1. Have goals. Know what you want to accomplish and especially, why. What is your Christian ministry trying to achieve? What is your vision for your Christian-owned business? How and why will content marketing help you get there? Map out a plan.
2. Determine what you want your audience to DO with your content. Do you want them to share your content? Sign up to get more content? Don’t expect that people will buy from your business or donate to your ministry or start attending your church just because of your content—but it should certainly influence their decision and move people closer to doing those things.
3. Know what types of content your audience needs or wants. You’ll probably need different types of content for different stages that your audience is in. For example, blog posts and webinars can be helpful for creating awareness about your organization; whereas, testimonials and FAQs are helpful when someone is closer to making a decision.
4. Be creative. Don’t limit yourself by only thinking in terms of “typical” content forms—blog posts, podcasts, etc. Of course it depends on your resources and what will work best for your audience’s needs, but also consider content forms like calculators, quizzes, live video and more.
5. Don’t create anything without SEO. It’s possible to create great content that never gets found. When people do a search in Google or Bing for something related to your piece of content, make sure they find your content. Don’t create anything without search engine optimization in mind.
6. Put your audience at the center of the story. Don’t talk about yourself or your organization so much in your content. Your purpose is to encourage, mentor, coach, lead. Don’t make the story all about you.
7. Use video. With Facebook Live and other live-streaming platforms, video popularity is skyrocketing. Consider how your organization can use video—perhaps to show people what it’s like behind the scenes or to demonstrate a product or to show what it’s like to be involved with your ministry.
8. Use Buffer to share content. Buffer is a great way to share content, especially because it offers great analytics around content performance and gives suggestions for content to share besides your own. (Plus, Buffer makes it super simple to share once across several social media platforms.)
9. Amplify content. Promote major pieces of content so that it gets found. Use Facebook ads. Even Google ads. If it’s a particularly interesting topic, consider talking to the media about that topic.
10. Re-work one piece of content into smaller pieces. Along the same lines as content amplification, consider creating several pieces of content that work well for different platforms from one big piece of content. For example, if you created a guide, create new and interesting visuals for it and make an Instagram post or story from it. Make a video about it. Turn it into a blog post. Develop a quote or soundbyte from it. Create a Prezi presentation about it.
11. Be consistent in creating content. You don’t necessarily need to create a plethora of content (though sometimes that can help), but you should be consistent.
12. Focus on quality. Create content that is highly useful and adds value to your audience’s lives. Don’t just create something for the sake of it. Add value. Use BuzzSumo to find out what types of content have worked well for your topic.
14. Compress images. When adding images to your website, make sure they are compressed first; otherwise, you’ll constrain your server’s resources and it will take too long to load and irritate people. Use TinyPNG or Compressor.io to compress images.
15. Use ALT text. Google can’t read an image, but it can read that images associated ALT text. When people search in images, they are more likely to find your image. This goes back to creating content with SEO in mind.
16. Be succinct. With the “content shock” that is going on where everyone today is a content creator, people don’t have time to sift through a lot of information. Write succinctly and call out clearly important points in your writing.
17. Give people a way to create content for you. Be creative. How can you encourage people to take pictures of themselves using your product and posting it online? Or share a video of themselves interacting with your ministry? Or visiting your church? Give them a special area on your website devoted solely to their content.
18. Share, share, share. If you’re not sharing your own content, don’t necessarily expect other people to share it for you. But when they do share it for you? Retweet them, like their post, thank them—reward them in some way.
19. Persist. It’s hard to create content and especially, consistently create great content. Keep going!
20. Measure. Use measurement tools to understand your content’s effectiveness. How do people find your content? In what ways do they interact with it? Which content is most popular? What do people typically do after reading, viewing or interacting with a piece of content? Ultimately, is your content marketing impacting your ultimate goals—the ones you set in the beginning?