As I looked to the trends in our business for the new year, I recognized that I’ll be paying even more attention to Content Marketing in 2014. You probably will too — so I’ve asked Morgan Drmaj, the president of PlumeSocial (a start-up focused on helping entrepreneurs get great results from Content Marketing) to share with you some of his most successful Content Marketing strategies. Enjoy! — Bryan
Many of you who are big fans of Bryan Franklin’s brilliance have already established yourselves online. You know that content marketing is a critical strategy for your success. Even if you’re running a local, brick and mortar business, you’ve either witnessed or experienced first-hand the enormous benefits of content and social marketing.
All indicators suggest, that this is just the tip of the iceberg – that, in 2014, we’re set for explosive growth in the way that businesses use content marketing.
So, to leverage this, as we’re gearing up to dive into a new year, I’m going to give you one simple strategy that will dramatically improve your content marketing wins this year.
The best part? It only takes only a few hours each quarter and it’s a hallmark of successful content marketers. (It’s so effective, it’s actually embedded into how we built and run our business at PlumeSocial.)
One Strategy That All Successful Content Marketers Use
I can actually identify how successful your content marketing is going to be this year in about 30 seconds.
I’m not psychic. I’m not especially gifted in this area.
But I do know one amazing trick – passed on to me by one of my mentors — that is a totally accurate predictor of success and failure. And I’m going to pass it on to you in just a moment.
When it was first shared with me, I didn’t actually believe it at first. It was so simple that it was hard for me to accept. But as I talk to more clients and companies, over and over it proves true.
The one thing that I use to determine the future success of your Content Marketing?
Show me your Content Marketing Calendar.
Is your content planned out for the next week? The next month? Maybe even the next quarter?
Do you even have a Content Calendar?
This one little thing continues to bear out with a direct correlation to success in content marketing.
Companies that plan out their content in advance, that have a well-defined content calendar are consistently more successful than those that have no calendar, or those who simply plan day-to-day or week-to-week what they’re going to deliver to their audience and the world.
It was a real eye opener for me. (And one of the reasons why we now help everyone we work with plan their content!)
photo: Daniel Moyle
Create a Content Marketing Strategy That Works
Here’s how to take action on this in a way that will start delivering results for you right away:
Schedule a 1/2 day session of uninterrupted time for yourself before the New Year. In that session, you’re going to look at, modify (or even create) your content calendar.
If you’ve never created a Content Calendar before, just pull up a calendar on your computer (or even go old school and do it on paper) and map out a plan for what content you’re going to create and deliver your audience for the next 8 weeks – through January and February. Consider your blog posts, your email list and your social media feeds.
Note: Your calendar doesn’t have to be overly detailed or map out exactly what you’re going to tweet out on February 12th, for example. It does need to identify when you’re writing for your blog, how you’re using social media and when the big milestones for your sales cycle are in your business. And it needs to include another strategy session in mid-February to plan out March and April.
If you’ve already got a rough content plan for your business, use this time to get specifics down into a calendar. Writing it down really does make it more real. Sharing it with your team, or your colleagues will make a big difference in your results – from getting suggestions on improvement to a new level of accountability it makes a difference.
Already have a Content Calendar? Try this – plan further out and add some more detail. Are you currently looking at your next week or month? Try extending that. Many of the most successful content marketers I know plan 3-6 months out. The top earners I know actually plan out a year in advance.
Consider planning a long series of posts to attract, educate and engage your target market. Another great strategy? Consider building campaign that focuses on growing one of your social mediums over a two-three month period.
Amp Up Your Content Calendar For Success
I’m all about the Pareto principle – which identifies that 20% of our efforts produce 80% of the results. Here are some of the best strategies and tactics that PlumeSocial uses with our clients to deliver to the bottom line:
– I talk a lot about posting to your blog on the same day every week. (You can read more by clicking the link.) Plan to do a weekly blog post on a specific day — and map out what your next 8-12 posts are going to be.
– Each day that you blog, send an email to your list letting them know about your post.
– Build up to your new product launches or promotions well in advance. You can seed your new offerings or products months before and get your audience hungry for the results.
– Consider the seasons and holidays. You can take advantage of your calendar to get increased involvement in your content. If it’s appropriate, create an event around the New Year or even Valentines Day.
– Leverage your social media strategies. Our three hallmarks of Social Media:
1. Publish Regularly to Everywhere that Matters
2. Tailor What You Publish For Each Audience
3. Pay to Promote Your Best Material
– Use a balance between providing great content and having a clear “call-to-action”. You don’t want to be asking people to “buy, buy, buy” all the time. They’ll tune you out. But if your customers don’t buy, you have no business. So finding that tipping point is important. We suggest having a clear call to action in at least 70% of your content, but vary your call to action on a regular basis — drive email sign-ups, social media likes and commenting as well as asking customers to buy.
So… create yourself a Content Calendar. It’s a great tool to help you kickstart the New Year. When you take the time to build it, it’s a tool that consistently pays off on the bottom line.
Now, we’d love to hear from you. Do you already have a Content Calendar? How has it helped you grow your business? Are you planning to create a Content Calendar for yourself? What are the hurdles that are stopping you and how can we help you get there? Let us know in the comments below…
And if you’re looking for help delivering your best content to your audience, that’s what we do. Check out our website at plumesocial.com.
About the Author
Morgan Drmaj is focused on helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and experts deliver their best content. As a Digital Content Expert, he’s produced hundreds of hours of video and hundreds of thousands of hours for television and the web. He’s also a big fan of Bryan Franklin, Jennifer Russell and their Mind Money Meaning program. He can be found at PlumeSocial.com or on twitter @morgandrmaj.