In a recent post, we discussed how to streamline your sales process by creating an automated content drip to educate and nurture leads until they are ready to buy. For many of our clients, this automated system is the primary “vehicle” that will deliver high-value content to prospects and potential leads. However, when you start distributing content, you’ll need to create the content strategy and plan the release schedule of each piece.
The automated distribution system makes the most sense for companies with a strong, engaged marketing list. This means they are used to receiving emails from you and interacting with your content.
If that’s not you, or you want to look at other ways to amplify your reach, the question shifts to:
- Who do you want to reach as a part of your content strategy?
- Where else can you distribute the content to maximize your reach?
- And what kind of content should you share?
Today, we explore how to develop and implement a content strategy in three simple steps.
This content strategy will be most effective for businesses who already have a strong list of leads or an active online network they can leverage. This way, you can connect with your existing audience and share content that is relevant to their pains. However, even if you’re just starting out, there are some insights in here that will have a positive impact on your business.
1. Consider where your audience “lives” online
Humans are creatures of habit, which is why it is important to identify where your audience “lives” when they are online.
Business owners and executives — especially those who are very busy and have little free time — are less likely to click a link that sends them to a website they don’t recognize.
So, the first step when creating a content strategy is to identify where your target audience spends their time. Once you understand the environment, you can choose the medium that will appeal to the audience.
There are definitely other things you ought to consider, but here’s a good jumping off point to find your first “vehicle.”
- Does your blog generate a significant amount of organic traffic? Long-form copy and detailed case studies may resonate with your audience more than other content.
- Are you part of an active group or community on Facebook? Short video clips with a social approach may be the most effective.
- Do you have a massive network on LinkedIn? Consider posting your content directly on your personal profile. Reach out to your connections and share your content with them, driving them back to your profile page.
With this kind of tailored content, prospects won’t have to leave their site-of-choice to see your value pieces. This will dramatically increase your click-through rates and ensure maximum exposure of your content.
The fewer steps it takes for your audience to view your content, the more likely they are to read it and engage in a conversation.
2. Establish a consistent schedule
When it comes to distributing content to your list, consistency is more important than frequency.
Once you understand where your audience lives and how they consume content, you can tailor your content strategy and release schedule to suit their habits.
Would a short video clip on a daily basis appeal to them? Or would they be more responsive to weekly long-form blog posts that dive into the nitty-gritty details of a subject?
If you want your audience to spend time exploring your content, you have to prove to them that it’s worth it. By releasing insightful pieces on a predictable schedule, you are demonstrating that you’ve invested time and energy into producing something valuable.
Prospects are then much more likely to engage with your posts, helping build a long-lasting relationship.
In fact, our partner at LinkedIntoLeads recently shared a story about the power of consistency when it comes to sharing content with your target audience.
Trevor connected with a prospect over two years ago, and hadn’t touched base with him since. In the background, however, this prospect was consuming Trevor’s content on a weekly basis.
Even after two years without any direct communication, a three-minute video was all it took to get this lead on the phone and convert him into a client.
Why? Because Trevor consistently posts valuable content that resonates with his audience — he has proven himself to be an expert in his field by giving away this expertise.
Check out his story here.
The more you understand your audience, the easier it is to structure your release schedule. Once you have established a consistent release calendar, you can start scheduling future posts to take advantage of special dates.
- Valentine’s Day is coming up soon? Here are five ways to build long-lasting professional relationships with your clients.
- Shark Week is just around the corner? Here are four lessons sharks can teach us about content marketing.
You get the idea.
These kinds of posts go a long way to creating a sense of community within your viewership, and it can add some personality to your content — something that people remember.
By establishing a consistent schedule and continuing to deliver valuable content, you will solidify yourself as a reliable expert in the minds of potential prospects.
Once they are ready to buy, your consistency will ensure you are top-of-mind.
3. Position yourself as a Thought Leader
Don’t create content just for the sake of creating content. Instead, reach out to your target audience and ask them for feedback.
The more you understand the needs of your audience (and the more pain points they share with you), the more you can create relevant content tailored to their situation. The goal is to identify their pains and create micro-content pieces that isolate their problems and detail your solutions.
This content strategy offers several advantages:
- Every piece of content you create will be relevant to your target audience and will resonate with your readers.
- You can use real-life case studies to demonstrate your solution, rather than focusing on abstract examples or hypothetical scenarios.
- You can give away your solutions as value pieces, which showcases your expertise and presents you as a helpful, confident Thought Leader.
Eventually, these specific pieces will resonate with individuals in your network, and they will reach out to you to address their specific pains. While some prospects will inevitably take your solution and attempt to implement it on their own, these people are not your ideal clients.
Your ideal client will recognize your expertise in the industry, and they will come to you to implement the solution.
Have you executed your own content strategy? If so, we’d love to hear about it. What worked for you, and what didn’t?
If you need any help creating or implementing your own content strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out — book a FREE Discovery Call with our team below.