Welcome to the digital age, where content marketing is a must for anyone starting a new venture. The idea of content marketing can be overwhelming for some, especially for those who have little or no experience with it. My advice has always been to read as much as you can before jumping into the field; however, that would take decades based on all the information available online.
In order to cut through some of the clutter, I reached out to people in the industry in hopes of compiling some quick tips for new entrepreneurs learning content marketing.
I received advice from more than 250 marketing professionals, influencers and business owners. The information is everything they wish they knew when starting out as new entrepreneurs. Here are the seven most useful tips.
1. Create a company blog.
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Marketing Professor Kim Saxton from the IU Kelley School of Business says that having a company blog is a great way to ensure you have a steady stream of content.
“One way to more easily have a constant stream of content is to develop a company blog. HubSpot suggests that you really need to be publishing a blogpost nearly every weekday (that is, four days per week or 16+ times per month). That means you need to think creatively about what can be a blog post,” Saxton said.
2. Use the right tools from the start.
“Ultimately it’s not about the number of tools but rather the selection of the right tools suited for your agency,” Mattan Danio, Founder & CEO of WEBITMD, says. “It makes sense to be frugal during the startup phase but making a point to allocate a budget toward the proper management tools is better for clients, employees and ultimately your bottom line. I see most marketing agencies make the mistake of using a slew of low cost tools and software as service platforms to accomplish every little component of their offerings. Those tools have seemingly no end, and new ones are always popping up. I believe a custom CRM solution, marketing automation suite and internal task management app is necessary for any agency to run smoothly.”
3. Quality content leads to better engagement.
Storytelling marketing is one of the best techniques you can use to keep people’s attention. It also helps with the overall quality of your articles, and it leads to more shares and engagement.
“Do not write content just for sake of writing,” Anastasia Sidko, Content Manager at SEMrush, said. “Always provide value to the user. Share your own experiences - hacks you’ve discovered, tricks you’ve used and even failures you've had. If you don’t have enough knowledge yet, you can also use experience of the industry influencers. Choose the most engaging topics and successful content, and make it even more valuable by using Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique.”
4. When you can’t create, repurpose.
“It can be hard to come up with new content all the time,” Emily Sidley from Three Girls Media, said. “So re-use what you create in multiple places. After you've written a few posts, you can easily combine them into a white paper that you offer your readers, or if you have some statistic-heavy blog posts, consider using the data to create an infographic. For every piece of content you create, think about ways you can re-use what you've already developed in a new way to make your content creation efforts easier in the future.”
5. Find the right platform and influencers.
Where you post your content is important. It is also important who interacts with your content. These are things that people research before they do business with you. People want to know who trusts you, who endorses you and who is willing to promote you. Do your research to find the right platforms and influencers you want on your side. Then you have the daunting task of reaching out.
“Take the time to engage with the blog or influencer,” Julia Anghel of WallSt.io, said. “Get on their mailing list. Understand their writing style and what topics they like. Then write to see if they are really a good fit for you and the new audience you seek. Engage with them and their content. Share their stuff across your social networks, and engage with their's. Leave meaningful comments on their blog posts, and begin to facilitate a relationship with the blog or influencer you are seeking out.”
6. Start everything with cornerstone content.
Cornerstone content is a single piece of content that you can build all future content from. It can consist of a landing page, white paper or anything similar. It can also help keep you from becoming overwhelmed Michael Passanante, senior director of marketing for BESLER Consulting, says.
“To keep from being overwhelmed by the demands of content creation, focus on developing one or two pieces of cornerstone content, such as a white paper or ebook that will be the go-to resources for the topics you are exploring. Ideally, these assets should be comprehensive, and explore the core themes that align with your content strategy,” Passanante said.
Related: The 4 Laws of Content Marketing
7. Use rich images and videos in your content.
Images and videos can help hold readers' attention and help convey your message.
“Engaging your readers is an important part of content marketing,” Eitan Zimerman, CIO at Act Bold Media Group, said. “There are many benefits to increasing your average time on site. A great way to do this is to add as much informative, supplemental and high quality media to all your content. Use high resolution product images, or embed a beneficial video for users to view. Any type of multimedia addition to your content will help users stay interested and increase your overall content quality.”