If you aren’t currently using content marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy, the whole idea may seem a little overwhelming. “Who has time to create all that stuff?” you’re saying. “I’ve heard you need an entire library of case studies and best practice lists and infographics so that you can keep putting out new material.”
Well, to paraphrase the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “The content marketing journey of a thousand miles begins with one document.” In other words, make a commitment to go on the journey, then get started with your first piece of content and use it to draw people to your website and engage them while they are there. Then, congratulations… you are now a content marketer!
You see, content marketing isn’t just about quantity. It’s about quality, relevance, and consistency. If you provide your target personas with well-written, well-designed, unique, interesting content (blog, article, video, checklist or…) that helps them understand something about your product, your service, or your industry, they’ll appreciate it. If it’s not heavy on the sales pitch, they’ll appreciate it even more.
The Beauty of Getting Started
Many companies that have charged headlong into creating endless amounts of content have later regretted their over-eagerness when they learned that what they created wasn't what their audience wanted. There are actually some advantages to starting slowly:
- Take Time to Plan — Develop a mission statement for your content marketing that clearly defines the scope of the niche you're the expert in, then develop a content marketing strategy rather than just launching your content with no goals or strategy for accomplishing them in place.
- Limited Resource Commitment — If your initial goal is to create just one or two pieces of marketing content per month, you might be able to handle that task with the writing and design skills available internally.
- Better Adherence to Brand Standards — It’s important that the content you produce is consistent in the way it looks and sounds. Working with a manageable number of pieces initially helps you ensure that it is.
- Easier Metrics — In order to continually improve your content marketing materials, it’s important to track and compare performance (downloads or requests for the item, inbound communication triggered by the item, etc.). Starting slow gives you time to get your measurement disciplines in place before you ramp it up. (We're a big fan of marketing automation software that has metrics built into it.)
- An Introduction to Repurposing — Good content can be used in a variety of formats and for a variety of purposes. Having just a few items to work with initially is a great incentive to figure out how you can get more mileage out of them.
- Anticipation — If what you have produced is good, people will want more. While you don’t want to keep them waiting too long, a little eagerness to receive more information from you is a good thing.
Know and Then Go
Of course, more content will generate more engagement. So as you start to understand what your prospects hunger for, keep feeding them. But just breaking into content marketing with a commitment and a plan for producing a few pieces of interesting, informative, social-friendly material per month will help you see that it’s easier than you thought. Freely sharing your vast knowledge of your company, your products and your industry is all it takes to attract a loyal following and ultimately turn many of those followers into customers.
If you're still looking for help, consider teaming up with an agency to get started.