The way you communicate is key to creating connections and generating conversations.
Whether it’s blog posts, videos, graphics, photos or social media posts, content needs to be a strategic investment to educate, empower and create meaningful connections.
Successful Marketing Is All About On-Brand, On-Purpose Content
Here are some ways you can adjust your approach to content creation so that it reflects your unique style, personality, and professional goals.
1. Adopt the 5-Factor Success Approach to Content Marketing
WMT’s work follows a framework I created that is a simple five-step path that supports raising awareness all the way to securing sales. While marketing is hardly ever linear, and every marketing strategy will be different, these are the five-factors you need for life-lasting marketing success:
- Credibility – getting customers (current and prospective) to know, like and trust you. Everything you post content-wise (from the blogs you post to images you choose to how often you update Instagram) should voice value and your values.
- Usability – how accessible and easy to use your marketing assets are, from responsive websites to crystal-clear calls to action and email lists that are easy to opt into.
- Visibility – SEO, social media marketing, email marketing and possibly ads – how to get your content seen, read and talked about. The best content in the world will get lost in the shuffle if there’s no strategy for visibility in place.
- Sellability – helping others understand why you—the person and/or your brand—stands out as the best choice in any given market. Customer testimonials and reviews are invaluable sellability assets.
- Scalability – quality (vs. quantity) investments, including creating content that can be leveraged over a long period of time. That could be a blog post you reuse or a video that doubles as a sales pitch. I love using old content to create new content.
2. Perform a Content Audit
Ready to put the 5 success factors into play? Start first by performing an audit on what you already have.
A content audit assesses what you’ve accomplished so far and will tell you where your content marketing strategy needs to go next. Do you have a surplus of blog posts but few places online where customers can see your face and hear your voice? It could be time to add video to your content arsenal.
Content audits work in the other direction, too, by telling you what’s potentially harming your image. For example, a law firm updating it’s Twitter feed every couple of hours won’t be revered for being a social media guru; it looks like a company desperate for clients.
Remember, though, audits aren’t about self-criticism. Instead, they’re an inventory of the facts that will help you optimize your content strategy and create the best brand image possible over the long term.
3. Optimize and Plan
Once you know what you have and what you need, it’s time to update existing assets and plan how you’ll execute future content.
Start by updating your social media profiles, taking care that any descriptions and imagery of you or your business reflect your values and purpose. For example, if you’re positioning yourself as an energetic inspirational speaker, make sure no one’s asleep in the background of the photos you post.
This is also a good time to add new tools and assets, and clean out the ones that are no longer relevant. This applies to both the programs you use to create content and any online accounts a potential customer might stumble across doing a search for you.
If all this seems overwhelming at first, remember that these steps don’t have to be done in a single day. Like most things of high quality, a successful content marketing strategy takes time to both plan and implement. Start small, and soon enough the results will snowball into a powerful new form of connectivity between you and your customers.
Communicating via content that’s on-brand and on-purpose is one of the best investments you can make for successful, sustainable marketing results.