I want to talk a bit about the practical stuff around content marketing. Our biggest headache is often how we are going to produce our own content and find what other stuff we can share, for example on social media, which demand quite a lot of activity and can be challenging to keep alive and active.
If you have been following me for some time, whether you have been reading the blog, subscribing to emails or following on social media, you can see that I use content marketing a lot.
The content can take various form, can be presented in various ways and the purpose of the content can be varied. You can have blogs, videos, social media, ebooks, webinars to name a few of the most common. Knowing how best to put the content forward and where best to distribute it is somewhat of an art – but mostly a skill that can be learned. Another thing, which has nothing to do with art and everything to do with being organised, is to set things up in a way that makes it easy to constantly churn out content and keep your visibility without working 24-hours-a-day.
In my company, I am the whole marketing department. Granted, I am on more social media than I would recommend, but that’s simply because I am in the marketing biz and need to know the most common ones and have some experience in using them. However, I recommend that you find the outlet most suited to your business and you yourself, stick to that, and don’t spread yourself too thin. Many people don’t understand how active I can be on social media, producing, finding and sharing content. They stare at me open-mouthed when I tell them I spend about one morning a month and 10 minutes a day maintaining that social media presence, and on the whole I spend perhaps 2-3 hours a week blogging and putting together my weekly emails, which include my blog, but also lots of other goodies for those who have signed up – hey, you should get more for signing up than if you have just spent a little like on Facebook ;)
Want to know the magic formula?
Sure, you need the right tools to make the content and share it without it being too much work – for example by scheduling your social media in advance, connecting media where appropriate etc. Hootsuite does kind of save my life :) The magic however isn’t really magic at all – it’s a system. An organised system for how I find stuff to make content about, how to make the content, and how to find content from others that I can share with my followers. The thing is that a huge part of marketing is not about creativity (or as one of my teachers used to call it “arty farty” stuff) – it’s down to purely practical – and to some, boring – organisation – and boy, does it make life easier!
Here are the main things that save my life when it comes to content marketing:
- Feedly.com – this is where I subscribe to endless amounts of blogs, YouTube channels etc. I can then quickly scan through on my iPad to find good stuff to share with you guys on social media.
- A blog schedule. This is an absolute necessity. To begin with, I didn’t have this, but as I become better and better at planning out my blogs, things get easier. I can sit down and write a few at a time and then schedule them ahead of time (most good blog software offers scheduling, for example WordPress, Rainmaker and Blogger).
- Email autoresponders. This is great stuff. It means that I can stay in touch with you through emails that I have already set up so I can do the work before hand and then set it and leave it.
- Hootsuite (as mentioned above) is a complete lifesaver for managing all my social media profile.
- The last, and best thing, I have done for my content marketing though is hiring my VA. She helps me with social media scheduling, blog management (tagging, interlinking etc.) and email marketing (all the fiddly bits around it – writing the actual email is the simplest thing ;)
As you are reading this blog post, I might just be enjoying my holiday in sunny Spain! :) – but with the help of organisation, a marketing system, my content calendar and technology, the show does go on!