Here are a handful of great ways to get started with a solid content marketing program – today.
Yes, we’d love to encourage you to sit down and thoughtfully plan out your goals and approach, map out an editorial calendar, and align your content marketing activities with broader business goals, but we get that it can be really daunting to do all that planning when you don’t know the first thing about what you’re doing. Even worse, you don’t necessarily know what you and your team are good at and enjoy.
And that’s important, because if you aren’t enjoying it, you aren’t going to keep at it. So here are a handful of things you can do to get started – today – and use to build your comfort level with content marketing. Six months from now you may be doing something completely different, but sometimes just diving in is the best way to go.
Comment on Blogs
You read blogs, don’t you? Industry blogs are a great source of professional development material and a great way to see what’s happening in your industry. Two approaches to think about:
- Comment on blogs that are read by your peers to help establish yourself as a somebody in the industry. This leads to more invitations to speak, guest post, and collaborate on content and on paying work. Referrals may even ensue!
- Comment on blogs that are read by your target audience. They’ll look at you as an established expert. This can lead to speaking invitations and other opportunities for exposure. Paid work may even ensue!
Get Active on LinkedIn
Joining, having a profile and accepting connections from your college classmate you haven’t seen in 20 years isn’t going to get you very far. Being active in discussion groups – perhaps even leading or starting your own – is more likely to be productive in terms of generating awareness and opportunities. You can start small by answering questions that are posted in various groups.
Start an Email Newsletter
It ain’t sexy, but it still works. Email is a great way to keep in touch with clients and prospects, and a fantastic way to drive folks to other content you are creating on your website and elsewhere. But what will I write about? How about …
I have to admit, I hate that phrase, but it’s how people refer to creating content without having to write original material. Find a bunch of great material on a particular topic of interest to your audience and related to your work. Bonus points if you tie it together with a cogent, informative introduction that has a strong editorial stance. Basically, tell me why I should be bothered to read more.
Call A Colleague
And propose doing a webinar together. Or a presentation at an upcoming industry event. Long gone are the days when you could reasonably expect to get paid for these efforts – and there are plenty of venues that want to charge you for the opportunity, recognizing that it’s great marketing for the speaker – but there are still opportunities you can take advantage of. And working with a partner lowers the stress level and makes it less likely that you’ll procrastinate your way into a corner.
Dive In To Social Media
Yeah, we know Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram scare you. But if you run with the whole content curation idea, you can dip your foot in pretty painlessly. And it will be good to already be over the fear as you springboard from these suggestions to a full-blown, comprehensively prepped, content marketing plan.