understanding email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing key points

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I’d wager a bet that you have been doingemail marketing in your business without even knowing it email marketing is aform of direct marketing that uses email as its main medium of communication thismeans that you right now most likely have emails or newsletters in your inboxthat a company created and sent out to you for their own email marketingcampaign basically any email that you send to a potential or current customercan be considered email marketing the goal of email marketing is to cultivatea relationship with your customers start thinking about the types of emails youcan begin to send out to your customers or people subscribe to your email listto get started with email marketing here are some first steps first findbusinesses in your industry that are doing really neat things in themarketing space I always recommend taking a look at what these players aredoing in your industry often they work with expensive marketing firms that usecutting-edge technology and data for the smaller guy this means that you can lookat what they’re creating and use that information to grow your own marketingstrategy once you have determined some marketing savvy industry players goahead and get on their mailing list I recommend setting up a filter thatdirects these emails to a specific folder in your inbox that way they’reall stored somewhere easy where you can review them second dedicate some time toobserve their approach to email marketing you can do this by payingattention to the subject line the content in the email itself thefrequency in which they send these emails out and the time of day they dosend them out take notes on what you like and what you dislike what I like todo next is keep my email marketing a research folder up-to-date with emailsand offerings that serve as a constant source of inspiration and educationthere really are some amazing email marketers out there you’re not going tocopy but this is a great way to start modeling what others are doing until youfind your own voice whether it’s hotmail Gmail Yahoo oroutlook everyone has an email address simply put this is a dream for marketerssince email delivers the highest ROI out of any marketing method let’s dive intothe key advantages of using email marketing in your business as you watchI want you to consider which advantages most relate to you first email marketingis a must have today it’s expected email is a professional marketing medium andpeople expect to receive information about products and services through thatchannel studies show that 72% of people preferto receive promotional content through email as compared to 17% who prefersocial media the second key advantage is that it’saccessible to any business big or small email marketing at its heart isinexpensive unlike Facebook advertising you don’t have to pay to get in front ofyour customer granted you will need to use an email marketing provider someonelike MailChimp in order to send out emails and maintain your lists oftenthere are free accounts so you don’t need to invest a lot of money up frontthis means email marketing is totally scaleable and easy to get started thirdit’s measurable it’s really easy to see how your email campaigns are performingand these measurements take all the guesswork out of your email marketingmost service providers offer dashboards with real-time metrics like opens clicksbounces forwards social shares and more lastly email marketing complements allother marketing strategies email is a great direct marketing tool meaning thatyou can influence your customers or prospects with one to one content but italso works great as an amplification tool so suppose you’re having anin-store sale of course you’re gonna have all your other marketing tactics inplay like in-store signage coupon codes and the like with email you would thencraft a strategy to amplify these efforts you would send a newsletter outto your list letting them know of your sale when it starts andand the benefits for them now that you’ve considered why you need to getstarted with email marketing let’s set a goal how can email marketing benefityour business where do you see email marketing complementing your existingefforts uncover your why and you’re ready to get started youadding email into your existing marketing efforts can be seamless whileincreasing your brand’s awareness driving traffic to your website andboosting your bottom line your first step to integrating email marketing isto define your marketing objective basically that’s determining what thenature of your email campaigns will be for example you could decide to focus onnewsletters that drive brand awareness and keep customers and prospectsup-to-date on your business services or products in those newsletters you couldinclude recent company blog posts upcoming events or unique content caterto your audience as always start simple it can be totally overwhelming beginningyour email marketing on top of everything else you have to focus on inyour business but as you learn the tools test your campaigns and become morefamiliar with email marketing then you can add more complexity as you begin toadd your email marketing into the mix an important piece will be allocating theproper resources if you are in an organization with multiple teams you mayneed to get buy-in from management if you’re a solopreneur start adding emailmarketing tasks to your calendar to ensure you allocate enough time per dayweek or month it handles a new workload once you are clear on your emailmarketing objectives and you have the resources in place you will need to finda service provider you can’t send out emails to customersor prospects without the use of one and there are two things to consider whenchoosing a provider that’s compliance and features due to strict spam andprivacy laws be sure to find a provider that is in compliance and most largeproviders like MailChimp are but sending from your personal email account is notin compliance as for features you will want to take a look at the variousoptions for each service provider looking at the features on MailChimp youcan see that they have the ability to integrate with your online store theyhave the ability as well to automate your email marketing this means it makesit really easy for you to scale your email efforts MailChimp can help you aswell with your Google remarketing advertisements if you do playon a lot of volume so that means you’ll be sending out a lot of emails you mightwish to choose a provider with adequate pricing so that you aren’t gettingdinged every time you send out an email if you are a beginner I recommendstarting with MailChimp or drip you can always switch providers as your needsgrow but it’s even better to choose a provider who will grow along with yourbusiness’s needs and email list adding email into your marketing will be one ofthe best decisions that you make by allocating resources and finding theperfect provider you will be well on your way when beginning email marketingunderstanding the individual elements of what makes up an email strategy isreally important let’s go over these key elements the first element to know andto understand is your target this is the person that you wish to directly marketto with your email campaign in order for this person to begin receiving youremails they will need to become a subscriber and a subscriber is just thatit is someone who is opted in to receive your email communications this can bethrough a web form on your website manually from a tradeshow sign up listor perhaps they’ve bought a product for you in the pastall of these subscribers form what’s known as your list your list will bestored and kept in your email marketing service another key element with emailmarketing is segmentation this simply means that you’re able to categorizedifferent subscribers into different lists groups or subgroups for exampleyou might segment your list by creating a group of just customers you might alsosegment by location products they purchased or even have agroup of prospects that have not yet bought anything an email serviceprovider who does a great job of segmentation is clay vo if you integratewith Shopify they’ll automatically segment your list into customers whohave purchased in the last 30 days as well as those who have bought over $100another critical element is your open rate you will find that on youranalytics dashboard this will be one of the main metrics you look at whendetermining the success of your email campaigns simply put your open rate ishow many people opened your email you will also be able to look at theclick-through rate that’s how many people click on the link that youincluded in your email one thing to note when talking about email campaigns isthat they can be only one email or can have multiple emails that make up onecampaign when we talk about email campaigns with multiple emails they’reoften labeled as a flow or an automation email series a good example of this is awelcome flow many businesses have these in place so that after a personsubscribes to the list there automatically entered into a welcomeemail series or flow they have preset up it would be something like this emailnumber one would say something like thanks for joiningemail number two would be more of a general follow up with a subject likecommonly asked questions and email number three this could be the finalemail before you enter them into your general newsletter mailings and it mightask if they have any questions as you begin to set up your own email campaignsyou’ll see that getting started can be easy go through each element discussedas you setup your own email campaign and begin testing the various elements tosee which works best with your intended audience did you know that the more youpersonalize your emails the more opens they’ll get this is called segmentationstrategy and the goal is to find a way to speak directly to your customersbased on their interests demographics and buying profile here’s how you canget the most out of your segmentation strategy determine your goal is it tosell a specific product or service is it a gain product reviews to fundraise ormaybe drive traffic to your blog understand you can have multiple goalsand the large scheme of things but when you are segmenting your subscribers youwill want a very specific goal some may fit into more than one goal but for nowlet’s focus on one and work backwards to develop a strategy segmenting your listcan seem overwhelming but in the beginning start small and segment onlyone key variable if you have not yet started segmenting your list start bypicking the most relevant attribute for your business and using it to divideyour emails into two for example it could be customers and non customersyou’re going to speak very differently to customers than your prospects next ispersonalization the goal of segmentation is to foster a one-to-one relationshipwith your subscriber you want to make it feel like you’re talking right to themnow thousands of other people at the same time online retailers do an amazingjob of this I encourage you to sign up for a popular online retailer and watchthe personalized emails roll in with specific deals and products just for youthis level of segmentation takes a lot of time and creativity but there arecertain ways that you can adapt these strategies into your own email marketingas you begin to grow your email list you can explore the different ways tosegment your customers remember the goal is to personalize your email content sothat your customers feel like you’re speaking directly to them with that inmind what is one key attribute you can use to segment your own customer base as with any type of marketing the key toachieving success is all in your strategic planning let’s go over how youcan create a powerful email marketing strategy for your business first andforemost focus on list growth without people on your listthere is no email strategy some ways you can actively build your list is havingan easy and accessible way for people to become a part of it your website will bea key component make sure you have a sign-up form some are obvious on yourhomepage make it really easy for people to stay in touch next make sure you haveall the permission levels in place you only want people who have expresslygiven you permission on your list you can do this by having a double opt-inset up or even just by making it really easy for people to unsubscribe from youremails with an obvious option at the bottom once people have happilysubscribed to your list get white listed white listing is when you have peopleadd you to their trusted contact list with their email provider getting whitelisted helps you avoid spam filters and if people have the promotion tab setupin Gmail this helps you show up in their main inbox now that your list is growingmake sure that your segmenting your list as you grow it’ll be a lot easiersegmenting in the beginning than having to go back and do it this means thatyou’re grouping people according to specific variables that you’ve decidedon part of your strategy will be deciding how you segment yoursubscribers one segmentation is in play this will allow you to get personalpersonalization is the goal in any email marketing campaign how can youpersonalize the content and emails that you send out to your list using yourknowledge of purchases location and interests you can individualize youremails to create a greater impact similar to segmentation automation isbest set up early in your email marketing strategy automation allows youto scale your email marketing efforts and will help you focus more time on theimportant things and takes out of the manual work that eats up all your timeif you head to campaigns in your MailChimp dashboard and select createcampaign it’s here under Creighton email that youhave an option to set up an automated email so MailChimp will walk you throughthey have a couple different options including subscriber activities soyou’re able to set up an automated flow to respond when a subscriber updates ifyou have a store integrated it’s here that you can have some really robustautomation as well as anything date based so say you have a specific dateand need to send out an appointment and then you have some additional advancedfunctionality working with the API an example of automation is a post purchaseemail sequence thank Amazon after you purchase a product you receive aconfirmation order that your order has been received then you receive an emailletting you know when it has been shipped and then another email notifyingyou that your product has been delivered Amazon has the entire product life cycleautomated once the order is made the email automation sequence is kicked offlastly without actual emails being sent out all of the strategies lost build aContent calendar to help you determine what you must to create what to includein them when to send and whom to send to now that you understand the componentsof a strong email strategy begin developing yours by taking steps to growyour email list yousocial media marketing has the ability to bring a new kind of exposure to yourbusiness by leveraging social media networks such as Facebook and Twitteryou’ll find opportunities to capture new customers as well as re-engage existingones there’s also more value in social media than just brand recognition andwebsite traffic let’s explore some of the other value ads within social mediafirst of all social media marketing creates opportunity to hear directlyfrom your customers oftentimes they’ll share things with your social channelsor ask questions that might help you identify how to serve them better butbeyond their direct interaction you’ll get a sense of what’s important to youraudience by looking at what they share and how frequently with an activeaudience you can ask for feedback or test ideas before creating largermarketing initiatives secondly you’ll establish credibility today’s savvyconsumers are spending more time researching brands and products beforespending money with an active social media presence you’ll allow yourcustomers to indirectly advocate for you if they’re leaving a positive commentsharing a review or interacting with your content it’ll boost your overallcredibility thirdly you’ll develop a community a community is an importanttool for driving awareness of your brand as customers become advocates they’llrun to social media to shower you with praise it’s this community that willignite your word-of-mouth marketing and help you reach untapped territoryfriends look to friends for recommendations and social media allowsyou to activate those opportunities and expose your brand to a new audience nowthese are just a few examples on the value of social media take the time tolook at your own objectives what would be the biggest value for you each valuecan have a different motivation you might want to build a community simplyto retain your existing customer base whereas another business might build acommunity for the sole purpose of getting content to go viral decide yourmain goal for leveraging social media marketing while Facebook and Twitter share certainsimilarities in that they’re both social networks where you can post and consumeinformation they’re actually two very different platforms in a nutshellTwitter tends to be a public real-time feed of short thoughts whereas Facebookis a more private network used to catalog information and ideas withfriends and family Twitter is perfect for short rapid communication and ittends to be a top choice for consumers looking to get support or provide ashout out to brands twitter also has impressive mobile saturation with around80% of twitter users checking their feeds multiple times throughout the dayfrom a mobile device Facebook boasts a high percentage ofusers who have graduated from college so you’ll find a strong middle classrepresented and if your brand appeals to those ages between 24 and 50 there’s anopportunity on Facebook for you younger users are shifting away from Facebookand joining the reins of Instagram or snapchat as for the gender ratio it’sfairly well split between male and female users you can be on both networkssimultaneously but understanding these fundamental differences will help youdetermine the right strategy em only think about strategy consider thatTwitter content has a short life span almost 90% of all engagement on a tweethappens within the first hour that number might shift if you get a retweetby a large brand or person but remember that it does have a really short lifespan with Facebook updates they can live on for several daysFacebook delivers content when it thinks it’s most relevant to a particular userthink of Facebook as an ongoing conversation and Twitter as a real-timeinstantaneous one as you explore when and how frequently to post contentyou’ll find that both networks have different optimal posting times thesetimes are going to be dependent on your audience your geographic location andthe category of business you operate within if you are just starting outI recommend exploring both networks twitter is a great place for handlingcustomer service and providing short updates as they relate to your businessFacebook is an excellent place to share in-depth content and to createconversations around particular topics looking at the differences between bothFacebook and Twitter is there one that really sticks out for your businessremember starting out it doesn’t hurt to try both but there might be one thatfits a little bit better into your social media marketing strategy youanytime you begin using any social network it’s critical to define yourcore marketing objective let’s go over how you may wish to leverage Facebook tomeet your marketing goals Facebook has a very different audience and the way thatpeople interact with content is slightly different than with Twitter withFacebook you have the opportunity to present long-form content that isanything that exceeds 280 characters because if you recall a tweet cannotexceed that many characters but Facebook posts they’ll let you have longercontent also you’ll find that Facebook doesn’t demand the quantity of updatesat Twitter does so you can get away with a couple of posts per day the lifespanof Facebook content as well is a lot longer than that of Twitter so you canconsider that as you define your objectives and decide how much time andenergy you’ll put into various content pieces at a high levelyour main goal on Facebook is likely going to be generating a fan base andthat is done by getting people to like your Facebook pagewhereas on Twitter you’ll be gaining followers on Facebook they’re calledfans you can leverage this audience to accomplish your business objective andas much as we saw again with Twitter this might be to generate brandawareness increase sales drive traffic to your website and so on your objectivewill dictate the type of content you promote and with what frequency as withmost social media a main objective is to publish content that not only meets yourbusiness goals but is also unique enough to be shared and liked these actionshelp to promote your content to a broad audience so your first step is to defineyour objective how will you use Facebook to support your marketing goals the first step in creating high qualitycontent for Facebook is deciding on your goal put another way what action do youwant your reader to take after they consume your contentwhat will compel them to take action and what supporting information can youprovide to help combat any doubts that they have take a minute to answer thesequestions because doing so will help you put