Content marketing 101: The secret to creating content that sells
Are you struggling to come up with the right kind of content to attract and engage your ideal clients? Is it a challenge for you create posts that engage your following and help them connect with your brand? Then continue reading to learn my 3 step strategy for creating content that attracts and converts so you can grow your following and scale your business.
What came first: the content, or the follower?
This question, just like that pesky conundrum of the chicken and the egg, has been plaguing bloggers, brand builders and entrepreneurs since the beginning of time.
Ok, that may be a tad dramatic, but it IS a serious problem that plagues a lot of my clients and something that you need to think about as you build up your following.
When you are just starting a blog, social channel or a website, it can be extremely challenging to understand what type of content to post, and how to convey your brand message.
Do you write what you think your ideal client will want to see and hope to find them, or do you stick to what you know and hope that your client will find you?
Where do you even begin?
The biggest challenge as you grow your social channels is to find a balance between trying to cater to your audience while posting content that you feel qualified to share.
Some people target very specific niches, like how to grow your business on Instagram, or vegan blogging. Others, like Neil Patel and Gary Vaynerchuck talk about anything and everything under the sun, yet their engagement continues to grow every year.
Regardless of the approach, the #1 secret to brand building and content creation is revolutionary and distinguishes iconic brands from their fad competition:
Building a brand is about who you ARE, not what you do.
Stop for a minute and take that in.
Your brand is an extension of who you are, and your content should communicate that, regardless of how or what you post.
Should you have a cohesive look and feel? Yes.
Should you analyze the data to check that your audience is engaging with you, liking your content and even (dare I dream) SHARING it via their social channels?
But the over arching goal of your content creation should be to connect with your ideal clients, to post consistently, and to create killer content that provides VALUE to them so that they keep coming back for more.
Think of Nike: they aren’t just a shoe company, they are an active lifestyle brand that inspires their followers to be active, to chase after their dreams and to break boundaries.
Oh, and they also sell shoes.
When you approach your brand as an entity with a personality, mission and purpose, content creation becomes a much easier process, because you begin to understand what type of content best represents your brand, and what doesn’t.
I think of content creation like job hunting: Dress for the job you want.
This means that you determine what the type of follower you will acquire by the type of content you are creating. So instead of worrying about who is seeing/reading your content or if what you’re creating is what they want to hear, figure out who you are and what you stand for, then post content that reflects your values and expertise.
When you do so, you are creating a BRAND that speaks more about who you are versus what you do. Then the audience that identifies with your message will come, and they will be more engaged, because they care about what you post.
So you really don’t have to worry about pleasing your audience or hoping that they will like your content, you just need to be your authentic self and EXECUTE on that strategy, which means:
Understanding which types of content most clearly communicate your brand message (blog, video, article, photo, etc)
Determining how frequently you will post (1-4 times a day)
Being strategic with the types of hashtags + keywords you use
When you know what you stand for and have a clearly define brand strategy, your content creation process will be much clearer.
For example, my approach to growing my social channels has been to create content that is valuable for my ideal client: entrepreneurs aged 25-35, male and female, who are in years 1-5 of their business.
Because my mission is to empower entrepreneurs to grow what they love, and my expertise lies in starting and scaling businesses from $0- $5 million in revenue.
Taking that into consideration, my content creation strategy lies in 3 pillars: Educate, Inspire, Empower. That means that anything I create has to do one of those things. It doesn’t have to do all 3, but it must achieve at least 1 of my goals.
So for example, if I want to educate my audience, I’ll create a blog or post that teaches them how to grow their following on social media, build a business plan, or understand how to create a Go-to-market strategy.
To inspire my followers, I’ll post inspirational quotes, customer testimonials, or a #featureFriday series of startups who are successful, to give my audience daily motivation to achieve their dreams.
And I empower my audience with tips and strategies to execute daily tasks that they need to do if they want to grow their businesses.
So my content fits in my umbrella goal of helping businesses grow. When I approach my content creation from that lens, I can easily determine what type of content elevates my brand, and what will make my followers doubt my ability to deliver on my promises.
So if you are just starting on your content creation journey, or if you have been in the game for a few years but need help understanding what to post next, ask yourself:
What is my mission?
What do I stand for?
Who am I writing for and how can I create value for them?
What is the purpose of this piece of content and how does it fit into my brand strategy?
When you start from a place of introspection and empathy for your end user, your content will be more impactful, more potent and garner much more attention.
Keep checking back in weekly to stay up to date on all the latest content, as well as to get inspired as you grow what you love. If you liked this post, please share it on your social media accounts, and leave a comment below! Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions, or are interested in working with me to help you build what you love.