Most aspects of business come with a lot of questions, especially if you’re new to it. Marketing is no different, and content marketing in particular generates a lot of puzzled confusion and queries. So without further ado may I present 10 common content marketing questions to easily get you started:

 

Why are so many entrepreneurs using content marketing – what are the benefits?

There are so many amazing benefits to content marketing but in short, an effective content marketing strategy can:

  • Raise awareness of your brand
  • Increases your visibility
  • Establish your expertise and the value of your offerings
  • Attract a consistent stream of ideal clients
  • Boosts your SEO and website traffic
  • Drive signups and sales
  • Nurture prospective and existing clients
  • Create tangible assets for your brand
  • Generate passive income

The longer answer is that content is the only truly soulful way to market a business. It relies on providing your ideal clients with true value, helping them to solve their problems, fulfill their needs, and actively improve their lives. By creating amazing content and making it freely available to them you will do all this (and more) and your ideal clients will naturally gravitate towards you.

Rather than going out there and hustling hard to get clients, they will find you through your content, word of mouth about your business, and search engines (because you’re going to optimise the crap out of everything!). As they get to know you through your content they will naturally want more from you, and the more free content they devour the happier they will be to hand over money for paid products and services.

They will buy from you happily and willingly without any dodgy sales tactics or hard selling methods, no need to flood their feeds with adverts and sales pitches. They’ll actually come looking for stuff they can buy from you, and whenever you release anything new they’ll jump on it.

The biggest benefit of content marketing is that it’s capable of growing a tribe around your business and positioning you as the expert, thought-leading head of that community.

Does content marketing actually work – like, for real? Is this shit going to make me money?

There is a common misconception that blogging doesn’t sell shit, but content marketing is a genuinely effective way of earning money.

Don’t believe me?

I tripled my income in 2017 using nothing but the power of my content marketing strategy and my business is thriving as a result.

Content can achieve the same results for you if you approach it strategically.

How long does it take to see tangible results from your content schedule?

This is the frustrating part of the equation, but really it’s no different to any kind of marketing. You need to keep at it consistently, publishing high-quality, valuable content on a regular basis – ideally once a week or more, but you can get away with fortnightly or even monthly it it’s good enough and promoted well through social media and email marketing.

You need to do that for 3 months before you’re going to see any real difference.

It’s going to take 6 months before you see the HUGE difference.

Take a look at one of my Divine Blogging clients, Robyn Kyberd, as an example. Robyn hired me to help her promote her business, Optimise and Grow Online last September. Her web traffic got a relatively small but immediate boost, but at the three month mark it jumped up considerably, and at the six month mark it skyrocketed.

Content will produce tangible and amazing result, but you do need to be patient and you do need to be consistent, or it won’t do anything but waste your resources.

I need more leads! How does content marketing generate sales leads?

You’re probably familiar with the use of freebies to entice people to signup to your email list. If not, the premise is super-simple: offer something of real value and ask for permission to send people even more useful stuff in exchange.

You get their email address and the ability to nurture your relationship and convert them into a paying client, they get whatever freebie you’re offering.

It’s not unusual for businesses to have a freebie or two on their site. Even if you don’t have one yet you probably know you need one if you want to get serious about lead generation.

Effective content marketing takes this tried and trusted method and put it on steroids. You not only create the content to attract potential leads, but extensions of that content in the form of content upgrades. These are tagged on the end of every post you make so that there are not only easy opportunities to generate leads all over your website, people are far more likely to sign up.

Why?

Because a single freebie can only solve one problem, address one issue, or cover one topic. Even if all your ideal clients are interested in it, they may not be interested enough when they see it to subscribe, or they may not need it right then.

When they’ve gone to the bother of reading all the way to the end of a blog post, they’re already invested in the topic at hand. It’s interesting, relevant, or urgent enough that they need information on it right then and there.

Content upgrades offer even more info to build on what you’ve already given them.

You generate more leads because you’re providing more immediate and relevant help to people.

 

What is the best way to build an audience using content?

The best way to build an audience is to create exceptionally high-value content on a consistent, regular basis, and tailor it to the specific needs of your ideal clients.

