What content should I be creating? What should I talk about? Where should I publish it? How often do I need to create more? Am I creating the right stuff? Do I really need to have a content plan?
If you do any type of content marketing, you probably spend a fair bit of time and energy just worrying about all these questions and more, let alone actually sharing all your valuable knowledge with your market.
But a little simple, careful planning can cut out most of the worrying side of content creation, and…
With less worrying comes more free time!
A little while back, I created a video walking you through the Customer's Decision Making Process and what your customer is thinking at each point. It's essential to understand that thought process whenever you're creating your marketing plans.
However, if you want to be consistently getting more clients and customers with your content, all you have to do is focus your efforts on answering 3 specific types of questions.
Those questions are the ones that people have at the 3 key points in your sales process, as I've outlined below.
This is the very first part of your sales process. People don't know who you are or are just getting to know you. You need to show how much value you can offer them and help them solve some specific problems they have right now.
You also need to start building a rapport, show them you are human, and demonstrate your values and motivation to help.
The main questions your prospects have here are:
- Who are you?
- Why should I listen to what you have to say?
- What's so important about what you're saying?
At this point, people have gotten to know, like, and trust you from all your ‘Awareness' content. Now it's time to sell them something. You'll need to have solutions that match their needs, differentiate you, and are designed to get them results.
As you make any offers, the main questions people have are:
- What is your solution?
- Why is it the right one for me?
- How is it different from other solutions?
- Why should I buy it now?
At the Loyalty part of your sales process, you're building ongoing relationships with your customers so that they'll continue to buy from you and will become your advocates in the market. You're showing that they're not just another faceless person in the crowd and you care about getting them the results they want.
The questions you need to answer at this point are:
- How can you help me implement your solution?
- Why should I come back and buy more?
- What more do you have to offer?
Those are the 3 areas where you need to focus your content planning, and if you answer those questions,
….you'll always be building your reputation and bringing in new customers,
…even when you're sleeping 🙂
So, what does content look like at each of those stages?
Here are a few examples…
This is content that shows that you're there to help your market and that you know what you're talking about. It includes:
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Press Releases
- Cheat sheets
- Resource Lists
- Short reports
- Complimentary consultations or trials
….and any other FREE content that provides helpful information and specific solutions.
This is the content that you're selling, including the sales materials that convert your leads to customers. It includes:
- Sales Pages
- Sales Materials (eg, demos and videos)
- Online Courses
- Email courses
- Video training
- Coaching resources
- Membership site content
- Professional services
….and any other PAID content that provides helpful information and solutions, along with supporting content to help people make the buying decision.
At this point, you're creating content that will ensure your products or services are implemented successfully and people know what else will be helpful to them. Content can include:
- Product tutorials (video or print)
- Case studies of successful product use
- Tips for using your products/services (delivered via email, blog, video, podcast, etc)
- Tips for implementing learning materials (eg, from training you sold)
- More in-depth training (that expands on something you sold)
- Information on related products/services
…and any other free OR paid content that keeps your customer engaged, helps them successfully use your product/service, and builds a lasting relationship.
If you're not sure where to get started, try these 3 steps (your 3-point plan):
3-Point Content Plan for Bringing in More Customers Every Day
Step 1: Focus
Pick one product or service you want to promote and focus on the content you'll need to create for that. Otherwise, you risk mixing up features, benefits, tips, target audience, etc.
Step 2: Brainstorm
Brainstorm a list of answers to the questions your customers will have for each part of the sales process. Remember to think from the viewpoint of someone who might want to buy that specific product/service, but doesn't even know you yet.
Enlist the help of friends who might be your target market. Enlist the help of your current customers to see what questions were most important to them and what hasn't been answered.
Step 3: Organize
Create a spreadsheet with 3 sections, one for each part of your sales process. Then list the content you intend to create for each part of the sales process, along with the questions the content answers.
I created a simple Google spreadsheet you can use to get started. You'll just need to make a copy of it for yourself and then edit it however you wish to fit your plans:
To really get going, you'll need to break down your content plan further by adding dates and tasks, eg on separate spreadsheets or in a project plan tool.
For creating your detailed Editorial Calendar, make sure you've downloaded our Free Content Planning Template to plan out your content creation.
CLICK HERE to download your FREE Content Planning Template to make sure you publish the right content at the right time.
Then comes the work of actually creating the content.
For creating the content, you have 3 main choices:
1. Create it yourself
2. Outsource at least some of it to freelancers or agencies
3. Use customizable, ready-to-go content as your starting point
At Content Sparks, we have content on a whole variety of business and marketing topics that you can customize and put your own name on. You could even outsource some of the customization, so you'd be combining all three of the options above.
AND, we have some done-for-you training programs that contain all the content for your 3-Point Content Plan – including the main product to sell!
And then browse around to see what else can fill your immediate content needs.
Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions by emailing us here:
Contact Content Sparks: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To your success,
Since writing this post, I've created a video that walks through the 3-Point Plan in a little more detail, with examples of content at each point and what it would look like in real life.
In the video, I give an example of how you could fill in your 3-Point Plan with content primarily from one of our courses (How to Become an Influencer), along with ideas for where to get the rest of the content you need.
The video is about 22 minutes long, so feel free to bookmark and come back to it whenever you need a refresher:
Here's an image of the full mindmap from the video too. You can right-click on it and ‘save as', or pin it to one of your Pinterest boards too!
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