together a framework for buildingthat high quality content high quality content really requires connecting withyour audience with the right message at the right time and as you go aboutdeveloping that content consider that more than a third of Facebook users areviewing your content on their mobile device this means that the amount ofcontent displayed on the screen before truncatesis going to be less there’s just less screen real estate so that means you’regoing to want to find that sweet spot in the amount of characters you use withthat said aiming for 250 characters or less is a great principle to test testit out and see how it works for your business but it’s a great starting pointit is by no means a rule and your audience might enjoy long-form contentor even extremely short status updates but it is a great place to start alsoconsider using eye catching images with any Content that you post you can evenexperiment with using links or videos as both are something that Facebooksupports when you’re just getting started it’s really a good idea to tryall kinds of different posts to see which ones get the most attention fromyour audience visual posts tend to look better and also get a lot more likesshares and comments than other kinds of posts and that is the case for mostbrands you can also try posts such as offers or even creating an event for aspecial occasion use a level of responsiveness on each particular pieceof content to gauge how well it does this way you can compare how well aphoto does for your audience versus say a strictly text post and then experimenttry throwing in an info graph fake a quote maybe a behind-the-scenesphoto change it up from time to time and see how your audience responds you over 336 million people worldwide turnedto Twitter every day and there they talk about things that interest them theymight be interacting with a trending topic such as the launch of the newiPhone they may be learning about world events talking about their day to daylife or even interacting with brands like yours being a business on Twitteris about creating and capturing these conversations you might leverage Twitterto share details on a new product a behind-the-scenes look on your processor helpful tips that in turn can boost your retention you might even conveyyour brand’s personality by sharing other news from your industry or addingan opinion to an existing topic as a business the goal is to obtain followersby adding value to the Twitter network by building followers you can expand onexisting customer relationships and develop new leads all while building avisible presence almost every major brand has a presence on Twitter eachwith a unique goal but at the core the biggest benefit to being on Twitter ishaving another channel to educate and engage with current and potentialcustomers before you start diving in it’s important to note that Twitter is avery timely network that means it requires a willingness to commit tofrequent posts otherwise your brand runs the risk of looking stale and unengagedcustomers really enjoy interacting with brands on Twitter they love to give ashout out for a job well done just as much as they’d like to know that you’reresponsive to questions should issues arise so your first step is to determineif you’re willing to commit the necessary resources to maintain yourpresence on Twitter as a starting point decide to interact once or twice a dayuntil you see what works best for your business with the right level ofcommitment businesses can see great results people want to hear from brandslike you on Twitter it’s a quick way for them to evaluate your brand to check fora special offer and to see what others have to say about your brand itself onceyou decide to use Twitter for your business the right time investment mixedwith high quality strategy will help your brand grow to be successful on Twitter you’ll needto identify your core marketing objective at a high level you’ll want tounderstand what it is that you’re wishing to accomplish by understandingyour objective you’ll be able to quickly identify whether or not your efforts aresuccessful for some brands Twitter might simply be a customer support hub this isa place to respond to customers and engage with the community your goalsmight be measured on the qualitative scale this means you’ll have todetermine if the quality of your engagements with your customers usingthis example are worth your brand’s effort on Twitter for other brands thefocus might be to establish brand recognitionso they’ll spend their time and energy building authority in their niche thesuccess metrics will be a blend of qualitative and quantitative so the lookat the amount of reach their tweets are getting and the volume of followers inorder to see if the objective is being met the types of responses and mentionsthe brand receives will also help determine how valuable the overalleffort is and the last major focus for a brand might be the actual sales ortraffic component so that means that you’ll include links to the websitepromotional opportunities for your products and product announcements andthis objective is easy to track so it’s highly quantitative and will be measureddirectly through the revenue that you generate you certainly can have multipleobjectives but the key is to identify your primary one and then build yourstrategy around that one focus if sales is the goal you’ll need to attractfollowers build high quality tweets that gain traction and include relevant callsto action to encourage the sale you’ll also need to provide customerservice with all that being said and at the same time generate brand recognitionin the process so you can see how they all work together take a few minutes nowto write out your marketing objective for Twitter and decide if you’ll bemeasuring the results by quality quantity or a true mix you the most important aspect of contentfundamentals is really defining and understanding the importance of contentmarketing so there’s a lot of noise about content marketing today everyone’stalking about it there’s a ton of content out there aboutit but really a lot of marketers are not totally sure how to define contentmarketing and how to really fit it as part of their marketing strategy socontent marketing is the process of creating valuable relevant content toattract acquire and engage your audience and now this is just one of the manypossible definitions on content marketing but it’s one that I thinkreally defines and exemplifies some of the great aspects of what contentmarketing can do for your business businesses today need content marketingit’s a critical aspect of being visible in today’s digital busy world so whythere’s an abundance of information out there on the internet for your customersyour customers are sifting through thousands and hundreds of messages eachday whether it’s doing their own research online you know push messagingthat’s coming across from marketers emails that are coming in to theirmailbox there’s a ton of information out there and it’s extremely difficult foryou as a marketer to get heard through all of that noise we also live in amulti-device world your customers move seamlessly through their laptops totheir phones to their tablet they can carry information