Creating content without a plan in place is like running a marathon without ever putting in the training. It’s painful, and the effects can last well beyond race day. It’s how you get injured in ways that can have long-term effects on your health.
When you create and publish content without thinking about why you’re creating that content, you risk losing time and money publishing something that doesn’t get the reach you need. But you also risk turning off audience members because your content doesn’t speak to them in a way that will help you meet your business goals.
[bctt tweet=”Creating content without a plan in place is like running a marathon without ever putting in the training.” username=””]
Setting content goals is an ongoing process that is never quite “done.” You continually create content, for the life of your business, and your business grows and shifts along with you. It’s important to remember that your goals will change as you evaluate the success of each piece of content.
Getting started with content goals isn’t as difficult as it seems, but it does take some work. You need to have specific goals in your business, goals that are measurable and realistic. Because if you can’t measure your goals (or they’re completely unattainable), there’s really no point in even having them.
Watch my video about how to set measurable goals for your business.
What’s worked in the past?
Think about the content you’re currently creating for your audience. Are you getting the engagement you’re looking for? If not, it’s time to make a change—either to the content or where or how you’re sharing it. A lot of factors might play into why it’s not working, and sometimes it takes some playing around to make it work.
Know who you’re talking to (and what stage they’re at in the buying journey).
Different types of content work for different stages in your audience’s buying journey. My client journey map (which you can download below) lists some of the content that you’re probably using most often. And here’s a hint: While blogging is essential to business growth, it’s just one small factor in the whole content realm. And it’s not going to convert some of your more aware audience members to buy from you.
Know what your end game is.
Once you know where your audience is on their journey, you need to know what it is you actually want them to do. If your audience is in the “brand awareness” stage, they need to head through several other steps before you can expect to convert them. Sure, you might have had luck with a few exceptions to the rule, but generally, your audience needs more information and a little bit of finessing before they’re ready to buy.
Know where you plan to create content.
With multiple content options available at each step of the journey, you really have quite a few options when creating content for your audience. Hate the thought of YouTube to build awareness of your brand? Guest blog on several influencers’ sites. Don’t want to publish your pricing on your website? Create killer proposals that those ready to buy can’t refuse. Know where it is you want to focus your content creation time and money to get the results you want.
Have a call to action for each piece of content.
Your readers need to be told what to do with each piece of content. Whether it’s to subscribe to your YouTube channel or download a cheat sheet (have you downloaded your client journey map below yet!?), telling them what to do next will keep them engaged and paying attention to your content so you can lead them to the next step in their journey. And as you create your content, do so with that action in mind.