Creating a successful content marketing strategy, let alone a comprehensive blog strategy is a big task, but one that you shouldn’t be afraid to tackle. Regardless of which niche you’re in, or which business model, there’s a high chance that content will be the foundation of how you brand yourself, generate traffic, and convert visitors into sales.
The volume of content you need to succeed is enormous, ranging from lead magnets to info products, email autoresponders, and more. While many of your competitors are struggling to figure out what to say, and what to do with their content, you want to have a plan in place so that your content marketing is strategic and effective.
Very little thought goes into most marketers’ content. They might look for a keyword phrase, but that’s about all they do. If you take 30 days to set up a systematic approach to your content creation and usage, you’ll be outperforming your competitors right out of the gate.
What is Content Marketing?
As a small business owner, you should know that marketing is key to success. Therefore, content marketing is vital to a successful marketing strategy. Content marketing is a marketing approach that relies on creating and providing useful, relevant, and consistent content to find and hold onto your target audience. Overall, content marketing aims to encourage your customers to take action that leads to more profits.
Here are seven reasons why content is key to marketing as a small business owner:
Content Builds Trust and Credibility
When you provide helpful, informative, and well-written content, your readers will begin to see you as an expert in your field. This trust and credibility can go a long way in converting readers into customers or clients.
Content Helps You Connect with Your Audience
When you focus on creating content that resonates with your target audience, you will establish a connection with them that goes beyond the sale. When your audience feels like they know, like, and trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Content Can Be Repurposed and Reused
One of the great things about content is that it can be repurposed and reused in various ways. For example, try turning a blog post into an infographic or create an eBook from a series of blog posts. Repurposing content allows you to get more mileage out of your content and ensures that your readers always have something new to consume.
The Right Content Helps You Rank Higher in Search Engines
Creating high-quality content makes you more likely to rank higher in search engines like Google. As a result, you’re much more likely to get noticed by potential customers or clients when you appear in search results.
Content Can Be Used to Drive Leads and Sales
If you include a call-to-action (CTA) in your content, you can use it to drive leads and sales. For example, you could have a CTA to sign up for your email list or download a free guide. Including CTAs in your content can turn your readers into leads and, eventually, customers or clients.
Content Builds a Community Around Your Brand
When you create helpful and engaging content, you can build a community of loyal followers around your brand. This community can be a great source of word-of-mouth marketing and can help you attract new customers or clients.
Content Can Be Used to Nurture Relationships with Customers and Clients
By regularly sending helpful, educational content to your customers and clients, you can nurture those relationships and keep your business top-of-mind. Then, when they’re ready to do business, they’re more likely to think of you first.
Content marketing is a critical part of any successful marketing strategy. Creating high-quality content can build trust and credibility, connect with your audience, rank higher in search engines, and drive leads and sales.
The following tasks include a mix of action-oriented steps and tactical decisions that will help you attract the lion’s share of audience attention in your niche. It will also speed up the implementation of your content creation and usage so that you’re leading the way in terms of consistency and creativity.
So now is the time to start if you’re not already using content marketing.
Day 1: Have a Customer Avatar in Mind for Your Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most important things you can do before creating content is to think about who you are writing or recording it for. Many marketers make the mistake of coming up with an idea and writing it for their own point of view.
But as a niche marketing leader, you may have a different viewpoint than that of the person following you. For example, you may be coming at a topic from a position of experience and expertise, while your reader is uninformed about the topic and needs more clarification.
One thing that can help you create content with your reader in mind is to come up with an avatar of the individuals who will be consuming your written and recorded words. There are many things you can consider when you begin developing this avatar.
For example, you can take into consideration their gender, age, financial status, marital status, geographic location, interests, and more. You can even factor in specific things such as pain points or successes that they may have experienced in the past.
Once you have this avatar or multiple avatars in place, it will help you create content that is more targeted to your readers, rather than just spoken from a position of authority in the niche. Your audience will feel as if you “get them” more than if you simply stated facts or shared ideas from your sole perspective.
Day 2: Create a Content Marketing Schedule You Can Work With
When it comes to creating a viable content marketing strategy, consistency will be your biggest blunder if you neglect to include it in your planning stages. Whether you are looking to cater to search bots or human visitors, both will want to see frequent content coming from the leaders they respect and listen to.