around with them intheir pocket and access it any minute at anytime in a 24/7 world so becausethere’s such an access to information and tons of these multi devices it’sdifficult for you as a marketer to get heard from your customers and we live ina multi-channel world as well so not only are your customers accessinginformation on multiple devices but they are also accessing information acrosschannels so what do I mean by that your customers are on social media there areunsearched they’re on your website they’re on review sites like Yelp andGoogle there’s really a ton of different channels today that your customerslive and as a marketer it’s important to be present and be relevant on all thosechannels so what does all of this mean all of this information these multidevices multi channels it’s a very complex world out there and all of thatequals attention scarcity what that means is that your customers attentionis really divided amongst all of these you know different areas and thereforethe attention that they actually have for you and your messaging is scarce butcontent marketing helps you actually break through that noise because you’reproviding Salt leadership and you’re differentiating your brand from all theother brands out there by creating valuable relevant and educationalcontent you can be seen in front of your customers on those different channels onthose different devices and really become that trusted resource through allof that information content marketing has these seven qualifications so asyou’re thinking about planning out your content marketing strategy and as you’rethinking about content marketing in general for your business make sure thatthese seven elements are present so number one content marketing engagesindividuals on their own terms so this means being available and being relevantwhere your audience lives so that’s that concept of multi-channel multi-deviceyour content marketing is based on interactions with your buyers so youshould be creating content that is relevant to what your buyers want tohear and what they’re searching for your content marketing should tell acontinuous story your content should tell not only your business story butalso the story of your customers and it really does have to be a story it has tobe a narrative that’s interesting and engaging make sure that contentmarketing is the right fit for your channels so you need to create differenttypes of content for different channels one type of content that’s great foryour social media channel might not be right for email marketing or a paidprogram that you’re doing so make sure that the content that you’re creating isyou know you think about being channel specific number five your content has aclear purpose so this means that all you create should have a goal shouldhave a purpose in mind you’re creating content for thought leadership brandawareness lead generation all of these things make sure it has a purpose andthat leads me to number six your content marketing has predefined metrics youshould be creating content with end goals in mind whether that’s X amount ofnew customers maybe its new followers on your social networks whatever yourpredefined metrics should be make sure you determine those before you go in andactually create that content and number seven content marketing is almost alwaysevergreen so this means keep in mind your entire lifecycle when you thinkabout your different content content should last month’s content should lastyears it’s not totally always like this like for instance sometimes you’llcreate a piece of content on a trend related item for social media that mightnot be evergreen but your large pieces your ebooks you want to think aboutcontent themes and arcs that span multiple quarters so that you can getthe most bang for your buck so just some additional stats to keep in mind asyou’re thinking about your content strategy and as we define contentmarketing further 71 percent of consumers trust solutions that provideuseful information without trying to sell something so your content should beeducational it should be thought leadership for the purpose of buildingthat trust in building those relationships over time 62 percent ofconsumers trust solutions that provide information and best practices for toolsthey’ve bought you want to teach your customers how to use your products andservices better you want to teach them best practices and you want to educatethem this over time will really enable that lifelong value and that lifelongrelationship building from your customers given our definition ofcontent marketing and these seven qualifications take some time to sitdown and determine how you can fit your content marketing strategy into each ofthese seven items by really mapping out your reasons for content marketing anddefining what content marketing means for your businessyou can truly create a content marketing strategy from A to Z understanding the benefits of contentmarketing is critical to creating a content marketing strategy that worksfor your business a lot of the marketing activities that you partake in with yourcompany such as attending a tradeshow doing a banner ad paying for apay-per-click ad this is all essentially renting attention you’re paying a fixedfee to rent the audience of another vendor for instance if you’re at atradeshow you’re paying a certain amount of money to have a booth and to get thebenefits of that audience for that tradeshow in contrast content marketingis like owning your own attention you’re creating that thought leadershipin-house you’re creating that content in-house even though initially theremight be a spend to begin with you are great gaining your own attention overtime you’re promoting your own content out you’re creating your own audience soit’s essentially like owning your own attention you’re not continuouslyspending money on renting other people’s thought leadership in the audience thatthey have built brands today need to become their own publishers and contentmarketing is how to do that and create your own Salt leadership because youraudience is out there doing their own research they’re downloading informationoff online and why not be the place where your customers are finding thatinformation why not be the creators of that research and that’s how brandstoday become their own publishers so what are some additional benefits forcontent marketing benefit number one brand awareness up to 93% of the buyingjourney starts with a search online content builds organic awareness throughsearch and social you want to be available when your buyers are searchingfor you they are doing that research so you want to make sure that your contentis front and center and by creating content you build that brand awarenessso that when your buyers do search your content in your educational materialscome up benefit number two create brand preference thought leadership buildstrust in brand preference people are more likely to purchase from companieswho they trust by creating that content in becoming that educational resourcefor your customers you start to build thatrelationship and build that trust therefore if a customer is constantlysearching out content on a certain subject and your content is the contentthat’s