Are you tired of trying to figure out what to write about on your blog? Do you feel that your clients are scrolling right on by your social media posts? Does it feel like you’re just throwing content out there to see what sticks?
Content marketing can be a frustrating process. You know your clients are hanging out online because… c’mon, everyone is. You want to grow your business. But even more than that, you really want to be able to help people. And if you can’t seem to connect with your clients, how are you supposed to help them?
What is content marketing?
You can find a ton of super official sounding definitions to describe “content marketing”. But it’s really just a fancy way to say creating content that helps people find you. Content could be a blog post, an article, social media posts, or even video. It’s not about selling your product or service as much as it’s about connecting people with your brand.
Although, let’s be serious, the ultimate goal of content marketing is to grow your business.
Content marketing is not a new idea. And in the year 2020 just about every business is putting out online content of some kind. So, how are you supposed to stand out from the crowd? What are you supposed to do or say to get your ideal clients to notice you when everyone else is trying to get their attention as well?
Here’s what you don’t want to hear—there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. We all want that simple magic formula that tells us step-by-step what to do in order to find and connect with clients online. But have you ever bought something that’s “one-size-fits-all”? What it usually means is that it doesn’t really fit anyone the right way. You just settle for “good enough”.
You don’t want your business to be the “just good enough” solution for your clients. So why would you want to settle for a “just good enough” solution for your content marketing?
Don’t do it.
Instead, you can use the tips below to work on creating your tailored fit content marketing plan. You can put these tips in place to help you start being noticed by your ideal clients so you can connect with them online.
5 Tips for creating content that connects with your clients
1. Answer questions
Think about what questions you constantly get asked by your clients. Then, start answering them in blog posts and social media posts.
You already know that your ideal clients want this information because you’re hearing it straight from their mouths. Don’t worry about giving away some information and answers for free. People expect you to provide them with valuable information before doing business with them. This is part of what helps you build trust with them.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to give away everything for free. But don’t expect to say the same generic thing that everyone else is saying and then have clients knocking down your door trying to do business with you. It’s not going to happen.
You need to provide them with answers to their burning questions. Show them that you know how to help them. Give them a taste of what you have to offer.
Action Step: Grab a sheet of paper or your favorite note taking app. Make a list of 20 questions that you get asked on a regular basis. This can be your starting point next time you sit down to right a blog post.
2. Give actionable tips
People are experiencing information overload!
Everywhere they go, there’s more information. If that’s all you’re doing with your content, then you’re missing a crucial step. Don’t just tell people about something. Provide them with some actionable steps that they can take once they have the information.
You can talk about anxiety and how it impacts the body until you’re blue in the face, but the majority of people aren’t going to care unless you start to give them specific things that they can do to help alleviate the impact of anxiety on their body.
Action Step: Look through your existing content and find ways to make it more actionable. And, go back to the list you made of questions you’re frequently asked and look for ways to provide actionable steps while answering those questions.
3. Use your personality in your blogs and social media posts
This is purely an assumption that I’m making, but I’m guessing that your personality doesn’t match that of a textbook. So why create content like that? I mean, if you’re actually contributing to a research paper or curriculum, then there are standards that need to be met. But when you’re writing a blog post to your clients or creating something to post on social media, let your personality show through.
This is a struggle for the older millennials, Gen Xers, and up. We were taught how to write professionally for business. There were a ton of rules that we were taught to follow. But for most businesses, those rules are out the window when it comes to creating content that connects with your audience.
It’s 2020 and people want to do business with people. They don’t want to turn to a stuffy, boring, professional sounding therapist or coach that talks over their head. They want a real person. Someone that can relate to what they’re going through. Remember to be a person.
Action Step: Think about the voice and tone that you want to use for your business content. Are there certain ways that you want things worded so it sounds more personable? Are there certain words or terminology that you want to avoid? Make a list of these things. Think about what personality your business would have if it were a person and then write your content as if you were that person. I know that sounds weird, but it helps.
4. Don’t make SEO your primary goal
This is a little unpopular for a content marketer to say, but SEO isn’t the boss of you. Yes, using the right keywords and phrases in the right places can help you rank above your competition. But I’ve seen too many times where people are writing about things that don’t really matter for their business just because they think they can rank for it. What’s it matter if you’re coming up #1 in the search engines for a phrase that nobody is searching for.
Think about your audience first. Focus on their needs and some of your SEO is going to naturally fall into place. Then you can spruce up your SEO efforts a little after you’ve gotten the foundation of your content in place.
And, please… please… please stop keyword stuffing! This is when you put the keyword or phrase in your article a million times because you want your post to rank for it. Not only have the algorithms caught on to this little trick, but the vast majority of blog posts that are written only for SEO are horrible. They’re hard to read. Don’t do that to your audience.
Action Step: Before you create any piece of content make sure you understand what the purpose of it is. What are you trying to accomplish for your audience? When you focus on this, it helps keep SEO in it’s place.
5. Know your audience
When you know who your target audience is, you can start to create content that’s going to connect with them better. You may want to help the entire world with your services, but you need your marketing message to be a little more specific than that.
Do you help new moms who are looking to discover who they are in this new role in life? Do you help overwhelmed business owners who are lost on how to manage work-life balance? Or, do you help couples who are thinking about calling it quits but want to make one last effort before they throw in the towel?
Think about how different your messaging is for one compared to the other. And, I’ll say another thing that might not be super popular with marketing professionals. It’s OK to have more than one focus. It’s OK to have a few messages that you share that are directed at a few different people. But it’s still important that you’re really clear on who that person is.
If you mainly work with teens facing anxiety, you may want to tailor all of your content towards teens. And while that can be good, you might also need to keep in mind that it’s probably the mom of the teen that’s finding your information, scheduling the appointment, and paying for services.
If you don’t create any content that the mom connects with, it might not matter how great your teen content is unless you happen to hit that teen that benefits from your content and asks their mom to schedule an appointment (And as the mom of a teen, I can tell you that’s not your best route to take).
Action Step: If you haven’t written out who your ideal client is, spend time doing it. Think about what clients you enjoy working with the most. Think about your most rewarding days and then think about who you spent that day working with. These are good indicators of who your ideal client is.
Don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back.
Let me touch for one minute on having confidence in your business messaging. I’ve heard time and time again from business owners who just aren’t comfortable with knowing what to say and share in blog posts and on social media. This will hold you back from connecting with clients because you won’t take any action.
It won’t matter how strong your content is if you’re too afraid to put it out there online. If you’re struggling with your content (you don’t know what to talk about, don’t know how to say it, or just don’t have the time), we can work together to create a content strategy plan that grows your business. You can schedule a call today to explore your options.