by Bonnie Chomica
Are you one of those people that sits and stews over what to post on social media every day? Or what to write in your emails? What are you going to put on your YouTube channel this week?
Let me guess. I’ll bet at one point you started a blog, or live stream show, newsletter, podcast, fill in the blank _______, but let it just lapse and fade away.
That happened because you likely didn’t have a plan.
The challenge with content is that you need to produce it consistently, regularly, in multiple places.
That takes planning!
Content in any form is how people get to know you, relate to you, know where you’re coming from. And most importantly to see that you understand them and have a way to help them. By showing off your expertise in your content, you establish credibility and trust, so people will buy from you.
Your content needs to be purposeful. Thought needs to be put into an overall strategy, and then your own personalized process developed to create consistently.
As the graphic above suggests, you need to look at How and the 5Ws to formulate a manageable Content Plan that will help you get organized.
What is the intention of your content? Is it to educate, inspire, nurture, celebrate?
Don’t just put out content for the sake of doing something. It should represent your brand, your expertise, and how you position yourself in the market.
Make your content purposeful. Where do you want to lead the audience? What’s next in the buyer’s journey?
Whatever the Why, always make your content about the audience, their challenges, their goals, their transformation, not just what you want to write about.
Every marketing activity comes back to who your target audience is. Based on what you’re selling, be sure who you’re writing or talking to, and that it’s in their language. Consider a male audience versus a female audience, or a teenager versus a senior, the language you use with each audience will be different.
You might even have a certain segment of your audience that you could focus on. For example, I have people who have signed up for workshops on email marketing. I could do a specific campaign or shout out to those people and be specific about that particular topic.
When you confirm your target audience, then you need to identify their major challenges or pain points. This goes for all your marketing messages. What keeps them up night? What barriers do they face? What do they fear?
After recognizing those struggles, create content to address them, and position yourself as the person who can provide the solution to their situation. Become the recognized expert by regularly sharing value-added content that can help your audience.
The How is going to depend on your skill level, or learning desire, or self-challenge motivator. You can create content in different media including text, audio, video, or even graphics.
A blog is one of the most powerful content marketing tactics, but if you don’t love writing, a blog is not likely the best medium for you. However, as a marketer you do need to be a writer at some level. Consider social media, emails, your website…it all takes writing.
Live Streams, Podcasts, education videos – all great places to create and share content. Are you graphically inclined or love photography? Visual content is appealing and client attracting, so consider how you can incorporate that into all your content.
Whichever method or methods you choose, you’ll have to learn about the different formats, lengths, and tech requirements for each. And, keep track of them because you’ll use them repeatedly.
Where is going to depend on the ‘How’ above, and where your audience is. If you’re writing a blog, that will live on your website. Video could be live streams to social platforms or something for a YouTube channel. Content can also encompass live speaking events on stages or workshops.
Email is an important factor and can also support all your content. For example, if you write a blog post, most will not know it’s there until you send an email to your list with the link, or post it on social media. If you create a lead magnet (e.g., ebook, checklist, video training), you need to support that with email nurturing messages.
Also consider how all the platforms cross pollenate and work together, so that you can lead people back to your website where they can learn more about you and how to work with you.
A big part of content consistency is committing to a frequency you can manage. Make your goals simple and achievable to start with. For example, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do a blog post every week. You’ll likely run out of steam before you get past 3 weeks’ worth. The tech will overwhelm you, you’ll run out of topics, and get inundated with other priorities. Start with a monthly blog post, get a process in order, and then ramp up to more frequency.
Using a content calendar is the best way to keep yourself accountable. When you visually see what you’re committing to, you are more likely to take consistent action. I have an easy-to-use Content Planner Tool in a spreadsheet format that’s colour coded and easily customizable for your business. You can also use online apps like Trello or Evernote, or even an organized poster with post-it notes. Commit to some form of organized tool.
PLAN FOR PROFITS
Marketing is about visibility and exposure to entice people to learn more about you and your services. Think of yourself as a publishing or broadcasting company that is accountable to their production schedule.
It takes PLANNING!
Grab my 2023 Content Planner Tool to help you get organized so you can consistently plan, produce, and promote your content.