Yesterday I chatted with James Schramko on my Web Domination podcast about content marketing and how he’s built a $2m+ business on the back of his own authority. You can listen to the episode below or check out the full episodeÂ here.
[buzzsprout episode='53783' player='true']
Building your own strategy
In this 2 part post I’m going to lay out a step by step plan to use content marketing in your niche based on what I’ve learnt myself over the years and what I learnt from James yesterday.
In this post I’ll outline the strategy and some high level considerations before getting into theÂ individualÂ methods on the next post.
To me a lot of content marketing has to do with attitude. Putting yourself out there requires that you are confident and consistent, it forces you to ship content regularly and put yourself out there.
Do you relate to this statement?
I like my website to have corporate information and I’m worried if I give too much information away my competitors will steal it or customers will just take the free stuff and not buy anything.Â
I will tell everyone everything I know, I’m not worried about competitors stealing my information (if they want to be one step behind me then great). I’m confident that I will build my authority to the point where I will be seen as the expert in my field that enough customers will want to buy from me and I’m happy to help out people who want the free stuff aswell.Â
- Supremely confident
- Generally pretty thick skinned
- Huge producers of work (articles, ebooks, videos etc)
If you don’t have these characteristics or you can’t build them it’s going to be tough to succeed at content marketing.
High level considerations
Before you look into theÂ individualÂ methods to use it’s worth considering a few things strategy wise as these will impact on how successfully you can pull off the various methods.
James has a team of 76 people in his business and I know he gets a lot of help with every aspect of his content marketing efforts. In the past I’ve employed a number of support staff that have helped with content marketing (see my postÂ How to hire virtual assistances from the Philippines). Whether or not you have a team will impact on your routine and process and your leverage efforts as well.
Routine and process
All of the people I have spoken to (including James) who are doing a great job with content have a routine and a schedule of some sort.
In my case I use a combination of recurring calendar appointments in Google Apps and Evernote. I know Dan and Ian from the lifestyle Business Podcast use appointments and Google Docs. Every Thursday they record a podcast, it doesn’t matter if they are in a cafe, on a bus, whatever they’ll record one.
Content marketing is a lot of work you need to think about how you will get through all the work. If you employ a team they need to be part of this process as well.
James has a well thought out strategy of how all of his content will be leveraged in other places. A few examples are:
- His daily business updates are recorded in video and his team rips out the audio and he publishes a video version for his site as well as an Audio version as a podcast for iTunes.
- His physical events are all recorded and in hisÂ private forum, he posts all of the videos and uses it as a selling point to get people into the forum.
- His podcast episodes are summarised and fully transcribed for his blog.
These are just a few examples and if you are producing a lot of content it’s worth thinking about how you might do this particularly if you are in a position to utilise a Virtual Assistant to help with some of this stuff.
Engagement with your audience
One thing that content marketing requires is a regular engagement with your audience. Here is what I mean:
- The best blogs have lots of comments, the best bloggers will respond to these comments (often every single one of them).
- The best podcasts have listeners that leave reviews or call up and ask questions.
- The best people on Twitter are constantly engaging with their followers.
Assuming if you’ve made it to this point then you are ready to start thinking about how you might build a content marketing strategy. It’s unlikely that you will be able or prepared to implement every single one of the methods that James talks about on the podcast. So where I would start is working out which ones appeal to you and your market and picking out the ones you want to start with.
I have done this for my content marketing strategy for my new Web Control Room app business using the free online flowcharting tool Lucid Chart. This is still work in progress but here is how it’s looking (click on the image to download the PDF).
In the next part in this series I’m going to address all of the different content marketing I discussed with James and how to get started with each method.
If you have any questions about the high level stuff feel free to comment below.