How to create a content marketing strategy THAT WORKS
Post #1 of the blog series: Content Marketing For Beginners
There is so much online marketing advice out there that it’s sometimes hard to follow. Not every advice will fit your brand or business and obviously you can’t do it all unless you have a big team at hand.
First off I’d like to shed some light on what content marketing actually is. It can quickly get confusing with digital marketing, social media marketing, online marketing.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content (such as videos, blogs, podcasts and social media posts) to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
When I started my online business journey in March 2019 by publishing my blog susslife.com I made a lot of mistakes. I had no clue about content marketing or how effective it is in building my business.
Thankfully a lot has changed within the last year and I was able to go from content marketing numpty to making content marketing my passion project. As soon as I realised the right content is crucial in having online business success I was all in.
Let’s take a look at common marketing mistakes that beginner’s make.
1. Confusing Messaging
I see this a lot online: People create a lot of content and are even consistent but it’s not clear what they’re actually doing or how they can help or inspire people. They don’t have a personal brand statement and their message is vague. Something like: I’m helping women live their best life. That doesn’t tell me anything. You may know how you want to help people but if you’re not communicating that no one will feel connected to your message. A lot of people have no personal brand and instead throw content out there and hope something will stick.
Instead ask yourself some vital questions: What makes you different from your competitors? What is your mission?
2. Who Is Your Target Audience?
Yes this is marketing 101 but yet so many of content creators are in confusion about who they’re talking to. Niche drama is a real struggle. I have been there and even now I sometimes slip into confusion because – be warned- it is self-sabotage.
Don’t be fooled by sneaky good old self-sabotage. It creeps up when we don’t feel good enough and we think something else will make us more successful or will protect us from failing. You have to be onto yourself when you see yourself falling into confusion and indecision.
It is crucial you know who you’re talking to because the point of content marketing is to attract a CLEARLY DEFINED audience. The more vague you are with your audience the less targeted your content will be and the chances of growing your business and brand are pretty low. If you want some help with finding your audience take a look at this free guide to find your ideal audience.
The more vague your idea about your ideal audience the more vague your content will be.
3. No Content Strategy
In the beginning when I started all I wanted to do was create content for my blog and show up on Instagram here and there. I had no strategy underlying the blog posts I published. Not to mention a business strategy.
Goal-setting and business focus was super foreign to me.
Ask yourself: What are your goals for the next 3 months, 6 months, 12 months? If you don’t have a clear idea you will struggle to stay consistent because you don’t know what you’re working towards.
When it comes to creating a content strategy you need to stop creating content
1. For the sake of it
2. For yourself
I see this a lot with bloggers. They write content for themselves and maybe for their collaborators but not for a clearly defined target audience.
You need to know WHY you’re creating each piece of content. Do you want to educate, entertain, build trust or demonstrate expertise? Make sure you know the intention behind your blog post, Youtube video, podcast episodes or Instagram captions. Creating a content strategy is also determining your main platforms. You can’t be everywhere at once. Focus on two maximal 3 content platforms and grow those first before spreading out to more.
4. No Funnels In Place
One of the biggest mistakes I made and I see my clients and people on social media make is that there are no funnels in place (and I don’t mean crazy complicated facebook ad funnel stuff).
Know Your Buyers Journey
You need to know that every marketing activity you’re doing fits in with the bigger picture of your business. How is THAT piece of content going to get you closer to the bigger picture?
I did not do that for a very long time. On my blog and Instagram I talked about what I wanted to talk about. I had no plan in place where I would lead people after they came to visit my blog. (By the way would love to have you on my VIP list where I share helpful behind the scenes of starting a business!
You’re not creating content for yourself. It takes time before people know like and trust you and before they buy from you. You need to nurture your audience and give them goodies that will actually help them, connect with you and give them a little win. Please don’t create the the 10th boring checklist on Canva.
5.What Problem Are You Solving?
As a service based business owner you are you’re most likely in the problem solving category.
So what is the problem you’re solving? Making someone’s life better is too vague. Helping women get over emotional abuse in a relationship is solving a problem. Or helping small business owners create a sustainable and effective content marketing strategy to increase their their online visibility is solving a problem.