Section 1. Setting up your content strategy basics

A successful content strategy will need a solid foundation to help your business grow. In this section, you’ll learn how knowing your customers, and the value you deliver to them will shape your path to achievement.

Content marketing is not rocket science. In essence, content marketing is incredibly simple.

But then why is there a whole industry selling you countless solutions to attract more clients through content?

There are three reasons for this:

  • There are a lot of strategies encompassed within content marketing.
  • A plan that works for one type of business may not be as effective for another.
  • While there are many best case practices to follow that will deliver results, this is mostly a trial and error process. 

Trial and error? Does that mean you’re going to spend a bunch of money on something that may not work? 

Not necessarily.

Spending a ton of money is always an option, but you don’t have to. And that’s the beauty of content marketing. 

But what is content marketing, then?

Another way of putting it is, you provide something of value to your potential client, which makes them go, “hmm, I like this business.

A few things will happen as a result.

  • They’ll try to stay in touch by following some of your social media channels. 
  • They give you their email so you can send them more valuable content through that channel.
  • Sometimes they’re immediately convinced, and they reach out to buy.
  • Most often, they give your content a click, or even a like and move on. 

You see, that last one is where the majority of your target audience will be. These are the silent consumers of your content. They enjoy what you produce, but they’re not quite ready to buy just yet. However, your business is there, in the back of their heads. This is what the corporate world calls “thought leadership.”

Then one day, when the time is right, your product or service will fit their needs. And if you’ve been staying relevant with them, then they’ll buy. 

Content marketing is a strategy for the long term. There are many quick wins, and you can see results in the short term, but the real power of content marketing is in its longevity. 

Here’s why.

Imagine you start creating and publishing consistent, valuable content for about one week.  

You get a couple of likes on social media; maybe some of the posts get insightful comments. But no sales. No one is sending you private messages asking about your services. Nor booking a free consultation via your website.

Your first reaction may be, “well, one week is hardly enough to reach conclusions.” And you’d be right, of course.

But let’s play a game where instead of one week it’s four. And the result is slightly similar, perhaps more likes and comments, but still, no “bookings.” (let’s call those contacts that way, for the sake of argument)

You can reach one of three conclusions.

  1. My content is terrible, that’s why no one likes it.
  2. I need to do this longer, but I don’t know if I have the time or budget
  3. This content marketing business doesn’t work, period (ouch, that one hurts, but fair enough)

First of all, your content is not terrible. Some pieces may have been better than others, but hey, that’s part of your content strategy’s fine-tuning. The only way your content can be terrible is when it’s completely disconnected from your value proposition and the people you want to help with it (which we’ll cover in this course).

Second of all, yes, a great content marketing strategy will take time and effort, and so will any approach you take to grow your business. The key is to make that effort count by being smarter and more efficient in your content approach. That’s why I created this course in the first place. 

And that leads me to the third point. And this is a big one.

The most significant value of your content marketing strategy is in the process, not in the attribution.

Attribution means you published an eBook, and people downloaded it. Some of those people became clients. You can attribute those clients directly to that eBook.

Now imagine one person downloaded your eBook and bought nothing from you. They started following you, very quietly, with no likes or comments. One day they talk to a friend who works at the organizing committee of an event. You’ve been pitching your participation to that event to another organizer. Those people speak to each other, and you book the gig.

Your speaking opportunity goes quite well. You meet someone who wants to partner with you immediately. Five more people start following you, and within one month, they are clients. 

And it all started with that eBook. 

That’s not something you’ll find on Google Analytics or your email marketing reporting. And you’ll be reaping the benefits long after you hit “publish.”

So let’s make every part of the process count by setting up a solid foundation for your content strategy to succeed!

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