Get Clear on your Content Marketing Strategy: a 6-step framework for coaches & consultants
Content marketing is essential to staying at the top of your customers’ minds.
But with so many approaches to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start – and how to consistently create content that gets results.
You need a step-by-step framework to help you get intentional with your content marketing. Marketing without a plan is “hope marketing.” Hoping prospects find you and customers call doesn’t create a stable business.
This 6-step content marketing framework helps create the system you need in order to grow your followership, engagement, and revenue. This plan helps you build deeper relationships with your customers and convert more prospects into loyal brand advocates.
Get this handy content planning checklist here and use it along with the information inside this blog.
Content Marketing Basics
Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is that which draws prospects to your brand and converts them to customers. Outbound marketing is disruptive in nature, such as sales letters, print/radio/tv ads, and direct mail.
Successful content marketing attracts your ideal clients and keeps them interested in your business. As a result, they’ll make informed decisions to purchase from you quicker – resulting in higher conversion rates.
Most prospective customers don’t buy immediately. On average, 50% of customers looking to buy a product or service will buy within 18 months. Staying in touch with customers pays. That’s where your content marketing mix of email, social media, and blogging, podcasting, or video will help them remember you when they are ready to buy.
Content marketing also helps you:
- Establish authority in your space
- Improve your search rankings
- Build a solid online presence
But in order to drive these results, you need a strategy that won’t leave you guessing what to talk about next.
6 simple steps to your content marketing strategy:
Your first step is to identify the “gap” your business fills in the marketplace. Ask yourself (and your team, if you have one) what is the business’s “purpose”? Then ask, “how can this purpose be fulfilled differently than others in this space?”
Consider the following:
- What problem do your clients overcome?
- Why is the problem just plain “wrong”?
- How does your business make this “wrong” right?
- What areas of expertise allow you to do this successfully?
Your answers to the questions above will help you uncover your unique selling proposition. Your unique proposition serves as the foundation for all of your content marketing. Think of it as a “filter” that ensures all of your content remains consistent with your brand.
On average, prospects need to hear from your business at least seven times before they are comfortable buying from you. And if your message is different each time, they’ll be confused as to what exactly your business does.
You want to be known (and remembered!) for your expertise in one area. Getting clear on your business’ purpose is the perfect way to ensure you stay within the guard rails of your brand message.
2. Get Clear on Your Audience.
When a business has distilled their “StoryBranded” message, one of the many benefits includes a clear picture of the transformation they help their customers achieve.
Now it’s time to pinpoint exactly who you’re talking to online.
Remember, your goal is to attract more of your ideal customers. So every time you publish content, it must appeal to that group of people.
But in order to communicate with this audience effectively, you must first dive deeper into who your ideal client is.
Many businesses create a picture of their ideal customer. By creating an image of your “buyer persona” and simply considering your customers’ behavior, you’ll start creating more content that resonates with your followers.
Think of your customer and consider the following:
- The data you already have about your customer, including their demographics (age, gender, location, etc.).
- Note your customers’ behavior. Think about what they are:
Referring to your “buyer personas” regularly gives you context for the messages you send and the content you write.
These days, you only have a couple seconds to capture your ideal client’s attention and draw them in. Staying true to your message and keeping the customer the “hero” of the story is important. This helps the customer resonate with content and move them to take certain and quick action.
Why not grab your pdf here and start your content marketing plan?
3. Get Clear on Your Content Topics.
Your goal with content marketing is not to push the sale… but to provide valuable information your clients need to learn more about their problem, your solution, and get to know you in the process. This increases their confidence to make a purchase from you.
Consider what would your audience find educational, inspirational, or entertaining.
These topics, also known as “nurture content”, should make up 80% of your content plan.
A content plan is the easiest way to create valuable posts every week. A content plan is also key in developing your brand.
Here’s how to create your content topics:
- Choose 3-4 areas of expertise you want to be known for. These are your pillar topics.
- Next, dive deeper into each pillar topic to create your subtopics. Ask yourself, “what does the reader need to know to become proficient in this topic?
- Finally, form post ideas from each of your subtopics.
The topics you choose will become your signature topics. As a result, you’ll transform your business into a trusted resource AND position yourself as an authority.
Providing consistent and valuable content is key to developing strong relationships with your customers because it keeps their customer journey going.
The remaining 20% of your content plan is reserved for sales and promotions.
What are all your offers and “points of entry” into your business? You may offer a complimentary introductory call or an assessment. You may have a low-priced course. Or a free download. List all your offers so you know what CTA’s (calls to action) you can have on rotation.
Also consider any upcoming promotions or specific products/services you want to spotlight.
Always offer a CTA. And make the CTA easy, such as one click to buy. Never be afraid to ask for the sale. When we engage with a brand, don’t we all expect to be presented with the option to buy?
When you are clear on all your CTA’s, then you can tie them in with your content!
When you match your CTA with your content, it ensures you provide relevant content with a step for the customer to keep their journey going. And the CTA helps you reach your revenue goals.
5. Get Clear on Your Communication Channels.
How do you want to communicate with your audience?
Generally, a well-rounded plan consists of:
- Email Marketing
- Choice of blogging, vlogging, or podcasting
- One to three social media channels
Email marketing is a great way to stay top-of-mind and build stronger individual relationships with your customers.
Blogging, vlogging, and podcasting all offer the opportunity to deliver longer-form content. This is the perfect way to establish your expertise and deliver value in a unique (and compelling!) way.
Social media is a great way to establish your online presence AND provide small snippets of valuable content to your audience.
But remember, each social media platform has its own unique demographic and tone. So make sure you choose one to three platforms where you know your ideal customers are “hanging out” online!
Here is a reference you can use to guide your decision:
- Facebook: top “generalist” social media platform
- LinkedIn: focus on professional content
- Instagram: emphasis on photos/videos
- Twitter: short-form, casual conversation
You can (and should!) “repurpose” your weekly content throughout your email marketing, blogging/vlogging/podcasting, and social media posts. Go through your longest piece of content, and you will find great statements for social media. You’ll also be able to take the main point of your blog, for instance, and use that as the hook in an email, then link the email reader to the blog URL.
Repurposing isn’t lazy! Repurposing content solidifies your brand and elevates you as an authority. True, it does save you creative energy and time. But mostly, it’s smart marketing.
Before long, you’ll have an abundance of content and details to manage. A content management system helps you keep everything organized.
A content management system not only helps you schedule posts, but they are a great place to keep track of your ideas and map out future posts.
Some systems will provide detailed analytics. Some will offer hashtag insights (for Instagram and Linkedin posts). It just depends on your social media needs and goals.
A few common social media management software options are:
If you don’t want to spend money on software, consider the business suite attached to your business Facebook account. You can schedule Facebook and Instagram posts there. This, used alongside a free tool like Trello or Evernote, is a good alternative.
With a content management system, you’ll have what you need to carry out your new successful content marketing plan. It’ll make the whole process incredibly manageable…and dare I say enjoyable!
Oftentimes, the best way to get clear and make decisions is with the help of an expert. If a strategy session sounds like the right thing for you at the moment, then book a marketing coaching session and let’s talk.
We can create your complete content marketing plan in a short but powerful coaching package. You’ll know you are showing up in the marketplace as an authority with a content marketing strategy. And that’s what gets clicks, calls, and the cash registering ringing!