As if you didn’t have enough to do already as an entrepreneur, now every content marketing expert is saying you also need to become a… publisher!
“Embrace that you’re a publisher,” is the admonition of C.C. Chapman, co-author of Content Rules, in his presentation at Content Marketing World. In fact, the rest of this post is inspired by, and loosely based on, that presentation.
What does it mean exactly to be a publisher?
1. Have a story
For publishers, everything begins with a story. Identify an overarching storyline for your business. According to Chapman, every business has a story, “no matter what you think.”
If you’re a solo entrepreneur, most likely you are your story. Your story of success. Your story of what challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
The bottom line is, what story do you want to tell? What does your company stand for? What are you passionate about? What is unique about you?
2. Plan your content
Publishers schedule their content and so should you. Draw up a blog editorial calendar, if you haven’t done so yet. You can even pre-schedule your social media posts using a spreadsheet and tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.
Now that you’re a content publisher, you need to put out new content regularly. Having a plan makes it easier and less overwhelming. And your editorial calendar will allow you to look at the big picture, so your content marketing efforts align with your marketing promos and whatever “seasons” your business goes through every year.
3. Be strategic
Do you have a content strategy, or are you doing content marketing just because everyone else seems to be doing it, too?
Know why you’re doing anything. What do you want to accomplish? Publishers have clear goals: to attract a significant audience that advertisers would be willing to pay to reach. Everything they do flows from that.
Develop a strategy. It will shape your content marketing efforts, and make it decide how to allocate resources and make other decisions. Learn more about having strategic PR and communications here.
Part of being strategic is thinking long-term. Sure, a Facebook campaign may bring your immediate results. But for the most part, content marketing is like gardening. You sow the seeds consistently and reap your harvests later.
4. Be responsive
Publishers are always sensitive to how their audience responds to their content. They also know what their competitors are up to, and how they can one-up them.
Now that you’re a publisher, it behooves you to keep your ear on the ground and know what’s happening around you.
In the same way, as a business owner, marketer or PR professional, you must know what’s happening in your market. What content topics and formats is your target market consuming?
Also look at what others are doing. If something seems to be working for them, take it and make it your own. Don’t have direct competitors? Then get inspiration from those in completely different markets. As a content publisher, you also need to always be consuming content. It would be hard for you to have a successful business blog, for example, if you never read other people’s blogs.
5. Make the investment
Finally, publishers know it takes both time and money to create remarkable content.
Fortunately for businesses, publishing content now takes a lot less time and money than it used to. But it’s still not completely free. Expect to make investments in both time and money, in order to enjoy the benefits of content marketing.
Have you embraced your role as publisher yet? What aspect of content marketing do you need support with?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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