Don’t feel as if you have to publish dozens of pieces of content each and every day. Daily content is definitely a goal to aim for, but even if you can’t publish content that frequently, putting yourself on a consistent schedule, such as three days per week to publish blog posts, it will go far in establishing your commitment to guide your audience.
It’s better for you to devote yourself to a schedule that has fewer days, but allows you to thoughtfully and thoroughly create content that your audience appreciates than it is to force the process to be so rushed that you are frantically slapping up subpar content just to stick to a schedule.
Day 3: Analyze Your Content Creation Skills in Four Media Formats
On this day, you need to see where you truly stand when it comes to your content creation skills. There is no shame in admitting that you don’t have what it takes at this time to write well, create videos that appeal to your audience, churn out images, or record audio files.
All of these skills can be learned and improved upon, as long as you know where you’re starting and what needs to be worked on. A good way to examine this is to have an honest critique provided to you from friends or acquaintances who are willing to be blunt.
The last thing you want is for someone to tell you that your content is good, when inside they are really cringing. If you don’t know anyone personally who can do this, you may want to ask a wider audience in a marketing forum to provide you with constructive criticism for a sample that you upload.
With your written content, it will need to be conversational for an online audience, yet polished enough that it looks professional at the same time. For audio files, it needs to be free and clear of any impediments that will irritate a listening audience, such as too many “um” pauses or sounds such as sipping your coffee.
With images and graphics, the only thing that can really hold you back here is whether or not your finished work looks like an amateur created it. There are templates online that can help you learn how to create and work with graphics.
Video is one of the most consumed media formats in this day and age. You have to get the timing right, the lighting, the sound, and the message itself to a place where your audience responds well to it.
Day 4: Use Content to Help Your Site Rank in the SERPs
One way you want to use your content strategically is to help you boost your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines are definitely looking for consistency with how often you publish, but they also want relevancy and quality.
Many marketers make the mistake of shooting for a certain word count, and focus more on how often their keyword phrases are used then they do the actual value of the content piece.
Your reader is never going to absorb a well written and valuable article that is 300 words and scoff at it because you didn’t add 500 more words of fluff and filler. However, it is important that you commit to providing your readers with enough information that they can walk away feeling fulfilled.
It is important to learn how to set up your content for SEO purposes. And that will include utilizing keyword phrases strategically so that search engines know who to present your content to.
But you never want to focus on the technical aspect alone. In fact, when you adhere to a content strategy that includes ensuring a level of quality is met for your readers, it can help you rise in the SERPs because your content will be shared and have backlinks pointing to it that are organic due to an impressed audience.
Day 5: Create Content That Proves Your Worth to Your Audience
Quality is an issue that can be different things to different people. Some people may be content with very little value, but that’s not the audience that you want to cater to. Your goal is to overdeliver to your visitors so that even the hardest to please individuals walk away satisfied.
A good piece of content not only provides facts and data to your readers, but it also weaves personality throughout and addresses the visitors’ needs, whether emotional or otherwise.
There are many people in the online universe who are competing for the attention of your site visitors. When you sit down to create a piece of content for them, you have to understand how you can keep eyes on your content when others are vying for the same thing.
Good content not only educates and informs an audience, but it inspires and motivates them to take action on what you have just shared. If you can do that with each and every piece you deliver, you will be changing lives and helping people achieve their goals.
Day 6: Develop a Content Piece Worth Signing Up to Your List For
One of the most important pieces of content that you will create for your business is that of a lead magnet or opt in freebie offer. This is a tempting report or series of articles or videos that you create in an effort to build your email subscriber list.
There are not many things that people feel interested in that to hand over their name and email address. Most are sick of spammers and the way in which their contact details are handled.
You have to make sure that the lead magnet you create is of high caliber content and a slant that makes the risk worth it for them. Spend some time investigating their most harrowing problems and present a targeted solution as your enticement offer.
Day 7: Let Content Marketing Turn a Profit for You
Whenever you are developing your content, part of your marketing strategy should be to always look at how it can be monetized. For some odd reason, many marketers create tons of content for their blogs, emails, and social media profiles, only to fail at making sure it has some sort of profit generator attached to it.
Whether it drives people back to your site for a product review for which you are an affiliate, adds them to a subscriber list so that you can earn from them overtime, helps you earn ad revenue, or sends them directly to a product that you created, you want to create and publish your content with the intent to earn money from it.
It doesn’t have to be a direct or instant sale. You can monetize content by creating a series of engaging pieces that build trust and loyalty with your audience, allowing them to spend money with you in the near future.
Day 8: Learn How to Write a Proper Review Piece
One of the best ways to monetize your content is to review products. These can be digital or tangible products, but you have to know the right way to review a product in order to help the reader lower their defenses and convince them to buy.
Every consumer has a wall up that needs to be broken through in an effort to sway them into a purchase. You need to find out what the reservations are and address them individually.
Sometimes, it’s not just about the benefits of a product, but the hesitation they feel about making sure they are spending their money on the right product. It might be a price point, brand or vendor, or even a personal recommendation that tips them over the edge and allows them to open up their wallet.
Day 9: Create a Swipe File of Effective Content Headlines
Because you will be developing content on an ongoing basis for many different areas of your business, it’s important that you figure out ways to hasten the process. One of those strategies is to create a swipe file that you can pull from and tweak whenever you need effective headlines that will convert.
You can pull swipe files together based on content that you have seen online from your competitors, using list of action or power words, or even by brainstorming words, phrases, and sentences based on knowledge you gained by studying how to be an effective copywriter.
Day 10: Use Low Content Publishing in Your Marketing Efforts
Content that you publish online is not always long. You may be used to developing long blog posts in an effort to appease the search engines, or even to thoroughly educate and inform your readers.
But not all content has to be lengthy. There are many effective low-content pieces that you can publish online for your audience that will help them achieve their goals. These may include things like checklists, cheat sheets, journals, and other printables that they can download and use to track or change things.
Day 11: Find Ways to Educate, Motivate or Entertain Your Readers
When you create new content for your audience, you want to do one of three things. Educating and informing them about your niche topic is important for you to do as a leading expert.
They will be turning to you for ideas and insight because they feel they can’t trust other sources. Facts alone are not enough to help them. You will need to motivate and inspire them to take action on the information you provide to them.
This is how they will actually make changes in their life and succeed with their goals. It’s also important that you entertain your readers. That doesn’t mean you have to become a comedian and make them laugh.
Entertainment can be more than just laughter. It’s a way for the audience to bond with you and feel as if they know you on a different level. Just make sure you have plenty of your own personality woven into your content so that whether they are reading an email from you or watching a video that you have created, they feel as if the content was made just for them on some level.
Day 12: Make Sure Your Content Marketing Includes Social Sharing Options
Content marketing is about more than just the creation of the content itself. You can create hundreds or even thousands of pages of articles, but if you don’t know how to use them strategically, they will not benefit your business.
One of the most effective strategies online is to create content that gets shared by your audience with others. Not only does the content have to be valuable and amazing enough that it makes people want to share it, but you have to make sure you provide them with a strategy to do it easily.
If you have a blog that you are using for content marketing, you want to install a plug in that enables social sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and other places.
You can place the social sharing buttons above and below your blog post. You can even have them floating with the reader as they scroll down through your post. Just make sure you remind them to share your content with those who may enjoy it, because the call to action you deliver maybe the reminder they need to take action.
Day 13: Get Good at Storytelling for Increased Content Appeal
Storytelling is an important art that you need to master for your content marketing strategy. This is not a strategy where you have to make up stories out of thin air. For most nonfiction niches, it’s about sharing your own experiences and connecting them with those of your audience.
Not only are you able to paint a picture of what they are going through to show that you can empathize or sympathize with them, but you are also able to help them envision what their life will be like if they can achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves with your help.
Day 14: Set a Goal for Each Piece of Content You Create
Just as your audience has a goal in mind when they turn to you, you should have a goal for every piece of content that you create. It’s not enough to simply assume everything you create will help you gain exposure.
Instead, you want to have a specific goal about whether you want to use this piece of content as a way to elevate your expertise, help you build a list of subscribers, or convince someone to purchase something through your link.
If you have a goal in mind before you begin creating the content, it helps you with your outlining process and in allowing the information to unfold in the best way possible. Sometimes, you may have more than one goal associated with your content, and that is okay, too.
Day 15: Tips for Sharing Your Content on Facebook
When you create content, you can either create it on your blog or elsewhere and then share it on social media, or you can create it directly on social media itself. Facebook is still one of the most popular social media sites for niche content.
When you create content and share it on this social site, make sure you pair it with an image so that it stands out in everyone’s feed better. You can also format the text so that it has bold or italic lettering if you want to.
Don’t go crazy with tagging people, but if there is someone who it makes sense to tag because they are mentioned in the content, for example, that’s okay. You can share your content on this site on your personal profile, your page, or in a group that you create or that has allowed others to post in it.
Day 16: How to Make the Most of Hashtags for Content Marketing
When you create content, part of your strategy needs to be to help it get found by the right audience. Online, that is often done with keywords and hashtags when you are using sites such as social media.
A hashtag is simply a # sign followed by a keyword or phrase that you want people to use when searching for your content. For example, if you wrote a blog post about the keto diet, you might use the following hashtags: #ketodiet, #ketodiettips, #ketodietsuccess, etc.
On most of social media platforms, you can search for popular hashtags that are being used for your niche. Make a list of what is included and then pick and choose each one that can be used in every piece of content that you create.
Day 17: Set a Budget for Content Marketing Elements You’re Not Good At
When you are developing your own systems and strategies for any part of your business, part of what you want to do is set aside a budget for things you may need to outsource or acquire tools for.
With content creation, you may want to invest in certain tools that can help you in the editing and polishing your written work, such as Pro Writing Aid. Or, you may want a tool such as Camtasia to help you create amazing videos.
There are tools for audio as well as images. Many of these tools have free options, but in order to fully utilize them, you will have to pay a minimal monthly or annual fee. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, then you can set aside a budget to outsource the work to a freelance individual.
Day 18: Learn How to Utilize Free and Paid Online Content Creation Tools
if you don’t have the ability to save up for tools yet, you want to start with some free versions that can help you improve and quicken your content creation. Grammarly is a free writing tool that can help you with spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
When and if you want to level up, you can consider a premium or business account that will help you with more advanced writing issues. Canva is another tool that has both a free and paid option.
Using this tool, you can create graphics that you need for your content such as blog images, social media images, eCovers for your lead magnets and info products, and more.
If you can’t afford Camtasia yet, you can start with the freeware version called CamStudio. using this, you can edit and perfect your videos, whether you are using screen capture or on camera methods.
If you are creating audio content, you will want to use a tool like Audacity. This is a free tool that you can use to edit, add special effects, and improve sound quality for your audio files.
Day 19: Pay Attention to Success Metrics for Content
The creation of your content is not the sole indicator of whether or not your content strategy is successful. You can’t just look at the volume of content that you are putting out.
You have to look at the metrics it generates to see whether or not the content you are creating is performing to the best of its ability. If it’s not, you will be able to tweak your efforts until it does.
You will be looking for things such as whether or not your audience engaged with your content, how often and how many people shared it with others, and what the comments and feedback were about your pieces.
When you start seeing an analysis of all of the little details, such as where your readers bounced from your site while reading your blog post, or where they exited a video that you created, it will help you understand more about the kind of content they respond best to.
You will be able to see whether they like longer or shorter pieces of content in terms of word count, what time length they are willing to sit through to absorb information, what color patterns they notice more in a feed so that they can engage with your social media content, etc.
Day 20: Develop a Kickbutt Editorial Plan for Your Content
In order to achieve your goals for consistency with content creation, you will need to put yourself on an editorial schedule. This will not only dictate what days your content is published, but also on what platform it will be placed on.
You can organize your content publishing schedule so that topics are rotated to keep things fresh for your audience, and then type of slant or media format is also strategically placed within your calendar to mix things up.
Day 21: Polish Your Content to Perfection
It’s good to have tools that you can use to perfect your content, but some of what you will be doing in terms of polishing it to perfection will be up to you during the creation process.
For example, you can’t just absorb information in regurgitate it back to your audience. It’s your responsibility to do some fact checking to ensure that the information you are conveying is accurate.
Another thing you need to do is proofread your work and notate any sources or citations where it makes sense to do so. It’s okay for an expert to have outside sources that they utilize for their audience, so don’t feel like you have to cover that up.
Day 22: Curate Content Instead of Plagiarizing It
One way that you can leverage the expertise of others is to curate content from around the web. Curation is a way of pulling in snippets of content from other producers, making sure to give them credit, and then expanding on everything that you have created with commentary of your own.
This is much better than what many online marketers do, simply lifting content from other people’s websites and sharing it as their own. There’s no excuse for stealing from others when curation is a viable option for you.
