What do you think of when you hear the words “Content Creation”?
Is your first reaction to think about blog posts, podcasts, or social media posts? Chances are, you’re either thinking of your favorite type of content format or your least favorite type of content. When creating content for your own business, it’s important to remember that the content you enjoy creating is what’s going to be the easiest format to actually create.
And yes, no matter what your business is, you need to be creating content.
If you don’t believe me, picture this:
You wake up in the morning, grab your phone off the nightstand and start scrolling through the daily news, the latest social media posts, or maybe even a few emails you’re subscribed to. Then you get to work and your morning coffee hasn’t kicked in quite yet, so you end up scrolling through your favorite platforms once again. Then lunchtime hits or maybe it’s the 2pm work slump and you check your apps once again…. You get the picture.
You’re no different than your customers.
Everyone is looking at content all day long and if it’s not your content populating their feeds, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s your competition’s content.
So how can you best utilize your time creating the content your audience wants and needs from your business? Continue reading to find out!
The first step of content creation is to find the medium where you can create content confidently and intentionally. Once your content format is selected, make sure it’s a platform that resonates with your audience. If it’s not your audience’s ideal platform to consume content, you’re going to have to learn the art of repurposing content.
However, I always recommend that when you’re first getting started with content marketing, you jump into content creation through the use of your strengths when it comes to communicating.
You might be someone who prefers to write out your thoughts and feelings instead of speaking them out loud to a live audience. If that’s the case, you might find that you’re more comfortable writing than speaking. While this isn’t true for everyone, some people may also find themselves becoming more articulate when they write than when they speak. If this is the case for you, your writing might be more expressive and your voice might be more reserved.
Feel like I just described you? Then blogging or written content is going to be the go-to content format for you. If the reverse is true, then maybe try podcasting or creating video content as your primary form of content.
Don’t overlook this step – content format matters.
If you’re not confident in your ability to communicate clearly, the content you produce won’t resonate with your audience.
Clear, persuasive content is key to your content marketing efforts’ effectiveness.
Once you determine what your main content platform is, you can start to assemble your strategy.
Content strategy is the plan for how you will create and share your content.
When planning your content strategy you’ll be answering questions like:
These are all important questions to keep in mind when crafting a content strategy for your business.
You’ll also want to consider where you’re distributing your content.
Long-form content like SEO-optimized blog articles and podcast episodes all play a role in the content marketing process. But so does the distribution of your content using short-form content like social media posts.
These content elements work together to ensure your digital marketing strategy is both effective and interesting to your target audience.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for creating awareness, generating leads, and driving conversions.
The goal of content marketing is to attract your target audience and convert prospects to customers or even repeat buyers or loyal fans. The more content you create, the more opportunities you’ll have to share your message and engage with your prospects.
By continually educating your audience, your audience learns to like, know, and trust you enough to eventually do business with you.
Here’s a fun fact for you: Content marketing can actually be dated back to 1895.
It was actually John Deere (Yup! The big green tractor guy.) who produced content marketing as we know it today. He did this through the publication of a quarterly magazine called, The Furrow.
John Deere’s magazine wasn’t a catalog that sold products on every page. Instead, it was designed to establish a connection with the John Deere brand and farmers. John Deere wanted to share “practical information devoted to the interests of better farming.”
By simply sharing articles and agricultural tips alongside advertisements of John Deere products, the world was introduced to this new form of marketing centered around content.
John Deere knew that the best type of content is informative content and by 1912, there were 4 million consumers reading The Furrow, proving that he was onto something.
While content marketing isn’t the same as it was in 1895, the job of a marketer hasn’t changed much.
It’s the marketer’s job to enter a conversation that’s already taking place. In other words, you’re taking what your customer needs (even if they don’t know it yet) and you provide them with the solutions.
Let’s think about how you can use the John Deere approach to marketing if you’re a brand that sells hiking boots.
You can highlight your knowledge and authority in the hiking world by sharing articles or podcast episodes revolving around hiking essentials, go-to hiking spots, hiking trail difficulty, etc.
You could also create a community of hiking enthusiasts through the use of a Facebook Group or sub-Reddit where your members can essentially create the content for you, while you monitor the conversations and use it to fuel your future article creation.
This type of content will attract new leads and establish trust with your existing customers.
Think about how many people aren’t currently in the market for a new pair of hiking boots, but they’re still avid hikers. If you’re not actively targeting these people through your content marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a huge piece of the consumer pie.
These consumers aren’t Googling “best hiking shoes” they’re Googling “hiking locations near me” or “how to find the best hiking locations.”
Create and target your blogs to populate in these Google searches so your brand becomes top-of-mind before the consumer even needs a new pair of hiking boots.
It’s your job as a marketer to create content that infiltrates the space where your potential customers are hanging out.
Know what conversations are already being had by your ideal customer by deep diving into how your customers are thinking, feeling, and viewing the world. Then you’ll have the leverage to put yourself inside of the conversations that are already happening because you know where to find them.
This approach will strengthen relationships with your customers and build relationships with your prospects.
If we could boil content marketing down into one simple sentence and to-do list, it would go a little like this:
Understand how your audience consumes content and how you best communicate, then infiltrate the conversations your potential clients are having to effectively keep your brand top of mind.
Questions? Find me over on Linkedin and let’s continue the conversation.