Content marketing is basically coming up with a plan, a strategy, around your content to help you reach your goals – you know the goals you set (you did set some goals, yes?)
If not, then that is 100% something you should be doing!
It could be as simple as putting down your weekly intentions inside my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group every Monday morning under the weekly goals post.
Get into the habit of doing that – setting your goals will help with your focus for the week and keep them front of mind – and be a helper for you actually achieving them of course!
NOW – on to our topic – CONTENT MARKETING!
In recent weeks this has created a massive conversation through my socials and on my emails.
There are a lot of people out there that don’t have a plan – don’t have a strategy and are posting for postings sake, or randomly emailing their mailing list completely ad-hoc.
Basically flying by the seat of their pants!
Which will work – for a while, until it doesn’t!
You see my biggest worry for these people, and if that’s you, then my biggest worry for you, is that 4 out of 5 business owners fail in the first 5 years.
And of that 4 OUT OF 5 (95%) of them are female founders.
If that’s not enough to shake your tree – then it should be.
Those stats are alarming.
But realistically, very few people actually FAIL in business – it’s more that they burn out.
The get so tried of trying to get enough people to buy often enough and to come back often enough to make their business profitable, so they just go back to paid employment.
One of the big pieces of this “burn out” pie is the lack of a marketing strategy, and just sticking with the “flying by the seat of your pants” option – like I said, it works, for a while.
Until you are just so tried of thinking about what to post next or what to email about next, that you start to give up – you go from being consistent to being very inconsistent.
And to put some perspective around this burnout syndrome, picture this:
What if your favourite local store was open every day, and then not – they just opened randomly when they felt like it. You keep calling past for a while, hoping they are open but eventually you WILL give up on them and go somewhere else to spend your money.
The same thing will happen if you fail to keep top of mind to your customers or clients via your marketing!
You might not have a bricks and mortar store – but that’s not the point I’m making – it’s more around the fact that we all need to be consistent with our marketing and keep showing up for our audience, but we need to do it strategically so we don’t BURN OUT and give up.
So, let’s take a look at what a content strategy might look like for you – so you don’t burn out and so you can be consistent with your marketing – no matter what marketing you are doing.
Step 1 – SET YOUR GOALS
We’ve got to start with our goals – what are your goals for the business – weekly, monthly, yearly, 5 years’ time and so forth.
It’s such an important piece of the puzzle, because if you don’t know what road to take – any road will do, and this can cause big issues going forward.
I was speaking to a client the other day who wants to do more speaking – that’s the goal. But nowhere in her marketing could I see her:
- using photos of her speaking
- telling people one of her skills is speaking
- asking for gigs
Note the last point – just blatantly asking for the sale is a step we so often forget!
So, yes speaking was a goal, but it wasn’t included in her content marketing strategy.
You can’t expect to get too many speaking gigs, if no one knows you do that for a living or have that skill!
So, you can see how goals are so important?
What’s your goal for the next month?
Let’s just say, it is to increase sales by 50%.
Great – goal set. But how are you going to do that?
Want to build your email list by 1000 people this year – perfect goal.
You might say, “Jenn I’ve got a lead magnet – it’s amazing and solves my ideal client’s biggest roadblock!
That’s perfect. “So”, I might ask you, “How to people find out about it?”
You say “It’s on my website!”
Ok, great, how do you get traffic to your website?
You say “I’m posting on social media!”
Cool , so, how many times have you posted about the lead magnet?
Anddddd, crickets …..
This isn’t rocket science and I think that’s it’s problem!
So many people over think what content marketing is – it’s content for your marketing to help you reach your goals!
Step 2 – START PLANNING!
Do it how you think you should, and what works best for you.
I’m a coloured pens and paper girl – so I print a calendar and start scribbling.
Make sure you put on your calendar:
- Start with your holidays or time off that you are looking to have. When running your business you totally need time off over the course of the year, so mark it in! Personally, I take all school holidays off and I mark then on the calendar. That way I don’t have events going when I don’t want them.
- Mark public holidays and other significant events on the calendar. It’s hard to sell a workshop on Easter Monday, (well I *think* it would be but because I mark out the holidays!)
