The Content Marketing Lessons I Learnt Walking 100kms
Last weekend, this freelance content marketer packed away her computer and donned her runners to participate in the Oxfam Melbourne Trailwalker.
I walked 100 kilometres in 25 hours. That's 25 hours straight. No sleeping. Just walking.
Frankly, it hurt. A lot! But I also learnt a lot.
I learnt a number of valuable truths that are just as relevant when it comes to content marketing, as it is for completing the Oxfam Trailwalker.
For many business owners - content marketing can seem as challenging and as difficult as trekking over hills and terrain for the mighty ton.
But just as successfully completed Oxfam, you too can successfully implement a content marketing strategy.
Here are my key takeaways that helped me turn my biggest challenge into one of my biggest achievements.
It takes commitment.
The Oxfam Trailwalker requires a 100% commitment. You need to train. Raise money. Prepare. Basically, for a time I had to make it a priority in life.
Just as walking 100 kilometres requires commitment, so too does content marketing. You have to be prepared to put in the time and effort to achieve your content marketing goals.
You need to commit time, resources and effort into creating and implementing a strategy.
You won't get anywhere without a plan.
Let me tell you, turning up to walk 100kms without training or a plan will lead to failure. You wouldn't get very far at all.
It's the same with content marketing strategy. You can't just do it when you've got a spare second and with whatever you think of at the time.
Rather, you need to:
- RESEARCH: Get to know your target audience, your competitors, your resources
- PLAN: Create a strategy with goals, measures and tactics to reach them.
- TRAIN: If you don't have the skills needed - get some relevant training or outsource to suppliers
By turning up to the content marketing starting line prepared, you will be able to systematically move to each checkpoint to achieve. You'll have measures along the way to indicate how you are progressing and whether you need to adapt your plan to achieve your goals.
You can't do it alone.
I have no doubt that without my team mates, the support crew or my friends and family I wouldn't have crossed the finish line.
It's the same with content marketing. It's a big job.
If you don't have the time or the resources as a small business owner, you need to find quality support. Here's where you can look:
- YOUR TEAM: Is there anyone in your team who has the skills and time to write or manage social media accounts and website updates?
- SUPPLIERS: Surround yourself with some quality, reliable suppliers - copywriters, content marketers, graphic designers, website developers - that you can trust to get the job done.
Social media works
To actually participate in Oxfam, as a team we had to raise a minimum of $1400 to go to the charity.
We raised $2,615 just through the power of Facebook alone.
Through regular social media posts we raised awareness of our participation in the event and need to raise funds.
In content marketing, social marketing is a key tactic is getting the word out there of your product, service and more. Your use of it needs to be consistent.
It's one step at a time.
To reach that finish line, I simply had to put one foot in front of the other.
Content marketing is a series of a whole lot of steps. Steps you've got to take for it all to work.
You need to be consistent in the delivery of your content - in regularity, style and tone. You need to stick with your plan.
Step up to the challenge.
With the Oxfam Trailwalker things got hard. I just had to grit my teeth to get through it. The effort was worth it for the feeling of achievement as I crossed the line.
It's the same with content marketing, by stick with it - even when you feel it is too hard, or not showing results,or just not worth it - you need to keep going.
Before you know it, that one step will take you over the finish line to achieving your goal.