3 steps to effective content marketing 

 October 16, 2015

By  Tom Buford

Creating content, whether in the form of videos, blogging, podcasting, etc, is a great way to gain more visibility for your business, be seen as an authority and be taken seriously as a service provider.

But with everything else that you have to do running your business, how do you find the time to create good content?

One of the best places to start is to create a plan so that you stop “overthinking” what to write about and get into action.

I’m going to cover a simple 3-step plan to get started with your content marketing.

1) Conduct keyword research. It’s great to create content, but if nobody is interested in what you’re sharing it’s a lot of time and energy out the window.

By doing keyword research you can find out ahead of time what your customers are already looking for online and start creating content related to those searches. This gives you a much better shot at being found online and ensures that no matter HOW people find your content, they’re more likely to be interested in it.

I use the Google tool here.

Start by typing in terms that you THINK your customers are already searching for.

Next you can take a look at the keyword suggestions that Google populates for you.

Finally, you want to zero in on keywords and phrases that have higher search volume. Now, there are some nuances here that we don’t have time to get into, but suffice to say that all other things being equal it’s better to target a keyword that has 500 monthly searches than on 5.

2) Create a content calendar. Rather than flying by the seat of your pants every week wondering what you’re going to write about next, why not rely on a simple, month-by-month content calendar?

(This is an effective strategy that I learned going through my training to become a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant while launching Atlanta Marketing Pro.)

Using the keywords that you came up with in step #1, pick the 6-12 that you feel are most popular AND that you can create content around the easiest. The more confident you are about writing or talking about a topic, the more likely you are to actually create it. And without action, a well-meaning plan is a waste of time.

Here’s an example of a simple content calendar:

Content marketing calendar for Atlanta Marketing Pro

You don’t have to stick to the topic for every piece of content you create throughout the month, but this makes is much easier to come up with content when you know the theme you’re sticking with.

This is also a great strategy if you’re looking for guest content contributors for your blog or podcast as well.

TIP: Since you’re creating content in themes, you can combine consecutive posts into additional offers such as a free eBook that you offer as a list-building incentive. A simple tool that does this for you is Beacon.by.

3) Stick with your schedule. The most difficult part about creating content on an on-going basis is to actually stick to your schedule. But it doesn’t do any good to spend time conducting keyword research, creating your content calendar and publishing a couple blog posts or videos just to be sidelined by distractions.

If you see the value in creating content as a vehicle for driving online traffic and positioning yourself as an authority in your market, then be sure to commit to the practice.

Tom Buford

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