I love content creation just because it is so effective when it comes to building trust, establishing your expertise and showing your thought process.
But these days, creating content just for the sake of it is not enough.
For content marketing to really work for your business you have to provide a lot of value upfront!
But how do you know if you are providing any value? This is something that even I struggled with in the first few months of Mints and Numbers.
Luckily, I have picked on a few methods that help me ensure that I am on the right track!
Define your ideal clients
It is easy to just skip over a step and get straight to creating content and I feel like majority of beginner content creators are guilty of this.
( Including me )
When you create content based off of guesswork of what might be helpful to your audience you might end up attracting an audience which is vastly different than the ones they should attract.
This leads to a disconnect between the products and the content.
Take some time to define your ideal customers, so you understand what content is relevant to them and what medium you should use to communicate with them.
Some will prefer video, while some prefer blog posts while some are more likely to hangout on Instagram instead of Pinterest.
Know their demographics
Age, gender, location, income etc.
Know their psychographics
What are their beliefs, values, opinions, etc.
What kind of lifestyle they lead, what are their hobbies, where would they ideally hangout etc.
Try to understand their problems, how are their problems making them feel, what transformation are they seeking, their level of awareness with their problems etc
It’s only when you truly understand your ideal customers, you will be able to provide any kind of value to them.
If you randomly create content then it’s highly likely that your content feed will look just as random and confusing to your potential audience.
It’s difficult to build a tribe or a customer base when there is a lack of focus or strategy behind your content.
Share your process
Wether you are selling services or products share the process behind them. You could begin by sharing details of your customer services, policies, how you manage new inquiries, details of how you work etc
When you make your process less of a mystery, people are more likely to trust you and see you as an expert.
Example, if you are a small business selling planners or journals you could write about
- What kind of paper you use and why.
- Printing techniques used.
- Packaging, shipping details.
- Tutorials on how to best use the products.
- Thought process behind creating a particular type of journal or a planner or their unique qualities.
- How you handle bulk inquiries, custom design inquiries – share case studies of any such special situations
Note: I am not a journal or planner selling expert so I might not be completely accurate on what goes on behind the scenes but hopefully the points above give you some ideas.
Share your growth
Share any new changes or updates you have made to your process.
Even if you feel like you are a beginner and you don’t nearly have as streamlined a process as an experienced entrepreneur.
Share whatever you know and show up where you are.
There is value in watching someone’s journey right from the beginning.
It reveals a lot about how you are analytically thinking though your problems and how you are working to position yourself as a professional.
Build upon what has worked before
If you have been consistently creating content for a while then you will know that there is a certain type of content that resonates more with your audience.
Look for opportunities on how you can improve that content, or create new content that builds upon the original idea.
Now, you might feel like there is nothing more left to change or update, there will always be room to improve on your content.
When you return back to your content after 6 months or a year, you will have fresh experiences that can prove insightful.
Also, look for the comments or feedback on that particular post or article, there is valuable information there on the answers your audience is looking for.
Answer a question from the audience.
If you get a question or a comment that you believe majority of your audience would benefit from answer that question in the form of an article or a social media post that every can read or view.
There are chances that a lot of people are looking for an the answer to the same questions but didn’t really try to ask them. One of my post popular posts on the One concept approach was a result of a question from an Mints and Numbers reader.
When you answer questions from your audience in detail, it shows that you care. Which is in turn a valuable trait for any business owner / content creator.
Keep the content simple, easy to understand and actionable
When people come to you with a problem they are already in some form of pain. Don’t add to their problems.
Get to the point quickly and solve their problem in a way that is easily digestible. It’s okay to add a bit of personality or background story to your content because you do want to sound human.
At whatever stage they are in, your audience is probably a beginner at that level and they are trying to get to the next level.
So avoid any jargon, don’t assume that they might know something already, give examples, make the content easy to read and provide tips that are easy to follow and implement.
Self promotion, but not really
Content is a form of marketing.
It is a good way to get the word of your business out there to the masses.
But it is important to think of content as an extension of your brand.
Don’t include a sales pitch at the end of every of piece of content you produce.
Most of the times people come to your content in the hopes that you are going to solve their problem.
Being sold to or buying something is not necessarily on their mind.
Instead, focus on providing as much value as you can and building your tribe and relationships.
The most important thing to consider while creating content is to have fun with it.
Whether you are enjoying the process or not, it will show up in your content just like it shows up in other areas of your life.
When you are having fun, you get more done and you produce more quality than you would when you are simply bored or tired or any of those negative feelings.
So if a piece of content is not giving you any joy then it’s okay to avoid creating it.