A Simple Content Marketing Plan for True Beginners
Own a small business?
The good news is there's no better time, and there are so many resources to support you.
The bad news is there's so much information out there it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Here are six simple steps to follow to build your content marketing plan. The key is to take it one step at a time.
What is content marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is the process in which you provide information to potential customers to help identify their pain points and solve their problems.
On a practical level, this looks like building a website or blog with relevant information that attracts organic search traffic from places like Google.
You then augment by posting your website and blog post links to your social media accounts (and eventually, you can use paid advertising for guaranteed eyeballs on your content).
Once you have traffic, your content gets to work by building your credibility in the eyes of your potential customers.
If your message shows a clear path to success for your lead, they'll bite, and you'll begin delivering upon your promise through the delivery of your product or service.
The cycle begins again as you continue to nurture your new customer with content and product offerings that help them continue to solve their problem.
1. Identify your niche.
Do some soul searching and internet research to niche down. While it feels counter-intuitive, the more specific you get with your business idea, the more likely you are to succeed.
Example: Instead of a budget wedding blog, niche down to a Nashville budget wedding blog, or narrow your focus to just budget wedding venues.
2. Create your online presence.
Create your website using an all-in-one solution like Squarespace, or use what the pros recommend: Bluehost as your online host with 1-Click Wordpress install. (affiliate link)
3. Establish credibility.
Customers not only need your product or service to solve a problem for them -- they need reassurance that you're the person to purchase from. Establish your credibility or authority by becoming licensed, certified, or write a book on the topic related to your business.
4. Publish content.
Creating content really is the best and nearly only way to drive attention to your business. Create blog posts and videos with high quality content that demonstrates that you're aware of what your customer struggles with, and how you can help.
Use social media to promote your content, but don't forget to engage and interact with others on those platforms. Don't just promote your stuff.
5. Build your email list.
Email will be the single most powerful platform to drive your business. And it's the only way you can "own" your marketing platform apart from your website.
If you're getting all your leads through Facebook, make sure you're capturing email addresses, too.
The simplest way to do this is to offer content that a person can only access in exchange for their email address. Then follow up with relevant offers.
6. Sell products at 3 price levels.
While you're getting started, think of your customer journey as they interact with your business.
Perhaps they have a big problem you can solve.
Before they will take a leap of faith and hire you or purchase your big ticket item, they likely need to take baby steps.
Offer a $7 product to help them get their feet wet, then a $30 product, then a $200+ product.
Promote them in order. For example, use content on your blog to promote free downloads so you capture their email address, then offer a $7 product.
Along the way, no matter if they buy or not, offer relevant content like cheat sheets, PDFs, webinars and demos to help give customers all the information they need to make a decision to buy your higher priced offerings.
Need help? Or want to go further, faster?