. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Do I already have writers on staff? Or will I need to hire an external freelancer?
  • Do these writers have the bandwidth to do this extra work?
  • Do I want to have non-writers generate content? (E.g. a Developer, QA analyst, BA, etc.)
  • Do I have an editorial calendar?
  • Who is overseeing the editorial calendar?

Once you’ve got this foundation determined, you’re ready to go.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Frequency for content marketingTo paraphrase the song by REM, with what frequency are you going to produce and publish your content? Different tactics should have  different schedules. Recommended frequencies include:

  • A weekly blog post
  • Three-times weekly tweets
  • A monthly infographic
  • A quarterly video

The schedule you determine depends on a few things, like your resources and content repurposing. Use an editorial calendar to keep your content marketing on schedule.

Work for that Promotion

After you produce the content, you’ve got to promote, promote, promote it.

Tweet about a new blog post, send out a news release for your newest video, write an article for a trade publication. Be sure to include the appropriate links and bylines for your content. Make sure your readers know it’s coming from you, and where they should go to read more.

Pull Out the Measuring Stick

How effective is your content marketingLastly, you need to measure the effectiveness of your content. Set up analytics on your blog site, to measure how many visitors you’re getting. See which posts are gaining the most readership. See how many times your tweets are retweeted. Track how often your pages are getting pinned on Pinterest, and how many people link to your infographic.

Using these five steps, you’ve successfully entered the world of content marketing. How are you using content marketing for your B2B software business? Which tactics are working well for you? Which aren’t working well? I’m curious. Hit the comments and let me know.