Tips to implement your content marketing plan and grow your company
Marketers and PR professionals have been buzzing about content marketing for a few years now. The benefits from content marketing are vast, demonstrating that it’s a valuable tool and not just a trend that will disappear. Having a content marketing strategy can increase inbound traffic, engagement and lead generation, among countless other benefits.
So how do you finally get in the content marketing game in 2016?
The first step is to have a plan. You’ve carefully mapped out your website and blog content marketing plan, and you have a social media strategy for the entire year ahead. You considered the company’s overall marketing and PR strategies. You factored in new product releases and other company news. You thought of ways to play off of big moments, like holidays and events.
Now you’re staring at a blueprint of a year’s worth of content. What’s next? Here are some tips to help you tackle your content plan and have a year full of engagement and growth.
1. Incorporate photos into your content.
Consider how photos can supplement your planned written content. Think about the photos you need to make your content relevant and sensory, and devise a strategy to obtain those photos.
If you’ve traditionally stuck to stock photos, challenge yourself to integrate more photography that is authentic. If you’re lucky enough to have a photographer on staff, make that person a close partner. A company photographer should be contributing outside of headshots and handshakes, after all.
No photographer? No worries. Work with what you’ve got. Invest in an easy-to-use, but decent quality camera yourself and get trained on the basics. If all else fails, cell phone cameras will work fine for many content updates. The key is to be thinking about photography for every piece of content.
2. Be flexible.
A plan is great, but sticking too closely to the plan could hurt you if you aren’t attuned to breaking news. Content marketers should be willing to put that perfectly crafted post on hold for the sake of being timely with news and/or trends in social conversation. Likewise, content marketers should be ready to jump on new opportunities at a moment’s notice.
3. Don’t forget to engage.
Your work isn’t done once you have published your content. Now you need to engage with your audience. Certainly there are ways to prompt and encourage engagement, but be mindful that there’s no real way to prepare for external engagement. The best thing to do is to closely monitor and quickly respond to blog comments and social media engagement that result from the content you generated
4. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
Anyone who works on the content marketing plan should be well connected to other people and departments within the organization. Content marketers should think of themselves as digital storytellers and always be looking for new content leads. Think of ways to humanize your content by featuring customers, clients or even your company’s employees.
Once your role is known in the organization, you may find that people start coming to YOU with ideas.
5. Have a partner.
Think twice about turning content marketing over to the revolving door of interns or entry-level folks just because they’re young and presumably “get it.” Your social media and web content planning should be handled by professionals who think about the big picture and know how to put your plan into action. If you don’t have that team in place now, let’s talk. Axia PR can develop a plan and approach that works best for you.
Julie Miller is a marketing and communications professional with more than seven years of experience in the industry. She primarily works in the technology and education sectors and specializes in digital marketing and communications.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com