Four years ago someone asked me a question that would change my life.
I had been blogging for a personal blog for a few years. The process was leading to some great things in my life. I was virtually meeting a lot of really smart, interesting and cool people.
Then someone emailed me the question:
Would you manage our business blog?
The company was an ecommerce company looking to build their business. They wanted me to help them build an audience by writing blog posts. So we got started and slowly built an audience.
Looking back on those early years I’m still proud of the posts I did for that company. I think they were some really good things that helped people with questions they had relating to the industry.
That question turned into Ghost Blog Writers. I don’t do any of the client writing anymore, but we have nearly 20 writers on the team that are creating amazing content for our clients.
The Biggest Reason Companies Struggle With Inbound Marketing
That question turned me on to a huge issue in the online industry.
Businesses wanted to build inbound marketing strategies, but they struggled with content creation. There are a variety of reasons companies and individuals struggle with content creation.
Some don’t have time for it. Others don’t like writing. Some aren’t really sure what to do.
Whatever the reason it seems that content creation remains an issue for many businesses.
A new report shared on eMarketer shows that content creation and content marketing are the biggest issues for both B2Bs and B2Cs that are trying to implement inbound marketing strategies.
59% of B2B respondents and 45% of B2C respondents cited content creation and marketing as the most difficult aspect of inbound marketing.
Not only are these the top issues for both types of businesses, but they’re the biggest issues by a wide margin.
So it turns out that the creation issue is still there. It was when the first client asked me about blogging a few years ago and it’s still something we see today and probably going into the future.
Here are a few tips for both creating and marketing content.
Content Creation Tips
These are the tips I tell people that ask me about content creation. They’re struggling to create content. They want to start a blog. Some even start the blog and publish a few posts only to struggle to keep it going.
Tip #1 – Create a Big List of Common Questions: Throughout the day most business owners deal with common customer questions. Think back on all the questions you’ve been asked over the years and all the answers you’ve provided to those questions. Create the list and start writing out your answers. Those make some of the best posts and it seems easier for business owners because it’s something they’ve already thought about.
Tip #2 – Comment on Industry News: As a business owner you’re probably also tuned in on the latest industry news. Because it’s your job you’re usually deeply involved in what’s happening. Your customers are may be a little interested in the industry, but they’re looking for someone to provide opinion on the big news items. Provide that point of view and you’ll be providing real value.
Tip #3 – Call A Ghost Blog Writer: There is obvious bias here with this one. We work with businesses all the time to bring their knowledge to life in the form of blog posts. We take over the blogging and the content creation problem is solved.
Content Marketing Tips
The other side of the coin is marketing the content you create. This is becoming more important to successful inbound campaigns and strategies.
Tip #1 – Create Snippets: We’ve been starting to have success with this on our own and with clients. We’ll write posts and take interesting snippets like stats or important bits from the post and share those on social media. People love this bite sized content on social media and it can really spread through the audience base and bring in traffic, leads and sales.
Tip #2 – Talk About Others: With our blog posts we often write about others. We’ll do analysis of a blog here on GBW or write about complementary businesses and it can really spread because people like when you talk about them and they’ll share it with their audience.
Tip #3 – Content Distribution Channels and PR: We’re exploring these more here at GBW. Basically this is really connecting with people and getting them to share your content on their channels. There are also a few paid options for distributing content, but I’m not entirely sold on these options because it’s pretty spammy if you see those “Related Articles” ads at the bottom of major news sites.
There you have it.
If you’re struggling with content creation and marketing you’re not alone.
Try some of these things to get things rolling because inbound marketing continues to prove to work.
Image: Drew Coffman