Many writers think of content marketing only as a service that they can provide to brands and agencies. But content marketing strategy also a very effective technique for content marketing writers to use to increase their own business. By using the same principles that you use when creating content for your clients, you can draw new visitors to your website, establish your credibility in your niche and increase the trust your clients and potential clients have in your expertise.
A writer friend of mine lives in Hawaii and specializes in writing about businesses located on the islands or who do business with Hawaiian companies. I suggested that she start a blog about doing business in Hawaii and provide information interesting, informative and helpful to her target business. When Hawaiian businesses are looking for information on doing business in the islands, they will most likely run across her blog through search engines and guest posts to other related blogs. Later when they need a writer, they will be more likely to think of her since she has already demonstrated her knowledge of their needs.
But you don’t have to live in Hawaii or have an extremely specialized niche to take advantage. Here are five steps to using content marketing to increase your own business:
- Pick a target that you want to focus on. Think about which niche you are most interested in increasing your business. It should be a niche that you are very knowledgeable in and one that also has a large potential for new clients. Then narrow your niche to a specific type of client, but one still large enough for there to be an audience. For example, a healthcare writer might decide to use content marketing strategy to attract more urgent care centers and doctor’s offices.
- Brainstorm about what type of information that your target customer needs. Make a list of what challenges your target audience struggles with every day. It is typically most effective if you are addressing an area that will help them make money or save money. Talk to people that you know who meet your target audience to see what type of information that they need. Check social media to see what types of information is trending. The writer who is targeting doctor’s offices might decide to focus on marketing ideas or IT concerns, both which are areas that doctor’s offices are often looking for information.
- Research what content is currently available. In order to be effective, your content needs to fill a need that is currently not being met. Look at blogs, white papers and articles on the topics you are considering to make sure that that you are considering creating does not already exist. Make sure that the angle that you take is unique enough to stand out, but common enough for people to come looking for your information.
- Determine the best way to deliver that information. There are many forms that content can take. It can be writing a whitepaper that is on your website or starting a blog with information. You could even start a video series or a set of tutorials on a technical skill. Or you could write a mini-training course on a specific skill. Think about the type of information and your audience carefully. Talk to your target audience and run your ideas by them to see if they would find it useful.
- Consider how your audience will find the information. Content isn’t the field of dreams, even though that is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s not a build it and they will come. Before you write a single word, you need to figure out how your readers will find your information. Are you going to start a separate website/blog or will you post it on your current website? Will you promote it heavily on social media? How can you title the content to take the best advantage of SEO? Have a plan before you start writing since it is essential you craft to be shareable.
- Start writing. Once you have spent a lot of time researching, thinking and brainstorm, it is time to start writing. With content marketing, it is typically advisable to start small and gauge the response. However, content marketing doesn’t yield results and takes time. And it’s typically most effective to continually provide updated and interesting content, not just write one article and expect clients to come flocking. By consistently providing useful information to your target marketing, you will begin develop trust and new contacts in your industry.
Have you used content marketing to find new clients? Any examples of other writers that you have run across? Any advice for writers considering this strategy?