There are two questions I get asked more than anything else in my line of work. ‘What’s the most effective Content Marketing Strategy for me?’ and ‘Why isn’t my content marketing working?’. I’ve addressed the latter elsewhere, so today I thought I’d help you figure out exactly how you’re supposed to decide on the right strategy for your content marketing efforts.
Using Content Marketing is a lot like falling down a rabbit hole and finding yourself in Wonderland; it’s a fabulous journey, but it’s so confusing when you first get down there!
Fortunately there’s a Trinity when it comes to content marketing that helps you easily figure out the best strategy for you.
And just like Neo before you, it’s time to follow the white rabbit…
What’s The Most Effective Content Marketing Strategy For Me?
Broadly speaking there are only three types of content marketing strategy. I say broadly, because there are subtypes within those types, and slightly different ways of doing each depending on your business model. But generally speaking it boils down to three:
- Hobby Bloggers
- SEO Bloggers
- Content Marketing
You’ll notice that only the last one is called ‘content marketing’. That’s because there’s a lot more to a good content marketing strategy that simply blogging (or vlogging, or releasing podcasts). In the first two models it’s unusual for people to have much more going on than a blog, vlog, or podcast, but it isn’t required – the strategy will work perfectly even if you have nothing but a blog. There might be an optin or two, or social media marketing, but it’s nowhere near the level required for the third model.
The mistake most people ask when trying to figure out the best content marketing strategy for them is thinking that all three of these models are content marketing.
The first two are blogging strategies, which can be developed into content marketing strategies over time, but are not content marketing in their own right. The question should more accurately be:
‘Should I be blogging or content marketing?’
Here’s the difference between these three strategies…
Hobby bloggers generally don’t have a desire for profit. Their strategy (if they have one at all) is basically: fuck it and have fun.
Whatever they’re blogging about the point is not business or making money.
If you’re a hobby blogger, the point is writing about something you love. You may be in it for the joy of writing alone, or to build a community around the topic you love, raise awareness, share your amazing skills and methods, or make a name for yourself as a kick-ass whatever-the-hell-you-blog-about.
You don’t need a content marketing strategy because your goal is simply to have fun. You’re not trying to make money. This isn’t your livelihood. If you have more going on than your blog, it’s likely social media to help grow a following. You may even have an email list. But you don’t leverage your following for anything, and your intent is not to profit from it in any way. If you earn any money at all, you likely use it to cover the costs of your hobby!
Unlike the hobby blogger the SEO blogger is in it for profit. Their goal is to promote their business (or hobby!) by getting ranked on Google and other search engines, so people find them. There’s nothing precluding hobby bloggers from using SEO to get found more easily, but the primary motivation of the SEO blogger is to drive as much traffic as possible specifically for the sake of converting readers into paying clients or customers.
SEO blogging is geared towards raising the profile and visibility of your business. It’s a perfectly viable content marketing strategy for any business, but the reason it’s still ‘only’ a blogging strategy and not a content marketing strategy is that it is confined to your blog.
The posts on your blog drive traffic to your site. You may have those posts in multiple formats (video, audio, etc.) but this is only because that is actually beneficial for your SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation is your core goal.
An SEO strategy forms a part of your overall marketing plan, but it isn’t usually the whole of it. You might have advertising and other promtional and marketing efforts going on. But where content is concerned, your blog posts are valuable purely for their SEO benefits and raising awareness and understanding of who you are and what you do.
You don’t use them in any other capacity.
The content strategy to use when SEO is your core goal is ‘little and often’, with a focus on optimising all content for relevant keywords, and updating your site as regularly as possible.
This is how you please the Search Engine Gods.
Content marketing is all about the creation of extremely rich, high-value content. This is the main distinction between it and blogging. Blog posts can be any length, and are often quite short – SEO blogging generally uses posts of c.500 because they get the best ROI for the objective.
When you’re creating content as the core (or even the whole) of your marketing strategy (rather than as one of several SEO tactics which collectively form a part of your strategy), it needs to be much longer.
Ideally c.2500 words per post.
If you’re recording video or audio (vlogs and podcasts) rather than writing, the length still applies, you’re just speaking rather than writing!
You need more because you have more objectives:
- You want to build a dedicated tribe of ideal clients
- You need to nurture that tribe and convert them into clients
- And you probably also want to create some passive income
And you need a lot more to do all of that than simply banging out blog posts when you feel like it, or on a semi-regular or infrequent basis.
You need to be consistent and regular in your content, you have to hustle to promote it, and you have to have a system in place to capture your readers’ email addresses and nurture them so they buy.
Content marketing only works if all these elements are in place.
So Which Strategy Is Right For Me?
As with most areas of business it’s vital that you align your objective(s) with the strategy you choose. Once you’ve figure out which method is best for you, you’ll be able to dig deeper into the subtypes I mentioned and figure out how to tailor it to your specific needs. But the first step is finding the right model. To help you out I’ve created a FREE Cheat Sheet, download it now and follow the white rabbit to the perfect content marketing strategy for you…
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