7 Content Creation To-Dos for the Busy Marketer
If you’re like most marketing consultants, you know you need to produce content for your clients in order help them get found online. While this content is essential to compete in the digital world today, it can also be extremely stressful. Where do consultants find the time to create content frequently and consistently for, often times, multiple clients?
Like most things I recommend with marketing, I’d suggest systematizing your content creation efforts to make your life easier and to help you build a content-based lead generation machine.
Below is the process I like to follow. If you don’t currently have a plan in place, I recommend giving the steps below a shot.
1. Start with strategy.
When it comes to content, you must keep the big picture in mind. To help me do this, I often create a table of contents for a book (whether I actually write the book or not), about the subject or expertise (or client’s industry) that I need to write about. This will serve as an outline for brainstorming the type of content I need in the near future.
2. Get inspired.
As it turns out, the term “writer’s block” can apply to all types of content, not just writing. To keep my creative juices flowing, I often find it helpful to pull my inspiration from outside sources, and I recommend you do the same. Here are some of the top ways that I come up with content ideas:
- Have your client take note of all the questions that prospects and customers ask and create content that answers the inquiries. Have them track these questions in emails, blog comments, social media, and so on. If your client has a sales or support team, ask them what types of questions and obstacles they often hear and use those as content topics.
- Subscribe to related blogs and bookmark things you’ve found for later reading that are relevant to your clients’ industries and see if you can pull content ideas from there., If you start finding trends in your bookmarks, you’ll know you’ve found a hot topic.
- Use a keyword tool to identify what people are searching for and write about those topics.
3. Match your content to the Marketing Hourglass
While your clients may need more content in general, it’s important that the content is developed for every aspect of the customer journey, or what I call, the Marketing Hourglass. The Marketing Hourglass acknowledges the fact that your job as a marketer is to get someone with a need to know, like and trust you to get them to try, buy, repeat and refer your business. Each of these seven stages (know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer) must address a prospect’s evolving relationship with your client’s business. Matching different kinds of content with the stages of the hourglass is one of the best things you can do to really make an impact.
4. Diversify content formats
Going back to strategy, your content strategy needs to involve more than just a blog post. It must consist of a full body of work that can be used to help build your business over time.
As mentioned earlier, you must think of your content as a tool that moves prospects from awareness to conversion. With that, in my opinion, there are a few types of content that you must address throughout your overall content strategy. I’ve listed them below as well as a few content ideas you could use under each category.
- Being a guest on podcasts
- “How-to” content
- Blog posts either on your site or as a guest on other sites
- Live video
- Hosting a podcast
- White papers (just make sure they’re not boring)
Content that converts
- Public speaking
- Case studies
- Testimonials (both written and recorded)
5. Have others create the content for you
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: YOU don’t have to be the one to create all of this content for your clients. While you do need to create content for your clients as the foundation for your total content strategy, you can also supplement your content with that from others. One of the best services marketers can provide these days is to act as a filter for all that’s being produced out there and compile the best of the best.
Finding and sharing high quality, relevant content consistently and providing access to this information is not only a great way to increase the volume of your content, it’s a great way to build trust in the value of your content.
Below are a few examples of ways to gain traction with other people’s content.
- Co-branded content – Consider approaching the creator of the content you think would be valuable to your client’s audience and see if you can share it with them, giving full credit to the creator or author, but ask for the ability to add an information page about your clients business at the back of it. With this approach, you could potentially build a library of content overnight with targeted topics and content.
- Curated content – Consider sending out newsletters, for example, the contain valuable information for your client’s audience that links to other people’s content. This allows you to provide value for your client’s followers without the need to produce your own content.
- Customer content – Ask your client’s customers to provide content that you can use for conversion purposes such as testimonials or “Tell Us Your Story” features.
- Guest posting – Invite people to submit guest posts to publish on your client’s site. This gives you the content you need while giving the author additional exposure. It’s a win-win.
6. Don’t always reinvent the wheel.
If you want to save yourself time and frustration, always think of ways to repurpose your existing content. In fact, as you create content, always think about the purpose you have in mind and the repurpose opportunities. For example, if you record a podcast, you can transcribe it and turn it into a blog or event put the audio to visuals and turn it into a YouTube video. Thinking of these opportunities ahead of time will make your life easier when you’re stuck in a content rut.
7. Promote your content
No matter how great your content is, none of it will matter if nobody sees it. Below is the process I follow to give a piece of content the greatest amount of exposure that it can.
- I promote the headline and link with some context across my social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ (I typically create unique copy for each of the platforms).
- I also promote the content to relevant email lists – if you’ve segmented your email lists they’ll be more likely to respond to the content you’re promoting.
- If you want your content to generate leads, advertise it. Use PPC advertising, whether on Google or social media, to point to your most valuable content. Ads can easily and effectively be used as a trust-building platform.
- Offer content to strategic partners. Let them cobrand your content and offer it to their clients. This will help build rapport with your client’s partners while expanding reach to new audiences.
While content creation may seem like a lot of work, using even a few of the ideas here can make the ROI of content creation crush other forms of lead generation.
Are you creating content for your clients? What have you found makes the process easier?