- Start marking relevant events on your calendar – Add in all the “DAYS” like Valentines/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/Easter/Sydney Mardi Gras etc. Whatever days are significant to your business. If you sell flowers – Valentines and Mother’s Day is going to be pretty important to have on the calendar!
- Then start putting your own events/workshops/promotions on there. Don’t forget to add in time in the say 6 weeks beforehand so you remember to start building marketing collateral for it – email sequences, web pages, social assets and so forth.
Step 3 – BUILDING CONTENT
Can you see this is where your goals come in – start building content ideas around your goals.
Some people like to theme their socials and/or marketing.
So, in June, for instance, they will post 80% around the topic of sales mastery, and in July the topic will be around budgeting for the Christmas buying season – and so on.
Perhaps theming might work for you?
The theme becomes what you blog about, what you email about and what your social posts are about for the month – again, not ALL of it – but the majority of it.
If you blog or podcast, then you are building enormous amount of content to repurpose into other channels anyway (PRO TIP: If you don’t already, perhaps you SHOULD be blogging or podcasting so that content comes easier!).
If theming doesn’t work for you – then let’s think about goals again.
If you want to build your list by 1000 people this year – then you need to:
- Come up with something or a few things that people would want in exchange for their email address
- And you’d better make it easy for them to get it!
Let’s stop assuming that because we put something up on Facebook last month that everyone that needed to see it ACTUALLY saw it!
You need to post consistently and often about things like this if list building is your thing (and it should 100% be your thing, by the way!)
Let’s say other goals are:
- 8 x speaking gigs
- 12 x 1:1 clients
- 15 x webinars/workshops
- 3 x masterminds, and
- 1000 people through your course
See how I’m setting specific goals too – not simply “More speaking gigs” – but specifying that I want to do 8 of them! Be specific in your goals!
So – if I’m building content towards these goals, that could look like this::
- 8 x speaking gigs – testimonials, posts with calls to action for book me for speaking, past speaking gigs, what you’re an expert on speaking about, book me now posts, urgency and scarcity posts
- 12 x 1:1 clients – testimonials, book a free discovery call, client wins, highlighting clients, client showcases, posts that tap into biggest challenges, pain points, roadblocks, sale posts
- 15 x webinars/workshops – testimonials, past events, posts that tap into biggest challenges, pain points, roadblocks, highlight outcomes, sale posts, urgency and scarcity posts, book now posts
You get the gist!
Besides those types of posts, you have posts from:
- your blog/podcast
- posts around the lead magnets and freebies you offer,
- posts that set you up as the expert in your field – such as #tipstuesday posts
- things like quotes and ideals that light you up and that your audience would love to hear from you about.
To be 100% honest and some of you won’t want to hear this, consistent content is true of everyone you look at who is smashing it with their marketing.
Two things actually:
- They have a hero piece of marketing of which the majority of their marketing comes from – either a weekly blog or podcast. If you don’t blog weekly or podcast weekly, then why not? If you’re worried you don’t have enough to say – that’s bs! You do, you are the expert in your field – otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. In my case, I thought I wouldn’t have enough things to say on my podcast – it was the thing that held me back from doing it. I honestly thought I wouldn’t get to 27 but I thought 27 was better than nothing right (I’m now up to over 120!)
- They have a plan and a goal as to the direction all their marketing is taking you. It might SEEM like they are just posting things – but they’re most likely building trust with you – trust is high up there for business success – after all we don’t buy things from people we don’t trust!
I’m also setting you some homework!
And that is to:
- Sit down
- Get out a calendar (either print one or do it digitally)
- Start putting your dates and goals throughout the calendar for the year.
- If you can theme, even if that’s just parts of the year, then theme for your content.
After all, if I gave you a meal plan on what cook every night – that would make your life simpler right? Well so will a content plan!
Another thing that can help with your content plan is my awesome freebie I have on my website that you can access – 108 Social Media Content Ideas
Content is SO VERY important, and that’s why I have big focus on it in my business and for my clients.
If content is something that you are struggling with – then please reach out to me! I have free discovery chats available, where we can have a look together how I can help you. Send me a DM or go to my website and book a call here: https://calendly.com/jenn-smm/discovery
If you have any queries or questions, jump over to my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group – if you haven’t joined yet, please do! It is such a wonderful group full of amazing small business owners. Or, please DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email email@example.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR!
Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners. Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.
With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)
Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast.