When it comes to content marketing, results aren’t guaranteed…but you can be sure that trying to grow your blog without a strategy will result in lackluster engagement. As an entrepreneur who has built a multimillion-dollar blog and consultancy, I’ve seen content marketing from both sides of the desk, and it’s clear to me that there’s a huge difference between struggling to find the right content and deliberately choosing that which will achieve the best results. So, whether you’re an entrepreneur with a few hundred thousand dollars to invest or a small business owner with a budget, there’s more than one way to achieve the same goal—growing your blog to become a successful business.
One of the most fundamental differences between the two is in the way they approach writing. An entrepreneur may see a business problem and decide that they want to solve it with content; they’ll take a strategic, step-by-step approach to building a sizable audience and then using that audience to create content that will be both valuable and highly relevant to their niche.
A small business owner, on the other hand, may not have the time or budget for such an in-depth strategy. So, they’ll either need to find a way to write compelling content themselves, or they’ll need to find a talented copywriter to solve their problems. The latter is rarely a happy medium, and it’s the path to content marketing grief.
What is content marketing? Simply put, content marketing is when you utilize content to attract, convert, and retain customers. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it is—if you do it right. Specifically, let’s look at the 4 Ps of effective content marketing:
The first and most crucial step to creating compelling content is to understand the problem you are solving for your target audience. In other words, what is it that your prospect (reader) wants or needs?
This is important for a few reasons. First of all, you don’t want to write about something that your audience doesn’t care about. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering food that your entire family hates. So, you’re either going to end up with an unsatisfied family or an unhappy restaurant owner.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you are providing value to your prospects (readers). So, what do you offer that they can’t get elsewhere? Why should they choose you? Your answer to these questions will dictate the type of content you need to create.
Where you place your content is just as important as what you place there. If you want to attract and retain loyal readers, you need to make sure that the content you provide is of good quality.
There are three primary places that content can be placed:
- On your website
- In a blog post
- In a social media platform
If you’re unsure about where to place your content, ask yourself these questions: Does it provide value to my target audience? Is there a significant amount of traffic to the site or social media profile?
The answers to these questions will help you gauge the success of your content marketing campaign. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, then it’s time to reevaluate your plan and either find a way to improve it or replace it with a new strategy.
Most people think that pricing is only relevant when they’re buying a product. While this may be true for certain products and services, pricing is much more important when it comes to attracting and retaining customers through content.
The cost of your product or service isn’t the only factor that matters, though. You also need to take into consideration the amount of value you’re providing. For instance, is your content free? Does it require a membership to view? Are you using a premium platform?
The answers to these questions will determine how much value your prospective customers attribute to your content. If you don’t want to lose potential customers to competitors, then you need to make sure that you’re providing enough value for them to justify the price of a subscription or membership.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Without a solid plan to drive traffic to your site, you’re wasting your time and resources.
What type of promotion do you use to get the word out about your content? Depending on your resources, you may decide to use traditional, outbound marketing methods such as advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing. Or, you may choose to utilize inbound methods such as content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing.
Which one you choose depends largely on your budget and the size of your audience. If you have a limited budget, then you may need to focus on using outbound methods. If you already have a large audience and you want to continue growing your business, then you may decide to go with inbound methods.
The main takeaway from this is that to create compelling content, you need to have a clear idea of what will and won’t work. Trying to be all things to all people will only result in you not being any thing to anyone.