If you have ventured into the world of content/inbound marketing you will know that it is a time consuming and long term commitment, and even though the investment is well worth it, (precisely a 62% reduction in the cost per lead from inbound vs outbound marketing) there is still the issue of time, and lack thereof!
If you haven’t yet ventured into content marketing, be very ashamed and stop acting like a granny, it’s 2013.
Writing quality content takes time, and much to everybody’s dissapointment, the results aren’t instant, which is why many people give up. (*Mystical background music plays*) If only there was a way to keep the quality of your content output up, but reduce the time you spend creating it…
Well, just like a genie in a bottle, I can grant you that wish, in the form of THIS VERY BLOG POST. The other two wishes you will have to post in the comments section below and I will see what I can do.
Hold your horses….. although it is tempting to dive right in and start writing your blog you need to plan it. It is like most things in life, if you plan well you spend less time making mistakes once you begin the doing.
SO, instead of writing a blog, spend some time asking yourself these questions:
- Who is my target persona? (e.g. How old are they? What are their responsibilities at work? Who do they report to? Do they like frogs for dinner? etc.)
- What do I want these people to actually DO? (e.g. download our eBook, contact us, tell their boss about us, stop eating frogs for dinner. etc.)
With this in mind you can create an awesome content plan that will actually get you what you want! LEADS.
With your plan in mind you can begin every content piece purposefully with a few key questions in mind:
- What is the intended goal of EVERY piece of content you write? (get contact deatils, move leads through the funnel, get them to buy stuff)
- Is this goal/action easy to achieve for the reader? (e.g. are there obvious CTA’s)
- Would your buyer persona be eternally grateful for this piece of content if they read it?
- How does this piece of content fit into your buyer’s journey? (top, middle, bottom of funnel)
2. Reuse your content
One of the easiest and most effective strategies for content marketing that I love.. Start your content strategy with a well planned ebook, preferably a really awesome one that your target personas would give their right arm for.
Although it is far more tempting to write a blog on the most recently inspiring topic, it is far more effective to think about the bigger picture.
Starting your content strategy with an eBook can serve as the source of 3-6 blogs, an infographic, a factsheet used in a nurture email campaign or even given to your sales guy to send potential customers he is building a relationship with.
On top of saving time… all the blogs you produce can be linked to a nice meaty piece of content, which when put behind a landing page will generate leads. And we all like leads.
3. Measure and refine your plan
As much as I hate changing a plan, the BEST content strategies are built on a strong foundation and refined as time goes on. If you keep going without analysis and refinement, you may as well be traipsing around the outback with a compass and a map but with a blindfold on. Not very clever at all.
One of the many cool things about content marketing is that everything is measurable. Even a piece of string. The famous old quote, “50% of my marketing is doing really well, I just don’t know WHICH 50%” is outdated. Now you do.
Just take a look at the stats on your Google Analytics, your email marketing tool, Hootsuite reports or whatever else you use (we use Hubspot for all of this because it makes it super easy). Some key things to look for are:
- Which landing pages are generating the best conversion rates
- Which blogs are most shared and read
- Which email subject lines are generating the most open rates
- Which social media channel is most effective for leads
- Which LinkedIn Group generates the most traffic to site
Then, after this, streamline your marketing efforts = saving time and increasing leads. Lovely jubbly.
4. Conduct Basic Research
The B2B marketing teams’ primary goal is to generate leads for the sales team. One major battle for marketing is that they don’t know what works best. Chances are… your sales team can help. They will be FULL of information about your buyer personas.
Ask each of your customer facing staff to write down the 5 most common comments/questions they encounter and turn them into eBooks and blogs. This information is gold and right at your fingertips.
5. Curated content
Curated content has been the topic of many a blog lately, so I wont bang on about it… BUT I would like to add, when we write curated content blogs, for our clients and ourselves, we see huge results.
Which is a bit annoying when you spend 3 hours writing a freshly crafted blog post and a curated one that took only an hour works better… but it is a great tactic really. We don’t overdo them though, just one a month and it relieves a bit of pressure on us! Bringing the most interesting news from others to your buyers is helpful, and everybody loves helpful people.
So there you have it. 5 tips for saving time and getting better results from your content strategy. Now you have no excuse!
If you have any tips to share I would really love to hear them, please comment in the comments section below. Oh and… if you enjoyed this post, please share it!
To find out more about developing an awesome content strategy, download our free ebook here: