Master Your Content Strategy To Engage More Clients
Let’s face it, content marketing is an essential part of any online business. It's the perfect way to articulate your ideas and communicate with your target audience. But, without a solid plan, content can be difficult to create and you'll have a hard time connecting with your audience. I'll admit that I didn't actually develop a content schedule when I first started blogging, instead I basically wrote what was on my mind at the time. It was easier at first since I wrote what I was passionate about, but without a plan, it became increasingly difficult to write and come up with topics, and it prevented me from reaching my target audience.
If you're new to blogging or looking to relaunch your online business, it's important to have a planned-out blog strategy under your belt. There's a lot to learn about the significance of creating and publishing interesting content on a consistent basis, and I want to share those lessons with you.
In this post, I’ll show you a few ways to develop a blog content strategy for success, and how to plan in advance and give yourself more inspiration for future posts.
Use your blog content strategy as a marketing tool
Before we discuss your content strategy, it’s important to note how meaningful blogging is for marketing your online business.
Blogging is a necessary addition to your online business because it allows you to tell your story and showcase your personality. Not only will posts add to the content on your website, but they'll also influence your social media marketing efforts. By sharing your posts across all media channels, you'll significantly enhance your marketing efforts and you'll reach more people, which is exactly what you want your business to do.
Your blog content also works to help build trust and credibility with your audience. As you work towards structuring your content around your audience’s needs, you’ll develop a voice of authority. Once your blog content strategy is in place, you'll eventually grow to be their “go-to” expert on your particular niche or subject matter.
Regardless of what you’re writing about or who your audience is, there’s something you need to avoid when it comes to blogging - not delivering consistent, quality content. Your content should always be relevant to your audience and your niche.
Don’t make the mistake of producing too much content that might spam your readers – make sure you are exploring relevant subject areas, and are answering questions that your readers want more information and answers to.
Many businesses also make the mistake of developing content randomly, and it can damage their relationship with their online audience. They may post content every day for a while then once a week, or a few times a month. It’s too hard to gather a following with that level of inconsistency. As a result, learning to refine your content strategy will help you avoid these mistakes in the future.
Create your blog content strategy
First, you need to identify the type of content you'll be creating. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What topics are you going to write about?
- What format will the content be in? Written? Video? Audio or podcast?
- What type of content will your audience be most interested in?
- What is your competition doing?
Once you have those questions answered, it’s time to get writing. Start by writing down 1-2 main topics related to your business to get those creative juices going. Once you have those topics, you can start thinking of subtopics and expand from there. You can then turn those topics into individual posts.
Get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis, so you'll have endless potential for content. Keep track of content ideas in a spreadsheet so you can avoid duplicating topics as time goes on. You can also use the same spreadsheet to help you track when you post, where you post, and how often your posts will be published.
Building a blog content strategy will help you maintain consistency and stay organized. Your blog posting schedule will also help you create content in advance, so you’re not a slave to your business while you’re out of the office or on vacation. There are plenty of ways to schedule and automatically post completed content, so you go on with your day without having to be in front of your computer.
How do you make your content more engaging?
Now that you have a stable content strategy sorted, it's time to figure out how you'll get your audience engaged with your work. Try the following tips to get your content the attention it deserves!
- Get inspired: Looking for fresh new content to get your audience instantly engaged? Talk to them! See what they are discussing in the comments, and make sure to include this in your future content strategy. If you have a number of social media accounts, you can easily determine which topics they want to see you explore. From there, think of innovative ways to express your work to grab their attention and get them reading. Depending on your audience or social media platform, some will want to read, watch or listen while they’re on-the-go. The only way to find out which medium they want? Try it.
- Tell a story: Nothing makes an audience more interested than connecting to your personal story; it grabs the readers' attention and gives them the opportunity to learn more about you and your journey. My story reminds people that they don’t have to stick to the standard 9-5 career, and through my blog I've been able to give them the tools and encouragement to pursue their dreams. There is nothing better than hearing my readers say that my story inspired them to go down a new path in their life!
- Invest the time: Creating quality content takes time. Author and CEO of Introverts Guide to Success, Lisa Petrilli, emphasizes the importance of getting to know your audience,
“The only way to successfully make content engaging for your audience (customers, clients, partners), is to know them inside out – to genuinely understand what they’re thirsting for, what they enjoy, what elevates them socially and what enlightens them – and then to purposefully and creatively provide this for them in a way that will set you apart in your industry.”
Dedicate the time to think of innovative ideas that will interest your audience. If you know exactly who you're targeting, you'll find it easier to come up with topics. Listen to your audience and engage with them in the comment section to get a better understanding of who they are, what your business can offer them, and how you can both grow together.
- Cater to your audience: What good is content if it doesn’t relate to your reader? Elise Redlin-Cook, author of Twitter for Business stressed the importance of interacting with your to help solve their queries: “When working to boost engagement, it's vital to focus on serving your customers. Remember that at the end of the day, they are humans too. Think about their questions and concerns, and find a way to help them.”
How well do you know your readers?
The better you know your audience, the easier it will be to communicate to them. Think of when you first started out, and make sure you can offer insightful advice to your audience from this perspective. We all go through similar struggles starting out (especially in the online coaching industry), so share your story in an interesting way. Just remember to back up your personal stories with the following:
- Stories of positivity: Just because quitting your job was tough at first, it didn't deter you from pursuing your dreams. Put a positive spin on a troublesome experience and how you overcame it.
- Call to action: Tell your story, but come up with clever ways to interact with your audience and allow them to share their thoughts and opinions as well. This way, you can create your online community, making it that much easier to build a relationship with future clients.
- Why and why not: Give a balanced view of a situation you might have gone through. Just because it affected you in a certain way, with hindsight, you can present both views and allow your audience to come up with their own conclusions.
One of the best ways to increase your engagement rates is to ask questions. This is a fool-proof tip that should already be a part of your blog and social media interaction. It allows you to develop a greater level of insight with your target audience, and it will help you connect on issues you are both passionate about.
Ask follow-up questions to build on the conversation; it might give you ideas for future content or projects. Make sure to end each blog posts with some questions to get your reader to think about the topics you've discussed, and create an open forum of conversation in the comment section – with both yourself and individual readers to connect with one another.
The important lesson to learn here is that consistent blogging translates into consistent marketing, which leads to consistent clients. Developing a blog content strategy for your business will help you do just that!