Today, we’re featuring a guide on how MailBird does content marketing with Andrea Loubier.
When you’re first starting out, there are a number of things that you can do you to get the ball rolling. I’ve discovered that you have to give your potential and even existing customers a reason to visit your website.
When you have well-written content on your blog that can provide useful information and be of benefit, it can create a situation where you will have repeat visits. Additionally, this will present your company as an expert on the subject material (even when you’re new on the scene), which will give potential customers an even bigger incentive to work with you.
All content marketing strategies are different, especially dependent on the niche. But all of the best are comprised of several different methods, such as incorporating newsletters, emails, social media, and link building. Consider your content as a “free offer” to potential or existing clients, which can be used as a tool to create renewals, new purchases, and other additional sources of revenue.
Developing a Content Marketing Plan
To develop a successful content marketing plan, you’ll need to know your audience. If you are starting from scratch, it is essential to come up with the type of content your audience will be interested in and to get creative with it.
It is important to remember here that the target audience may change over time. It all depends on the scope of your business and your market strategy. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach for every business, some recommendations suggest that reviewing target audiences annually works wonders.
Types of Content
Next, you’ll need to decide on the type of content to develop. Most people start with blog posts and go from there, but that doesn’t mean other strategies don’t work.
Again, decide on the type(s) of content in line with your marketing efforts. Some typical content types include:
- Blog posts
- Social Media Posts
As mentioned above, most businesses typically start with blog posts. There are two rules with this type of content:
1. Blog posts should be published on a regular basis.
2. Blog posts should feature insightful content as to inspire people to share them.
There are no general rules when it comes to the word count (although checking out Google’s policies from time to time is highly recommended), but the best practice has it at between 1,000 and 2,000 words. This is not set in stone; experiment with post lengths to see whether your target audience prefers shorter or longer posts. Listicles are also very popular, typically reaching about 800 words.
Ebooks are a good way to advertise your business, as they can be downloaded online. Each ebook should include your business’ contact info and apply best practices learned from blog posts.
Since ebooks are, by definition, longer forms published less frequently than blog posts, they should include valuable information that will truly interest your audience. Typically, ebooks provide more in-depth info than a popular blog post (and are linked from there).
Infographics are quite useful in terms of visualization. This holds especially true if the content is dealing with figures or statistics.
If you aim to share a lot of information, infographics are the most popular choice, being clear and easy to follow through in a short amount of time.
Social Media Posts
Social media are the fastest way for your content to reach a larger audience. To do that, you will have to have published a number of posts on your website and attracted at least some followers.
The most popular social networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and YouTube (see: videos).
Each social network has its own benefits, so it’s important to post the type of content your followers expect to see. I.e., it’s customary to post photos on Instagram. Facebook and Twitter allow for a variety of options, while LinkedIn is the place professionals most often frequent.
Videos are among the most popular content types, mainly because not everyone has enough time for reading.
Videos are more demanding than written content and photos, but also more popular and likely to get shared. According to HubSpot, videos are 40 times more likely to be shared on social platforms than any other content type.
Finally, podcasts are a good option for content that would be too lengthy to read. According to Statista, close to one-third of Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis.
Similar to audiobooks, podcasts are growing in popularity due to allowing people to multitask while listening to them.
How to Create Stellar Content
There are ways and ways to come up with stellar content ideas. Research comes first; to master it, you have a number of tools to help you get started.
- One of them is HubSpot’s Website Grader, which grades all types of content and helps you optimize it bit by bit.
- Feedly is an RSS feed that will help you keep track of the topics relevant in your industry and come up with content ideas at the same time.
- CoShedule analyzes blog post headlines and titles, providing feedback in a number of areas, including length, grammar, and keywords.
Last but not least, content should be marketed properly, meaning it should go beyond random posting, regardless of how regular it is.
There are numerous publishing calendars available for free for blog posts, social media posts, etc. It is important to prepare a well-balanced schedule, as to not overwhelm the audience. It is also important to keep track of the time and post new content when traffic spikes.
Marketing posts hit their highs ahead of the popular holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 4th of July) and are, ideally, accompanied by email marketing campaigns.
For best results, announce what is to come when sending newsletters and accompany your posts with appropriate visualization. E.g., 4th of July is often coupled with the American flag, Thanksgiving with fireworks, etc.
No matter what you do, consult the insights and feedback and, most importantly, be flexible. Remember what we said at the beginning — target audiences change and evolve, and so should your content.
What types of content do you publish? Please comment with your thoughts and recommendations.
Worth reading: An Introduction to Marketing Collateral