Sure, you’re a busy person. You’ve probably got a dozen items on your to-do list at any given time. So it’s completely understandable why you haven’t taken the time to formulate a cohesive content marketing strategy. You just kept putting it off again and again.
Well, guess what? The calendar says that 2014 is done. That means another year has passed without you making any headway on this essential task. Time to step up and take charge of your content marketing. How? By learning the four Ps.
Content marketing isn’t one of those areas into which you should jump blindly. It’s imperative that you identify what your goals will be for the coming year (such as lead generation, engagement, or brand awareness) and choose which metrics you will monitor to determine how successful your initiative is (like conversion rates, website traffic, or SEO ranking).
You should also spend some time planning your tactics. Some of the most popular content marketing avenues include using online videos, appealing to smartphone and tablet users, and targeting small niches of key demographics. Finally, consider allocating a certain number of man-hours per week or month specifically toward achieving your content marketing goals.
The next cornerstone is the most obvious one: producing quality content. This content should be distributed via multiple platforms, including social media, eNewsletters, videos, blogs, photos, website articles, and more. Don’t forget to embrace search engine optimization in order to pick out the most relevant keywords to be used in your content.
As far as what the actual content should be, focus on what your target audience stresses about or has trouble with and then present smart solutions to those problems. Look back at your previous efforts to see what topics or delivery methods were the most popular, and concentrate more on quality than quantity. And don’t be afraid to show your personal side from time to time.
It’s also important that you publish your content strategically. Think of your website or blog as your bedrock evergreen asset, and arrange all of your social media and other online platforms so that they drive traffic to it. Research the online habits of your targeted consumers and schedule your content to be posted when they are most likely to view it.
A skilled content marketer responds to his or her fans and supporters promptly, which means replying to comments, tweets, and emails swiftly and consistently. Don’t hesitate to leverage these interactions to create user-generated content such as Q&A posts or online polls. And always make it as easy as possible for users to share your content with others.
Last but not least, you must measure how you are doing if you want to see progress toward your content marketing objectives. That means utilizing content management tools to track and analyze the metrics you identified during the planning stage. Plus, tracking your content marketing ROI is the best way to improve that metric over time.
But don’t discount user feedback. Although it shouldn’t be viewed as gospel truth, comments or reviews can help you recognize trends so you can tweak your content marketing efforts more quickly to respond to consumer needs and desires.
So why not turn over a new leaf during the new year? Embrace the four Ps of content marketing, and make 2015 one of your best years ever!
Chris Martin is a freelance writer about topics ranging from online reputation management to entrepreneurism to business finance solutions.