Content boot camp

The goal of marketing is to stand out from the crowd, to capture attention and engage with an audience with the view that this will help influence them to buy something.

It is becoming harder for businesses to be seen and heard amongst the noise online, with every business vying for attention. Which has many business owners asking, “How do we stand out, how do we cut through the noise and how can we do that online?”

Any type of marketing that you do – from articles to photos to videos – adds to how people form opinions of you and your organisation. Harvard Business Review says, “You have under three minutes to make an impression, and there is an optimal length, which is two minutes and 27 seconds. During that brief period, prospects are making many rapid-fire judgments, including whether or not they will move to the next step. Conversely, many sellers need to share lots of information with prospects to motivate desired buyer behaviour.” And creating great content is the best way to make the impression you want.

Creating excellent content that educates, inspires and engages your ideal audience does the heavy duty relationship building for you without you needing to be “in the room”.

Here are the main things you need to do, in any size business, to ensure your content strategy is unique and powerful in a way that results in making money.

Step 1: Identify what makes your company different

This could range from how long you’ve been operational through to the technology that goes into your products or services. It could even be how you engage with your clients and customers. What is it that makes you different and unique compared to anyone else out there?

Step 2: Who is your ideal niche audience?

If you want to influence mothers to buy, then make the decision to speak to them online. If you want to influence CEOs to work out more, then make the decision to focus on them, online.

You do need to choose if you want your content to work well and work fast. Think of one specific person that you can “talk to” online who benefits most from what you do.

Step 3: What are their biggest problems, goals, dreams and desires?

Knowing the answer to this question is crucial if you want powerful, results-driven marketing. Take it a step further and determine how you can delve deeper into the psyche of your audience. What are their stressors and worry points? What wakes them up at 3 am and stops them from getting back to sleep? Know them better than they know themselves, in all areas of their lives.

“Creating excellent content that educates, inspires and engages your ideal audience does the heavy duty relationship building for you”

Top tip: Brainstorm 26 problems/goals/dreams/desires of your niche for use in the following steps.

Step 4: How can you solve those problems for them with your content by way of hints, tips, advice, checklists, videos, etc.?

Content is not only blog posts and “stories” on social media platforms. Great content that solves the problems for your audience that you identified in the previous step has you being seen as an expert at what you do and how you help people. This is one of the single most powerful things you can do.

Step 5: How often are you solving these problems or helping them achieve their goals/dreams/desires with your content?

Posting once a week is not going to cut it, because you’ll be lost in the swell. Commit to posting content daily, so that people see your name/company name regularly. This helps them to familiarise themselves with you.

Step 6 : Create a weekly focus for your content

A great place to start with an effective and efficient content strategy is to have a weekly focus. Utilise the 26 problems you brainstormed from Step 3 and allocate a problem/goal/ dream/desire to the next 26 weeks. Think of different ways you can help to solve the problems they have. Stories, case studies, motivational pieces and videos are a great way to do this.

Step 7: What’s the call to action?

Content creation is great, but if you want to make money as a result of your content strategy, you’ve got to let people know how to buy.

Offer a call to action and make it simple and obvious. For instance, “Buy here” or “Download the free guide here”. Don’t make it hard for people to try to work out what you want them to do.

Step 8: Share this content across as many places as you can

A great content strategy is an efficient content strategy. Share what you’ve created on as many platforms as you can as well as via email and in different formats. Aim for using one piece of content in five different ways.

Step 9: Keep working it. People vary in terms of how fast they trust you – some fast and some slow

Consistency wins. Remember how relationships are built in person: it starts with a great impression, consistent conversations based on finding common ground and regular touch points.

Nicola Moras, social media and visibility expert and author of “Visible”, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing