Do you create content that grows your business, or that grows your competitor’s business?
It might sound outrageous… but if you don’t create a content strategy to help your audience convert with your business, you might be sending potential clients straight into the arms of your competitor.
A good content strategy prevents your audience from going elsewhere. In this post, I explain how to prevent your audience from going elsewhere and the five steps to creating a content strategy that can help you achieve this.
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Why you need a clear content strategy
Picture this… you own an online business selling surfboards. You’ve got an amazing website where you put out content every week with how-to information on everything surfboard related, from ‘How to Clean Your Surfboard (Properly!)’ to ‘How to Ride a 10 Foot Wave’. Your website analytics show that lots of people love your website and frequently visit to read your blog… but nobody is buying your products.
You’ve also been keeping a close eye on your competitor, a business selling water-sports equipment. You start to notice that people who’ve been visiting your website are going to your competitor’s business to buy products. Why is this happening?
It’s one thing to create content and build an audience, but it’s another to get the return on investment you want.
Don’t get me wrong… creating content is the first step to a great content strategy, but it can also the first step to a bad content strategy if you’re not careful.
Many people unintentionally send potential clients to their competitors because of a weak content strategy. The by-product of an unclear content strategy is that people don’t know what action to take next and start to look elsewhere for answers.
You’ve successfully raised awareness of a problem, but they go elsewhere to find the solution.
The action that you want people to take is arguably the most important part of your content. That’s why you create content after all, to get people to trust you, and ultimately buy from you.
If your competitors have a better, clearer content strategy, then your audience will take action… just not with you.
I think we can all agree that your content should help people become your clients, not send them to your competitors.
How to create content that grows YOUR business
Your problem isn’t that you’re not creating great content.
Maybe you create a fantastic video that you share on LinkedIn every week, or a brilliant podcast that people love to tune into. Perhaps your Twitter account has lots of people looking forward to your next Tweet, or your Instagram Stories get great engagement.
You might be fantastic at raising awareness of your industry or your niche, or even of a problem that exists in your industry… but are you showing people how you can help them?
Raising awareness is a brilliant first step of your content strategy, but it’s like trying to paint a house and only taking one step up the ladder – you’re not going to be successful if you don’t keep going!
If your audience already love your content, it needs to make their next steps really obvious to keep them engaged with your business. You’ll be missing a great opportunity if you leave them hanging.
If all you do is raise awareness of a problem, chances are your audience will turn to a search engine to see what solutions there are… and you’ll have done all of that work for nothing.
The five steps to creating content that grows your business
It’s a win-win if you’re creating content that grows your business and keeping clients away from your competitors, and there are ways that you can achieve this. In fact, there are five ways that can enhance your content strategy that you can start using today…
1. Create content related to your product/service
You want every person to invest in your products and services, so the first step to begin creating content is by starting at the end. Your products and services are where you make your money, after all, so all of your content should relate to a product or service that you provide.
My top tip for creating content this way is to think about the problems that your products and services solve. These are things your audience are thinking about.
Your audience might search for a problem hoping to find a solution. If you create search engine optimized content about that problem (and include your solution) that content is going to be very useful and valuable to those people. This will keep you top of mind when they’re looking to invest in a solution.
Conversely, don’t spend your time creating content that doesn’t link to a product or service. This may sound obvious but it’s not, it’s an easy trap to fall into.
2. Ensure your content is valuable and shareable
When your content is valuable, it becomes more shareable.
Let’s focus on quality over quantity.
Helpful content has high levels of engagement and shareability. A study by BuzzSumo found that content that inspires feelings of awe is the greatest driver behind shareability, so the more mind-blowingly helpful your content, the better.
If your content can also help your audience start taking the steps they need to overcome their problems, it’ll also help encourage feelings of achievement and subsequently trust towards your brand. This is another very important factor for keeping your clients loyal.
3. Always have a call to action
A call to action is one of the most critical parts of your content. It needs to clearly tell your audience where to go next.
This call to action could be any action you want them to take, from downloading a free guide, to subscribing to your podcast, to getting in touch to book a discovery call… the only caveat is that it should be relevant and appropriate to the content that they’ve consumed, and the product or service that can help.
And they’re not just for websites. Put call to actions wherever they fit, whether that’s social media, podcast audio or even in videos. Don’t be afraid to tell people what their next steps should be.
4. Leave ‘breadcrumbs’ to your core content
You don’t have to always put out huge pieces of core content to keep the attention on your business. Repurposing is a great way to reuse core content so that people can find you again and again.
Your repurposed content should be short, snackable pieces of content, like breadcrumbs, that lead back to your core content. Remember that some people don’t consume long-form content, so this might be how they prefer to consume your message. Others might see these as tasty treats that leave them wanting more!
It’s essential to pair this piece of advice with step number three and make sure that your call to actions are clear enough to direct people to that core content.
5. Be consistent with your messaging
I know I say it time and time again, but consistency really is key.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making with their content is that they’re not consistent enough with their messaging. A scattergun approach to what problems your business solves is confusing to your audience and can cause them to look elsewhere for help.
Your content can help manage what you’re known for, so use it to consistently show people what you do. Go back to step number one and create content that shows people exactly how you can help them using your products and services and stick to this.
These are the five steps that can help your content keep your clients focused on you, help your audience convert, and stop your competitors from poaching your potential clients!
But please, don’t just pick one and hope that it’ll be enough to draw your audience in… this really is an all-in approach, so use all five steps to help solidify your content strategy, and see if you start noticing a difference to your content’s conversion rate.
If want to learn more about how to can help your business grow with content, my book, Content 10x: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results, covers everything you need to know about content repurposing. What’s more, it’s available in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback!