Getting started in content marketing can be tough. I have trained dozens of companies recently, and seen fantastic successes from teams that I thought didn’t have a change, and complete failures from teams that had it all.
You wouldn’t think a PR & Communication agency was unable to write a single blog post in a year despite number of workshops where we tried to kick the motor running.
Or a lead generation agency with in-house writers.
Or a startup whose go-to-market strategy was based on inbound driven online sales a.k.a content marketing.
Yet the most successful team have been the one I didn’t expect to have a change: Hardboiled middle aged sales professionals, always pitching, and very sceptical to social media. Yet year later they are going from success to success: Great content, growing blog and social media audiences, marketing seminars being sold out. Now they are frequently asked to write to top tier blogs and even media. One happy problem remains though: How to recruit new people fast enough?
We were never suppose to start training though. It was never part of our plan, and still isn't. My motivation for training these companies is to find ways to get companies succeed in Content Marketing, as that’s exactly the secret that will make or break Loyalistic. You see, we get early success with Loyalistic. It seemed we have validated our product. Deal were flowing in. But then we started to notice clients had problems, not with our product, but in getting their content marketing operations up and running. If they are unable to create content, they won’t be needing our product for long.
I decided to devote my time on helping companies succeed in order to find how to improve their changes. It is said companies fail because the lack money, time or skills. I attacked each of these vigorously. I trained them so they could create content themselves without spending a dime. Skills and budget checked! I created a workflow which would allow them to create three months worth of social media presence, blog posts and e-book in a day. And give dozens of other productivity tips. Time checked!
Well, did the clients get any more successful? Nope.
Change is hard, even when you want to change. It’s easy to watch Biggest Loser or any other weight loss reality show from telly while eating chips.
Content Marketing is like gym membership after Christmas season. Everybody wants one, but by February rush at gym floor has disappeared.
Then I started to arrange topics differently. And success started to happen. Faster and faster.
So what is the secret?
Starting succesfull content marketing operation requires whole lot of new doing. Nothing special really, but there is just so many places where you can get stuck or start procrasinating.
For example, a blog post should have a writer's bio. Writing one could easily lead to researching inspiration in blogosphere for hours, then you are not satisfied with the photo you have, and finally you don't have a clue of what to say about yourself in a short and interesting way... And you still have dozen more tasks to do before publishing your first blog post.
It's also difficult to keep up urgency and motivation. You know you should be, that the race is on, that you might go out of business if you fail to... When you are starting, results are not going to happen quickly. It is said it will take 8 months to get to real quickly growing results. And that is when you are not procrastinating, but doing just about everything the right way. Knowing you should will not make a hard climb any less hard. Think every new gym member in January, and how many will still be on the threadmill by February. Change is hard.
The secret is to split the journey from zero to up-and-running successful Content Marketing operation to small easy to take steps. In each step, you will learn how to do it, do it and then turn that into habit. Once it's second nature, you can move on to the next challenge. Try too many things once, and you will stall the engine.
The same is true whether you are doing this alone, or as a team.
In the coming weeks I will be leading you from zero to success in easily manageable steps. If you follow my program, you will succeed! Progress in your own speed. Read on, do early trials, but tackle one challenge at a time. This will be a learning process, especially for teams.
In the following blog posts, I will guide you (and your team) to start up your company's content marketing engine that will generate you plenty of new business.
- I will help you understand how social media, SEO, blogging, e-books, marketing automation, web site, email marketing and dozens of other things are connected to one successful Content Marketing engine that will attract new high quality traffic, convert that traffic to high quality leads, and how to turn those leads into loyal customers. In short, you will understand how this all works as one system, one operation.
- I will help you set up presence in social media and grow your followers.
- I will help you start company blog and grow it's audience.
- I will help you create valuable content like e-books.
- I will help you capture leads.
- I will help you nurture leads to sales-ready.
- I will help you sell to those leads.
- I will help you promote your content for more, high quality traffic.
- And I will help you expand your thought leadership to other blogs and events.
I will NOT help you make a Content Strategy. You will be doing this in a lean, I mean Lean Content Marketing way (more of that later). You will learn by doing what works and where should you concentrate your efforts. Leave planning to companies who either have too much money or are procrastinating. We will be using my Microwave Popcorn method for planning just as much as is needed to maintain maximum speed. In the end, you will be able to document your Content Strategy. It will happen. It will be far better than anything you will ever be able to produce with best consultants. And it works. It's actually executed.
So stay tuned. In couple of days, I will draw you the big picture. So in your head you can see building a cathedral, even when you are laying just bricks, if you know the story.
Written by Antti Pietilä
Antti is the founder and CEO at Loyalistic (Simple Content Marketing Software for B2B Companies) who loves to help SaaS-companies to grow at Software Entrepreneurs (@ohjelmisto_ry) and cycle. Say hello to him anytime @anttipietila.