5 easy content marketing ideas
Here at SGD, we identify Content Marketing as the process of planning, creating and developing digital content with the goal of attracting and retaining the intrigue of potential clientele. The end goal of your Content Marketing efforts is an exchange of goods or services for money – on a recurring basis preferred of course.
Content Marketing comes in many forms, many of which we produce for our own business, and for our clients. Helping clients reach their potential in terms of a Content Marketing plan ensures that the beautifully designed website (created by us) will be seen and appreciated for all its fabulous functionalities and exceptional design.
When we work with clients to develop platforms such as e-newsletter mail out functionalities and blog add-ons to their site, we do this in a way that enables us to custom design and develop these platforms which can then be handed over to the client to manage themselves. Content Marketing is a fun part of the marketing process. With the right software and systems in place, it can be fast and easy, and should provide your business with a great return on investment if done well.
Throughout this article we will link to some of our own Content Marketing examples, as well as some examples created by people in the industry who we think do an epic job – people who inspire us!
To make things simple, we’ve detailed five Content Marketing ideas which we believe you can implement straight away – with our hacks and expert tips. We’ve started with online an online Portfolio which is your content itself, and ended with social media, the platform which you will be able to share the fruits of your business. These ideas all link together and if you’re smart with your planning, you can recycle and recreate your content to fill up a full calendar year of marketing in a much more effective and time efficient way than you currently are. Let’s do this!
A Digital Portfolio
First cab off the rank is a Portfolio. Now, we’re going to give ourselves a shameless plug here (promise we won’t do this the whole way through!), because this is our strong suit. Our Portfolio is the heart of our website, and it’s the key to getting new customers and enquiries over and over. Our Portfolio shows potential clients exactly what we do. It shows our skills, a proven track record (so important!), and that we complete jobs with happy clients – we love to include testimonials to prove this.
A Portfolio is essential if you are a service-based business. If you are providing a service that does not have an option to sell online, you need to have something strong and convincing to encourage your clients to call, email or fill in that contact form. Show more than one example, and always showcase your best work. If there’s something on your website that you aren’t 100% stoked with, don’t include it. It can deter clients. A variety of work will also ensure you appeal to a wide audience.
See the SGD portfolio here for a little taste of what works well in the creative services industry.
An e-book is a great idea if you want to achieve the following:
- Increase sign-ups and beef up that all-important database
- Achieve status as an authority in your industry
- Provide your clients with something of value
- Provide a free downloadable to entice purchases
- A brand recognition exercise
- Sharable, social media collateral
E-books are an excellent tool for sharing your knowledge and empowering your clients. Provided you brand your e-book correctly and receive an email address in exchange for future correspondence, you can consider creating an e-book as a successful Content Marketing exercise.
How do you create an e-book? Firstly, you need to write the content (an e-book can be as little as 6 pages), then you need to design the pages (get a professional to do this!), before putting it into an e-book or e-magazine downloadable format. One format we think is great because it’s easy to use, is Calameo. It even makes that cute page turning noise when you’re reading to flip the page. Anyone can sign up for a free account, so it gets the user-friendly tick of approval from us. Simply upload your designed document and you have an e-book ready to share and send! See some examples here: Calameo
E-newsletters are the holy grail of Content Marketing in our opinion. We know that mobile users essentially accessible via email 24/7. It’s like SMS marketing but with more information, less violating (who likes getting an SMS from a company, really? Not me!), and with all the right call to action elements to encourage that “book now”, “add to cart”, or “contact now” feels.
We can create custom designed e-newsletter templates for our clients which allow you to take the reigns and run your own e-newsletter marketing at your own pace. One of the preferred platforms we like to use is Campaign Monitor. Why? Once we set you up with a custom designed template, it’s so easy to navigate. All you have to do is edit the variable fields. You can decide on the subject line, articles featured, images used, and you can choose who it goes to and when. It’s all in your hands.
Not getting the cut through? Run a spam test. You might be winding up in junk mail or worse, not making it to people at all due to spam filters! Gmail is a tricky one – some of the most casual words will stop your e-newsletter from reaching your entire database. Run a spam filter test if you can and give yourself the best chance at landing in those inboxes.
WordPress blogs are easy to update and are the go-to blog for many of our clients – and yep, we use them too! We love the option for adding plugins to help with SEO, readability, and all those other things that might help you penetrate your market and rank well in Google.
There are many ways you can develop a blog for a business. Some companies will use this as their “news” section. Some might use this as a place to share their personal point of view and really showcase the personality behind their brand – an online diary if you will. However you use it, a blog is an excellent way to enhance traffic to your site and provides you with bountiful SEO opportunities. Many clients want a blog simply for its SEO potential. We agree, it works well!
Personally, we blog once a month. It’s not a lot, but we utilise the content over and over in a variety of ways, for example, the blog is sent out as an e-newsletter in its entirety. The blog is the e-newsletter! Then we snippet sections and share this information via social media while linking back to our website
A Social Media Schedule
We find that a balance between the main mediums works well for most brands and small businesses. This includes: Facebook and Instagram. For news and media outlets, and personal brands, SnapChat still has its place in the market, however this has dropped due to Instagram launching its own copycat platform Instagram Stories.
For our business LinkedIn is a must, as well as Squarespace and Google+.
Now we’ve probably made this sound like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of platforms which facilitate forward planning across all these mediums. This means, you can schedule your posts months in advance. We recommend spending a solid few days planning and creating the content for your social media marketing plan and schedule it. This means you won’t be jumping online every day whipping up posts on the fly – this will take you longer!
Social Media management tools:
Hootsuite – Great for scheduling. If you want a column for each medium with both previous posts and future posts then this is it. Easy to use and can be shared across the team.
Sprout – Do you get lots of DM’s, PM’s and comments which require responses? This not only allows for scheduling, but it has a very sophisticated inbox system which allows you to clear enquiries quickly and effectively.
Interested in creating a seriously good website with us? See some of the websites created by SGD here.
If you are ready to get started on your website, get in touch today. We are ready when you are!
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