Content Marketing
Content Marketing

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Content Marketing Strategy

This article is not just about content marketing. It’s about creating a marketing machine that continues working on an ongoing basis and constantly improves over time. 
This is what we will cover in this important video:
  • Advantages of consistent content
  • What type of content to create
  • How to create it
  • How it leads to revenue
  • How to adapt this strategy for your personal preferences
Let’s talk about the best content strategy for growing your business business.
The best way to explain this is to use an example.
Let’s say that your content strategy just consisted of:
  • Creating one new piece of high-quality content per week
  • Posting it on your blog and social channels
Now, it doesn’t have to be once per week and it doesn’t have to be an article. You can create other types of content.
I’ll talk about how to adjust this simple plan to fit your personal preferences later in the article.
For now, I just want to use a simple example to explain some very important concepts then.
When you understand the concepts you can go ahead and adjust the plan in any way you like.
Okay, let’s get into it.

Advantages Of An Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Let’s start by looking at the benefits of this very simple strategy:
  • Authority. You will build authority with your prospective customers.
  • Trust factors. Adding articles to your website is an important trust factor.
  • Search engine optimization. Your article could rank for some important keywords.
  • Social media. You’ll have content ready for social media.
  • Email marketing. You’ll have content ready for email marketing.
  • Advertising. If you decide to use ads this content will increase your conversion rate.
  • Partners. If you want to collaborate with other people that don’t know you your content will increase the likelihood of success.
  • Referrals. If you want other people to refer clients to you, your content will increase the likelihood of success.


Why Does Content Marketing Strategy Work So Well?

So, let’s break all of this down in more detail.
How does creating this content establish and build authority?
If you include a statement on your website that says “I have 10 years of experience”, the first thing that occurs to me is that “I don’t give a crap about how many years of experience you have”.
Tell you how many people I’ve met that really do have 10 years or even 20 years of experience then turned out to be completely useless.
When you say “I have 10 years of experience” and don’t give me any more information, you’re essentially asking me to trust you.
Why should I trust you? the point I’m trying to make here is this: Don’t tell me! Show me!
If I see an article on your website with title “How to solve problem X” and the article says something like – “This is a common challenge in the industry and there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Here is the right way to solve problem X”, now, instead of just knowing the number of years of experience you have, I can see verifiable evidence of your “ability” to solve the problem.
You will solve the problem with your “ability” not with the number of years you have been a photographer.
So the summary is simple – this type of content builds trust and authority by demonstrating your “ability to solve a specific problem” as opposed to telling people to trust you and assume that you have the required ability because you have many years of experience.
Always be prepared to demonstrate your ability.
How does creating content improve your trust factors?
Prospective customers are more likely to trust you if you include high-quality content on your website that gives them some insight into your views on the most important issues in your industry.
Generic information makes you look like everybody else.
Content that demonstrates your unique take and whatever it is that makes you do makes you different increases trust because people that have unique insight are perceived to be people that have a deep understanding of their industry.
How does creating content improve search engine optimization?
If you create an article that contains high-quality content there’s a possibility that your article will rank well in search results and bring visitors to your website – all without your spending $1 of your money or 1 minute of your time or even understanding what SEO means.
In the meantime, if you do decide that you want to proactively implement an SEO strategy that involves the usual SEO tactics you will have a massive head start because the most important and most difficult part of SEO is creating high-quality content.
How does creating content help with social media?
Some of you might be wondering whether you should even use social media as part of your marketing strategy.
A significant portion of people try to find out if you are a “real business” by looking at your social media presence.
If you don’t use social media or your social media feed is dormant then you “appear to be to be dormant”.
My point is that, even if social media does not generate one new lead for your business, I can almost guarantee you that it plays a big role in whether visitors to your website decide to contact you.
Therefore, your minimum strategy for social media should be to pick at least one social platform and be active on it once per week.
I suggest you focus on the social platform you like best or the one that your clients like to use.
Now, of course, one way to be active on social media is to share a thought about the weather or a cat video but you will build much more trust and authority by posting your weekly piece of content.
You won’t have to waste any time thinking about what to post on social or learning how the algorithm works.
Just take the one piece of content that you create each week and post it.
This will make your business appear to be active instead of dormant and, if someone actually reads your content, they will be impressed instead of being skeptical.
In the meantime, if you decide that you want to be more proactive on social by engaging with other people in your industry and prospective clients, you will build a lot more trust and authority with them as well as attract more followers if you regularly post high-quality content that everybody is looking forward to seeing.
How does creating content help with email marketing?
The first question you might have is whether you should even use email marketing?
If you create an email list the people on that list will fit into one of two categories.
One category will be your existing in customers in the other category will be your newsletter subscribers.
These are people that have already bought your services or expressed interest in your services.
It’s much easier to convince these people to buy something from you than it is to convince cold leads to buy from you.
In fact, some research indicates that you are 80% more likely to make a sale to an existing customer or somebody that’s already on your email list when compared to somebody that’s not on your email list.
In the meantime, sending the email costs almost nothing.
How do you build an email list?
The best way to do it is to create a piece of content that solves an important problem and demonstrates your expertise, then, invite the reader to signup to receive updates when you release similar content.
The weekly piece of content that I’m suggesting (telling) you to create will take care of all of the heavy lifting for this strategy.
You just have to send an email telling people to view your content.
And, if you can solve a real problem that matters to them, they will actually want to read it. Incredible!
The other critical role that your content plays in email marketing is giving you a legitimate reason for emailing them in the first place.
If you don’t have high-quality content that solves an important problem for the people on your email list then your email marketing campaigns will likely consist of sales pitches to buy your services.
People have no interest in receiving these emails.
Your open rates and click-through rates will fall and the number of people that unsubscribe will increase.
This is a huge problem for most email marketers.
If you create one piece of high-quality content per week this entire problem goes away and you will be outperforming 90% of email marketers.
Now, some of you that are big fans of social and don’t like email probably think that the people on your email list are likely following you on social and therefore they will receive updates when you post on social so there’s no need to email them.
You’re wrong about that:
  • Firstly, you cannot assume that everyone on your email list is following you on social.
  • Second, the algorithms on the major social channels do not send all of your posts to all of your followers. The percentage of followers that receive your posts is called “reach”. It can be as high as 90% but it can also be as low as 5% depending on various factors. In this scenario, only 1 in 20 followers are receiving your posts.
  • Third. Even if a social follower does receive your post it doesn’t mean that they will see it. Their feed could be overflowing, they might have certain notifications turned off, etc.