continuously coming up when that customer is going to make that purchasethey will most likely find your content and think about you first and that’s howyou’re building that trust when it comes to purchasing decisions benefit numberthree reach more buyers at a lower cost unlike renting attention where you’repaying to rent other people’s audience the return on content happens over alonger time even though you have that initial spend because your content isevergreen and built to last and because you’re building your own audience andowning your own audience you can reach more buyers at a lower cost over time sogiven the benefits that we’ve discussed I hope that you can now apply this toyour own content marketing and really start thinking about how contentmarketing can help your business over time take these benefits and approachyour internal stakeholders so that you can really start creating that plan forcontent marketing in order for your content marketing tobe relevant and effective you must create your buyer personas and buyerjourneys most companies have many different types of buyers these are yourpersonas these are the people that you connect with each day with all of yourmarketing activities most companies have multiple different people that buy yourproduct or service so you want to make sure that you create content that isrelevant and effective for each individual person and each of thesepersonas will have their own buying journey this is essentially the journeythat they take from when they initially start researching a topic to when theymake a purchase each buying journey has multiple different steps and it’scritical that your content marketing really address each of the differentquestions and concerns that a buyer has in each step of this process in orderfor your content to be relevant and effective it must speak to both yourbuyer personas and their journeys so creating buyer personas help youessentially choose what type of content you want to create not every type ofcontent is going to work for every single buyer it also allows you totarget the right topics that your buyers actually care about so by doing theresearch to determine what are your different personas care about and whatdo they want to read you can certainly target what type of content you’recreating your personas also help set the tone in the voice for all of yourcontent assets you might have one buyer persona that likes to hear their contentin a more conversational way another type of persona might want more of anauthoritative more research driven type of content and by doing buyer personaresearch you can really determine what type and tone and voice of your contentneeds to be buyer journeys help you know what content create for each buyingstage like I said each journey has multiple different stages in a propercontent plan will have content that speaks to the questions and concernsyour buyers have at each stage buyer journeys also help you know where yourbuyers consume your content at each buying stage so somebody who’s initiallyresearching your product might be finding out about your content on socialmedia whereas somebody that’s close to making a purchase decision mylooking at a content syndication site or potentially your website so it’simportant to know where exactly your buyers look at each stage of the journeyso how do you find out this information how do you create your personas and yourjourneys you are gonna have to conduct interviews and research so how do you dothis so first you’re gonna want to speak with your sales teams your sales teamsare really on the front lines of speaking with your prospects every CHand every day they know exactly what types of questions and concerns yourpotential customers have so sit down and speak with your sales team to determinewhat exactly they know about your current customers your customer serviceteams are also on the front lines with your customers each and every day infact they know very very closely what type of concerns your current customersmight have so speak with your customer service teams to determine what type ofissues problems and questions your current customers ask you also want tospeak with current customers it’s important to get both sides of the storyso speak to both happy and unhappy customers this will give you awell-rounded perspective when determining what you should writecontent about and then also if possible speak with prospects the people thathave yet to become customers but who hopefully will in the future during yourinterviews you want to find out some of the following information and this couldbe limited to what’s here or you could well expand it into what makes sense foryour own business the type of information you’ll want tofind out to actually create your persona as information about backgroundpotentially job details the goals and challenges of your personas where dothey source their information watch their preferred content medium somepeople like to read content in an e-book form other people might want to watch avideo get some actual quotes from customers what about their objectionswhat type of objections do they commonly say if they’re speaking to a salespersonand then watch their role in the purchase process you might have multiplepersonas that are the decision-maker and then some personas might also beassistants to the decision-maker so lots of especially long sale cycle these dayshave large buying teams so you might want to create personas for each memberof the buying team and create a sample marketing message foreach one of your personas so that you know exactly how you’re speaking to themin addition to your sample buyer persona you also want to create a sample buyerjourney the information from all of your interviews will lend itself very well tocreating this type of journey remember that a buyer journey has each differentstage and they might be different stages depending on your own sales cycle inyour own buyers but here’s just an example it could be calm status quoshattered search around problem frame problem in solution consult peers andexperts engage potential providers so those are just an example of some ofyour buyer journey stages and then in addition to each stage you want toprovide an explanation and potentially any questions or concerns that buyersbring up at each stage now that you’ve created your personas and your journeysit’s time to align your content it’s extremely important to create contentthat speaks to each persona and each stage in the buying journey and thatwill make up your content mix so now that I’ve gone over persona and journeysit down with your stakeholders in your organization determine what questionsyou should ask and now create your own in order for your content marketing tobe successful you must set your content goals you should always have goals foryour content marketing and they should be the first thing that you set up goalshelp you choose the right assets for your organization design content to bemeasurable upfront and help you define success a content marketing plan withoutgoals will simply not go anywhere so goals are critical to ensure that thecontent you’re creating is the right content and now you’re able toappropriately define success so what are the steps you need to take in order toset your content marketing goals step 1 meet with stakeholders to get theirpoint of view on goals you need to determine who is involved in creatingcontent there’s most likely a variety of team and a variety of team leaders whoare involved in creating content and promoting it so get together yourmarketing team leaders sales team leaders and customer service teamleaders step number two ask yourself some foundational questions why are youcreating content what programs are you planning on using your content in whatare your short-term goals and what are your long-term goals asking yourself andyour stakeholders these questions will help you set a solid foundation forcreating your content marketing strategy step number three define yourqualitative goals these are goals like brand recognition thought leadershipsocial engagement relationship building trust these are all extremely importantgoals to content marketing so although these particular goals might not have anumber assigned to them they are critical step number four define yourquantitative goals so these are goals that actually do have a numberassociated with them so these might be number of new leads number of downloadsfor each content asset specific number of social shares percentage of leadsthat turn to opportunities that turn to closed deals how much pipeline yourcontent has generated how much revenue all of these quantitative goals aremeasurable and should be measured and they should be measured in addition tothe qualitative goals so that you have a holistic view of all of your contentmarketing goal how do you track your goals you cantrack your goals in your marketing automation platform this is great fortracking those quantitative goals like number of leads downloads and revenueGoogle Analytics is great for traffic and conversions you want to track yoursocial channels for increase in social shares your CRM tool you could track forcustomer engagement and your content management tool you can also track stufflike downloads and engagement and then add your goals to a plan put it down onpaper you’ll want to socialize your goals with your team present it to thestakeholders you can schedule weekly or monthly metrics check-ins meetings andhold yourself accountable to your goals you can’t create a Content plan within avacuum so by showing your organization that you are able to tie your contentefforts to goals you ultimately get more budget and more team and bandwidth tocreate more content over time now that we’ve sat down to discuss howto create your goals for your content marketing sit down talk to yourstakeholders ask yourself questions put everything down on paper and ultimatelycreate your plan mapping your content to your salesfunnel helps to ensure that you’re moving new buyers to actually becomecustomers once you understand your buyer journey and have created your contentthemes and brainstormed ideas you need a map your content to your sales funnelwhy well you need to create content that speaks to your buyer at every stage ofyour sales funnel first you need a know your sales funnelthis could be different based on your business whether you’re a b2b businessor b2c business that’ll make a difference your sales funnel typicallystarts at a top of funnel stage where most of your new buyers and your newleads are coming in it gets a little narrower in the middle of your funnelwhere you’re actually starting to nurture your leads and you know who theyare and then at the bottom of your funnel you have leaves that are veryclose to becoming customers and then they are customers so again this willvary based on your business but it’s important to understand your funnel andto start to map your content to these different stages so let’s walk throughlet’s start with your top of funnel tofu content this person is at the beginningof your sales and marketing funnel she is aware of your service but she is notready to buy this person might have found used their social media she mayhave gotten on your website offered types for your top of funnel content oureducational and thought leadership do not mix this with content that has toomuch product information let’s take a look at some tofu content in action allof these examples are ebooks that are best practice in thought leadership thateach of these vendor publishers have created to help educate their audienceso now let’s go to the middle of your funnel your mo foo content this personhas displayed buying behavior is engaged with your content and is potentially asales lead so this person knows who you are and you might be nurturing them overtime offer types here are third-party reports return on investment calculatorsfor your products or buying guides to help these people make a decision topurchase your product so now let’s take a look at mo foo content in action incontrast with the tofu content assets all of these three examples actuallyspeak a bit about the product in the core business Kate says each of thesecompanies are trying to sell so the one on theleft developing a business case from marketing automation the one in themiddle is a third-party asset that talks about the total and economic impact ofthe company and then the one on the right is a buyer’s guide so all of thesepieces are working to push the buyer through that funnel now let’s talk aboutyour bo foo content that bottom of the funnel content this person is very closeto becoming a customer your offers here are very specific to your product oryour service so your offer types are promotional and return on investmentproving some examples here are to prove competitive and value so some ideascould be pricing sheets these could be customer case studies you really want toshow a customer in the bo foo stage that your product is the correct choice nowthat you understand your own sales funnel you can take your content and youcan map it to each of the stages in your funnel then you can make sure thatyou’re pushing leads to eventually become customers you want to make sure you have a solidcontent mix so you need to choose your content types when it comes to contentthere are a lot of types to choose from you can choose your content types basedon your brand look and feel the different content topic you choose yourcontent goals and your proposed promotional channels first let’s talkabout blog posts blog posts are short pieces of content that are regularlyupdated on your company blog your blog post can range anywhere from about 300to 700 words and they can be about a variety of topics blogs are fantasticfor tren related content and when you need to put out a point of view at avery fast pace now let’s talk about cheat sheets cheat sheets are shortpieces of downloadable content that are created for the purpose of giving thereader quick access to a series of tips or best practices your cheat sheets aretypically one-page they can be front and back and they don’t have too much designthese are simple easy to digest content assets you may or may not want to createa content piece similar to a definitive guide a definitive guide is a very largecontent piece often over 60 pages that you can then break apart into smallersupplemental content items these take a lot of effort and are often inconjunction with a large promotional plan these can really anchor yourcontent themes for a quarter ebooks are the bread and butter of your contentstrategy particularly if you are in a b2b company an e-book is an electronicversion of a shortened book it is designed to contain salt leadership andbest practices on a particular topic ebooks can be short four to five pagesor they can be much longer at around 50 pages your ebooks should be designed tofit your brand and give you the opportunity to present your informationin a creative way infographics take information like statistics or bestpractices and present it in a visual way infographics are generally verticalgraphics that are short and easy to consume your graphics should be highlyvisual with an interesting hook typically infographics are created to bepresented on your blog and then you can promote them out for inbound links inmedia attention reports can be created by collecting survey and industry dataand presenting it prehensile document reports oftencontain lots of statistics a strong point of view and are generallyformatted like an e-book reports can be a critical cornerstone of your contentand gain a lot of recognition in your industry don’t just stop at downloadablecontent think about what else you can create that is interesting fun shareableand engaging for your audience think outside of the box because content cantake many forms videos are an engaging and visual form of live-action contentthat can be filmed and promoted on YouTube social channels and your websiteyour videos can range from product related topics to stories music videosand more they can also range in length from 30 seconds to 10 minutes howevernote that best practices here are for most of your videos to clock in ataround 1 to 2 minutes people have short attention spans visuals slide deckspresent information statistics and best practices in a highly visual formatusing slides often your slide decks can almost be like an infographic chopped-upyou can publish them on SlideShare and promote out on your website in socialchannels a caution here is to make sure each of your slides are professionallydesigned and does not include too much text a webinar is either a live orrecorded presentation that a speaker presents along with a slide deck theseare generally events for your audience signs up at ends and asks questionswebinars are generally topical and can be easily recorded for later viewing adownloadable workbook provides your readers with an actionable template tofill in his or her own answers to questions these are great if you’retrying to teach your audience something in particular using a checklist table orfill in the blanks now that we’ve broken down all the different content types youcan then start to really formulate what your content marketing mix is going tolook like once you have a good idea what types ofcontent you will be creating next you have to plan your editorial calendarbefore you create your calendar you need to think about your content mix what arethe different types of content you’re creating and how are you going to fitthem in your plan to make a diverse content plan think about your content infood groups this is actually a great analogy developed by Ann Handley to helpyou determine what should be in your content mix first you have your roaststhese are your large content initiatives this would be if you’re planning tocreate a definitive guide a large ebook or anything that has a promotional planthat’s extensive behind it these would be your big rock pieces next you need tomake sure you have your Raisin Bran these are everyday pieces of contentthey are quick and consumable like cheat sheets checklists and best practicesthese should also be a big part of your content mix in addition to those roastsnext we have our spinach these are content items packed with nutrients thisis your high-level thought leadership this could be a report that presentsfindings that you have in a survey it could be a really high-level ebook anexecutive piece of thought leadership either way you need to make sure thatthese items are included in your overall content plan next we have chocolate cakethese are your fun light-hearted and indulgent pieces of content this couldbe infographics any type of special projects you’re creating fun videosideally these are pieces of content that you’re sharing on a regular basis onsocial channels and then you have your Tabasco sauce this is content with somespice content that challenges asks hard questions or provokes responses yourTabasco content is often best on a blog post so definitely take that intoconsideration but make sure you’re not saying anything that’s off-brand aContent plan and an editorial calendar can help you stay organized so you needto make sure that you are adhering to this mix you don’t want your content tobe homogenized and you don’t want to be putting out things that are the same dayin and day out editorial calendar also helps youincrease visibility across your organization so that people in yourcompany know exactly what content you’re creating and when it also helps to alignyour team’s you might have different content that you’re creating on demandgen versus customer versus brand so how do you organize your calendar first thecontent mix that we spoke about earlier then you should organize based ondifferent teams depending on who you’re creating content for any ongoingcampaigns that you have to keep in mind and strategic initiatives these shouldall be on your editorial calendar what calendar platform should you use thereare many options here basically you just need to make sure that you’re puttingthem down into a calendar form you can use a calendar in your contentmanagement tool consider a google calendar that you can share with folksacross the organization or a Google spreadsheet even if you don’tnecessarily want to put it in a calendar form or your marketing automationcalendar many marketing automation platforms today have calendarfunctionality that you can add your content mix to who should see mycalendar your editorial calendar should be available to marketing sales customerservice executives or anybody else who wants to know what specific content thatyou’re creating here’s a few examples of different types of calendars calendarexample number one is a detailed spreadsheet a spreadsheet could beuseful if you have multiple different content types you want to include thestatus production start and completion date maybe you want to say what businessunit this is for your persona right resource section type if you have lotsof different items that you need to put in a calendar form sometimes aspreadsheet type format works great calendar example number two is within acontent management platform this one is from Divi HQ this one has an actualcalendar format where you can toggle based on specific due dateswhat calendar so what business unit is for the team member it’s assigned twocontent type or your content strategy no matter how you decide to organize youreditorial in what you include in your calendarmake sure it has that content mix that we spoke about and that everything isorganized so go ahead write down your plan and put it in a calendar you

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