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Content Marketing

5 HABITS OF CONSISTENT CONTENT CREATION

By | Content Marketing

Many marketers and business owners know the feeling. We start the month with every intention of creating some kick-ass consistent content that is going to boost our search engine rankings and position us as leaders in the industry. Then a few meetings get booked, a few fires need putting out and suddenly the month is gone.

Total of kick-ass blog posts completed = zero.

Don’t get down on yourself. It isn’t easy prioritising something which on the surface doesn’t seem all that key to business success.  We know great content serves us well on search engines, which means more quality traffic. We know that it will help us grow trust and respect from our customers. But we can just do it next month, right?

Wrong.

Smart businesses make content creation a key element of their marketing strategy. Want to know how they get the job done? Here are the successful habits they use:

1. Develop content pillars

Creating content pillars makes your job easy when it comes to content creation. To put it in simple terms, content pillars are key subjects which your business focuses on throughout your content marketing. For example, our content pillars at Make It Mana are:

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Advertising

We then create a list of the various topics which make up each, for example:

  • Influencer Marketing
    • Developing a strategy
    • Influencer discovery
    • Influencer outreach
    • Content
    • Monitoring results
    • Tweaking and making changes

This makes it super easy for us to find content which is both relevant and will naturally hit our target keywords.

2. Create a content plan

Using your content pillars you can create a simple content plan. Your plan will act as a guide and will help you keep on track with consistent content creation. The more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to generate content from it.

Your plan should include aspects including content titles/concepts, draft deadlines, publish date, keywords, author and editor.

consistent content calendar

It is also a good idea to note who will be responsible for getting the content live. This shouldn’t necessarily be the author or editor. In fact, if possible have a separate individual responsible for chasing up when deadlines are not hit.

3. Gather feedback

Lack of direction is one of the biggest single causes for consistent content creation going down the pan. Gathering feedback can offer guidance on what is working and what is failing, this, in turn, provides focus and makes it much easier to stay on track.

Both qualitative and qualitative feedback can be useful in this process. Qualitative can be gathered from analytical tools such as Google Analytics or social analytics, showing which pieces of content are receiving the most clicks and engagement. Qualitative feedback can be gathered from talking to clients and other audience members and reviewing comments both on the blog post and via social media.

Double down on what is working and filter out those pieces of content which do not return results.

4. Outsource

At the end of the day, however easy you make content creation for yourself, creating consistent content can be a huge time eater. That is why it is a great idea to partner with a professional agency or freelancer to help you generate high-quality content over time.

By doing this you take the hassle of your plate and ensure that content will be created to a good standard and within in an agreed timeframe. Often this can be a much more cost-effective method than you think. For example, a highly professional content creator may charge as little as £70 for c.1000 of content. This is usually well worth the cost when it frees up a considerable amount of your time.

5. Treat yourself as a client

For those that opt to not outsource any or all of their content writing changing your mentality can have a big impact on consistency.

Developing consistent content can often be seen as a low priority, especially when other important customer commitments get in the way. However, this is unlikely to change until you boost the priority of content creation. One way to do this is to simply treat your business as a customer, hold yourself accountable for delivering content and work out some way to penalise yourself if those commitments are not adhered to.

 

Clearly, consistent content creation can be a hassle. However, the benefits of doing so can create untold opportunities for your business. By adopting the habits we have outlined in this article you will put yourself in the best position to create kick-ass content to a high-quality and consistently.

 

Need a little help creating awesome content for your brand? We are experts in delivering kick-ass content ideas and delivering high quality written content to our clients. get in touch to start a discussion about how we could work together

 

content strategy cycle

SETTING A CONTENT STRATEGY IN 2019

By | Content Marketing, Marketing Campaigns

Setting a content strategy may not be at the top of your list of things to do this year. In fact, many marketers take an ad hoc approach to content marketing, usually leaving it to ‘when they have some time’….which we all know, is never.

We don’t need to explain to you how important it is to rank well on search engines…they provide our websites with potentially limitless and highly relevant traffic. We also know that to improve our search engine ranking we need to take our content marketing seriously.

That is why it is a great idea to set a content strategy. Although it takes a little time to set up, ultimately it ensures the consistent creation and publishing of high-quality content. It also saves you time in the long run, meaning you don’t have to review past content and generate new ideas on a regular basis.

For super-busy marketers, setting a content strategy can actually save you a vast amount of time. Sharing your strategy and content plan with an agency or freelancer can mean you maintain control over marketing but can achieve autonomy of the delivery – taking a laborious task off your plate, letting you focus on the bigger picture.

(Yes, we can help you with that).

So, now you are likely asking:

‘How do I set a content strategy?’

Chill – we have you covered.

Goals. Goals. Goals.

 

Before you start investing any time, energy or financial resources in developing a powerful content strategy…you need to ask yourself why. What are you hoping to achieve from your content? Generate leads? Drive more traffic to your site? Position yourself as a thought leader?

marketing goals

The likelihood is that you will want to achieve many things with your content. By setting out your goals at the start of your strategy, you will ensure that every action you take contributes to achieving those overall goals.

Try and make your goals SMART as this will make it easier to measure your results as you continue to execute on your strategy. You can always adapt and change these as your strategy develops.

Who do you need to reach?

 

So, you know what you want to achieve. But who do you need to reach to achieve it?

At this point, you want to get granular with who your target audience is. Ask yourself:

Where are they based? What age groups are they in? What are their interest and past times? What is their social position? What are their current goals?

Finding this information will allow you to create 3-4 detailed buyer persona. These personas will allow you to sense check all your content marketing efforts, ensuring they appeal to those that matter most to your business.

Find your keywords

 

Keywords are the key to successful content marketing.

Finding the right keywords will help drive large and consistent amounts of traffic to your website. It will also ensure that the content you create is relevant once those individuals are on your page.

When creating your keyword list, start with your personas and goal in mind. Consider what your personas may be searching for in order to find the sort of information you want to supply them with.

Once you have created this initial list you can use a tool like Google Keywords Planner to understand how successful that keyword might be and generate new ideas closely related to your keywords. Other tools and methods can also be used to further increase keyword effectiveness.

Know your persona

 

Your research so far will have highlighted what you want to achieve, who you are marketing to and which keywords are going to help you reach them. Your buyer persona should also help you understand which platforms are best for your content marketing strategy.

Although you are most likely to host the majority of your content on your own website, you will also need to understand how best to promote that content. To do this you should seek to understand where your audience/buyer personas are ‘hanging out’ online.

buyer persona

When doing this you can certainly look at data on platform demographics to give you an indicator wh uses which platforms the most. However, by far the best way to do this is by simply asking as many of your current customers as possible where they go to find information. This could be anything from popular media sites and forums to social media sites.

Once you know where they are, create platform-specific content to target that audience and attract them to your content.

Tone of voice

 

Marketers LOVE talking about tone of voice. But what does it really mean?

Your tone of voice is how your business talks to your audience. For example, a business that specialises in sportswear may have a young, energetic and ambitious tone of voice. On the other hand, a business which deals in investments may have a sophisticated, authoritative tone of voice.

Deciding your tone of voice ensures both consistency and that each piece of your content is appealing to those you are trying to connect with.

Develop pillars

 

Inbound marketing experts HubSpot suggest that brands who want to smash their content marketing develop content pillars.

To put this simply, a content pillar is an area in which you want to rank for. For example, our content pillars are:

(You will also notice that these are our services)

To start, these content pillars offer a structure to your content marketing – allowing you to quickly and efficiently develop content ideas that help you rank as a leader. Ultimately, you can also use these pillar topics to create pillar pages which act as comprehensive sections on your website. This will further develop your ranking as a leader on those topics and boost your position on search engines.

Create a content plan

 

Finally, all the research and information you have gathered will allow you to create a comprehensive content calendar for your business. To do this you will need to ask yourself:

  • How often will I be posting content?
  • Who will write the content? In house or agency/freelancer?
  • How will I promote the content?

You can create a spreadsheet which should detail information including:

  • Content title
  • Date of final draft
  • Date of publishing
  • Author
  • Proofreader
  • Keywords

content plan

Ideally, your content calendar should be planned for no longer than 3 months. This time period allows you to remain efficient whilst maintaining relevancy and allows you to easily pick up on hot topics and trends as they appear.

