Over the last few posts, we’ve covered the importance of strategic execution in content marketing, how to define a goal for your content, and the value of understanding your key performance indicators to know if you’re making progress on that goal.
But… Now what?
Once you know where you want to go, how do you actually get there?
This is the part of content marketing strategy where a lot of people get bogged down. They want to move their business forward using content marketing as the tool, but they don’t know the how.
It’s like climbing into a car with a map, but realizing you have no idea how to turn it on.
(That happened to me in a rental car recently… Push button starter… Who knew?!?)
Choosing your Content Marketing Tactics Strategically
Here’s the good news for those of you who love testing out those shiny objects — otherwise known as tactics — in your content marketing: This is the time and place for tactics!
But you still have to be careful about which ones you choose to get the most bang for your buck (and time, etc.). Because not every tactic out there is going to be a good use of your time/money or a good way to reach your goals.
A great example of this is when someone wants to grow their list, so they join Instagram. OK, great. But it’s really hard to get people to leave Instagram and sign up for something. So that may not be the best way to grow their list. Make sense?
Example: Planning a Book Launch
I did a strategy session recently with an extremely successful coach who is publishing a book. Hooray! Her goal is to build a big tribe around her coaching and her new book to help it launch big.
She was a prolific content creator with plenty of information to share, but she stopped blogging when she started writing her book because doing both was too overwhelming. In addition, she wasn’t seeing the kinds of results she hoped for from her blog posts or her lead magnet in terms of attracting high quality leads in good numbers.
The metrics we wanted to focus on were doubling her email list to give her a strong base for launching her book, starting and growing her Facebook group, and book sales to hit the bestseller list!
So… how do we get there?
The solution I came up with for her is to create blog posts with action-oriented content upgrades to increase her qualified leads, then drive engagement through email to a private Facebook group where she can continue to nurture those leads with live coaching and exclusive content. And then she will have a solid base to pre-sell her book when it’s ready to launch.
There’s nothing fancy here, but I helped her see that:
- Content isn’t enough. Her blog posts are great! She’s a good writer (obviously; she’s publishing a book), but she’s not taking advantage of it. She needs to add the tactic of adding opt-ins for her lead magnets on each blog posts and optimizing her site to collect leads.
- Email is vital for building a tribe. Although she was nominally building a list before, she wasn’t doing much with it! She had no welcome sequence, and because she’d stopped blogging, she wasn’t regularly communicating with her list. In order to be able to ask people to buy her book when it launches, she needs to provide value NOW, and the best place to do that is through email.
- Create exclusivity and loyalty. Finally, we want to create a feeling of exclusivity and build loyalty in order to truly have a tribe. A great way to do that is with a private group where she can engage live and “in person” with her audience. If she builds that loyalty now, she’ll have an amazing “street team” ready to go for the launch of her book.
Obviously, it will be a few months before we can say how well these tactics work for her, but I feel super confident that if she follows this plan, she has an excellent chance of getting on that bestseller list and meeting all her goals.
Applying this to your plan
How can you apply this to your own content marketing strategy? Well, it’s all about being discerning. Ask yourself, what are the fastest, most efficient tactics to help you reach your goal? Because you are a small business; you don’t have an entire marketing team to make this happen. So you have to be discerning about where you spend your time and money.
Then you execute. I suggest trying a tactic for at least 90 days so that you can get a read on whether or not something is actually working. Put processes in place to regularly review what’s working and what’s not. And then change direction when necessary so that you can always continue to make forward progress.
And then of course, if you need help, you call in a pro and talk to me about a strategy session. 😉