Day 23: Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategy Includes Personality
Personality is one of the most important things you can inject into your content to really make it take off. We spoke of using it in the form of entertainment previously, but whether or not you are entertaining or simply informing and enlightening your audience, a personality must shine through in order to help you form a bond with your target audience.
Some ways you can do this are by weaving your own personal stories into the content to show that you understand what they are going through, cheering the members of your community on publicly with their permission, and utilizing multimedia format content so that they can get to know you in terms of the way you look, your voice, your mannerisms, and your tone.
Day 24: Split Test Your Content Creations
When you create content online, if you have time (and you should make time), you should begin the process of split testing certain pieces to see which strategies or elements work better than others.
Split testing is simply pitting two different things against one another to see which one emerges as a top performer. You only want to alter one thing at a time so that you can pinpoint the exact changes that make a difference.
Day 25: Weed Out What’s Not Working for Your Content Marketing Strategy
Increasing the churn out of content that is working well for you is only part of the equation. You also need to weed out what’s not working with your content strategy. You might find that your audience does not respond well on certain channels or platforms.
It’s better to focus your efforts on places where they do hang out and are likely to notice your content. Another thing you may notice is that certain media formats are not engaging for your audience, such as a preference for video over text or vice versa.
You may also start to gain a better understanding about what types of slants and what tone your content should take for your target audience. Even with something like personal development, you can have a slant that is coddling when it motivates or one that kicks their butt into gear.
Day 26: Engaging Your Audience for Increased Content Success
Part of your content marketing strategy will be to maximize engagement with your audience. This is a two-way street. Many marketers believe they can simply sit back and watch comments, shares, and other forms of engagement take place without participating.
But ideally, you are helping to form those bonds with your audience by responding to their comments whenever possible. This is easier when you are just starting out and have a smaller audience, but you should do it as long as you can and periodically engage with several people in the comments section even once they grow to an enormous number because this shows that you still care about their opinions.
Day 27: Use PLR as a Content Marketing Springboard
If you are trying to publish an enormous amount of content for one or more niches, you may want to utilize private label rights (PLR) as a tool that can help you. This is pre-written content that is sold to more than one buyer.
When you buy PLR, which comes in many different formats including text, video, audio, and images, you usually have the right to put your name on the content as if you created it and edit it to your liking.
Day 28: Take Content You’ve Created and Repurpose It
Another content marketing tactic is to simply repurpose what you have already created. For example, if you wrote a blog post that is getting great engagement from your audience, you can take that and use it as a transcript to create a video or video series as well as a podcast.
You can also take the content and summarize it in the form of an infographic that can be shared on sites like Instagram or Pinterest. You can also repurpose video, graphics, and audio and turn them into text-based content pieces as well.
This allows you to capture the interest of a wider audience. While you may have many loyal blog readers who are content with the written word, you may be missing out on a larger audience that is logged into YouTube and searching for video content instead.
Day 29: Make Sure Your Content Is Mobile-Friendly
While you are making sure that your content is perfectly polished, well written, and valuable to your audience, you also want to ensure that they are able to access it adequately.
This means making sure that your content shows up correctly for mobile users. If you are using a blog theme that you selected, make sure it is responsive for mobile readers and all browsers.
Day 30: Measure the Success of Your Content
Every so often, you want to stop and spend a day taking stock of all the types of content that you have been publishing to see which direction you need to take next. You may need to continue on the same path, or your content may need to take a new direction, such as different topics, improved media, or even more in-depth than what you had been serving to them before.
Create A Kickbutt Content Marketing Strategy
By now, you should know pretty much everything you need to plan and execute a kick-butt content marketing strategy this year (and which blogging mistakes to avoid along the way). Keep in mind that your content marketing efforts should roll up into your greater blog business plan, too—so that you’re driving thoughtful traffic that has the potential to convert into real revenue one day.
If you have any questions about getting your content marketing strategy off the ground, drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer every single question you have.
Remember, your content marketing strategy will only be effective—if you have a plan.
Then, it’s all about execution (and getting that freelance contract signed before you start working for a client).
Let’s get to it!
And remember if you’re ready to get started with your content marketing strategy today, then pick up my free content marketing editorial calendar template right here.
Want my Free Content Marketing Calendar?
Grab my free editorial calendar template to help create a content marketing strategy like mine.
Click the button below to download it right now, and I’ll send you a link to my own copy & paste content marketing strategy template that you can start using for your content efforts today.
Enter your name and email address and you’ll get instant access to my course.