21 FREE Ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience

adminAffiliate Marketing, Content Marketing, Marketing, Target Audience, Writing

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Audience

Content Rules! We’ve heard it over and over again. It’s evolving fast and there’s just no getting away from it.  You have to act, produce and try keep up with trends fast. But how? It’s information overload. Over the past year of “growth hacking”, I’ve found some invaluable content, met some amazing people and learnt so much. It has inspired  me with content ideas that I will be blogging about for the next few years.  In 21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience, I will be sharing some of the information I have found to make your life a little easier.

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I started this post in September 2016. That’s how long its taken (distracted) me doing research and finding the discipline to put my thoughts down on paper long enough to actually create some content

Social Media

Firstly, over the past 5 years I have been SO busy helping my clients with their social media and marketing content that I have completely neglected my own, so decided to take some time to catch up with what is going on out there. Below of my recent twitter stats so you don’t have to look.



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Secondly, due to self-neglect I don’t have many twitter followers and … not following many, but I am working on that.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience is simply to help YOU cut through the information overload with additional links to awesome helpful blogs for further reading.


Twitter21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience - Twitter

As you know, tweets come flying in 24/7, and before long you look again and your open twitter tab has (200+) unread tweets.

This – in a space of minutes.  And what do we do, we hit the “view (200) new tweets”, and perhaps catch the latest few intriguing headlines or eye catching images to see if its something we might want to read or share. If nothing catches our eye, we simply move on. It does get distracting, and at times its simply too much!

My point is… just how many of our own tweets are being ignored?

A Few Content Marketing Facts

  1. There are a multitude of marketers who lack an effective marketing content plan (me included)
  2. Some marketers are unaware who their target audience is
  3. Other marketers have no idea what might make their content win their audience over
  4. Most marketers don’t even know if their content is winning; and
  5. Despite this, businesses are continuing to produce greater volumes of content than ever.

21 FREE Ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience

Whether you are a startup, an author promoting a book or a long-term business owner, doing research is an important first step to creating an awesome content marketing plan to reach your target audience.

And yes, if like me, you also get very distracted. This is why I have neglected my own content marketing plan. I can easily find myself losing precious hours initially starting off with one idea, and then link after link getting distracted and find myself on another mission. When I look again, I have done nothing but make notes and get idea’s but created nothing of value!

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – SMARTER Goals

Image: Weigh and Win

This is where S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals come in. Set your goals. Set your time limits. Focus on what you set out to achieve and try and leave yourself enough time to write something of value. (The link above is from a health website but their explanation is clear and concise).

If there is only one thing you take away from 21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience it’s to set your goals and DO NOT get distracted. After all, its not that difficult to write a blog piece of 300 words including proper SEO.

Create a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. content marketing plan! Click To Tweet

1. Keep on Top of your Game!

Markets, consumer expectations, and the numerous ways to reach your targets have changed significantly in recent years and your research needs to keep up.

Find out what’s trending on your social network and/or google trends. Visit your competitors and see what’s working for them i.e. how many shares/engagements do that get for their content, and simply better it!


Keep on top of your game! Click To Tweet

2. Stay Current and Relevant

If you want to stay current and relevant you need to not only be regularly researching, but refreshing and updating your own market intelligence.

Later, a little adjusting or strategic fine tuning can help you reap constant positive results.


You want to connect and then communicate with compelling contentconsistently, to become a trusted member of the online community, which will eventually turn into commerce for your business.Melinda F. Emerson, “SmallBizLady”

Stay current and relevant! Click To Tweet

3. Identify your Target Audience

How can you find your target audience if you don’t know who they are? Content marketing is simply supplying the right information to the right audience at the right time, so you need be crystal clear on your target audience  Demographic  and Psychographic  make up.

Finding your target audience is pretty much the same concept as calculating the market size for your product or service, which you should of covered in your Business Plan (if you did one). Here’s a quick reminder.


TAM, SAM AND SOM21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience - Tam, Sam, Som

How can I calculate the market size of my product or service? 

  • TAM – Total Addressable Market

The total market demand for a product or service.

  • SAM – Serviceable Available Market

The segment of the TAM targeted by your products and services which is within your geographical reach.

  • SOM – Serviceable Obtainable Market

What is the realistic the portion of SAM that you can capture i.e. your target market

What am I saying?

LESS IS MORE (the smaller your target audience, the easier it is for you to focus on specific topics that interest them personally.)

