Natalie is the gal that makes content happen! She works with businesses and brands to help them publish quality content consistently.
Whether in blog, podcast or video form, Natalie helps her clients create content from scratch or make the most of what they’re already creating getting the most mileage out of it, distributing and promoting it so it gets noticed.
She’s based in rural Cumbria with her husband and two children and in between speaking and podcasting, dreams of one day owning a horse.
Q1. What is content marketing, plus what are the benefits?
Content marketing is essentially creating content (written, visual, audio) that helps answer people’s questions and solve their problems.
It’s important to remember that content marketing is not about selling or being pushy. It’s about providing real value to build credibility and trust, thereby stimulating interest in your business and what you offer.
As I mentioned, the main benefits are the credibility and trust you develop. The death of the salesman has already happened and now it’s about people coming to us/buying from us by their own free will rather than having been ‘talked into it’.
By building a library of content, you have a huge amount of intellectual property that you can do anything with! Turn into the contents of a book, use it as the basis to do talks/presentations, point clients to it when they ask you questions, allsorts!
Content marketing is great for your personal development to. As you write/record/create, you learn new things as you research and dive deeper into topics. You’ll also form new thoughts and ideas.
Q2. What are your top tips for getting started with content marketing?
Just start! So many people become overwhelmed & feel so daunted at the prospect of creating content that they simply don’t do it! Everyone has to start somewhere.
It’s only by making a start and by actually ‘doing’ that we become accomplished at anything and the same applies to creating content and to the marketing of our businesses.
It’s important to pick your content form. It’s not possible (or advisable) to be everywhere in every form. Instead, choose whether you’ll communicate with your audience through blogs, videos or a podcast and make that your starting point.
Of course, there is an element here of trying things out. When you’re in the early stages often you don’t know which content type suits you and which you enjoy the most, so you just have to try different things and keep an open mind. I for one absolutely NEVER thought I’d have a podcast!
Q3. How do you pick the best content form for you and your business?
You have to match content type with personality first of all. If you’re an introvert, you may not feel comfy doing a Facebook live straight away but may feel happier blogging.
It also depends on how your audience like to consume content. Do they prefer to read or are they more inclined to subscribe to a YouTube channel and consume your content there?
Also think about the industry you’re in. If you’re in the professional space your clients may be more inclined to read a blog than watch a video… but not necessarily! Knowing your audience is the key here.
Find the empty space too. For example, most businesses have a blog but how many have a podcast for example? You can bet your bottom dollar nowhere near as many so starting a podcast could be a great way to stand out!
Do what you enjoy!!! I could never be consistent with blogging because it hung over me & I didn’t enjoy it. My podcast, however, I’d happily do more frequently!
A great book on all this is ‘Known’ by Mark Schaefer. He talks you through all of this, matching content to personality type and finding the open space.
Q4. How do we know what’s working well for our audience?
I always think that the more reaction you get to your content and engagement following you publishing it, the more it shows your content resonates with your audience.
You can measure this reaction through comments on your blog, on social posts, on clicks in emails you send to your subscribers and website analytics.
One of the most important things to do when you create content is to measure, measure, measure. If you blog, look at your Google analytics and see which blog posts get the best page views.
If you record video, which videos have the most views? Whichever ones have the most are likely to be hitting the spot with your audience.
By measuring which content performs well, you can produce more of the type of content that your audience likes consuming. Or even better, take that piece of content and repurpose it!
Q5. What are the best ways to get inspired when we’re stuck for ideas?
Ask your clients and online connections questions. Find out what they’re struggling with, what questions do they have that can answer?
Take a look at Answer the Public. It’s great for generating content ideas based on what questions and queries your consumers have by getting a free report of what they’re searching for in Google.
They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan is one of the best books to read when it comes to working out what we can write about that’s really going to attract potential clients and customers. It’s a must read!
Scan Facebook groups you’re part of and your social media platforms to see what people are struggling with. Look at what questions people ask influencers. Use these questions as the basis for content.
Take an industry-related book which is likely to be of interest to your audience and look at the chapter headings. These are the topics that have been deemed worthy of being in the book and therefore very relevant to your audience so use these as inspiration for your own content.
Follow the hashtags and look for popular articles, buzzwords, and questions. This can lead to potential topics for your content.
Use Google search box suggestions too. When you start typing a word/phrase into Google, look at the suggestions that the auto predict function shows in the drop down box. Often there’s inspiration and alternatives in there.
Q6. Once we’ve published a blog, in what other ways can we use the content to promote our business?
At the most basic level you must promote your new blogs heavily. Tell people explicitly what they’ll know/understand better/be able to do once they’ve read your blog, otherwise they simply won’t bother!
If your blog is evergreen, pointing people towards past blogs is great social media fodder.
Get as much mileage out of your blog as possible by repurposing it into different forms of content by repurposing it. Different people like to consume content in different ways. Some like to read, some like to watch and others like to listen.
Why not record a video of you giving a summary of your latest blog to share on social media or your YouTube channel?
Another idea… Once you have a few blogs on a common topic, you can put them together to create an ebook which you can use as a lead magnet to encourage email subscribers.
Q7. What are your top tips and tools for repurposing content?
If you’ve got an eye for design, Canva is great for creating visual representations of your content. Perhaps giving the key points from your latest blog in an eye-catching way.
Stay organised and create workflows and processes. You need to keep a log/audit of all your content and record which content has been repurposed into what. A simple spreadsheet is ideal for this.
My top tip would be only repurposing that content which has already proven popular. There’s no point flogging a dead horse as it were!
If you can, outsource those bits of repurposing that you’re not strong at or don’t have time to do yourself. I’m no graphic designer so I get help with that when I want to repurpose content into something visually appealing for social media.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose and re-share content. People are busy, social media is busy. Just because you shared your latest blog post once doesn’t mean all your followers saw it, far from it! You’re giving people a chance to see something they missed the first time round.
Check out Natalie’s podcast, The Hot Content Marketing Podcast, where Natalie gets some of the best content marketing minds on as guests and gets them to share their processes and hot tips for content marketing success.
If you found this blog helpful for getting started with your content marketing to promote your business, why not join the #GoWithThePro Facebook Group for more of where this came from!