The 5 stages of content marketing for beginners

Dec 26, 2016 | Beginner Basics

Welcome, content marketing beginner!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to ContentMarketingStartup.com! This site is for anyone who’s a content marketing beginner. It will take you on a journey through 5 stages of development, and transform you from a newbie to an accomplished content marketer.

My goals for this site are to get you excited about content marketing, help you see its potential for promoting your business, and teach you how to use its most important strategies and tactics.

As my home page declares, “I’ve got the tools you need to fuel your new-business engine.”

To live up to that promise, I’m going to try to make it easy for you to see the big picture of content marketing and to apply its best and most affordable tools to power your business growth.

 

A quick tour

This website is set up to do just that. Let’s go on a quick tour to get familiar with what it has to offer you.

Home page. That cool rocket-shaped, forward-aiming logo in the upper left gets you to the Home page of the site. The Home page gives you an overview of the site’s purpose and audience, and links you to some key starting points. Please note, when I promised you fuel for your engine, I wasn’t thinking about some underpowered economy car!

Start Here. This is, well, a really good place to start. You’ll get a simple definition of content marketing, learn why it’s necessary in today’s business world, and find out about some basic foundational tools.

About answers your next likely question: who’s Tom and why should I trust him?

Learn is my blog. It will be your go-to place to learn about content marketing Beginner Basics and to access lessons about the 5 stages of content marketing for beginners. (More about those 5 stages in a minute.)

Resources lists all of the tools, templates, tomes and tricks I cover in the rest of the site.

Inspiration will buoy you up when you reach that inevitable low point in starting your business or learning the complexities of content marketing.

Contact is a way for you to communicate with me, and for me to hear what’s on your mind. This may be the most important page on the site! Please use it!

What this site will teach you: Strategy and tactics

As I’ve researched and practiced content marketing and taught others about it, I’ve tried to follow the advice of leaders far more experienced than me.

In particular, General Sun Tsu, the 800BC author of The Art of War, had this to say:

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

The lesson here is pretty obvious: both strategy and tactics are necessary for success.

Content marketing is no exception to this rule. So the lessons in this site will cover both the “why” and the “how” of using content marketing for business startups. They’ll give you strategies for focusing and aiming your efforts toward victory. And they’ll give you tactics for creating and enhancing your content to avoid business defeat.

 

So tell me, what is Content Marketing again?

My basic definition for a content marketing beginner:

Content marketing is simply the process of providing people with information they care about in order to form a trusting business relationship.

Practically speaking that means crafting your business’s web pages. Writing educational blog posts. Tweeting about your business ideas and commenting on others’ social posts. Posting your own articles on social media. And publishing ebooks, white papers, videos, podcasts and emails.

They’re all good communication tactics. But unless they provide people with information they care about, they’re not good content marketing tactics.

Which brings us back to strategy:

What are you trying to accomplish with content marketing?

Whom are you trying to serve?

What does your audience care about?

These questions are fundamental to the first two stages every content marketing beginner should begin with: Focus and Aim.

 

5 stages of content marketing: Focus, Aim, Create, Convert, Enhance

Focus is the first stage in becoming an accomplished content marketer. It means you’ve determined what your specific business niche is going to be, your goals for using content marketing to promote your business, and how you’ll differentiate your business from the rest of the world.

Aim is the stage in which you get inside the mind of your target audience. Who are they? What jobs do they have? What are their challenges, their concerns? How will you craft messages that will appeal to them?

Create is the stage in which you execute your Focus and Aim strategies with tactics that include your website, blog, social media, video, ebooks and other content.

Convert is the point at which you use proactive tactics to transform people who’ve expressed an interest in your content into buyers of your company’s solution(s).

Enhance is the stage where you move from your initial content efforts to managed, measured campaigns.

Each lesson in my Learning blog will hone in on one or more of these stages.

 

Why this takes awhile: It’s not a one-night stand

Although content marketing is effective, it’s not a quick-fix way to build your business.

It takes time, a cohesive approach, and a commitment to follow the 5 stages of content marketing from beginning to end before it pays off.

Why is it worth it? Because this approach to marketing aligns with what your target audience needs and wants: trustworthy information that really helps them.

For a light-hearted look at how these stages fit together, download my free ebook “Content Marketing Isn’t a One-Night Stand.” It’s written especially for the content marketing beginner.

 

Learning out loud together

As I write this post, I’m in the early stages of following my own Content Marketing Startup journey for this website. I’ve been working on the Focus and Aim stages to determine what I’m trying to accomplish, whom I’m trying to reach, and what my audience cares about.

So, how am I doing?

This is your chance to give me feedback on what I’m writing. Is is relevant to you? Please use the Comments section below to let me know your thoughts. And tell me where you are on your journey through the 5 stages of content marketing for beginners.

Thanks for your connection – it means the world to me.

 

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