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How does creating content help with advertising?
Instead of just advertising your services, you can advertise the solution you outlined in your article.
Don’t just tell people that you can solve a problem, prove it.
If you do decide to run regular advertising that brings traffic to your website, it’s not likely that these prospective clients will simply review the landing page and then buy something.
A significant percentage of them will take a look around the rest of your website and review all of the trust factors that I’m always talking about before deciding whether they want to become a paying customer.
And one of the most important trust factors is the content in your blog because it demonstrates your skills and expertise.
This increases your conversion rate and could be the difference between a successful advertising campaign and a failed advertising campaign.

Long-Term Benefits of Content Marketing Strategy

If all of the benefits I just outlined weren’t enough, there are even more long-term benefits:
If you commit to doing this for 52 weeks you will have 52 articles. Congratulations, you are now an authority in your field.
If you do some minor search engine optimization and mention the articles in some industry groups and forums you will also be generating a consistent inflow of leads.
The constantly updated blog, social media, and email also means that you will be “top of mind” in the minds of your prospective clients.
Somebody might signup for your newsletter or follow you on social today but might not need your services until six months later.
If you’re no longer in contact with them when they decide they want to buy, they won’t think of you and they will buy from whoever does have their attention at the time.
Not only do you lose the client to a competitor, the time, money, and effort that went into attracting this prospect to your website has been wasted.
Also, keep in mind that the steady supply of weekly content for six months (or 26 weeks) also serves as 26 demonstrations of your expertise. So, when the time comes, the prospect will be aware of you AND ALSO know that you are capable and credible.
This dramatically increases the likelihood that they will choose you.
I have recommended this strategy to a lot of people and I’m surprised at how many of them said that the research required to create the content has made them more of an expert than they were before creating the content and the process of creating the content forced them to think about how to articulate the key issues.
And that has helped them to adjust their services and made them better at selling their services to prospective clients.
This is like making an investment. Like all good investments, the sooner you start the sooner you will get the payoff.

How To Create The Content

Now let’s talk about how to create the content. This is the part where we can talk about how to adjust the plan to fit your personal preferences.
It doesn’t have to be a written article.
The three forms of content you can create are text, audio, and video.
Text will usually be an article/blog. Audio will usually be a podcast and video will usually be a YouTube channel.
In my case, you can see that I’ve obviously decided that YouTube will be my platform of choice and video content is my content of choice.
All of the concepts in this strategy are the same, you’ll just be directing people to a podcast episode or a YouTube video.
There are a lot of obvious factors that contribute to your decision about which type of content to create including time, budget, the extent of your personal involvement, the way your prospective clients prefer to consume content, and whether you like to write, talk or be on camera, etc.
Of course, as photographers, your content might just consist of images or video.
Original content
Does your content have to be original? The answer is no. You can use content created by other people. This is what we call curated content but the strategy won’t work as well.
If you take the view that content marketing will be time-consuming and you decide to simply link to content created by other people you will be able to post these links on your website, in your email marketing campaigns, and on your social media.
However, you will be demonstrating the skills and expertise of the original creators of the content as opposed to demonstrating any of your own skills or expertise.
If you want to go down this road, the best approach will be to add your comments about the content.
This is something that you can do with a few sentences rather than a full article or a full episode of audio or video content.
You can also consider combining these strategies.
For example, if you want to produce your own original long-form content once per month, you can release curated content more frequently in order to execute all parts of this strategy.
This is where you have to make a judgment call. Consider all of these factors and then make a decision that meets your needs and suits your personal preferences.
You don’t have to create it yourself.
If you prefer not to create the content yourself and you have a budget you can easily find freelancers that will create the content for you.
Keep in mind that people that do this kind of work range in skill from terrible to excellent so you will need to be prepared to provide some kind of outline for the content you want and you should also be prepared to test out several freelances before finding the best people for the job.
It doesn’t have to be weekly.
It can be more or less frequent however, I would say that you should aim for no less frequently than once per month.
If you do decide to release content less frequently than once per month then
I suggest you post a paragraph of content on social media once per week.
It can just be your views about something happening in your industry or community.
This will help you to avoid looking like a dormant business.
It’s critical to make sure that your content builds a bridge between an important problem that your prospective client wants to solve and the specific services you want to offer.
Think very carefully about what this means.
This is the single most important concept in content marketing.
It’s so important I’m going to repeat it.
It’s critical to make sure that your content builds a bridge between an important problem that your prospective client wants to solve and the specific services you want to sell.
It is okay to create content where you provide your general opinion about general industry news if that is something that you enjoy doing but keep in mind that this content may or may not build a bridge between prospective customers and the services that you’re selling.
For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, it makes sense to create content about how to make the wedding event space as photogenic as possible because this content is valuable to your prospective client and naturally leads to the services you’re selling.
If you create content about the latest updates in your editing software, you will attract interest from other photographers but you won’t attract interest from prospective clients.
Again, it’s okay to produce content about topics that you enjoy, however, when you’re creating content for the purpose of generating revenue, you need to create content about topics that naturally lead to the services you want to sell. Make sure you understand and execute this critical point.
Some of you might be wondering how to develop content ideas.
Look at forums, social groups, and topics at industry events.
Look for major pain points that prospective clients are constantly complaining about and struggling to address.
Calls to action
You need to include calls to action in your content.
The calls to action should relate to offering your services or inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter.
When it comes to offering your services, there are different ways to approach this. For example:
  • Provide value by telling your prospective clients how to do something the right way then offer to do it for them in order to make sure it’s done right.
  • Explain how important it is for your prospective client to solve a problem that they thought was less important than it actually is then offer your services to solve that problem.
  • Explain the common approach for solving an important problem and let your prospective clients know that is common approach is not good enough because it doesn’t solve the problem very well or maybe it creates new problems then offer your services to solve the problem the right way. This is also a good time to mention your unique selling proposition.
When it comes to inviting prospective clients to subscribe to your newsletter, the best approach is to include a very simple opt-in form in the middle of your article and at the end of your article.
If the quality of your content is high, prospective customers will be interested in consuming more of it.
If you’re not producing articles and producing audio or video content instead, you should still be directing your listeners to a page on your website, where they can join your email list in order to receive alerts when you release new content.
If you want to use some content marketing tools, check this article from Wordstream.
Finally, in order to get the best results you also need to optimize all stages of the customer journey.
People need to be clear about why they should buy from you and not your competitor.
After attracting your target market to your website you will need to make sure that you have created an effective funnel and addressed all of the website trust required to maximize conversions

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  • Adam Radly

    Founder of IIMAGINE. More than $100M raised. TEDx Talk about passion > 1 Million views. Founder of World Reconciliation Day with Nelson Mandela. Founder of One Direct Democracy.