Implementing a new inbound marketing campaign is going to call for some strategy and some creative content. This can feel intimidating and expensive, but if you take the steps one at a time and keep a close eye on the assets you may already have on hand, it doesn’t need to break your budget.
Creative Content Marketing On A Budget
First, you’ll want to inventory your current inbound marketing and content marketing efforts to see where you are at. Do you already have a blog? Social media accounts? Are they up-to-date? If the answer to those questions is no, then it’s time to get moving. What about articles that you have written in the past for the company newsletter or your email list? With a little polishing, they can be up-to-date pieces in your content library. Look through your archives to find any content that could be reworked and used in an inbound marketing campaign.
If your blog or social media accounts have cobwebs on them, it’s time to dust them off. Posting consistently will be a huge part of your inbound marketing strategy. It is without exception the most important item on your checklist. There is a saying that has become a cliche, but has a lot of truth to it: how often should you blog? As often as you want to get found. Posting to your blog and social media accounts on a regular basis helps establish trust, authority and relationships.
This doesn’t mean you have to carry the load all by yourself, however! Find a few people in your company who have the ability to write a short post featuring one aspect of your business, and then assign them some articles. Attach their name and bio to your posts to establish the different tones of voice and content in your company blog.
Types Of Content
Now…what exactly is content? Blog posts, videos, email communication, social media posts and the information on your website are all considered content. You can have a successful content marketing strategy with these channels, if you do it consistently and authentically. Establish an editorial calendar so that the main bulk of your social media messages follow the topics you cover in your blog.
What to blog about? The best business blogs provide value and variety in the form of content. You don’t just blog to talk about yourself. You put the reader first. When you know who your audience is, what their problems and concerns are, and then you give them solutions and answers, you will have a successful blog.
The same goes for social media and email marketing. It’s not about tireless self-promotion. It is about connecting with your audience and your peers. Of course you want it to be clear who you are and what your unique value proposition is, but you don’t want to beat anyone over the head with it. A good blog post does the following:
- Offers value in the form of information, how-to’s or a solution to a problem.
- Is visually engaging and entertaining.
- Is easy to read and accessible.
- Is easily shareable.
- Has a clear call to action.
Mix Things Up
Mix in various kinds of content in order to avoid boredom.
- High-quality Graphics: your readers are visual creatures! Give them something interesting to look at. If your blog has a lot of statistical information, consider using an infographic. There are some interesting and free tools on the internet to create infographics for yourself. One of our favorites is http://vizualize.me.
- Video: Video is another great way to engage with your audience. You might also want to consider explainer ideos and new product launches over video. Once you have a video piece, make sure to post it across all your channels for the best distribution. Also, don’t neglect a YouTube channel for you company! Did you know that YouTube is the second most popular search engine, behind only Google?
- Currated list posts give your reader a break from heavy reading and offer a useful service.
The key to creative content marketing is consistency and variety. You want to post to your blog and social media accounts on a regular basis. You also want to take the time to respond to comments and questions that you receive. Your blog and social media accounts are great sources of information and feedback for you, and an amazing opportunity to connect with followers and build customer loyalty.
Inbound Marketing Services
If you don’t have the time or staff to implement a full inbound marketing campaign, investigate having someone perform those services for you. Visual Creatives offers full service inbound marketing, for example, at far less cost than a dedicated staff person or even the office intern!
In general, following these practices will move you towards a successful content marketing campaign. Be sure to carry these practices over into your email marketing and other forms of communication as well. Inbound marketing is about giving value and not putting heavy sales pressure on your readers. Remember, relationships come first. Your goal is to educate, delight and inform your readers, and the very best way to do that is through reliably producing creative content.