One big barrier to getting sales is not creating enough of the right content on a consistent basis, to help your target audience understand why they should hire you.
Content marketing has been shown to be one of the most effective methods of growing audience engagement, developing your brand presence, and driving sales.
Why is content marketing important?
When you don’t share content regularly, your audience can either forget about you, or not put their trust in you—or both.
According to Hubspot.com…
“Content marketing is important because it answers your audience’s questions. With content marketing, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with your customers, and generate leads. Additionally, in today’s age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favorite brands… Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.“
Content is how you do that and so many coaches lack the focus necessary to create and plan out content strategically.
Content marketing is absolutely vital, but if you don’t have a system for creating it, you’re wasting your time. So, here’s something that may help—nine steps on how to create content for your business.
Step 1- Commit to Regular Content Creation: You need to commit to creating content regularly. That’s because, if you want to be viewed as an expert, you need to be showing up like clockwork. Also because search engines like to see content produced on a regular basis. So, consistently produced content is key.
But, in order to do that, you will first need to decide what kinds and forms of content you want to create—based on the needs of your target market.
Step 2- List Your Promotions: Decide on what you will be launching and/or promoting in the next 6-12 months, and when you will promote them, so you can plan out the big events first. Space them out so it doesn’t look like you’re promoting too often, or back to back. Then add smaller promos such as existing products/programs, other people’s affiliate products, and lead magnets.
Step 3- Market Research: In order to be found through the search engines, your content always needs to use keywords that pertain to your niche. Find out what your target market is searching for by using common sense. What keywords and phrases would you search for to find you? Then create a list of these keywords and phrases to be used in your content. You can also take those keywords and plug them into a keyword or search tool to find other related keywords and phrases that people are using. Google, for instance, does this at the bottom of its search pages, under the heading “People Also Ask… “.
Other market research to find out what content your audience is engaging with, includes looking at: trends in your industry, popular blog posts, videos, podcasts and best-selling, related books, on your niche topics. You can also visit forums and online groups based on your topic to see what people are discussing regarding your topic, and what words they are using.
Step 4- Create an Idea Bank: From your research, you’ll have a much better sense of which topics will be most interesting and compelling for your audience. You can now collect your ideas into an “idea bank.” This can act as a repository for content ideas that you can pull from well into the future. But, since content creation is ongoing, resupplying your idea bank should also be ongoing. Some of your ideas can come from the topics discussed in forums, questions that people ask, keyword phrases they are using, and excerpts from your own products.
Step 5- Choose a Calendar: Find a calendar that fits your needs (there are many free ones online). Use it to designate which topics you will use for the next 6-12 months. This may seem like the easiest step, but in fact it can be the hardest. That’s because you have to integrate content topics with your projected events, launches, promotions—and, all the while, keeping in mind what will get the best bang for your buck in terms of using your content to build your audience and make sales.
Step 6- Schedule Creation Time: Now that you have your content topics, the next step is to schedule time on your to-do calendar to actually create the content. Designate regular blocks of time to write your content. How often, and how much time per block, will depend on whether you want to do it weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
For example, say you decide to post one piece of content per month, and you want to do the work on it quarterly. You know from experience that it takes about 2 hours to create one piece of (monthly) content. Then every 90 days, you’ll need to schedule out 6 hours of time to create your content for that quarter. You may be the sort that wants to schedule doing it all at once—like a day or weekend—or, maybe, in blocks of two hours, 3 days in a row. Or, you may feel more comfortable spreading it out more. Whatever works for you!
Step 7- Produce Your Content: Use your scheduled time to produce your content for at least the next 30-90 days. By keeping your business goals (and mission) in mind when writing content, you’ll be able to create the content most relevant to your audience and most lucrative to you. Make use of different formats for your content. For example, you may write a blog post for your monthly newsletter, and then turn it into a video or podcast to distribute later in the month.
Step 8- Optimize: Once it’s done, make sure that your content:
· Has the right balance of serving (80%) and selling (20%) – value vs. sales pitch.
· Is optimized with relevant keywords and phrases.
· Balances the various types of content you share, such as, educational, entertaining, inspirational and promotional.
Balance is key to content effectiveness. Perhaps the greatest advantage of your content calendar is that it gives you the big picture. You can see whether you’re following the “80/20 rule” of free versus promotional content, used by most successful marketers. And, because you can see the “what and when” plan for all your content, you can ensure that you have a good balance of various types of content and, thus be able to create a professional impression for visitors to all your online resources.
Optimize each blog post, social media post, and video with pertinent keywords and meta descriptions for blogs.
Step 9- Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): Once you’ve gone through the process of creating your content, now it’s time to write down the steps you went through to do it. Make a separate list of instructions for each content form and platform, even if the steps are largely similar. This list helps you create a coherent look, and it ensures you follow all needed steps every time you post.
And, as your business grows, your SOP will be essential for cutting down the amount of time needed to train a new team member.
So that’s the 9 steps to basic content creation. If these steps are enough, that’s great—go do it! But in case you need more help figuring out how to find the time, come up with the topics, and/ or create a plan for distributing your content, check out “The Ultimate Content Creation Toolkit.”
It’s a comprehensive training package that helps you learn how to plan and create 6-12 months’ worth of core content—such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, and emails—that your audience will find valuable, and that also will increase your search engine rankings.