Keeping the content engine running can be a pretty daunting task, even for a well-seasoned content marketer. When done right, your inbound marketing strategies will help people find you, buy from you, and also send new prospects your way. So, how do you create and properly distribute content that will attract your audience, get them engaged, and move them smoothly through your marketing funnel?
You need to build a content marketing engine that will make content creation a simple and seamless process.
Balance is always a good thing, especially when it comes to your content marketing — think “farming vs fishing”. Your blog and website are considered farming since you’re growing your community by producing and distributing great content. Social media is where you’re fishing, metaphorically of course, by dangling your content as bait into various streams to lure people to you and create a following.
When it comes to the types of content you can create, the options are pretty endless.
Here are some examples:
Written Long-Form Content — Blog articles, eBooks, Whitepapers
Short Form Content — Links, Questions, Calls-to-action
Multimedia Content — Videos, Podcasts, Webinars
Now, let’s discuss a system for brainstorming, creating, organizing, and sharing your awesome content.
Brainstorm and Plan Your Content
Plan and make a list of potential themes, topics, and the types of content you want to create. To make this process a little easier, we like to use this content creation worksheet. If you’re drawing a blank when brainstorming content, there are a few ways you can get inspired.
Research keywords to use in your blog post titles and throughout your content. Relevant keywords may help lead you to topics you hadn’t considered, and they’ll also help boost your search traffic.
Address engagement from your audience. Answer any questions that they may ask you and be open to asking them questions as well. This can lead to new subject matter or topics for you to cover. Discuss their pain points and give them the answers they’re looking for so that they will continue coming to you instead of looking elsewhere.
Gather Necessary Resources
Will you be creating all of your own content or do you plan on outsourcing it? Most people try to handle their own content creation, but sometimes factors such as a lack of time can cause limitations. Hiring a dedicated writer to craft content can also be beneficial if creating quality content is a challenge for you or your team.
Collect any necessary source material and links to things that inspire you for your content. You can look back at these later when you’re actually starting to create your content rather than having to do too much work or research in the moment.
Organize Your Plans and Resources
Now, it’s time to organize your content plans and resources so that you can get started. An organization is the key to long-term inbound marketing success since it minimizes the challenges in maintaining consistency. A great tool that will make your life so much easier is the editorial calendar.
Using the editorial calendar, you’ll be able to populate the “Themes” and “Topics” tabs which you can transfer from your content creation worksheet. Not only will you have a view of your content for the year, but you’ll also have the “Blog” and “Social” tabs to rely on for tracking the progress of every post and creating accountability.
Also, keep track of any emails, newsletters, social media posts, eBooks, whitepapers, and events that you have planned. This editorial calendar will be an absolute lifesaver.
Publish and Share Your Content
Once you start publishing your blog content on your website, you’ll want to share it through different social media platforms as well. You can opt for a social media publishing software to help you cross publish on multiple platforms at the same time.
Here’s a quick guide that you can use to determine how often you should publish or republish your content on popular platforms:
Blog: Post twice a week
Facebook: Post two to three times a day (two original content, one curated/co-opted content)
Twitter: Post ten times a day (five original content, one co-opted content, one curated content, three RT curated content)
LinkedIn: Post one to two times a day (one original content, one curated content)
Pinterest: Post five times a day
Instagram: Post one to five times a day
Do keep in mind that it isn’t necessary for you to be on every single social media channel out there. You want to be visible wherever your target audience is present, so get a feel for what platforms best suit you and your goals as well as theirs.
As previously mentioned, the editorial calendar is the best tool you can have in your arsenal to keep your content engine going strong. Here are some other really great tools that can help make things easier for you as well:
Check Your Grammar
Grammarly is an easy-to-use tool for quickly proofreading your content.
Create Great Graphics
Graphic design can get a little tricky, but Canva makes it a breeze!
Perform Keyword Research
Find the best keywords to use in your content with Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
Run a Readability Test
Check to see if your posts are formatted to be reader-friendly with this Readability Test Tool.
Re-publish on Social
Automatically repurpose your best social media updates with software such as SMhack. This software lets you sort your popular content based on categories. You can pick and choose from these categories to re-publish your content easily.
With the right tools and game plan in place, you have the potential to be an unstoppable, content creating machine. The process will take some initial grunt work and brain power, but with your inbound marketing strategy in place, you will find yourself on top of your content instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.
Christina Strickland is Vice President of Crackerjack Marketing, a social media, content, and influencer marketing agency serving clients around the world. Crackerjack Marketing tailors all work to each client, drawing on over 15 years of agency experience.