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    Content marketing, or storytelling that supports your online presence, is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant content consistently that drives profitable customer action. As with most things, planning makes perfect. It is one thing to post blogs or update slideshow images, it is another to create a process to craft and distribute your content, your story, effectively, attracting and engaging a target audience, driving sales and footsteps through your doors.

    When a story has a hole in it, like the main character’s accent suddenly changes or age is revealed to be something different than expected, or there’s the fly on lense of the screen while you’re watching a show, you (the recipient of the content, the one to whom the story is being told) get distracted from the actual story. In the same vein, in the terms of digital marketing and content marketing, it’s likely there are holes in your marketing that distract your customers. 

    Here are a few steps to find the holes, fill them and get on with your story!

    Step 1) Do a Sitewide Content Audit 

    1. Is it easy to find your contact information and/or make a purchase?
    2. Does your website’s content ― the text, images, video, and other media ― deliver all of the information your visitors need to learn about your business, make a decision, and act?
    3. Is your content unique?
    4. Does your website have a blog? If so, are you blogging regularly? Or is there a gap in the timeline?
    5. Are there pages that are missing that you might be able to create? Are there pages that might need an update?

    Step 2) Make a Plan

    1. Add your phone number and social media links to the header (typically the top right-hand corner) of your website. Add your physical location to the footer (typically centered on the very bottom) of your website. Ensure that the social media icons link directly to your business page.
    2. Schedule regular updates to your website content ― the text, images, video, and other media ― so that Google and other search engines see that you are active and engaged. An example schedule: update images every quarter, update text on your homepage every month, update a blog every two weeks, add a new video twice a year, etc.
    3. Ensure your content is unique to your company/organization. It’s easy to copy and paste from a relevant website but we recommend taking the time to customize your content to better tell your own story. 
    4. Add a blog; encourage members of your team to write them, giving your company a fresh voice and new perspective. Always try to be informative and helpful and avoid a sales-pitch. An example: if you’re a hardware store, you might want to explore the differences between electric mowers and gas mowers and explain how your store decided to sell the brands you do, so that the customers will get the best deal, the best warranty, the best service, etc. 
    5. Do a quick survey of your website and make sure that any department or service you mention has it’s own real estate on the website. If not, add a page or a content block to make sure you don’t leave customers confused. 

    Step 3) Add Your Blogs to Your Networks 

    1. After you’ve written a blog, be sure to publish it on your website and then distribute it accordingly.
    2. Post it on your Google My Business Page
    3. Share it on your Facebook Business Page
    4. Add it to (or make it the subject of) your next Email Marketing campaign

    For more on content marketing and your best efforts at storytelling, watch this free, 30-minute Content Marketing Webinar.