Launching a content marketing strategy - conference at the Entrepreneurs Club of HK
A good content marketing strategy is the key to long term success. But where to start? I was recently invited to talk at a conference organized by the Hong Kong Entrepreneur Club to share my secrets and strategy.
I was recently invited by the Hong Kong Club of Entrepreneurs to talk about content marketing. I am now sharing with you all my tips to understand and setup an efficient content strategy enabling long term results.
Discover below a video of the conference (in french):
Let's review together the essential elements of such strategy. You could download the presentation at the end of this article.
Short term VS long term strategy
First of all, you must realize there are two types of approaches when it comes to marketing: short term and long term.
Paid marketing is usually short term: it works almost instantly and fluctuates based on the budget you allocate. However, once the budget over, the effects disappear.
On the other hand, free marketing (specifically content marketing) is focused on long term: it may take a few months to start showing results but isn't linked to your budget and continues showing results even after you stop your efforts.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy that aims to create quality non-promotional content, available online, answering specific problems linked to your audience's issues that will give you an improved visibility and better indexing.
Where to start?
The first thing to do is to define what you are going to talk about.
To achieve that, you must define your area of expertise, the problems your audience faces and the topics related to both.
Finally, you must decide the right format for your content. A good content strategy is more efficient when it mixes multiple formats: articles, infographics, images, videos, podcasts, presentations, etc.
Basics of SEO
A good content strategy requires a basic understanding of SEO.
Whether you have a technical background or not, you will need to master SEO: using the right title tags, filling images' alt tags, improving website loading speed, etc.
To review all the most important SEO elements, feel free to download this infographic: "16 tips for perfect SEO".
I invite you to complement your content strategy with two additional methods to strengthen your results.
The first method is about reaching out to experts within your industry. You don't need international super-stars: anyone recognized as an expert by his peers is what you need to look for.
Contact these people and offer them to work together on an article, an interview, a white paper, etc.
The second strategy concerns guest blogging. You write articles for other blogs in order to improve your SEO and reach new audiences.
Distribution: an essential element of your strategy
Regardless how great your articles may be, if you simply publish content on your blog hoping for visitors to discover it, you may end-up very disappointed.
A good content strategy requires great distribution.
Make use of Social Media and send emails to your network to encourage them to share your articles and grow your audience.
A good distribution can have a snowball effect, don't neglect it!
Personal branding - put yourself in the spotlight to boost your results
If you are shy or naturally modest, it might be difficult to promote yourself.
Personal branding is often felt like arrogance or vanity. That is a mistake. If you manage it correctly, you can build-up your profile and boost your business.
Whatever the qualities of your company, it lacks human touch. Putting your representative in the spotlight helps giving a human face to your business and build credibility.
Choose the right person internally (preferably your CEO or founder). He must be an expert in his field and have ease speaking publicly. You can then polish his image to make him the new symbol of your company.
Until now, we have talked about creating content and distributing it in order to increase visibility, credibility and traffic.
Unfortunately, there is a major link missing between traffic and purchase. This link is lead capture.
In order to convert your visitors into prospects, you first need to know who is visiting your website so you could contact them. To achieve that, you must convince them to share their information with you (name, email, company, etc...).
You could use various methods such as registrations forms for your newsletter, white papers, calculators, etc.
Segmenting your database
If you collect prospect information, you automatically create an essential asset for your business: a database.
Nevertheless, for this database to be efficient, you will need to segment it.
There are two types of segmentation you must absolutely consider: horizontal and vertical.
An horizontal segmentation separates your prospects into multiple categories based on their profiles. It could be by age, sex, location, job title, etc.
A vertical segmentation helps you break down your database based on your prospects' purchase journey and your sales funnel.
Once done, you will be able to send the right message to the right person instead of sending mass mail to everyone hoping for the best.
Emailing - the next logical step after launching your content strategy
You have built quality content, it brings you visitors, you transform them into prospects who you happen to know. Great.
Now, you must contact these people to push them down your sales funnel.
To achieve that, you may need to use an emailing strategy to send targeted emails to your prospects.
Think about defining the rules early on: frequency, triggers, segmentation, etc.
Also keep in mind you need to keep your database healthy and up-to-date. If people unregister, remove them from your database. If some people never open your emails, your emails bounce or end-up in spam, remove them as well.
Automation - how to reduce your workload?
Content marketing is free but requires a lot of your time.
Luckily, some steps can be automated.
The creation phase must obviously remain manual, yet, you should be able to automate part of the distribution. Similarly, you could automate lead capture, database management, email sending, etc.
Analyze each step of your strategy to define how a machine could replace you and increase your productivity so you could free-up some time to focus on other tasks.
Fati Magalhaes, Co-director of Hong Kong Club des Entrepreneurs:
" We had the chance to have Julien speaking at one of our Entrepreneurs' Club conferences in June 2017 on the topic ''Content Marketing - the key to long term success''.
During this 2h presentation, french entrepreneurs living in Hong Kong have learned, exchanged, listened and interacted efficiently. Julien's experience, knowledge, empathy and ability to share and explain made this a great experience for each participant.
Beginners and experts participants have all given similar feedback after the presentation and highlighted the density and quality of the speech. "
This article is just a summary of the conference, many important elements may be missing. I invite you to review and download the entire presentation. You may also want to go one step further with the following article: "Content marketing for small businesses - where to start?".
If you need help with the creation or implementation of your strategy, don't hesitate contacting me to discuss it!
Last update: 2017-09-19 Tags: conference entrepreneur content strategy