Content strategy: In summary

 

Creating a solid content strategy for 2019 is going to help you take your content marketing to the next level. Following the simple steps we have outlined in this guide will take a little time investment initially, but ultimately will help you to save time and create consistency throughout your content campaigns.

 

 

Need a little help creating your content strategy? Have a great strategy, but need some support to deliver it? We have years of experience in developing powerful strategies and delivering high-quality content for our clients. We are also HubSpot Content Marketing Certified.

Simply get in touch to discuss your needs or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with our latest helpful content. 

HOW TO REPURPOSE BLOG CONTENT FOR GREATER REACH

By | Content Marketing

Smart marketers know that businesses need to create consistent, compelling content. Both to make their brand discoverable on search engines and to position themselves as a leader within the industry. Yet many don’t repurpose blog content to increase reach and generate leads.

Our clients constantly come to us with the challenge:

“We are spending LOADS of time creating great content, but we just aren’t seeing the benefit of it”

We get it. There is a great frustration in investing resources in creating useful, entertaining content, which just doesn’t seem to perform when it comes to helping you achieve your business goals.

A big part of this problem is that we spend too much time creating the content and very little time leveraging that content to generate greater reach. In fact, in many cases, we discover that businesses are putting almost zero effort into promoting a piece of content.

As a general rule, we spend roughly 30% of our allocated content marketing time creating content and then 70% of our time looking to increase the reach of that content. After all, it doesn’t matter how incredible your content is, if it doesn’t reach anybody there is very little point to it at all.

In this article, we cover some tips on how we can repurpose blog content to increase your business’s reach. O, and it will save you a tonne of time in the process.

Repurpose blog content socially

Before we dive too deep into some smart tactics, let’s start with the fundamentals.

Yes, it’s shocking, but some business actually fail to complete this step.

RULE #1: When you publish new content, share that with your network.

social media blog content

This is super easy, all you need to do is write a short update highlighting the benefits/relevance of reading the content and then share it across all your platforms including social media and mailing lists.

It’s simple but effective. People are part of your audience because they care about what you have to say. These are the best and easiest way to repurpose blog content…so DO IT!

Re-share

We admit, it is pretty rare that businesses don’t share new content with their network (but it does happen). Yet it is commonplace that once they have shared that content once, they never mention it again.

This, my friends, is INSANITY.

“After all that work, it seems silly to share a post just once. Nobody crumples up an oil painting and chucks it in the trash after it’s been seen one time — and the same goes for your content” Moz.com

Most don’t re-share content at the risk of being ‘spammy’. This is a very real concern and can be the case when not done carefully.

When re-sharing content you need to follow three simple rule:

  1. Because you re-share doesn’t mean you stop creating new content
  2. Every time you re-share you should take a different approach
  3. Do not re-share content too often

What we mean by taking a different approach is that each time you post you should change the captions and/or image to ensure no repetition.

Re-sharing is particularly powerful when that content becomes timely or newsworthy. For example, we often re-share our infographic on how businesses can spot fake influencers as this topic comes in and out of focus in the media.

Speaking of infographics…

Infographics 

Another great way you can repurpose blog content to create more compelling assets which works perfectly on social media is through the use of infographics.

Infographics allow you to communicate key information through the use of engaging and eye-catching graphics. In the case where your blog content is long form, creating a snapshot of the most important points in an infographics acts both as a reminder of key information and as way to drive traffic to your original blog piece to ‘find out more’.

Probably a good time to share this then…

blog content infographicMicro-blogging

People are inherently lazy. So, even though long-form content is a crucial part of your SEO strategy, as well as an excellent way to position yourself as a thought leader with those that matter to your business, on its own it will not always secure you great results.

People want answers and they want them fast. That is a huge part of the reason why social media is so popular – because it gives people access to super quick information.

Using a micro-blogging approach to content leveraging is an excellent way to increase your reach and give yourself a huge amount of social media content easily. For example, you may re-share a link to a piece of long-form content, but instead of simply highlighting what is included in the content you give a snapshot of a key point within the content.

By providing value in the social caption you create intrigue in the wider article and can create large amounts of traffic to your site. 

Video clips  

Video is an awesome way to up engagement on your social media channels.

In fact, one study suggests that 90% of consumers say that video can help them make buying decisions. With those sorts of stats, can your business really afford to not be using video as a way to repurpose blog content?

video blog content

Video creation can be a little daunting, but as a small or medium sized business, you really do not need to think too much about the production value of your social media videos. Some of the best performing videos online are simply recorded on a smartphone and create a real personal connection between the business and the viewer.

For example, next time you publish a blog post, try creating a short video covering some of the key points or even asking additional questions you get about the blog post. This can take as little as 30 minutes and generates content (not factoring re-sharing) across a number of platforms, including:

  • Instagram story
  • Instagram post
  • Facebook story
  • Facebook post
  • Twitter post
  • YouTube video
  • Podcast (just audio)
  • and much more.

Go deep

 If you create a piece of content and it does particularly well, you may decide to leverage that attention and go even deeper. For example, creating an accompanying podcast or webinar which touches on the subject and allows you to generate even more value, using your written content as a base.

Doing this also allows you to involve thought leaders and influencers from within the industry which not only generates great content but also allows you to leverage their audience and extend your reach.

 

Blog content should indeed make up the pillars of your business’s content marketing strategy. However, by not leveraging other techniques and tactics you are only tapping to a tiny percentage of its potential. By spending an equal or higher percentage of your content marketing time generating and leveraging the tips we have highlighted above will save you time, create a higher engagement and ultimately generate more leads for your business.

5 TRICKS FOR CREATING CONTENT YOUR CLIENTS WANT TO READ

By | Content Marketing

As an agency that produces a lot of content marketing for our clients, we will be the first to hold up our hands and say:

“Consistently finding new and interesting topics that your clients want to read about and learn from can be a BIG challenge”

This dilemma is also probably the biggest reason why businesses stop the important task of creating copy that boosts search engine rankings. Positioning themselves as industry leaders and brings invaluable sales.

The relentless re-hash of old topics into new content is a drag, so people simply give up.

But worry not! In this article, we call on our experience and outline 5 hacks for creating highly compelling, unique content.

 

Use Content Pillars

 

Inbound marketers LOVE pillar content.

Pillar content is usually a large piece of content which focuses on a main theme for your business. This may be a particular service or product you offer or a challenge that your customers regularly face.

 

content-pillars

For example, at Make It Mana our content pillars include influencer, social and content marketing.

Best practice usually dictates that businesses create pillar content, for example, an eBook or whitepaper, and then break that content into smaller chunks, which can be used across social media, blogs posts etc.

However, we have also found that working backwards can work well in the development of pillar content. This works by deciding on which topics would be key pieces of content for your brand and then breaking those topics into the smaller chunks which make it up. By systematically creating content covering those smaller chunks, you can then create a directory of those as your pillar content.

Take for example influencer marketing. We may create shorter blog posts on influencer selection, influencer outreach, leveraging influencer content, building influencer relationships and the laws and regulations around influencer marketing. Once that is done, we could create one piece of pillar content which either contains or hyperlinks to each piece of individual content.

 

Survey Customers

 

One of the biggest mistakes we ever see being made with content marketing is marketers trying to use every tool and trick in the book. All in an attempt to work out what their customers want to learn about.

But they never actually ask their customer. This is an incredibly quick win when it comes to creating unique ideas for content marketing. Simply by asking clients what they want to read or which challenges they are facing you put yourself in a great position to create value.

Of course, using some other methods in this article will be useful.  Customers do not always know their pain points until you help them find them. However, a survey is the quickest, easiest and most valuable win.

If you don’t think your customers have or will give you the time to find out what content would be useful, try offering some incentive such as a donation to charity in their name for some of their time.

 

Jump on Trends

 

If you have ever attended a presentation where the presenter was attempting to prove the increasing popularity of something, whether that be prosecco flavoured popsicles or hair styling for dogs, they probably used a graph from Google trends.

The tool is used to show the number of searches for a particular phrase or keyword over a given amount of time. Therefore highlighting its growing popularity.

