#19: How to approach Content Marketing

In the ideal situation, you’d create a quarterly marketing plan before a quarter begins. However, if you are not that organised or you simply prefer to make those decisions only a few weeks in advance, today is as good of a day to create a marketing plan as any other. 

In this article, I’d like to specifically address content marketing. 

Now, you might have been creating some content, posting on social media, maybe you are writing a blog post, or you’re creating a weekly video. Most likely, you are approaching your content creation in a way that I used to: let’s call it ‘freestyling’. 

This is how I used to do content marketing: I’d sit down on Monday and think, hmm, it’s Monday, what am I gonna post today on Facebook? Then I’d create a post on Facebook. 

And then I’d think: Hmm, what should I post on Instagram? Or ‘How am I going to engage people in my Facebook group’ or What am I going to write about on my website? Let me think about…  

Eventually, I realised that this approach would not help get the results I was after: that is bringing in clients. It was too scattered and random. 

For content marketing to be successful, we have to connect it to the information our customers or clients are actively looking for in relation to the problem they are trying to resolve. 

Since our clients‘ problem is at the core of what we are selling, the content marketing we do should also be aligned with our client’s journey and most importantly- should lead to the offer.

HOW TO DECIDE ON THE TOPICS:

The question we often ask ourselves is: ‘What should I be talking about’? 

Well, this depends on what you are selling. 

If you are selling a solution to a problem where the ‘HOW TO DO SOMETHING’  is the secret, which you’d give away only for an exchange of money, then you can focus on the problem itself and cover WHAT AND WHY. 

  • Describe the problem
  • Show mistakes that people commonly make that lead to the problem
  • Categorise the problem
  • Analyse ways in which people are trying to solve it and point out why it’s not as efficient as your method
  • Show the difference of your method, without giving everything away

If what you are selling is your brain, skills or time, then relieving the HOW would not make a big difference, as your clients will want to work with you anyway and would hire you regardless whether they knew how to do it themselves. 

The whole point here, and this is what you could highlight in your content, is that:

  • Your clients don’t want to do it by themselves, 
  • They would not do it as well as you 
  • Or it would take them too much time

FORMS OF CONTENT:

Deciding on a form of content is a personal choice.  It requires an assessment of your skills, how much time you have to create it and a bit of testing to find the optimal solution.

Here is a list, based on the main format:

Written Content:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles on other media platforms
  • Guest blogging
  • Social media posts
  • Books and eBooks

Audio Content:

  • Podcasts (where you are a host)
  • Guest podcasting (where you come in as a guest)
  • Radio interviews

Video Content:

  • Presentation style videos (Facebook Live, IGTV, YouTube)
  • Storytelling videos with more advanced editing (YouTube mostly)
  • Video interviews (Streamed video or Pre-recorded Zoom conversations)
  • TV interviews

WHERE TO POST THE CONTENT:

Where you chose to post your content will be defined by two factors: 

  • Where your clients already are
  • Where your preferred content format fits most 

For example, your clients might like reading and you might like writing, in which case your options are to post on your blog, do guest blogging on other platforms to which you ideal clients frequently visit.

If you decide on audio style content, then podcast sharing apps are a natural choice. Your other options would be to turn your audio into a video (by showing slides or stock animation) and post on YouTube. 

With each choice of content, there is always a group of people you will exclude as it might not fit their preferred way of consuming information. However, I’d not worry about it. We can’t be everything for everyone and within the group that does like to consume the content the way you present it, there will be enough people to fill your roster, if you promote your content well enough. 

So if you are someone who delays deciding on your main content because you worry about who you will exclude,  direct your attention on those who are already willing to tune in to your messaging. They are most likely to turn into your loyal clients. 

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