You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “content is king” parroted around for a while now. Maybe even by us a couple of times! So, it's likely you know that content is something you should be doing to sell what you do.
But there’s just one problem:
Knowing which type of content to create, publish, distribute, and repurpose isn’t as straightforward as you first thought.
There are audiences to think about, many channels, and the message you want to get across.
We encourage our clients to operate their content on four levels.
This is how we create actionable and useful content in a way that resonates with audiences and pushes the needle on deals in the pipeline.
But first, let’s address:
The common content misconception
All right, we get it. You're not keen on giving your invaluable information away so easily.
We know it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, so giving away the good stuff for free might seem counterintuitive. Ultimately, though, it benefits you and your bottom line.
But remember, the content you give away is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the value (and authority) you can give with your paid-for service.
What content is really about is giving potential customers the answers they need. And showing how you're capable of helping them achieve their needs, and why you're better than anyone else. But content like this only works if it's connected to your sales engine.
That's because people love buying, but they hate being sold to.
So, valuable content is the skill of conveying a message effectively without a pushy sales approach, which is precisely why it yields impressive results.
Architecting winning content
So, you know you should be producing content, but how? It's all about connecting it to the major elements of your sales engine.
In terms of format, we like to use what is known as pillar content (also known by some as cornerstone content), weekly content, and thought leadership in the form of daily content.
With that said, let's explore them and how they fit into the process of building your castle:
#1. Pillar Content
The big cheese of all content. Pillar, or cornerstone content, is your chance to really show your workings out and demonstrate your thinking.
It acts like a white paper but is more opinion and methodology-based. We use pillar content to explain the theory behind our methodologies and demonstrate that we genuinely know what we're talking about.
We personally prefer to use pillars that are more like long-form blog posts, usually in the form of a PDF. These extended blog posts serve as comprehensive guides on a particular subject. They often include numerous subtopics and detailed information.
Pillar content should be actionable, useful, and most of all, give them the answers they need. By the time the prospect has read what you've produced, they feel like they can act on the content and put something into practice themselves.
#2. Weekly Content
Macro, or weekly content, is your bread and butter. This is your chance to regularly show up and show the world what you've got.
It could be repurposed from any other former content or be totally fresh – it's up to you. As long as it differs from the last piece of content you've published, you're good to go. You could create things like:
- Blog Posts
- Video Series
- Case Studies
Just ensure that you always have a key takeaway, something relevant to say, and you're not just publishing for the sake of it. So often, we see companies posting content for the sake of it because they've been told they have to. That should never be the case.
But, having said that, if you've got a solid proposition and thinking behind your products, you should at least have something to say most of the time.
#3. Daily Content
Micro content is where you break it down even further. These can be daily posts, text-based posts, snippets of videos, or carousels. Just bite-sized versions of content that feed the content marketing machine. For example:
- Social Media Posts
- Short Videos
- Lists or Bulleted Points
- Product Highlights
- Customer Reviews or Testimonials
- Polls and Surveys
- Trivia Questions
- User-Generated Content
- Quick How-To Tips
Micro content is also an opportunity to prod at particular pain points away from longer-form content and is also a chance to be reactive – posting in response to the latest news, trends, insights, and events that may be cropping up.
What you need to get started
Okay, now that you've got the framework and formats you should be using to post, you can actually start to think about how you're going to link your offerings to your content.
Let's see what you can use:
Establishing clear themes helps maintain consistency in your content across various channels and platforms.
More so, it's crucial to note that consistency is essential for building and reinforcing your brand identity, making your business more recognisable and memorable to your audience.
Data allows you to gain a deep understanding of your target audience. By collecting and analysing data on demographics, interests, behaviour, and preferences, you can create content that resonates with your audience's specific needs and desires.
This ensures that your content speaks directly to your target market, increasing its effectiveness in driving sales.
However, there is a warning to be made here: When using data to influence your decision-making, make sure you're not forgetting that you're trying to help someone - not sell to someone.
Essentially, a critical pillar is a signpost on the sales journey and for the customer when they're trying to work out what's needed and on both sides. Think of it as a signpost above an aisle in a supermarket. They simply point the way to what the customer needs and blends the problem with the value you add. It's the perfect intersection for you and your audience.
By strategically establishing these pillars, you not only help prospects find their way to your product. But also make sure that their journey leads them to the desired destination of making a purchase, all while maintaining a genuine and non-pushy approach.
Enablers provide a clear direction for your content. When you know your core strengths and expertise, you can develop content that revolves around these attributes.
This focused messaging is more likely to resonate with prospects who are looking for solutions aligned with your strengths.
Solid Gateway Products
Gateway products serve as effective entry points into your sales funnel. By creating content around these products, you can grab the attention of potential customers who may not have been initially interested in your higher-priced offerings.
Let's wrap this up
What we're trying to say is: Build your castle, don't buy it.
You see, the more content you provide, the more you can grow your community and be seen to be great at what you do.
Adding authority to your sales campaigns has never, and I mean never, been more important than today.
With so many businesses, consultants, freelancers, and agencies competing for the same customers, it's crucial that you stake your claim and demonstrate your thinking.
After all, customers are buying your thinking as well as your products and services.
So take what you've learned from this article and go show them what you've got, and don't be shy.
Alternatively, reach out and talk to us. We'll roll up our sleeves and get to work on your content - together.