A couple of weeks ago I returned from maternity leave after having my third child – an adorable little baby boy. As you can imagine, my life over the past month or so has revolved around the new addition to our family. Because infants need so much care they can be all-consuming, much like a business can be at times. But did you realize having a newborn is similar to promoting your company? Keep reading for nine ways that successful content marketing is like having a baby.
Content Marketing Tip 1: Prepare Before You Start
Before a baby is born, you have nine months to prepare for their arrival. There are a variety of things to plan: Where will they be born? Where will they sleep? What will they wear? Will you invest in childcare?
Just like expectant parents plan for a baby, you need to plan for your business’ content marketing. What SMART goals do you want to achieve and by when? Which tactics will you use? What budget do you have to invest in them? By answering these questions and creating a plan up-front, you can create a strategic content marketing plan for your brand.
Content Marketing Tip 2: Invest In The Right Tools
The market is flooded with products for parents, but when it comes down to it, you don’t need every latest and greatest gadget for your little one. Rather than buying everything, you need to invest in the right tools for your family. While some parents insist on a video monitor, others are just as happy with audio only. And while some swear by cloth diapers, baby bullets and Moby wraps, others are just as happy with disposable diapers in bulk, store bought food and umbrella strollers.
Similarly, there are countless marketing tools out there; how do you know which ones to invest in? In addition to thinking about your budget and which content marketing tools are feasible for your bottom line, consider the tactics you’ll be using to achieve your goals and which tools will help you carry out the various tasks. While some businesses swear by one product, others won’t end up using it at all so it’s not worth the investment.
Which content marketing tools do we recommend? Check out my blog post about top resources for creating content on a budget.
Content Marketing Tip 3: Reuse
As I mentioned above, my newest baby is my third, which means we’ve been able to repurpose a lot of items from my older two children. While there were a few items we needed to buy, we’ve been able to reuse a lot this time around (the crib, stroller, clothing, etc.).
When it comes to your brand’s content marketing, think about ways you can reuse and repurpose content you’ve already created. For example, did you write a blog post a few years ago you can refresh into a new post? Or, you can take a completely new article you wrote and share it in your e-newsletter and on your social media channels. You can also pull advice and tips from the post and use a website like Canva to create an interesting image to share with social followers.
When it comes down to it, you want to work smarter, not harder. Think about ways you can reuse what you’ve already spent time putting together rather than only creating content that’s new.
Content Marketing Tip 4: Be Consistent
If you’ve ever had a newborn, you know you need to feed them all the time – every two to three hours. Consistency is incredibly important; if you don’t follow through with regular feedings you end up with a crying infant that potentially isn’t growing the way it needs to.
Consistency in your content marketing is incredibly important for regular growth, too. Do you want to see more website visitors? Blog every week at the same day and time following SEO best practices. Do you want to see more interaction on Facebook? Publish new, engaging updates at least five times a week, if not one to two times a day. If you’re not consistent with your content marketing efforts, they end up being a waste of your valuable time and resources.
Content Marketing Tip 5: Plan Ahead, But Stay Flexible
Any parent – even if their kids are older – knows that despite your best planning, sometimes kids throw things off. Still, planning is paramount if you want to get things done, from figuring out when you’ll squeeze in a trip to the grocery store and be home in time for naps to planning the logistics of a trip to the zoo with three kids in tow. The important thing to remember as a parent is to make a plan, but then be flexible when things go differently than you anticipate.
This carries through to your content marketing strategy as well. Yes, it’s important to have a plan, but be prepared for that plan to change. For example, you could draft a week’s worth of social media updates in advance, but what if something major happens in the news that relates to your industry? Instead of waiting until next week and being seven days behind, you can always draft another update and slip it into the posts you already have planned so your brand stays relevant online.
Content Marketing Tip 6: Embrace The Differences
I can tell you my first child is different from my second, and my second is different from my third. No two children are the same – even as newborns. My first two didn’t care for pacifiers whereas my third seems to really love his. Even though my kids all have the same two parents, it’s clear from day one they’re not the same people.
Just as I recognize and embrace the differences between my children, you need to recognize and embrace the differences between your brand’s content marketing channels. A blog is different from your e-newsletter, which is different than your social media channels. Even with social media marketing, each platform has a different culture and needs to be used differently within your strategy. Take the time to learn about each of your content marketing channels so you can use them effectively to promote your business successfully.
Content Marketing Tip 7: It’s Not All Sunshine
As adorable and fun as babies are, it’s not all sunshine and laughter. The diapers are messy, the spit-up gets everywhere and you don’t end up with much sleep. And that’s when everyone’s healthy. It gets even worse when your family catches the stomach bug that’s going around.
Just like parents need to deal with the not-so-pleasant aspects of having a baby, you need to make time for the areas of content marketing you don’t like so much. You may find building a target audience in Facebook to be tedious, but it’s important to do it correctly to make sure the right users see your ad. Or you may find your analytics confusing, but they provide important insight into what’s working and what’s not. Make time for the parts you have a harder time with and be sure you follow through with them.
Content Marketing Tip 8: Accept Assistance
I’m not someone that likes to accept help all the time, but when you have a newborn at home you need to take it. I found it incredibly helpful for various friends to stop by with a meal and for my mom or in-laws to do a load of dishes or fold a basket of laundry. When you spend a lot of time taking care of an infant and not getting much sleep yourself, you need the help as you get your feet under you.
While you may not like accepting a lot of assistance either, it can be worth getting help with your content marketing efforts – especially if you don’t have the time to do it well. Outsourcing some or all of your activities can help you do what you do best: run your business. After all, isn’t that why you started your company in the first place? Don’t be afraid to hire a content marketing partner to help you stay on track and follow through with your plan.
Content Marketing Tip 9: Enjoy It!
Kids grow up fast. As parents of older children say, enjoy this time while you have it. Your babies won’t always be small enough to snuggle in your lap, and there will come a day when their whole world doesn’t revolve around you. The more you take time to enjoy the fun parts of this stage of life, the better attitude you’ll have – even if you’re running on four hours of sleep and a giant cup of coffee.
Similarly, enjoy yourself with your content marketing efforts! If you see it as a chore and don’t have fun with it, everything you create will come across as forced and boring. Instead, find ways to insert your personality; this will keep your content fresh, engaging and true to your brand.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that promoting your business is like having a baby. Can you think of any other parenting advice that applies to a successful content marketing strategy as well? Share them in the comments below!