If you’re using content to market your business (and you should be!), it pays to do it right. That means truly marketing with your content and offering loads of value no matter where your audience follows you.
But sometimes our enthusiasm for getting our message out there results in making mistakes that don’t do us any favors.
Regurgitating the same content from platform to platform
This is a soapbox topic for me, and a mistake that I see countless business owners make—every single day. I’ll illustrate it with an example.
Susie, a professional dog trainer, writes an amazing blog post about a topic she’s excited to share: 3 tips to get your dog to stop barking at nothing. (Certainly something I’d love to read!) While she shares the post on all her social channels, Susie also decides to create a YouTube video about the same topic and embed it in her blog post. She uses her blog post as her guide and reads it to the camera, inserting a few quips and a bit of her personality. Not satisfied that her blog and video will have enough reach, Susie copies and pastes the blog into a nurturing email for her list. She feels confident that her audience will be all over her content, but is disappointed that the open rates on her email is low—again. And those reading her blog aren’t clicking on her video to watch.
Here’s why traffic is low: Susie has gone through her typical content creation and sharing process. The same process she uses for nearly every piece of content she creates. She creates and shares the same information across her blog, YouTube channel and email. It’s identical. And her audience is smart. They know that all three platforms have the exact same content. So rather than waste their time, they consume the content in one place and ignore the rest.Your audience is smart. They’ll quickly figure out you’re publishing the same content everywhere. Click To Tweet
Pro Fix: Your audience wants value. They want to learn something new. If they’re following you, it’s because they know you have something valuable to offer. So give it to them. Rather than publish the same content across all your content channels, offer something new. Susie could post her blog, then take one of her tips and offer a how-to video on how to use that tip. Maybe even a series of three how-to videos. (Boom! More content!) And in her email, she could include a story about how one of the tips helped one of her clients, offering proof that it actually works.
Trying to sell with every post
Like I just mentioned, your audience wants value. To learn something. To have great ah-ha moments and take-aways.
Yes, they also want your paid offers, but first they need that value.
Your blog posts, videos, social posts, Facebook Lives, emails, etc. should be about giving away pieces of valuable information for free. Teach your audience how to do something. Walk them through a how-to. Coach them. Educate them. Make them informed prospects who buy from you because they have exactly the information they need to make a quality decision.
Providing this high level of value shows that you care about others’ success. When every blog post, video and email signs off with a call to action connected to a sale for you, you lose a lot of respect and followers.
Pro Fix: You’re in business to make money and there’s nothing wrong with selling. But before you send that next sales email, make sure that you’ve sent multiple nurturing emails to your audience.
With every piece of content you share, ask yourself what value you’re giving your audience. What are they learning because of this piece of content? What are the takeaways? If the biggest takeaway is something you’re selling, take another look and try it again. Remove the salesy language and teach something.
Wonder how your content is performing? Watch this video, then keep reading.
Creating without a plan
Think about that last piece of content you put out in the interwebs. Can you tell me why you created it? What purpose did it serve for your business? What goal did it help you get closer to?
Not sure? Then you likely don’t have a plan. A strategy to help you decide what content your audience needs and what you’re better off saving until later.
Creating content without a strategy is like baking a cake without a recipe. If you do it wrong, it’s going to fall flat. No one will eat it because it wasn’t put together with the thought and care that’s expected.
Without a plan in place, it’s hard to create content that takes your audience on a specific journey that leads to a sale. And it’s difficult to funnel someone into a specific offer. Without a plan, it’s a guessing game whether your audience will convert to paying customers (or even stick around).
Pro Fix: Set aside some time to establish goals for your business and your content. Then determine what content you need to create for your audience so you can reach those goals. If you have a launch coming up, you’re going to want to breadcrumb out information to your audience to get them ready for the offer. If sales are lagging in one part of your business, it’s time to create content to build awareness.
Staying inside the box
Creating content for your business doesn’t mean you’re blogging once a week. Content goes well beyond the blog post—and that’s what your audience is looking for. After all, there’s only so many blog posts they can read in one day.
How else can you share content with your audience? Some outside-the-box ideas include:
- Write an ebook
- Record audio of your emails (I do this!) or blog posts
- Host a free masterclass
- Use live video (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook)
- Produce an infographic
- Write a how-to guide
- Create a series on your blog or YouTube
- Use a quiz as an opt-in
- Post a behind-the-scenes exclusive
- Pitch to podcasts
- Hold an email challenge
I could go on, but you get the picture. While your blog is important for your website, think about sharing value in other places to complement what you have on your blog.
Pro Fix: It’s always important to start small. But once you get a handle on one or two content platforms, add another one to the mix. Then grow from there. Don’t try to do everything at once, but when you do add new content try one of these outside-the-box ideas.
Creating content for multiple audiences (because you do have multiple audiences) is hard. Find out what content you can (and should) create for each step on your audience’s journey with my Client Journey Map.