It happens. You’re on a deadline or have a jolt of inspiration and you click publish and share. And then weeks go by. Sometimes months. And then it happens again.
You might have a million ideas for content but if not directly related to a path that leads to sales, why do it? There are only so many hours in a day a week a month a year, hell, a decade. Don’t you want to spend it where it matters most to you?
It’s important to think about WHY you are creating each piece of content. Without that piece and a schedule, there is no strategy. And without that, you are just implementing tactics and committing random acts of content.
If you blindly throw a dart, you could get lucky and hit the board, the bullseye, your partner, or the window… but imagine how many you have to throw for that bullseye to happen.
Now imagine if you aimed.
Why are you creating content?
Knowing the WHY behind your content creation informs your content strategy and will result in a greater return on your effort while also building momentum.
Let’s looks at some examples.
Building your authority can increase the number and quality of opportunities such as:
- Better guest podcast/live stream interviews and other speaking gigs
- Being able to write for a high profile publication
- Monetizing your blog or social channel
- Increased trust which directly impacts number of leads and sales
Let’s say you are a coach or consultant and you are just getting started. Maybe you want to build authority to land some speaking gigs to attract leads and ultimately customers. But you are relatively unknown.
What content will you create? How will you distribute it? What might this look like?
You’d probably publish some posts and/or case studies to showcase your expertise on the topics you wish to speak about. Then you would reference these in your speaker pitch.
As you begin getting comments on your content and feedback on speaking gigs, you might repurpose these as social proof (authority signals) on your website home page or speaking page and also leverage them for getting even better speaking opportunities. (Don’t forget to ask for the feedback!)
Maybe you are selling an online course. Who is it for? How do people find out about you? What content will you create and where will you reach them?
Maybe guesting on other blogs/publications and podcasts makes the most sense, but you need to show you are an expert to land those guest spots. So similar to the previous example, you would create content showcasing your expertise and leverage it in your pitch outreach.
When you are planning toward a specific goal, the strategy becomes so much more clear.
Being of service builds trust, authority and leads
How can you be of service? How can you help others? As Mr. Rogers always said, in difficult times, look for the helpers. Always be helping and teaching.
This type of content not only positions you as an expert, it also presents lead generation opportunities. By simply asking visitors to opt-in to receive more content like this, or even better, to download or access a premium piece of content, you earn their permission to reach them in their inbox. This further enables you to nurture that relationship as you would in real life.
I like to think of all my content as a one-to-one conversation from one human to another. Imagine the reader/viewer is on the phone with you or sitting at a table… knowing their situation and where they are in their process, what would you say to them next? In marketing speak, this is their customer journey (your sales funnel).
Tailor your content to where someone is on their journey
In all cases, consider what stage of their journey (your funnel) they are in. Awareness? Research? Lead? Existing customer? Referral partner/affiliate? They all need content tailored to them at each stage. Content isn’t just blog posts. It takes many forms: emails, videos, webinars, interviews, onboarding/off boarding materials, sales call scripts, web pages, thank you pages, and on and on.
Now consider what you are selling and how the content you are about to create fits into the sales process. Does it related to a specific product or service offer?
Is it intended for top of funnel awareness/research stage? Then blogs, videos, etc. with social media posting (and paid traffic) is great.
Is it more middle of the funnel where someone is ready to dig a little deeper? Might still be a blog post or video, but delivered via a nurture email after they have opted in for something indicating their interest. Might be part of a retargeting paid traffic campaign, etc.
Or maybe it is for existing customers — to get them to buy again or try another service you offer. Maybe it is intended to get them to share their experience with you with others in the form of referrals, reviews or simply sharing your content. You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so be sure to ask for it.
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…
What about all that behind the scenes and more personal story type of stuff? That falls under know-like-trust. Once people discover you, they begin to get to know you through your content. A little personality and behind the scenes enables them to connect with you and grow to like you. And people do business with and buy from people they know, like and trust.
Consistent focus and execution
No matter what form of content you produce (blogs, video, podcast, live stream, etc.), having a regular schedule, such as “weekly” or “Tuesdays and Thursdays,” helps your audience know what to expect. Consistency builds trust.
What matters most is focus and execution. Be realistic about what suits your nature and lifestyle. Schedule time and be purposeful and strategic about what you are creating and promoting.
A financial advisor I know often says that simple plans work because simple plans get followed. Don’t over complicate it.
When you make it a priority and a habit, amazing things start to happen.