Are you ready to ramp up your company’s inbound marketing efforts? That’s not a rhetorical question: Content marketing is increasingly necessary for companies looking to develop a competitive edge, and smaller businesses are by no means exempt from this. Some companies are better prepared to deliver robust and strategic content than others, of course, which is why we’ve put together this little checklist.
Take some time to peruse the items on this list and appraise your own level of readiness. All items on this list are essential for a sound content marketing campaign. Of course, for any assistance getting these items together, we invite you to contact the Grammar Chic team at your convenience!
Plans & Blueprints
Before you actually write your first piece of content, ensure that you have:
- A set of clearly-defined goals, written down somewhere to guide your content marketing.
- The right expectations, including a realization that content marketing is an ongoing process and that it won’t necessarily deliver results overnight.
- A mission statement, or some other document that reflects what your brand stands for.
- Buyer personas,or marketing demographic research, to guide you in tailoring content for your intended consumers.
- Clear division of labor; you need to either have an external content marketing team in place, or else clearly-defined content marketing roles within your company.
- An editorial calendar, with at least a couple weeks’ worth of content mapped out.
- A program that will help you automate your content and track your results; our recommendation is HootSuite.
A big part of your content marketing campaign is going to involve driving traffic to your website, so make sure your site is ready to receive guests.
- A professional design that includes simple and intuitive navigation.
- A concise but attention-grabbing home page that immediately communicates value.
- An ‘About Us’ page that summarizes your company and its values in a compelling, value-focused way.
- Contact information on every page of the site.
- Calls-to-actionon every page of the site.
- Links/buttons to your company’s social media accounts.
In terms of social media, the first step is always to frankly but strategically assess which platforms make the most sense for your business. If you don’t have time to regularly and consistently update three or four platforms, you may need to start with just one or two, or else outsource your content marketing. For the social platforms that you do have, make sure that you are equipped with:
- A handle or vanity URL that lines up with your website domain, if possible.
- Profile information that is completely filled out, focusing on the value you offer to customers but also rich in keywords. Also include links to your company website wherever appropriate.
- A strategy in place for how you’ll implement each social network, preferably one that’s written down and formalized; after all, you’ll likely be engaging with a different audience on LinkedIn than on Pinterest.
- Time on your calendar to engage with users and respond to comments, questions, and @ replies, ideally every day.
- Other industry leaders/professionals that you’re following—both for content ideas and for networking potential.
Last, but certainly not least:
- As important as anything else on this list, you direly need to have a business blogin place, which will be your primarily platform for publishing new and original content.
- An account with a press release distribution service.
- Some ready-to-go guest posting pitches, and a list of potential places to pitch them.
- Google Alerts for some industry-related keywords, to ensure you’re keeping up with important trends and happenings
This list provides you with the foundation for a great content marketing campaign—but of course, none of it means anything if you don’t stick with it, regularly completing and publishing robust and strategic new content. Again, for assistance with any of this, don’t hesitate to contact the Grammar Chic, Inc. team: Visit www.grammarchic.net, or else call 804-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.