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Your Content Marketing Starter Pack:
Tools, Tips, and Tricks

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Hey, partner. If you've landed here, you're probably in one of two camps: you're a small to medium business, looking to further develop your budding content marketing plan. You've gotten started and it's going well but you're ready to add a few more tools to your belt. Or...

You’re lost. You’re scared. You know the word “content,” you know you need it in your marketing strategy… and that’s about it. Whether you’re new to the game or already on your way to being a savvy content pro, we’re here to arm you with the essentials of crafting a killer starting content strategy. Ready to dive in?

 

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Step 1: Identify Your Audience (Hint: It’s Not “Everyone”)

First things first — know thy audience. Trying to market to everyone is like trying to sell a surfboard at Burning Man. You might have a good product and plenty of people around to buy it, but it’s not relevant to them in their current situation, so you may as well be yelling into the void.

Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or even BuzzSumo to get a clear picture of who your ideal audience is. What do they like? Who’s in their inner circle? Where do they hang out? What keeps them up at night? Then, you can strategize to craft your content to speak directly to them. No more screaming into the void.

 

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Keep in mind that what works for one brand may not work for yours.

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Step 2: Choosing the Right Channels (One Size Doesn’t Fit All)

Okay, you know your audience. Remember one of the things you found out about them? “Where do they hang out?” Are they video watchers? Facebook scrollers? Instagram addicts? Podcast junkies?

Don’t be the person who finally finds your perfect vegetarian community and then tries to sell them a cooler full of New York Strips. Obviously, that’s not going over well.

Keep in mind that what works for one brand may not work for yours. Don’t let the illusion of one brand’s overnight viral success cloud your own progress or the choices that might be best for your strategy. Choose your channels wisely. Focus your efforts where your audience will actually get your message, instead of spreading yourself too thin.

 

Step 3: Create a Content Calendar (Because Random Posts Won’t Cut It)

Third, it’s time to get yourself a content calendar. Think of it as your content GPS, guiding you through the twisted highways and side streets of your marketing strategy. Unless you have a photographic memory, it’s going to be pretty difficult to remember everything that you want to post every day. So, from both a strategic and logistical standpoint, implementing a content calendar is going to begin making your life easier.

Whether you’re going to be utilizing social media posts, blogs, videos, or all of the above, there are some great tools out there, like Trello, Asana, and even a good old Excel sheet if you’re feeling nostalgic. A content calendar helps you plan and schedule your posts, ensuring consistency and keeping the content chaos at bay.

 

Step 4: Set Realistic Goals (“Going Viral” Is Not A Goal)

Set yourself some goals. Sustainable, realistic, achievable. And no, “going viral” doesn’t count. It’d be a great bonus, and it can certainly add to your goals as it relates to overall engagement and visibility… but it’s like saying, “My goal is to be a TikTok star.” It probably isn’t going to help you strategize.

Think measurable goals like increasing website traffic by X% through social media or getting Y# of new leads per month from a form attached to the end of a weekly blog. Maybe by the end of the year, you’d like to double your followers on one of your social media platforms, or get a hundred subscribers to your YouTube channel.

The point is to set yourself up for success, steady growth, and review them regularly to stay on track.

 

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Don’t go overboard to start with; start simple and scale as you grow.

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Step 5: Get The Gear (Lights, Camera, Action!)

Thinking about diving into video or podcast content? Excellent choice! Video is king in today’s digital landscape. For recording, you might need a decent camera (depending on what you’re doing, your smartphone could work just fine), a tripod, a microphone for crisp delicious audio, and basic lighting equipment to make sure you don’t look like you’re broadcasting from a troll dungeon.

Don’t go overboard to start with; start simple and scale as you grow. This doesn’t need to be a Hollywood production overnight. Budgets exist for a reason.

 

Step 6: Keyword Research (It’s Not Just About Hashtags)

Good job so far. You’ve written/recorded/illustrated/chanted your content and you’re ready to present it to your carefully cultivated audience. Now, let’s make sure that as many people see your masterpiece as possible.

Understanding keywords is crucial for SEO, social media, and more. Tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, and Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find the right terms to target. This will help you rank better in search engines and get noticed on social media channels.

 

Step 7: The Right Tools for Analytics (Guesswork is For Fools)

And you’re no fool. Now that you’re in the groove of regularly posting your chosen content, it’s time to see how you’ve been doing, gauge what’s been working (or not working), and adjust your strategy based on those learnings. Let’s get downright analytical.

Tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, and HubSpot are your new best friends. They help you track performance, see what’s working, and tweak what’s not. If you’ve been using something like Hootsuite to post to social media, analytics tools are even built right into the platform for a one-stop-shop. Remember, data is power—use it to continuously improve your strategy. Throwing darts into the dark will only get you a lot of wasted time, wasted effort, and a need for a lot of band aids.

 

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But why not make your life easier and partner with a pro?

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The Final Tip: Partner with a Pro (Like, Oh I Don’t Know, Dovetail!)

Sure, you can attempt to do this on your own. But why not make your life easier and partner with a pro? That’s where agencies like Dovetail, one of the top marketing agencies in St. Louis, come in. We have the expertise to streamline the process, helping you create, manage, and optimize your content marketing strategy, so you can focus on what you do best—running your business.

Incorporating a big ol’ content strategy into your marketing plan can be intimidating, but exciting. If you want to do it right and make it sustainable (and we want that for you!), involving an outside agency can be a lifesaver.

 

Conclusion

And there you have it! The ultimate starter pack for ambitious content connoisseurs like yourself venturing into a new realm of marketing. Armed with a solid content calendar, a clear understanding of your audience, the right analytical tools, maybe some basic equipment, realistic goals, targeted keywords, and the right channels, you’re all set to make waves in the vast digital world.

Remember, great content marketing is a journey, not a sprint. And if you ever need a co-pilot, Dovetail is here to help.

Let’s Make Your Life Easier

 

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