Lao Tzu teaches us that, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
So my question for you-
What are you doing to initiate your customer’s journey?
Studies show that companies that create and post relevant content from the buyers perspective benefit greatly from:
- Higher lead conversion
- Improved SEO
- Increased traffic to their website
- Greater credibility
- More engaged audience
But the task of creating content is often daunting for the small and medium sized business. The idea of regularly creating unique and engaging content is intimidating for many companies, and in most cases, it goes undone.
Here are 5 easy ways that you can easily create content for your blog, social media posts, and feed your email campaigns.
1. Brainstorm topics
I love whiteboards. Whether by myself or with my team, I love the exercise of flooding that white space with every crazy idea in my head. By the end of my brainstorming sessions, my whiteboard is a beautiful chaotic mess of creativity, genius, idiocy, and redundancy!
This is good. The more ideas you get out for discussion the better!
2. Categorize your topics
So the white board is a hot mess. Now that we have dozens of topics to discuss, we need to organize them. Typically, I take a picture with my phone and erase the entire board.
With a clean slate, I begin to categorize and write them in “subject matter” groups (e.g. email marketing, marketing automation, marketing tips, etc.). Next, I label them by intended audience (e.g. CEO, Marketing Manager, Act-On user, Sales, etc.). Finally, I add a label by funnel stages (e.g. Awareness – Pain Points, Interest – Product Info, Consideration – Sales Enablement).
With these aspects defined, I can now begin to visualize how they fit into my larger initiatives, and identify any week spots that I have in my content matrix.
3. Define the objective of your post
By understanding the subject matter, target audience, and funnel stage, we are now able to recognize what our objective is. Whether initiating it or nurturing our customer’s journey, the objective is key in making sure that the content is relevant and will resonate with our audience. For example, if we are writing a post on the subject of 5 Ways to Jump Start Your Content Engine, we might see the following:
- Subject Matter Group – Marketing Tips
- Target Audience – Content Writers, Marketing Managers, SMB Owners
- Funnel Stage – Top (Awareness/Pain Point)
In this case, my objective is “An educated audience that is able to grow in strategic creation and deployment of content, which is key to improved ROI through Act-On.”
4. Focus on 3 sub-points for each topic when writing
Developing a basic outline for your article removes the need to think critically during composition. By knowing your key points prior to sitting down to a keyboard, you are able to focus on choosing the right words to emphasize your point. Again using this post as an example, my three points were:
- Customers are on a journey that must be initiated with content.
- Provide 5 Content Tips.
- Reinforce the value of content for demand and lead generation.
5. Schedule your topics on a marketing calendar
Once your topics are defined and categorized, then you can now schedule the deadlines and post dates for your blog, social, and email campaigns. If you have larger marketing initiatives, you will be able to select the most appropriate articles for distribution at those times, and you can use your other topics as filler in between. For example, if you were to define 26 topics and elect to post 1 topic every two weeks, then you will easily fill a 12 month calendar with content across all digital channels!
Using this method, you are able to allocate a small block of time to developing each specific article, without feeling overwhelmed by all the articles that will come later. By creating accountability with a marketing calendar, you will ensure that blog posts are delivered in a timely fashion.
In a one hour brain storming session, you have done the hard part of any composition task – knowing what to write! Now, with about 30 minutes a week, you are equipped to regularly add web content, fuel your social media presence, and feed your email audience.
With effective demand and lead generation in place, you will see an influx of interest which can be nurtured and converted to new business, accelerating growth and driving revenue for your company!
Oh, and by the way… If you’re an Act-On customer, integrating your blog with Act-On is easy using Act-On Anywhere,and you can choose any web based blog tool or CMS that you want! Whether you use Google BlogSpot, Blogger, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or any other, and you gain all the visibility and insight added with Act-On!
Not an Act-On customer – Check them out at www.act-on.com!