PREPARING FOR LANDFALL
When you finally reach the Hurricane stage, your content marketing strategy is operating like a well-oiled machine.
You’re spinning through the Instant Expert and Killer Content cycles quickly and efficiently, constantly improving, building strength and power as you go.
You’ve definitely made a name for yourself at this point, and absolutely everyone (who matters) has taken notice. And a lot of them are already starting to take action!
The eye of the storm
One important benefit you should be experiencing as you enter this stage of your Hurricane’s development is the fact that you have work coming in. You’re starting to profit from all that hard work you’ve put in.
As a real hurricane progresses from a tropical depression to a tropical cyclone, the eye – a relatively calm circle in the center of that chaotic storm – grows to potentially miles across.
As the storm passes over land and water, the calm at the eye of the storm provides an incredible contrast to the fury of the storm surrounding that eye.
In Content Marketing Hurricane terms, that central eye is where you do your work.
You see, all the furious effort you’ve put into building your Content Marketing Hurricane has combined to create a powerful marketing machine that is constantly out there in the world spreading your name and your message near and far, sucking in prospects and leads, and building your reputation for you.
Meanwhile, in the calm at the center of that storm, you’re closing deals and getting paid.
If it’s done right, it’s truly a beautiful thing.
Time for advanced basics
Now that your strategy is transitioning into a full-fledged Hurricane, it’s time to head out and take another glance at the big picture.
You’re not just working on one piece of content at a time any more, and you’re not just experimenting with publication.
Instead, you’re turning into a media mogul in charge of Brand You, and that means you need to take some time to think about what you’ve really been building here.
To that end, let’s go over some things I like to call “advanced basics”. In other words, this is stuff you probably know, but that’s easy to forget in the day-to-day fury of keeping the storm spinning.
Remember, you’re heading for landfall here. There are a lot of members of your target audience living on the coast, and they’re watching your Hurricane heading right for them.
It would be a real shame to let it all fall apart just before you get there because you forgot what you were really doing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing means different things to different people, because out of necessity, it has to be customized to each individual, organization or industry that uses it.
But, for the sake of our discussion, I’m going to go with the following general definition:
Content marketing is the consistent, strategic production of valuable information, through media your current or potential customers enjoy consuming, in order to help them know, like and trust you, viewing you as a valued source of help at the right time.
A few points that I underlined in the above definition bear some quick elaboration:
- Valuable – Content marketing is not about throwing together a few paragraphs of meaningless junk, stuffed full of keywords for the Google robots and telling people something they already know. That’s called wasting time. The kind of content we’re talking about here is information you could easily sell, but choose instead to share freely. Information your customer values.
- Enjoyable – To have true value, your customer needs to enjoy taking in your content. This means a few things: first, you need to understand your customer and figure out what type of message she’ll get the most out of. But also, since everyone learns and engages with information differently, this dictates the variety of different types of content you’re going to need to consider creating if you want to reach your target audience effectively.
- Timely – One of the most difficult, but rewarding, aspects of good content marketing is its consistency. Producing high-quality content on a consistent basis isn’t easy. Distributing it effectively and working to engage your audience wherever your content goes isn’t easy either. But it’s a blast! And it’s how you’re going to manage to strike the right chord with the right person at the right time, bringing the reward back to you.
Keep this definition in mind at all times.
Print it out and post it above your desk. Repeat it five times every morning.
If you forget what you’re doing when you’re marketing with content, your powerful Content Marketing Hurricane will end up more like a pile of manure hitting a fan.