Developing a Content Strategy Can Help You Make Money
Recently I’ve written a lot about blogging to improve SEO, blogging to help your potential customers know, like and trust you, etc. As valuable as it is, though, blogging is just a part of marketing your business with online content. You can use articles, newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, FAQs and more to help bring traffic, but there are ways to do it so that you can grow your business the right way. Remember: having a lot of followers isn’t indicative of success. Earning money is. So, if you want to grow your business effectively you have to know which resources to leverage. The best way to do that is to have a content strategy.
Content Is Still King
Sharing information with your audience so they will get to know, like and trust you is vital to growing your business. Everything revolves around content and content is needed for every aspect of your business. Whether you sell products or services, you need to be producing content in order to educate, engage, and encourage your audience to buy from you.
Forms of Content
There are many different forms of content that you can use, such as blog posts on your website, guest posts and articles on other websites, articles in print publications and online newsletters. Content can be text (articles, tweets, Facebook posts), audio (podcasts, internet radio, audiobooks), or visual in nature (YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest). Having a combination of different forms of content will help you reach more of your audience.
Have a Plan of Action
The other key to ensuring that you are leveraging the right resources is to have a plan of action. Don’t just create or have content created without a point of view, voice, and the goals for the content in mind. One way to begin this process is to create a Core Content Strategy Statement which encapsulates your business goals, your target audience and your audience’s needs. You can find out more by reading here.
Create an Editorial Calendar
When you know what content you want to create, it’s important to spell it out in an editorial calendar (sometimes called a publication calendar) so that you will do first things first. For instance, if you are launching a new product in three months, you can start whetting the appetite of your list now. I’ve recently written an article about creating an editorial calendar which you can read here.
The Email List Is the Most Important
They say the money is in the list, and that’s as true today as it was five years ago. Social media marketing hasn’t replaced email marketing; it has created another way to lead people to your email lists. Leverage your content, your blog, your social media posts, your videos, and everything else you do to build your list.
Develop Incentives to Collect More Email Addresses
The point of your blog posts, social media updates, and even webinars is to share your message with your audience and then collect information from your target audience so that you can build your relationship with email. Host webinars, ask for sign-ups on social media, and incentivize lists with free give-aways or low-cost entry products and services.
You may be wondering if email still works as a marketing tool. The short answer is YES! While it’s not as easy to engage your audience as it was when email was a big deal (I remember being excited when I heard AOL say, “You’ve Got Mail!”), email is one of the most cost-effective ways to build and engage your audience. These people are sharing their email addresses with you because they are hoping you can educate them, entertain them, solve their problems, make their lives better. And if you do that, email marketing will work for you.
All Content Should Work Together
Starting with the product, service or event that you want to promote, work your way back to today to decide the different types of content that you will use to get more email subscribers to whom you can market and promote your business. Decide what type of content they need to become educated and informed about your products and services so that they will 1) know, like and trust you, 2) purchase from you when it’s the right thing to do, and 3) recommend you to others who might need what you have to offer.
Consider Drawing a Workflow
Looking at how all your content works together to bring in buyers, as well as encourage the purchase, may help you identify gaps in your content needs. Your content workflow might look like this: Email Subscription Incentive > 7-Day eCourse > Webinar > Short Report > Long Report > EBook > Coaching > etc. — Seeing it written out should help you decide what you need.
By knowing what your goals are for the content that you create, you’ll be able to use it more efficiently to grow your business far beyond what you thought possible.
If you have more suggestions or questions about creating a content strategy that meets your audience’s needs, please comment and share them below.