Once you’ve prepared yourself mentally for the challenges of content marketing, it’s time to arm yourself with the tools and technology you’ll need to be successful. Here are four more steps you should take to ensure your content efforts have the biggest impact.
Choose Your CMS
If your blog posts and videos are the gleaming exterior of your content marketing machine, then your content management system (CMS) is the engine underneath. A good CMS will simplify all the activities associated with publishing content: editing and formatting, managing and adding media and links, creating tags and meta descriptions for search, adjusting your layout and site structure, and lots of other helpful things you’d rather not have to be an expert on. We recommend WordPress: it’s widely used, powerful, customizable, and best of all, free.
Modernize Your Website
Let’s say you’re a musician. Barring a few exceptions, you’ll likely draw a bigger crowd playing in a cool club or bar in the city than you would playing in some middle-of-nowhere basement. The same rule applies for the website you’re using to host your content. Your site should be clean, current, and easy to navigate. It should also be accessible to both mobile and desktop users, with a responsive design that scales automatically to display well on any device. Finally, your site should feature a modern IDX search solution, so that visitors drawn in by your content can easily browse your listings.
Research Your Target Keywords
In addition to considering what your audience wants, you should also consider how they’re searching for it. By performing keyword research for the terms your prospects are searching on Google, you can maximize the chances of your content being found. That means using applications like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see which phrases related to your expertise are searched most often. It also means examining your competition to determine which keywords you can realistically “win”–that is, rank highly for.
Establish a Social Media Presence
Social media is one of the easiest ways to promote your content, and you’ll want to establish a presence before you start posting. Build profiles on the portals you plan to use (we recommend Facebook and Linkedin to start), connect with as many people as possible, and acclimate yourself to the tools and etiquette of each service. That way, when it comes time to show off your content, you’ll have a network to share with and a sense of how to do it.
Get these tools under your belt, and you can get to the real business of content marketing: crafting interesting blog posts, videos, and guides that provide value and attract customers.