Why is content marketing so important?
It’s a really important part of your overall strategy - content that serves your audience can impact your sales and your business.
Content helps you get found online.
Great content produced consistently will get you noticed, help people to get to know, like and trust you.
Content is critical and I often say that businesses don’t have a sales problem, they have a traffic problem! Content marketing is one of the best ways possible to help you drive traffic so it should absolutely be a pillar in your marketing pantheon. Second only to email marketing of course!
Above all, content marketing or educational based marketing, whatever you want to call it, is a way to help you add more value than anyone else. If you really think about it, marketing is sort of like taking someone on a journey to genuinely help them make the right decision for them. I see it as a way to add value and some will, some won’t, you’ve added value, move on.
What is content marketing?
Let’s get on the same page for a second. When I talk about content marketing, it can be anything from blogs, podcasts, videos, your social media posts, emails and any content that you create for the purpose of marketing your business.
Whoa, that sounds like a lot of work. You betcha, it really is. You can spend hours and sometimes days creating content for your audience and there’s no quick fix, no shortcuts that are going to do you any good.
Before I go on, I want to introduce you to Marcus Sheridan. He used content marketing to not only save his swimming pool business but make it thrive. ‘They Ask You Answer’. You see in today’s world all of us live with access to information as quickly as we can Google something or ask Alexa. To be in the running to influence any buying decisions, we need to be there and position ourselves as the experts who can answer any question, concern, worry, comparison, or objection that anyone may have. Whether you’re selling swimming pools, coaching, or trainers, this is a simple marketing strategy that you must employ.
The motivation for this blog was driven by several conversations I’ve had this last week with different clients. I’m finding that quite a few people struggle with how to plan content, what to say and how to do it so it doesn’t feel so daunting. If that rings any bells right now then you’re going to love the rest of this article.
Where to start with content marketing?
First and most importantly, did you really think I was going to do a blog about content without mentioning your ideal client avatar? I didn’t think so. When someone asks me where they should be putting content, I ask where their ideal clients hang out. If your people are on Facebook, be there. If your people are on Pinterest, be there. Medium, YouTube, Spotify - wherever your ideal clients hang out is where you need to be. And I’ll add that having some kind of resources section for content or a blog is definitely good for business. When someone asks me what they should be saying, I ask what their ideal clients want to know, what they need to know and how you can help solve problems for them.
And if you check out the “is blogging good for business” blog, there are a load more ideas on where to get content inspiration from.
Once you know where you’re going to be posting content and you start thinking about your ideal client avatar, you can start with giving yourself some structure.
I have a content marketing checklist for you to download that’ll give you a hand. To kind of summarise, I look at structure - and I’m not talking about setting goals for your content or the actual content plan itself just yet - I’m talking about having an idea of what you’re going to create and post regularly.
For example, let’s say you’re a life a coach. On a Monday, we all need a little pick me up so Mondays can be ear marked for motivational content. Maybe it’s a quote, a great story, or some results a client has achieved that are inspirational. Then let’s say your audience hangs out on Spotify, Tuesdays can be podcast day. Wednesdays you share some free advice, some thoughtful information or a freebie that you have to give away and help solve a micro-problem for your audience. Thursdays are blog days and Fridays are for fun.
I’m not saying that this is the right structure for you, but having something like this in mind will give you a starting point so you know what you need to prepare. You’re not staring at a blank page and this kind of consistency gets noticed.
So there you have it.
If content is king, consistency is queen.
Once you have your content structure, I really like working in batches. I’ll try to plan out a month of content and have stuff written out in detail and approved week by week. It means I don’t have to sit down every day and think about what I’m going to post. It’s all done ahead of time.
How to explode your content marketing strategy
Here’s the kicker. This stuff isn’t easy and if it’s just you in the business or you have a small marketing team, it’s time consuming. It is hard work. I’m not saying that to put you off, I’m saying that so we can look at ways for you to be smart about it.
You see when you post something on social media, only a tiny percentage of your audience will actually see it. So how you can make sure something that you’ve spent hours or maybe even days creating has legs. We’re going to look at a few ideas to help you repurpose your content for maximum exposure and leverage.
There’s so much more that you can do to make your content work harder for you so that your ideal clients can access your great content wherever they are. You’ve put so much effort into that video or that podcast or that blog, so I want to help you do loads more with it!
7 Ideas for Repurposing Content
If you create blogs, maybe you make videos or record podcasts then think about how these ideas will work for you. I hope more ideas will come to you as this gets your creative thinking going. Ok, ready to get some mileage out of your content?
Let’s have a look at what repurposing content could look like. Ok, let’s say you regularly write a blog. That’s your primary content. You could record a mini video with the key points from your blog or article. Maybe video isn’t your thing that’s ok, I get that. With my podcast, I take the show notes and turn that into a blog so it’s one piece of content turned into two.
