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Content planning is such a huge part of online business, not just service-based businesses but product businesses as well. You hear content is king but what does that mean today? It used to mean write write write. The more blog posts you could put out the better it would be for everyone. That’s no longer the case. Let’s get through the basics.
What is Content? Content isn’t just blogging anymore. Content includes everything from podcasts to video to your social media posts to your opt-ins and content upgrades. It is anything that you provide to your audience. The content you put out demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in your field. It also helps your audience solve a problem and learn something new. Everything you put out should be of value to your ideal audience. Your content will either be an introduction to someone new or a continuation of information for someone that has previously found you. Either way, it should be of value to them so they continue following you. This is your chance to show people what you know and your personality. Your personality and whether you connect with people is what will keep them coming back for more.
What type of content you put out should be based on what type of content your ideal audience wants to consume. This is important…this is not what type of content you want to put out, it’s what type of content your audience consumes.
Podcasts – If your content works for audio and your audience listens to podcasts then this is a good option for you. For example, my audience is women entrepreneurs. Women are busy (especially if they are moms) but podcasts work because they listen to them while cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, walking the dog, and driving just to name a few.
Video – The two major video outlets right now are social media video which I’ll tackle later or YouTube. You need to be doing at least one of these. Video is really important right now in the content space.
- 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. (Google)
- Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. (Insivia)
- Users view more than 1 billion hours of video each day on YouTube. (YouTube)
If your content is visual or tutorial then YouTube is great for you. You can use it to complement another content type that you use.
Opt-Ins/Content Upgrade – An opt-in or content upgrade should be really GOOD. You are giving out your valuable information in exchange for putting that person on your email list. If your information doesn’t help them then they will immediately opt-out of your email list. An opt-in can be an ebook, a case study, a whitepaper or even a simple checklist. I talk a little bit more on opt-in’s in Ep 4 – How to build an email list so you can jump back and listen to that episode.
Blogging – Blogging is not dead. There are still plenty of people who go to websites and read posts that have been written. They can be short and to the point posts or long posts that go into great detail and instruction about something. Blog posts help improve your SEO and drive organic traffic from Google (and other search engines).
Social Media – Social Media is a huge part of any business. It’s a great opportunity to nurture clients and potential clients. It’s also an opportunity to show that you are an expert in your field. This is your chance to show who you are and what you know. It’s a way to tell people how you can help them and why they should go with you. There are so many different strategies you can use with social media, you just need to know what is best for you and your audience.
Now that you know some of the different types of content you need to figure out which one or ones you will be creating. This is determined by your target audience. If you don’t know who your target audience is then it’s time to find out. If you don’t know who you are talking to then you are talking to no one directly. I have a target audience worksheet that will help you so I will link to in the show notes. You need to know who your target audience is so you are creating content for them. If you don’t know who you are talking to and creating content to create then you are wasting your time. It’s not going to turn into people trusting you and therefore purchasing from you.
Remember the know, like and trust factor. Create content for people so they know who you are. Create an authentic relationship with people…they then like you and when you show them your expertise and knowledge they trust you and then purchase from you. Once you know who you are talking to then you will know what areas they are hanging out in. Chatting with moms of little kids…podcasts is probably more their style than youtube. Chatting with a 20-year-old make-up obsessed person…youtube is your channel. Is your audience a 65-year-old retired person in the year 2019…blog posts are your best bet. If you aren’t sure what your audience is consuming then ask them.
Ask them which social channels they are also hanging out in so you know where to be. If you are creating a podcast for moms you still need to promote that podcast somewhere and have people get to know you. Those moms are likely on FB or Instagram. It’s unlikely that they are spending their time on snapchat (unless of course it’s with their child but that’s not an area you are going to market). If you aren’t sure where your audience is hanging out then ASK. Ask anyone you may know in your target audience where they hang out. Go online and ask people in your target audience which social channel is their preferred channel. BE THERE. You don’t need to be in all the places. You just need to be where your audience is.
Now that you know what content is, the different types of content you can create and how to choose those channels we will move on to actual planning of your topic ideas. You are going to brain dump all your ideas onto a piece of paper. Think about your area of expertise and what your audience wants to see or learn. Write those ideas down. Go to areas that your audience is hanging out and see what they are enjoying or asking questions about. Use that for topic ideas as well. Ask your audience what they want to see or learn.
Still stumped? Go to someone who is doing something similar to you and see what they are putting out. DO NOT STEAL THEIR CONTENT. You are there to get ideas and get some aha moments if you are stuck. If you have been doing this for a while you may have gone through your initial list and just need to see a few topics to jump-start your brain. Write down as many ideas as you can think of. The longer your list the longer you will be able to produce content without stressing about what to produce.
So there it is. There’s your rundown of content 101. Now you know what you need to do in your business to produce content. If you are still stuck or need some help then let’s set up a call. Content strategy is what I do so we can sit down and have an initial free call to see what your problem areas are and if I can be of any help to you. Have a wonderful day!
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