However, the tool also has a lesser used feature which is a goldmine for those looking for new and untapped topics. By typing a relevant keyword, the results allow you to see ‘related topics’ and ‘related queries’.

By simply selecting the ‘rising’ tab you will bring up a whole list of up and coming searches related to your topic. For example, we ran this for ‘influencer marketing’and found that rising queries included ‘what is influencer marketing’ and ‘Instagram influencer marketing’, so we may choose to create some content in those areas – focusing directly on what people are searching for in the area of our expertise.

BuzzSumo is another good tool which can be used to identifying up and coming trends in your industry. This option is certainly worth exploring if you have some budget put aside for content marketing tools.  It also fulfils some other needs such as influencer identification.

 

Go James Bond

 

Ok, this is a loose analogy, but we had to slip the British icon in somewhere.

 

content-marketing-spying

For a moment forget the explosions, bond girls and evil villains and focus more on the spying. One of the greatest sources of content ideas should be your competition. This is especially true if you have much larger competitors who have the resource to invest a lot of time in market research.

But when we say spy, we don’t mean copy. Instead, you should use your competitors content as inspiration. What questions have they not answered? How can you add more value?

You can also check what questions their customers are asking, either in the blog comments or on social media. This allows you to helpfully answer their questions and gently encourage them to choose you instead.

 

Add Value

 

For content marketers the fear is real. You don’t want your customers to think you are simply stealing others ideas and representing it as your own. But this shouldn’t put you off touching on the same subjects as your competitors.

Instead of avoiding repeating subject matter, ensure that for every piece of content you produce adds value to the conversation. This may occasionally be in direct contrast to your competitors. For example, you may offer a completely different viewpoint on a subject. However, it may also be aligned with your competitor’s view, instead of adding depth and breadth to the conversation.

If the reader isn’t learning anything new by reading your content, then you need to rethink your strategy.

 

Finding new, engaging and worthwhile content ideas can be hard work. Especially in industries where the scope of products and services are small. However, using a few tested methods such as those we have outlined above can keep great new ideas flowing.

For some business owners and marketers, their time is better spent focusing on the wider picture. Leveraging the time and expertise of others in the formulation of content. Make It Mana work with businesses to maintain the flow of valuable content, from ideation through to publication and promotion.

Get in touch to find out more.

MAKE IT MANA: OUR COMMITMENT TO INBOUND MARKETING

By | Content Marketing

We rarely talk about ourselves on the Make It Mana blog, but we have some pretty cool news which we want to share with you regarding our commitment to our customers and delivering expert inbound marketing.

Why inbound marketing?

With the advent of GDPR and other government regulations on data collection and use, inbound marketing has just become significantly more important the success of your business.

Inbound Marketing

No longer will generating leads be as simple as purchasing some data, sending some emails and collecting the cheques (as it ever really was). Now, businesses must generate substantial value for their customers as a way to earn their attention, getting their permission to subtly explain the benefits of your products and services.

…but you already knew that, so time for the news…

HubSpot’s Content Marketing Certification

Last week Make It Mana was delighted to be awarded the HubSpot Content Marketing Certificate, this was achieved due to our noble quest to help businesses achieve the best results from their marketing efforts.

Content Marketing Certified

For those that do now know, HubSpot are leaders in the inbound marketing space. They provide savvy marketers with the tools and platform they need to succeed in a digital world. However, they also provide industry recognised certification in everything inbound marketing.

This certification has no affiliation with HubSpot’s products. Instead, it uses their industry expertise as a framework for proving marketers competence.

We are delighted to have been awarded this certification. Proof of our commitment to delivering the highest quality service to our clients.

A future outlook

As an agency, it is all very well saying you are experts in digital marketing.

Earning industry recognition like the HubSpot Content Marketing Certificate works in partnerships with our relentless pursuit of knowledge.  We pair this with countless examples of the great work we do with our clients, therefore proving industry expertise.

This certification is just the start of our longer-term plan to remain at the cutting edge of digital marketing. We will continue to strive for excellence and are already working on a number of other certifications and awards.

 

Want to get more out of your content marketing? Get in touch to discuss how we can help you create a killer content plan and help you deliver every aspect.