• Claire Shelley

Content marketing strategy; generating ideas

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Photo from Zach Angelo, Unsplash.

Setting the tone

If you are a business owner, being visible online is a crucial part of marketing your business. It should form part of your marketing strategy.

There are many different ways you can talk about your product/service and share content. You could make a short video about a forthcoming workshop, write blogs or share social media posts.

Your content should talk to your prospects, address the problems they might be facing and offer them a solution, your service. If your content resonates with them, they are more likely to engage.

‘Create content that makes people feel something’ Janet Murray

The first step is to find out where your ideal clients are on social media and then talk to them on a regular basis.

My rule of B’s

Be yourself. If you aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, it's no problem! By being you, you will appeal to the people who matter. People who have a similar set of values and interests will be drawn to you and they are the prospects who would be good to work with. Your people.

Be authentic. Authenticity doesn't mean sharing every detail about yourself to the world. Mean what you say, talk about the things that are important to you and stick to your values.

Be different. If your posts and content are safe, you will be easily forgotten. I spend a fair amount of time on social media and there are certain small businesses that stick in my mind. The lady who makes daily engaging and thought-provoking videos, the guy who’s posts include a cartoon of himself or the chap who creates the most amazing moving graphics. Make your brand memorable.

Be consistent. This is probably one of the most important points. It’s common for business owners to post on social media platforms for a few weeks, not get any leads and then give up. It takes time to build an audience, to connect with the right people and to build relationships and trust. Digital marketing is a long-game, you need to produce content consistently for the long term. Some of the most successful business owners are the ones who are always there offering good advice and comments on social media to help their online community. Doing this will ensure you are at the forefront of your prospect’s mind at that very moment when they are ready to buy.

Once you have set the tone, make sure you are consistent across all your online platforms.

Generating content

What should you talk about?

To start, I find it's helpful to decide on around six key topics for your business and brainstorm those areas. I love to put together a mind-map like the one below, it’s amazing where your thoughts will take you and what ideas you can come up with!

Take inspiration from everything and everyone around you. Listen to what participants are talking about in your workshops, what common questions and problems do they face? Go networking, speak to people and discuss new ideas and current issues. You could do some research or talk to peers about what’s going on in your industry.

It's likely that you’ve heard marketing gurus talking about how storytelling can help when it comes to selling, from explaining why you started your business, to how you can help your customers, it’s human nature to want to know more about the person behind the profile.

As well as helping prospects by teaching them how to solve problems, go behind the scenes occasionally, show the effort behind the service. If your audience can relate to what you are doing and why you do it, they are making an emotional connection and that’s part of the way to getting them to (and I’m sure you’ve heard this a few times before!) know, like and trust you!

Why not type your key topics or words into Google and see what comes up. You can find ideas in the ‘People also ask’ section and right at the bottom of the page in the ‘Searches related to’ section.

I find it’s useful to have a list of your content ideas handy at all times. Inspiration can strike at the most random times (for me, it’s usually just as I’m nodding off!). Keep a notepad to hand or use an online app that you can access on any device, don’t let good ideas escape you.

Have a content plan

Once you have come up with some ideas and created some content, you can store it in a content planner or calendar. There are plenty of online planners available like Evernote and Loomly, or simply store your content ideas in Excel.

Creating content takes time and effort and unless you have a plan or a schedule to follow, it’s easy to let things slide. If you have the content ready to use each day, or each week/month if you are scheduling posts, you are much more likely to stay on track.

It can become a real chore if you are having to think up fresh content every day. Having content planned out in advance takes away this stress.

Content generates content

There's no need to reinvent the wheel every time you want to make a new post, make sure you repurpose your existing content.

You can break a blog post down into social med posts by going back through the piece and picking out important snippets.

Use the snippets as posts, graphics or short videos or you could create an email sequence about the same subject.

I hope this blog has given you some inspiration for your marketing content. If you have any other great ways of generating ideas, I’d love to hear about them! hello@claireshelley.co.uk

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