Now I’m really lucky in that I focus on my podcast as my primary content and my very wonderful, lovely VA Poppy will turn it into a blog post, we’ll also link to a free resource that falls out of the blog to an IG or Facebook Story. If you don’t have a VA or someone to help you out, you must put this on your list to hook up. This stuff can become all-consuming and I really want you to focus on your primary piece of content and the uniqueness, the skills, experiences and gifts that you bring to the world. The rest can be outsourced.
If you’ve been thinking of what a VA can do for you, this is a great place to start. If you can get some help to leverage your content and drive more traffic it’ll be an investment well made.
So that’s idea #1 - turn your podcast into a blog post.
By adding the podcast show notes or a video transcript to your website’s blog, that’s a whole bunch of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO content so now you have another way of getting found and getting some love from Google.
And while we’re here, here’s idea number #2 - you can take the key points from your podcast or your blog and create a slide show. You can put multiple images on a social media post or if you use LinkedIn, a document with the info presents as a slider. I say slideshow but try to think about video content too, I know people scrunch their face at the thought of being on video but a blog turned into a few snippet videos for IG or Facebook, even LinkedIn, will really help with extending content to give it those extra miles.
One of my favourite tools for creating graphics and slideshows on brand and super quickly is Canva. It’s a free tool available at canva.com.
Vice versa. A week ago one of my clients posted a lovely story in a LinkedIn post and it’s taken on a life of its own. After three days the post was up to 3,000 views and had over 60 comments, who knows what the stats are now. The content obviously hit the mark with her audience so she’s taken the concept, the topic and written a longer LinkedIn article as a follow up to the post. Huh, I think that’s idea #3. Turn popular social media posts into longer-form articles. You can post these articles as native on LinkedIn, or there are other platforms you can submit to such as Medium. Guest blogs are also a brilliant way to get exposure to new audiences - definitely have a think about that from time to time. I always notice a flurry of activity and spike in web traffic when I have an article posted on Forbes.
You have to get into the habit of looking at content and figuring out what you can upcycle, recycle or repurpose.
When you’ve put tons of work into a podcast or a blog, it’s time to pull out the key highlights or points and create an email for your list. So there’s idea #4 for you. Repurposing content into your “seinfeld” emails, these are the emails that you regularly send to your list that which add value to your audience. I want you to be in the habit of sending emails to your list weekly!
And if you’re not convinced, please make sure you head back to the blog on how to Unleash the Power of Email Marketing.
If you have blog or a podcast, it’ll be loaded with content that you can repurpose for at least two or even three social media posts. Maybe you’ve got some great stats or a quote that you could format into a post for Facebook or Instagram. Don’t just post the episode or the blog, that big juicy piece of long-form content can absolutely be multiple social posts or pins. There’s idea #5 - saving you from having to come up with brand new ideas for every social post!
I hope that you’ve by now got a bunch of my free downloadable resources to use and help you with your business and marketing. And here’s idea #6 - turn your blogs or content into checklists, free resources or downloads. So a little while back, I did an episode on Pricing your Services. That episode was turned into a blog and I wanted to make sure it was really useful so I also created a Pricing Calculator as a free download. You can make a cheat sheet, a checklist, a guide or anything that would be helpful (and talk about two birds, you can grow your email list by getting people to subscribe in return for the freebie). And hey, you can promote that freebie, give-away or micro-offer in another social media post!
Here’s a little bonus for you and one of my favourite ideas literally from the title of Marcus Sheridan’s book “They Ask You Answer”. Any one of your pieces of content are answering questions that your audience might have. Take this blog, for example, one of my clients had asked me “Sian, how do I start a content marketing plan?” And in the same week another client said, “content marketing is really difficult, how do I get more out of content so that I’m not forever creating new content?” Here’s idea #7 - turn your content into a Q&A. I’ve got a Q&A section inside my Zero to Email program which is a great reference and if you haven’t got an FAQ section on your website, you should look into doing that. It’s a great way to add even more SEO content to your site.
Time to get into action
Ok so here’s the deal. This is what I’d like you to try this week. Set up your content structure. Then create one piece of primary content. I want you to repurpose that into as many different pieces of content as you can (at least seven based on these ideas I’m sharing with you). Once you’ve been publishing and posting for a week, start to watch what types of content and in what format gets the most engagement.
Hey presto, you’ve got really great data that’s going to help you shape your content strategy for maximum impact. Do more of what works well.
If you’re still with me, I’m so glad. And I completely understand if you’re thinking to yourself “Sian this isn’t anything new, I’ve heard it all before”. Great, so are you doing anything about it? Consistency will trump your competitors every time so go out there, set up your content strategy, and focus on progress, not perfection. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul.