Are you hustling in the world of content creation with no clear strategy in sight? Stop right now! In this episode, I'm talking about building a balanced and strategic content creation roadmap that will turn your scattered posts into a compelling brand narrative. We'll unravel the mysteries tied to creating awareness content, thought leadership content, sales-centric content, and culture content, and how these four pillars interplay to create a transformative impact on your audience and brand.
I'm diving into the common mistakes you might be making in your content creation journey and offer concrete steps to help you steer clear of these pitfalls. We'll take you through the importance of a balanced mix in your content strategy and how it fuels business growth. Gain insight into how a well-thought-out content strategy can drive your brand forward and establish you as an industry expert.
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Welcome to Strategy for Creatives Business minus the Bullshit. Whether you're new in business or find yourself in a season of change, get ready to build a strategy, create an action plan and crush those goals. I'm Sasha, host of Strategy for Creatives, and I help female lab businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways, without the stress. There's no sugarcoating here. I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad and let's talk business. Welcome to Strategy for Creatives Business minus the Bullshit. I, of course, am your host, sasha, and today we are going to be talking content. Now I try to steer away from specific marketing type techniques, because marketing is an evolving tool and it can change the way that we market has changed a lot over the past few years. But I wanted to talk specifically about content creation, and not so much on the how to's, aka how to use Canva or how to use tools like Lader and Plantaly and things like that to plan out content, but rather how you come up with and develop content strategy, how you determine what type of content you should be creating and then using those tools, like Canva, for example, to create that content. Now, a lot of people, when they are creating content or they're trying to come up with how to create content, there is no strategy behind it. They don't know whether they should be pushing products, pushing services, whether they should be educating. They are just trying to. Typically, they will pick a topic that they think their target market is interested in, make a couple of graphics about it and then throw it up on a content calendar and schedule it to post. But that's not really the best way to create strategy. When we are talking about strategy around content, we want to create content that is going to give value to the people who are reading it or consuming it and are going to actually convert those people into people who are interested in our products and services. And so you want to develop strategy that centers around certain components and then build your content from there. You may have heard some things like this in the past, but it really goes into a drives home that like no trust factor and it helps build that with your potential clients. And so you want to have certain types of buckets for your content strategy. The first one that you want to have is something called awareness content. This is things that focus on driving more visibility for your brand. While awareness content doesn't directly drive sales, it's not going to actually put money in your pocket. What it does do is create valuable resources for other websites, for other people to share and to link to, which is going to steer back to you and create you as an authority figure for whatever it is that you're trying to market. This is a lot. When you see advertisement for content marketing services, this is essentially what they specialize in. It's about creating those awareness topics. They tend to be data driven. They're SEO optimized things like that. It's what, when you Google this is what's going to come up for your business. So you can hire a lot of copywriters to do this, but this should only be something that's a part of your content strategy, not the main content strategy. So, for example, it could be something as simple as what is a chief content officer and why you need one. That's creating awareness. If that's the type of brand that you have, that's going to create awareness around what you do, you can either come up with a blog post about that, talk about it in an email, talk about it in social media, but that's what awareness content is. So I certainly have this challenge. I stammered for a second. Oh my God, you also want to have a pillar for thought leadership content. So what does that look like? Thought leadership content puts you as an expert in your industry or a niche, and so it offers a unique perspective based on your experience and all of the things that you've learned while being in your business. So that's everything from a step by step process, thoughts about where your industry is going, or even in-depth breakdowns into something that's in your industry that might be a little advanced, and you want to break it down for your consumers. So, again, these types of content the thought leadership content is going to position you as a leader in what you are doing. Thought leadership content helps increase that trust factor that others will have in you, because it places you as an expert and it gives this value that you have that you know what you're talking about. So, while awareness content can increase visibility, thought leadership content shows that you actually know what you're talking about. So these are things. Let's say that you're a marketer, it's how to build a strategic marketing plan or the content framework that you're missing. Those types of things allow you to show off your expertise and let people know that you know what you're talking about. So it's going to start building that trust factor with you. And again, all of these that I'm going over can be used in any sort of medium. I encourage you to go back to the series that I did on Beyond Social Media, where I talked about email marketing and funnels and blogs, because you can use any of these for those types of avenues, and also social media as well. The next kind of content pillar that you want to have in your content strategy is a sales-centric content. So this is where you're actually going to sell to potential people. It's about converting leads into customers and it's about providing a better customer experience to existing customers, encouraging them to buy from you in the future or recommend your business or what your services and products are to their friends and families, and so this type of content shouldn't be the main content for your site. It shouldn't be the main content for your business, because, remember, nobody really wants to be sold to. People want to feel like they know you, feel like they trust you before they buy from you. So sales content like this, any type of sales-centric content is probably not going to drive new people to your site, but what, instead, is going to help convert those people who have taken in that awareness content, who have taken in that thought leadership content, who are already primed to be interested in what you're offering, and help them decide whether or not you're the right person for them. So there's a couple of different types of sales-centric content, but you can do things like comparison, where you show how you and what you offer works for them. You're comparing something like should I hire a digital market agency or an in-house marketer? One of those would be what you are and why that's better for them. Another type of sales-centric content are success stories or sharing those testimonials that you have so like how I helped my client grow her business from 430%, or the 13 proven benefits of working with a business strategist right. Those are types of success stories that are sales-centric content which can help take people who are already interested in your business and help push them into becoming clients or purchasers from your business. Another pillar that you can think about using is culture content, which focuses on showcasing you, or if you have a team, it's going to show off your business and this just helps again build that like no trust factor. This is where you can share things about your business. So if you've won awards or if you've had podcast interviews that you've been on, or if you've been featured on websites and things like that, this is where you get to show that off and it helps promote you and your brand and it just gives an inside look into what your business is doing and just makes people feel like they can again trust your business more and it becomes more of an authority. So those are the four types of content that you want to think about creating for your business. They should be included in your strategy for your business Again awareness content, thought leadership content, sales centric content and then culture content. That should be a part of your content strategy and you want to make sure that you're doing an even mixture of all of those things. You don't want to be salesy all of the time. You also don't want to provide too much information or have too much of like, for example, thought leadership content, where you're providing all of this value and you're giving too much away, because then that can discourage people from actually using your services. You want to give enough away where people feel like they know what you're talking about, that you know what you're talking about and that they see the value in working with you and it entices them to sign up for your services or to purchase products from you, and so you want to make sure that you're having a balance of what all of those are Within your content strategy. Though, while also having those content categories, you also should have basic content pillars, and this is what you talk about on a day to day basis. So content pillars for me, for example, I talk a lot about authenticity, I talk a lot about self care, I talk a lot about organization and structure in my business. Those are my content pillars. So, within each of those three categories authenticity, self care and organization and business I can create thought pieces or content pieces that fall into those broader categories, that fall into awareness or thought leadership, or sales centric or culture. I should be able to create content from those three pillars that can serve in any of those categories, and that's how you start to build out what your content should be. You want to create a list of 3, 5, no more than I would say probably 8 content pillars. Again, those are the things that you talk about on a regular basis. So if you're a photographer, for example, a content pillar might be how to structure your photography business, or it might be why you need to have certain family photos or family memories or things that you don't think about with weddings things like that. You want to have certain categories, certain pillars that you are always going to be talking about in your business and then you want to be able to divide those up into those categories, that awareness, that thought leadership, culture and sales centric. That will help you build out and create a content calendar. Content calendars are different from content strategy. If you don't have the strategy behind creating content calendars, all you're doing for the most part is creating pretty images and blog posts that are going into the ether and aren't really going to help push your brand forward because there isn't strategy behind it. So you want to make sure you're utilizing those categories and content pillars in order to create that content and, again, you want to make sure that this is tying all to your goals. So, for example, if I know that I have spaces open for August clients that I'm trying to book, I'm going to start pushing content that shows me as an authority in working with business strategists, why I know what I'm talking about and can help you organize your business. I'm going to start telling you more about how I got into business strategy so you get to know my business. I'm going to start pushing out why you should book with me and comparing where you might be right now in your business to where you could be from working with me and then ultimately say, hey, I have this number of slots opened. Make sure you grab your seat now. That is how you tie content strategy into a marketing strategy to help push your goals forward. So I encourage you to take the time, take a step back from the content that you're creating for your business and think about the purpose that it's serving. Do you have a strategy in place to help push your business forward? Do you have a cohesive strategy for your content that is giving people value, that is serving you and putting you as an authority for what you are doing in your business, that's selling to your people in a way that doesn't feel salesy, but it's still letting them know what you offer. And are you including yourself in a way that makes it seem for new people to come in, that they know what your business is about and they have an idea and can get to know you and your business a little better. Again. Business, when it comes to sales, is all about that like no trust factor, and one of the ways that we can continue to build those like no and trust factors is by having a content strategy that makes sense for our business. Are you ready to up level your business? Join the five day, be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the website at wwwbuy-sashacom. If you like what you heard, make sure you write and review. It really helps other people find the show and, of course, follow and subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social? I'm on Instagram and Facebook at Strategy by Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips.