Monday, December 17, 2012

Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Content Marketing in 2 Hours Per Week

We're running a featured series of guest posts on positioning and content marketing between Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays, authored by David Chapin, CEO of Forma, and author of the forthcoming book "The Marketing of Science: Making the Complex Compelling."

This series springs out of an extended interview that CED's Jason H. Parker conducted with Chapin, and will cover topics on positioning your business to stand out as unique, crafting a successful go-to-market strategy, building a content-marketing strategy that works, and how to develop a working strategy with only 1-2 hours of dedicated time per week. This week's contribution discusses what entrepreneurs can do with limited time to enhance their content marketing strategy. 

The 3 Tasks Entrepreneurs Can Do in 2 hours / week to Implement a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is the great equalizer; it is the embodiment of the phrase: “work smarter, not harder.” You don’t have to have 900 employees to be a world recognized expert, you can do that with nine, or with two. 
To maximize the impact of 1-2 hours a week, take these three steps: 

1. Create a content marketing strategy. Your content strategy should outline what content you will create (messages and topics), what form it will take (article, blog posts, newsletters, etc.), who you will create it for (your audiences) and when you will create it (your “editorial calendar”). 

2. Create content, such as blog posts, whitepapers, videos, or podcasts. Deepen your expertise by forcing yourself to express and externalize your knowledge.  Note: This content must be sales neutral. Your goal with your content is not to sell overtly, but to establish yourself as the expert in your chosen field.  

3. Promote your content. Use every available channel to promote your thought leadership (email list, LinkedIn status, etc.). 

If you are not doing content marketing right now, a good place to start is with our article on the content marketing life cycle.

Once you understand the goals of content marketing and have a clear content strategy, 1-2 hours a week will enable you to create a steady stream of content that will pay large dividends over time. Remember that content marketing is a long-term effort. It is similar to public relations in that it seldom pays instant dividends, but the long-term benefits can be significant.

Your content marketing activities should be inextricably linked to your positioning. A clear position and strong industry point-of-view will form the foundation of your content strategy. Ask yourself: What expertise you want to be known for? Is this expertise valued by your market sector and by your customers? 

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