Guest blog post by Abby Herman!
We all need content, and by now I think most business owners know the benefits of fresh content on their websites, in their emails and on social media. And if you’ve been living (or working) under a rock, I’ll tell you why content is so important. It’s because content:
- Exposes you to your audience, generating brand awareness
- Helps you to illustrate what your brand stands for
- Makes you stand out from others in the industry
- Shows off the human element (personality) of your business
- Educates your audience about what they need to know about your industry
- Shall I go on?
But it’s not enough to just churn out content on a whim. There’s so much more that goes into using content to build your brand. If you’re struggling to create content that’s getting noticed by your audience, read on!
Know Who You’re Talking To
When writing copy for your website (or your email campaigns or social media), keep your one audience member in mind. Some people call this your “ideal client avatar” or “archetype” or “ideal audience.” While all these terms could work, try honing in on just one person you’re writing to.
When you’re talking to just one person, your message is much more clear and anyone that fits the mold or has the same pain points as that one person is much more likely to take action.
But I target several different audiences with my services. Yep, me too. But not when I’m writing copy. Try to hit too many pain points and you’re just going to confuse everyone. Target one message to one audience member. That’s it.
Develop a Strategy
Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s time to develop a strategy for your content. Determine the purpose of your content—to sell a specific service, to promote a product, to educate about something, etc. In general, I try to strategize around an upcoming launch or release and build on that.
(Tip: Work with one strategy at a time. You’ll change your strategy to meet the needs of your business, but don’t try strategies to more than one end game at a time. You’ll confuse your audience.)
For example, if you know you’re launching an event that you’re selling tickets to, work backward from that launch date about two months. Every blog post, email, Facebook Live, content upgrade, etc. should connect to that launch in some way, shape or form. It’s okay if the connection is loose for some of the content, but make sure there’s a connection at some level.
As you’re creating all this content, make sure you target that one audience member’s pain points. What is it that she needs or wants? How will you solve her problem? Address this with every piece of content you create during this period leading up to the launch.
If you’re not leading up to a launch, you can still create a killer strategy with your content. Focus on something timely in your business or on the calendar. Create content in themes that tie to an area where you’d like to focus or grow your business. Strategy is key if you want to see growth.
This is where the big work comes in, and it’s where most business owners experience the most challenge. If you’re going to publish regular content (and we’ve already established the importance of that, right?), you need to be consistent.
I won’t tell you that you should be publishing content twice a week or four times a month. You truly don’t need to be doing what everyone else is doing. You need to do what works for you and your business and your schedule. Maybe that’s publishing one blog a month. Maybe you can handle once a week. Whatever you decide on, be consistent because your audience will come to expect it.
(Tip: I usually recommend once a month to those who are just starting out. See how that feels, get into a rhythm and increase from there. If you try to shoot too far from the get-go, you’re going to be left deflated when you can’t make it happen.)
The same goes for email marketing, social media posts and any other content you put out to your audience.
I’ll be the first to admit: It’s hard to be consistent, especially when life and client work get busy. Do your best, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a post and know that there are people out there who can support you by creating content for you, if needed. Don’t be afraid to hire it out.
Share and Share Again
If you’re creating blog posts and YouTube videos, no one will see them if you’re not sharing. Don’t be afraid to post your content on your business social channels, and post more than once. Especially on Twitter, there’s no harm in sharing your content multiple times. On other platforms, you’ll want to make sure that you space out your shares by several days or even up to a month or more depending on how often you’re sharing other content.
(Tip: Be sure that you’re posting curated content in addition to your own. Remember that your business is not all about you; it’s about delivering the value that your audience expects.)
Check Your Analytics (so you can start all over again)
At the beginning of this process, I assumed that you already had research data about your audience that told you what one message that one audience member wanted. And now it’s time to find out what your analytics and click-through rates were for your content.
Take a look at the numbers—either your Google Analytics, your social insights, click-through rates on emails, conversions to paying customers, etc. Did your content do what it needed to do?
If you had lackluster results, it’s time to do some more research, tweak the content and give it another go. There are many tools you can use to survey your audience and gain more insights about what they’re looking for.
Your content is so powerful in building your business, as long as you’re targeting the right one audience member and crafting your strategy and your message to her. Do your research up-front and make sure to keep it consistent. People notice, and when you get on their radar you want to stay on it. So that content can help you convert audience members into paying clients.
Abby is a content marketing strategist, copywriter and content coach for small business owners, helping to get her clients’ written message out to their audience, in their own voice and on their own terms. She specializes in working with female service-based businesses to generate ideas and strategies that help to move their businesses forward with content that attracts the perfect audience. Abby firmly believes in the power of educating and empowering business owners so they can grow their businesses without breaking the bank. Community over competition is truly her jam! You can find her on her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.