Canvassing and prospecting are what many entrepreneurs complain about.
When I started working back before digital marketing was a thing, there was no real way to get around these presumably scary and anxiety-causing actions.
Just like the board game, Monopoly, you have to pass GO to pick up your cash. Without canvassing and prospecting, the possibility of attracting clients was little to none.
However, today we look back on these anxiety-inducing practices and see that the digital revolution has changed a lot of how we can attract customers. When we do research on how to scope out and attract potential customers right now on Google, you’ll come across something called content strategy, otherwise known as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing consists of creating content (articles, videos, podcasts, e-mailings, white-papers, e-guides, blogs, social networks…) on a regular and consistent basis in order to make ourselves known, raise our visibility, establish a relationship with our audience and, ultimately, to sell.
Inbound marketing almost seems like the miracle cure for cold calling and prospection, however, I still hear a lot of people say that they create content, put a lot of effort into this strategy, and end up with poor results.
Content strategy is an amazing way to attract customers, however, like most things, needs a strong foundation in order to work the way you want it to work. It would be great if any random image, quote, blog post, video, or carousel drew people to our content, however, without a strategy, no one will really understand what your business is all about and will find it a bit chaotic to follow you.
In this article, we will explore 5 aspects to consider for a successful content strategy that really attracts customers.
WHY ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE WORD, STRATEGY?
A strategy is necessary to make sure that all the actions you are putting into place for your business really serve your end-goals and objectives.
So a good content creation marketing strategy, in a nutshell, isn't just about creating content.
A good content creation marketing strategy is all about how you will display, explain, position, and sell your products and services.
I have listed 5 important things to consider when you are working on your content strategy.
1 – WORK ON YOUR EDITORIAL LINE
Not surprisingly, the editorial line is the first thing to work on. It is this that ensures real consistency in your communication and makes sure that your prospects receive the right message (aka the one you want to return).
Concretely, an editorial line includes:
· The message you want to convey · The positioning you want to have · Your values · Your brand's image, its notoriety · Your products and services (and how they fit into all the rest) · Examples of your expertise thought leadership
Once you figure out what you will base your editorial line on, you need to adapt this to your audience. Your audience will vary according to the platform that you are using.
So, for Step 2, you’ll need to
2 – FOCUS ON PLATFORMS THAT WORK FOR YOU
When you are starting out with your Digital Marketing Content Strategy, it may be a bit overwhelming to jump on board with all the different platforms out there. Remember that consistency is the key to growing your audience and maintaining a relationship with them.
In the beginning, it is probably easier to find one social media networking platform where your potential clients are hanging out and focus on that one. Once you have gotten used to working on that platform, you can then cast your net wider and seek out others that can be useful for you in growing your audience and making sales.
Being focused on a single type of content and social network also allows you to tame the algorithm and SEO as you go.
Only once you're comfortable with it can you expand your visibility and move to other social media as you go.
It's okay not to get results immediately. Content creation is a long term strategy.
Take the time to choose and test the various platforms and types of content. But once the choice is made, you’ll need to persevere!
Make sure that you are publishing your content when your target audience is online and you are engaging with them. Content strategy is not about the creation, posting, and disappearing, you will need to set time aside to engage and comment on other accounts, other posts, respond to comments on yours and discover what content works and does not as you go along. If you see that some posts do better than others on your feed, you will also need to look into those stats and analyze why. All social media networks allow access to your insights and stats and this something essential in understanding and growing your content strategy to make sure you are optimizing your content creation.
There are some really great apps that will allow you to track and monitor your social media progress as well. For Instagram: https://igblade.com/ https://www.ninjalitics.com/ For youTube https://vidiq.com/ https://socialblade.com/youtube/ For Twitter https://analytics.twitter.com/about
In step 3 we will concentrate on the type of content that you will need to produce.
3 - PRODUCE THE RIGHT TYPE OF CONTENT
Producing content on social networks and different channels is not enough. Publishing content on your website for search engines and SEO with pretty keywords is not enough.
Your content should be geared towards the pain points and questions that your targets are asking. Not just on the content, you want to share or the topics you want to discuss.
Remember, we are in a business to serve a customer, help people solve a problem, or improve a situation.
The content you produce must therefore go in this direction.
And for that, it is therefore important to know your ideal client well.
However, you also need to consider what types of formats your ideal audience wants to see or will appreciate.
This is where experimentation comes in and, combined with your own preferences, will create your content.
Videos, blog posts, e-mailings and newsletters, carousels, photoshoots, quotes, podcasts, vlogs…. The types of format out there for your content are endless. The best part is that using one format, you can recycle it into others. For example, a video can become a blog that can be transformed into a podcast, which can create a single post or carousel for Instagram or Facebook and a link to Pinterest or Twitter.
What types of content do you like to create? Are you good in writing? Do you like to talk on camera? Are you into graphics and infographics?
There are a lot of tools out there that can help you create your different content formats. Here is a condensed list of some that I have used:
· https://www.canva.com/ (for graphic creations, presentations, logos, IG posts, stories) · https://anchor.fm/ (for easy podcasting) · http://www.inshot.com/ (for video editing) · https://spark.adobe.com/home/ (for graphic creations) · https://promo.com/ (for marketing and promotional videos) · https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check (for bloggers)
In Step 4 we will take a look at an essential part of any content strategy, the Call to Action, otherwise known as the CTA.
4 - INSERT CALLS TO ACTION
You will need to consider including a "Call To Action" at the end of each main piece of content, but also on your social networking posts.
If you produce great content but don't tell your audience what the next step is to move forward with you ... nothing will happen. How will they know to sign up for your masterclass, book a free discovery call, order your latest fashion creations, sign up for your coaching classes, order your holiday-themed baby onesies or check out your free downloadable dog trainers manual?
You need to make it clear to your audience what you want from them. Otherwise, the people you are talking to cannot guess the next action to take (even if they loved your content).
This action can be to
· to subscribe,
· to download an e-book,
· to subscribe to the newsletter,
· to register for a free Masterclass
· to sign up for a Facebook group
· to have a free discovery call
A CTA is the only way you will actually get your content to convert into sales.
Lastly, you will need to now communicate on your strategy.
5 - COMMUNICATE ON ITS CONTENT STRATEGY
Oddly enough, this aspect is often overlooked when it comes to content strategy.
There is a logical process that you will need to set up in order to make sure that people are hearing about the content that you are putting out there.
There are many ways to communicate on and about your content including (but not limited to):
· Add links to the biographies of your social networks including your blog articles, podcasts, interviews,
· Repeat Instagram posts in Stories, Reels
· Use extracts from your podcasts for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
· Create pins from your graphic creations (Instagram, Facebook) and upload them to Pinterest
· Advertise your products and services on GoogleAds, Facebook, Instagram
· Include key freebies in your email signatures
Organization tools such as these below can help you get started on seeing clearly into your posting practices and channel management. https://airtable.com/ https://buffer.com/ https://trello.com/b/nnRjeGdu/social-media-management
So, as you see a lot more goes into content creation for inbound marketing than just content.
To be effective, your content strategy must be done in a… strategic way!
A small recap of the 5 aspects:
1. Clearly define your editorial line 2. Focus on what social networks work best for you 3. Produce the right type of content 4. ALWAYS insert a call to action to indicate the next step 5. Communicate on your content
You will see, once you have implemented these 5 things, your strategy will become much more effective!