Forget about what you want and need your content to achieve for you. Focus on what your ideal clients need and want. Create content that meets those needs and desires and people will find you. Optimise all your content for SEO and more people will find you. Share your amazing content on social media and even more people will find you. Invest a little money in highly targeted ads promoting your best and most popular content and you’re off to the races.

It’s entirely possible to grow a dedicated audience through content without spending money. Money will simply make it happen faster. Without the content it won’t do much of anything at all.

How do you measure the ROI you’re getting on your content marketing?

This is a tricky one as there often isn’t a direct way to measure it. Last year it was easy for me to see the return I was getting because content marketing was literally the only marketing I was using. I had a couple of clients come in from a GoogleAds campaign but other than that I knew all of my income was a result of my content.

If you use multiple forms of marketing it will be trickier to pin it down, but there are a few measures you can use to monitor it:

  • Email list growth
  • Website traffic
  • Engagement on your social media platforms (higher engagement generally leads to more sales)
  • The number of comments on your blog (if your comments increase you’re getting higher engagement)
  • Number of website enquiries
  • Your bottom line – perhaps the simplest way to measure is to see if your profits go up!

Why does content marketing work for some people and not others?

Quite simply because some people do it well, and other don’t. Content marketing is effective but it’s not simple. There are many components and you have to be really strategic and consistent in order to get it to work. The people who make it work for them are the ones who have planned it properly. Whether it works for you or not will depend on if you’ve effectively tailored your content to attract the right people, if you’ve put together a strategic plan and schedule that supports your business goals while providing extremely high-quality and authentic content, and if you’ve followed through and promoted your content as much as possible.

I refer to this as The Golden Trident:

  1. Know your ideal client and create content for them.
  2. Produce quality, authentic content.
  3. Hustle your little butt off to get it out there.

I’ve recently been working on automating a lot of the ‘hustling’ that’s required so it’s less stressful and time-consuming but the principle stands.

How do I know if content marketing is the right strategy for me and my business?

It largely depends on your business objectives and goals. It’s also important to consider the resources you can realistically dedicate to it on an ongoing basis. It does require a lot of time/money to create a truly dynamic, consistent, and effective content marketing strategy. It’s well worth it, but if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or the money to hire someone else to do it for you, it’s not right for you because it’s not achievable – at least, not right now. If it’s the best strategy to achieve your objectives you may have to do what I do and just knuckle down and find the time – it’s currently the weekend and I’m working to get my own content done. At some point that won’t be necessary but while my resources are relatively limited it’s the only way to get it done. If you can shoehorn it in and make it possible, and it’s the best way to achieve your goals, my advice is to go for it. You can mitigate the resources needed by posting less frequently, but this will diminish how effective your strategy is overall.

But if there’s a more effective way to achieve the specific results you’re looking for, that doesn’t involve all that time and/or money to create/outsource your content, it’s not the right strategy for you. Check out my post on figuring out the best blogging strategy for your biz and work through my worksheet to figure out if it’s the right thing for you and your business.

What’s the most important aspect of your content marketing?

Consistency! Figure out how often you have time to post and stick to it. Weekly content is best, but if you’re not going to have time to do that on an ongoing basis don’t try!

What’s the first thing you need to do to get started?

Understanding your ideal client is the first step. If you don’t know who you’re trying to attract to your business, and exactly what kind of content they need and want, everything else is redundant. Your efforts either won’t attract anyone, or will attract the wrong people, who aren’t interested in what you’re offering and/or aren’t who you want to work with.

For more help figuring out exactly who your ideal client is and how to use that to create a tailored content marketing strategy, download the first chapter of my book, Divine Blogging, now – it’s totally free, and uses my unique ideal client profiling system to create truly powerful content.

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Hazel is an author, copywriter, content marketer and blogger. She specialises in helping creative entrepreneurs, coaches and small business owners harness the power of the pen (or keyboard!) to market their products and services through soulful selling. She's had several academic papers published internationally, and featured on sites such as The Huffington Post. In addition to her professional work as a writer, Hazel is also a fiction author. She has published several books and short stories, including The Uber Author Planner, Chasing Azrael, a Urban Fantasy novel, and Bleizgeist, a Dark Fantasy novella. Hazel has a regular weekly column on Sci-Fi Fantasy Network, and is currently working on her next novel, Death Becomes Me.