Let’s face it, you are NOT going to get the total market, so you need to target your realistic market. This is achievable by creating your target market persona’s.

Example

Virtual Precision do a few different things. We cater for authors, SME’s, startups. This could be an author who needs a book cover designed or formatting done, a startup who needs a WordPress website or an SME who needs a professional personal assistant.

So we create persona’s such as “Andy Author”, “Eddie Entrepreneur” or “Sally Startup”. Now create your own persona’s for your specific target audience. One sheet for each target so you can get to know them inside out. Find out what they need (after doing research/survey(s)) and then find out how your product or service will solve their problem(s).

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – this handy blog even has worksheets. CoSchedule – How To Find Your Target Audience And Create The Best Content That Connects

Identify your Target Audience! Click To Tweet

4. Keywords are Key

So you’ve figured out your target audience and built persona(s). You now need to find suitable keywords  and hashtags to attract them during their research for content and information about your type of company, product, expertise, topic or business service(s).

My favourite keyword search tool(s) are Google Adwords Keyword Planner, UberSuggest and Wordtracker, however you only get four free searches a day with Wordtracker, so use them wisely, but it’s enough to get you started. Don’t forget you are looking for low competition keywords.


Keywords are Key! Click To Tweet

5. Hotspots

Next you need find out where your identified targets hangout online.  Yes it’s more research but this is the important bit.

If your business is design related and your targets are the younger demographic then you will most likely find them on InstagramSnapchat or Pinterest.  They are more inclined to engage with pictures and videos.

If your demographic targets are the professional market, then Linkedin is the best place to find them. Most articles I come across favour good reading points, accompanied by good white space and a good balance of relevant images.

Facebook has over 1.65 billion users so is generally good start for most businesses, even though this medium has not worked for me, you might find it works for you. This medium will be trial and error so have some fun here and see what works for your specific line of business.

Find them, add as much detail about them as you can in a spreadsheet, capsule or trello (whatever works for you), so you can get back to them later.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – you can find further social media stats and facts from Brandwatch.


Find out where your identified targets hangout! Click To Tweet

6. Impressive Profile(s)

It only takes a few seconds for people to form an opinion about you, your business or your marketing strategy so you have to create kick-ass social media profile(s) that are not only consistent, but fit for purpose.

EXAMPLE: Make sure that if you are targeting small business owners on Linkedin, as a social media expert to help with their marketing, that you at least have a fully completed profile with recommendations, completed projects, relevant groups you have joined, influencers you follow, keyword(s) you found in point 4 above., etc.

Here’s a super useful article and infographic, How To Create A Kick-Ass LinkedIn Profile, created by Melonie Dodaro at TopDog Social Media. Read it. Use it. Create it!

Even though this relates to Linkedin, you need to ensure your details are consistent across all social media platforms, if at all possible, including your website and especially for your keywords/hashtags.


Impress with a kick-ass social media profile! Click To Tweet

7. Kick-Ass Website

Most people will do some research on you or your business. Your website is usually the first place your audience will go so you have a few seconds to grab their attention! 21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience says …treat it like your online business card!

TOP TIP

Make sure your website is …

  • attractive and attention grabbing,
  • obvious as to what you do
  • above the fold – ensure your most important information is immediately obtainable
  • easy and clear navigation
  • responsive – as 80% of internet users are now only using phones or tablets so it needs to cater for everyone

Impress with a kick-ass website! Click To Tweet

8. Marketing Campaign

Now that you have all this information its time to get creative. In order to attract your audience you need to create a marketing campaign directed at;

  • your blog / website;
  • the social network(s) you have identified above and;
  • your first email campaign

The message can be the same, but DO NOT try and use the same content for the different social media audiences, it won’t work. I’ve tried and it gets me nowhere.

Use different media for different social media networks, go back to to point 5 “Hotspots” for a quick re-cap if needed.

  • keep messages short
  • keep text to a minimum
  • use different size fonts / typography
  • use a mixture of visuals i.e. images, infographics, videos and don’t be shy on using lots of space
  • keep your campaigns engaging 

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience says …

REMEMBER…

information overload = attention spans shorter + multitasking faster … so 

K.I.S.S (Keep it short and simple)


Use different media for different social media networks! Click To Tweet

9. Objectives

Your objectives are simply what you want your overall marketing campaign to achieve.  Perhaps you want to create brand awareness, target new customers, increase sales or launch a new product or service.

Whatever your goals, tell your story … you need (should) have done this as part of your business plan.  But for more information you can get some valuable advice and ideas here.


Whatever your objectives, tell your story! Click To Tweet

10. Branding

It goes without saying that whether you have already created or refreshed your brand, make sure it is;

  • clear what your brand stands for,
  • your company image is visible on all marketing materials and
  • ensure that it remains consistent throughout any and all campaigns.

If you need help with branding you can get everything you need on fiverr.

Make 100% sure you are happy with the end product and that you have run it by friends and family to make sure it’s exactly what you are trying to portray.

Once that’s done, get those business cards printed and always have them with you!  You never know who you might meet and give some to friends and family and ask them “pass it forward”.


Your brand needs to be clear, visible and consistent! Click To Tweet

11. Find your Tone

Finding your tone or brand’s voice is something which you need to do yourself. Here’s a fantastic article with examples to get you started from the content marketing institute. This can always be re-visited later!


Find your brand's voice! Click To Tweet

12. Lists

List building is your single most powerful asset any website owner can possess.

Not only can you instantly tap into the minds of your subscribers at anytime (without spamming them), but its the fastest way to remind them who you are, offer them what you have and surprise them with new and interesting content to keep them coming back for more.

Better yet, once you have mastered the art of your target audience persona’s, this valuable list will provide you with a quick breakdown of who to send what too. Talk about saving time. More on list building from social triggers.


Your marketing list is your single most powerful asset! Click To Tweet

13. Killer Campaign Titles

After months of failure and poor open rates, trust me when I say that your campaign title is going to be one of the important decisions you ever make (after your branding and marketing strategy).

If you are using likes of MailChimp, they will suggest you keep them to three words max.  Personally, this has not worked for me so back to the drawing board on this on, but you can read a very useful blog on this topic at wordstream or even more great examples from Kim Garst.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – the following tools can help a great deal …

Headline Analyser

Headline Power Words


Create killer campaign titles! Click To Tweet

14. Engage

Now that you have all this information its time to engage. You have your headline, you need a powerful introduction, and then write like you talk, with your ending in mind i.e. what outcome is your blog achieving?

Top Tips to Engaging Content

  1. Killer Headline
  2. Powerful introduction (Hook)
    • Start with an alarming statistic
    • A true/dramatic story
    • Show a vulnerability (connect on an emotional level)
  3. Write like you talk (including humour)
  4. Engage with any comments
  5. Try not to write as much as I have in this post.
    • Keep your posts to a MINIMUM of 300 words
    • or MAXIMUM of … 3500 words (google loves longer)
  6. Try not to use more than 3 images.
  7. Conclusion
  8. Call to Action!

I would recommend you write your first blog piece, and once it is perfect and you are happy its targeting your audience and talking to them by focusing on their problems/questions, then take it to the next level by suitably promoting it across the social media channels you have identified in your research.

Try and change the titles and media accordingly, but always remember you can continue promotion on one piece of writing for many months to come, just by tweaking titles, excerpts, additional questions you might brainstorm and changing images etc.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading …

CoSchedule – How To Find Your Target Audience And Create The Best Content That Connects


Killer Headline. Alarming Intro. Time to Engage! Click To Tweet

15. Call to Action (CTA)

Call to Actions are imperative to any website, blog or social media post.

Great call to actions have a few things in common. They are:

  • Action-orientated,
  • Persuasive and Captivating,
  • Visually Strong,
  • Create a sense of urgency, and
  • Are easy to find

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – the following blogs might be useful.

WordStream – 11 Kick-Ass Call to Action Examples (And Why They Work)

HubSpot – 31 Call-to-Action Examples You Can’t Help But Click


Call to Actions are imperative! Click To Tweet

16. Email Campaign Testing

A/B campaign testing can teach you how small changes can have a big impact on your results.

I won’t go too in-depth here, as you are more than likely focusing on social media marketing first, but when you reach your email marketing campaigns, and once you have created a list, then you might find these articles might help get you started.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading …

MailChimp – About A/B Testing Campaigns

HubSpot – How to utilize A/B testing in email

kissmetrics – A Beginner’s Guide to A/B Testing: Email Campaigns That Convert


A/B - small changes can have a HUGE impact! Click To Tweet

17. Linking

Although external linking is the single most important objective for high rankings in the SEO world, this topic is not quite as straight forward as one would like due search engines using far too many different metrics to determine external link value.

Although I have supplied quite a few links in this post, I do stand the chance that one or more of these content marketing websites might contact me to ask me to take them down, due to perhaps popularity of my website or this article and/or relevancy.

Therefore, some further links to relevant articles are supplied below, in order for you to make up your own mind as to how you wish to proceed.

But generally, linking to other relevant content is good. Your aim with linking however, is for other authoritative websites to link back to YOUR content, which in turn helps YOU rank better with all the major search engines.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading …

Content Marketing Institute – 6 Linking Techniques That Will Help Your Content Get Ranked, Found, and Read

kissmetrics – The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking that Will Improve Content Marketing SEO

MOZ – External Linking SEO


External links are a key objective for high rankings! Click To Tweet

18. Timing

Timing is everything. You probably hear this for many more reasons than just publishing blog posts social media content. But it’s a fact!

Like me you have probably come across many infographics on this particular subject but again, this is something only you would know for your particular business if you have published content before.

Sadly, unlike the links I have supplied below, I am not in the position to post nearly as often as they do, but I do have some idea on best times for my business due to previous posts, so hopefully the further reading below will help you decide your best course of action.

You might be in the trial and error phase of your content marketing plan so I would suggest you post at different times of day to different social media platforms to find the best options for your business.

It is a science, but one that only you can establish based on your target persona’s, the type of business and the social media platforms you are targeting your targets!

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading and infographics …

CoSchedule – The Best Time to Publish

kissmetrics – The Science of Social Timing

SEOpresser – Best and Worst Times to Post Social Media


The science of timing is everything! Click To Tweet

19. Tracking

Tracking is the only way you are going to see if what you are doing is working, but where to start. First place is to find yourself a social media management platform.

This will depend on your budget, but assuming like me you have limited funds, I use Buffer. Its user friendly and free up to a point. And if you decide to upgrade it does not break the bank like many other platforms do. Its a good enough start.

Another way of tracking is using your individual social media platform analytics, as well as google analytics. Between them you will be able to track key performance indicators KPI’s (the goals and benchmarks that help you determine how well your strategies are performing).

Just remember, if you don’t measure, you will not be able to strategically improve your future efforts and if you don’t improve, then there’s simply no reason to create blog.

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading …

Buffer – 7 Social Media Engagement Metrics for tracking your following

Buffer – 61 Social Media Metrics


Analytics allow for strategic improvements! Click To Tweet

20. Brand Monitoring

Brand monitoring is a way of tracking your online reputation . Monitoring allows you to:

  • Observe trends
  • Get to know your customers
  • Learn from your competitors
  • Respond to fans, followers or critics
  • Engage in conversation
  • Discover new opportunities
  • Track credibility earned from your social media efforts

21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience – further reading and tools …

Brand Monitoring

HubSpot – 12 Free Social Media and Brand Monitoring Tools We Love (and Why)


Monitor brand reputation to track credibility! Click To Tweet

21. Repeat

So we’ve finally reached number 21 in the list of 21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience. Phew that was a lot of information to absorb so I suggest you bookmark this page and come back to it when you need to.

Don’t forget, its no point creating content if you are not going to track and monitor your results. Once you have found your sweet spot, start all over again. Making changes and learning from your mistakes is only going to help you achieve your goals sooner.

Before long you will be knocking out content in hours instead of weeks (or years in my case!).


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In the beginning I told you a secret. Can you remember what it was? Leave me a comment and let me know … no cheating!

Conclusion

There you have it, your 21 FREE ways to Inspire your Awesome Content Marketing Audience is now complete, with useful links to further reading.

The reason this post has taken me so long, is because its the basis of moving further in my content marketing plan, without which I could not move forward.

If you enjoyed this post why not Sign Up to our mailing list and be the first to know when we have updated our content. For those who subscribe BEFORE Sunday 17th December 2017 will receive a small gift.

Furthermore, if you have any suggestions or additional steps you think I should add, please feel free let me know in the comments, and I will update accordingly.

Finally, if there is anything you need clarification or help with, simply contact me anytime.

Happy researching, writing and creating.

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Further Resources

5 Effective Content Marketing Strategy Tips

20 Marketing Facts

100 Inspirational Quotes To Lift You Up

Business and Marketing Objectives

CM – Content Marketing Goals KPI’s

Fun Title Maker

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