How Is Your Content Marketing Going?
~Web Content Writing Services for Lawn Care, Landscape, & Home Service Companies~
Content marketing trends change almost as fast as a bullet train. It’s very hard to keep up, in addition to choosing what’s applicable, to my niche. Sometimes, it takes me longer to digest all that I’ve read and not to apply everything the experts recommend.
Fortunately, the lawn care, landscape and home services industries don’t move as fast. So I read up on what companies are doing as well as what emerging trends are growing in those sectors and try to marry the two together to make YOU more successful.
How do you keep up on all of the knowledge?
Granted, you may not need to run with everything that’s up and coming in the content marketing world. Yet, you do need to know the basics of content marketing to reach your local audience. You want to grow your business, and in today’s world, the mainstay is through content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is getting the word out about your business through blogs, email newsletters, social media, website content, podcasting, video, infographics, etc. It’s passive marketing where your audience finds you through the “free” information that you put out there.
Over Christmas break, I read Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi. Even though I’m still reading it, I highly recommend this book if you want to grow your business through content marketing. It’s not a long read, but it’s heavy with lots of information. That’s where I find that I need to hone in on what’s going to work for me and what’s not. Here’s are 10 insights that I’ve gleaned so far from this book:
- Evernote – This handy tool allows me to keep myself organized. I have listed my 2016 goals (another cool idea that I learned) as well as other notes to myself.
- Google Trends – According to Pulizzi, this tool is underutilized. It’s super simple to use. Just plug in topics, like lawn care, pools, or hardscape, and Google will show you how each term shows up in popularity and what keywords are rising. Try “lawn care,” “landscape designer,” or “mowing service” in Google Trends and see what you come up with. Don’t forget to look at “rising” keywords.
- Google Keywords Planner – I haven’t used this tool yet, but according to Pulizzi, you don’t need to purchase AdWords just to see what keywords are popular in your niche.
- Mission statement – Pulizzi asks three simple questions to help the reader develop a simple mission statement. Here’s my mission statement based on those three questions: “The Landscape Writer exists to help lawn care, landscape, & home services businesses grow by leveraging local content marketing.”
- Content marketing plan – Everyone needs a plan. Content Inc. is filled with tools to help you develop a plan to extend your content marketing reach to your target audience.
- Editorial calendar – (see the end of this blog for a special offer) – For the past few months, I’ve been preaching about the importance of editorial calendar curation. Yet, my clients haven’t taken me up on my offer. Even just planning for three months at a time is better than not planning at all. Plus, editorial calendars are not set in stone—they’re fluid to handle changes as your content marketing evolves throughout a given year. And editorial calendars help you stay organized and focused on your content marketing goals.
- Motivation to build my platform – I’m now more motivated to build and expand my platform. As of January 1, 2016, I’ve been in business for three years. Wow! And I’m now ready to take the next step in growth. How about you? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in business for one month, one year, or 20 years. It’s time to take advantage of content marketing to extend your audience reach.
- Developing a resource page – This is another very simple tool. Develop a resource tool, such as adding the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) to your resource page. NALP has a consumer section that your audience may appreciate reviewing. And 2016 is the year of evangelizing the benefits of a healthy lawn and landscape. What better way to do that than through a resources page filled with information about those benefits for your audience to read?
- Learn more about Canva – I mostly blog, but I know that in our busy world, I need to start using other tools to convey my message. Canva is one tool that I want to learn more about and use in 2016. You, too, can use Canva. My friend, Hannah Tighe, wrote an article introducing Canva to TURF magazine readers.
- Sticking with the basics – What type of content marketing did you start with? If it’s YouTube, blogging, e-newsletters, podcasting, Pulizzi says to stick to that before adding other forms of content marketing. And I want to add—stick with the same audience. I’ve seen some businesses try to serve two masters—and came up wanting. For example, I’m a blogger. I’ve thought about spreading out to include video and podcasts, Slideshare, and infographics. But that’s too wide of a spread. Instead, I’m going to continue to blog and add infographics and power points as time allows.
What about you? What do you want to experiment with in 2016 when it comes to content marketing?
If you’re a lawn care, landscape, or home services business (HVAC, renovation, and the like) OR you’re a marketing agency that serves these clients, I want to help you with your content marketing efforts. So, I’m offering two specials for January:
- Free editorial content consultation. This is a $50 value. You and I schedule a time to talk for 30-60 minutes to come up with an editorial calendar for three months to a year.
- Buy five blogs get one free. Do you want to try blogging, but not sure if you want to invest in a full year of blogs? Then get your start by investing in five blogs and get sixth one FREE.
Pulizzi, Joe. Content Inc.