If you want to get results from your content marketing, blog and social media then you are going to need to plan out and use your content better. It is one thing to create content and a whole other matter to make sure it actually helps you make money. I’m talking RoboSalesPerson not just a brochure on the internet.

Follow these 6 steps to making your content marketing work. If you are a skim reader and want the bullet point list then just jump to the bottom of the page.

Content can not be an accident

Let’s assume you have successfully managed to get people – multiple people – in your business creating content. The next point a business needs to reach is where content is getting you customers and helping you make money. This is when content becomes a powerful asset in your business.

The first step to getting results from your content is to realise that you cannot simply sit down and write the first thing that comes into your head. Another version of this is when someone writes you something – ANYTHING – just to the job done. People must not feel like creating a piece of content is a punishment. If they do then you need to explain to them why everyone in your business is a content creator (i.e. click and go read that blog post).

You need to plan out your content. When you have content that works for your business it is like another member of your team. Even better, good content can be like a SuperHero or RoboSalesPerson. Good content takes people on a journey which leads them from meeting you, to liking you, to trusting you…and then buying something.

This is very different from your website simply being a brochure on the internet. Which of these sounds familiar to you?

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Create content that people want

Creating Content Marketing That People WantIt might sound ridiculous to suggest that you would create content that you know someone would not want but think a little bit deeper and you will realise this type of content is everywhere. Content for content sake. If in doubt give some of your old content, what I call, the “So what?” test. Slip a swear word in there if you want to give it more Ooomph!

A review of an event just because you went to it, is often dull as dishwater. Interview the speaker or do an industry relevant survey on attendees; now that sounds more interesting.

Think also about whether people would expect that content to come from you, or would they already be getting from elsewhere else? Recruitment consultants doing reviews or giving industry opinion is a common example. Just because you service that industry might not make you an expert on the subject. Unless you are interviewing an expert, your audience probably wants to know how to hire, manage or get the best of people. Or if they are an employee, having a career that fulfils their ambition.

Plan out the profile of you perfect customers (buyer personas) and create content that they actually want.

Using content marketing to generate leads

Now you are talking sense and capturing the attention of your desired audience, you want to make sure you are turning website visitors into opportunities. The reason so many people’s content marketing and social media does not work is that it simply doesn’t lead to anything. It is like wanting to get married but never asking anyone out on date.

This does not mean turn all your blog posts and content into sales ads. Around your content though you need to offer checklists, how to guides, a short email series or some other added value reason for them to give you their contact details.

The reason many many companies do not do this is because

  1. they do not know how
  2. it is another cost and effort to get it done
  3. the decision maker say’s “I never fill those things in – I’ll just get loads of spam”

None of these reasons are valid and if they sound familiar then you must move past them. If you are investing in content then you need to be aware of what the content is doing for you and making sure you have data capturing forms and content that people will willingly exchange their contact details for.

Create content that leads people to buy

I did just say your content should not be a sales ad. Like any good sales person though you should use just the right content at just the right time to lead people towards buying your service or committing to your business.

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The Content Funnel in all its various incarnations is about planning out what you say to people at just the right time. That could be links to other articles or a round-up in your monthly email newsletter The best option to get the results you desire though is by using a marketing automation system (we love Hubspot and Active Campaign). With this you can capture someone’s details, add them to your marketing database (CRM) and then give them the content that you know will help them achieve their goals. Most of all it will build trust and motivate them to work with you.

Get Results From Your Content Marketing Funnel

This image is a great illustration of a content funnel. You can clearly see how to plan your content journey. TOFU, MOFU and BOFU is not a sushi order by the way. They mean Top Of, Middle Of, and Bottom Of Funnel. Thanks to moz.com or YouMoz for creating it.

The biggest benefit about doing this well is that you will attract and create the kind of customers you want. Your content will educate prospects so they make a quicker and better informed purchase. This can often also mean spending more money or committing deeper with you because you have established more trust with them. It has the added bonus of also weeding out the unsuitable customers. This kind of process will make your sales process more effective and efficient. Which for sales people means happier work and bigger bonuses.

Involve sales people in the process

This point is short and sweet. Your content (for most companies) is there to warm prospects up. Your sales people are there to sell to them. Remember, you are never getting married if you don’t ask someone. Involve your sales people in the process. Make sure it is their knowledge and name on the content. Then in the lead generating and nurturing process make sure your sales people are calling your prospects at the right time. A marketing automation and CRM tool such as Hubspot can be used to to automatically notify your sales people when that is. Is this happening in your business right now?

Use content to keep customers happy

This entire process does not just end with a customer. The final part of a content funnel and a normal customer relationship is to keep people happy. In recruitment terms this means helping someone manage their team or enjoy their work, just long enough to need to hire more people or find a new job. If you were selling a product it would be no different. Help your customer enjoy that product so much that they will end up buying another from you.

To be honest this is where I see social media kicking in the most value. Happy customers, engaging with your business, saying positive things about your product and choosing to buy again.

Seeing happy customers or realising how many different ways your product or service benefits people is of course also motivating for prospective customers.

6 Steps To Getting Results From Your Content Marketing

So, as I said, it is one thing to create content and a whole other matter to make sure it becomes a powerful asset in your business. If you are wondering why you are not getting any results from your content or social media then it is likely because you have not followed these five key steps

  1. Content Can Not Be An Accident
  2. Create Content That People Want
  3. Using Content to Generate Leads
  4. Creating Content That Leads People To Buy
  5. Involve Sales People In The Process
  6. Using Content To Keep Customers Happy

The annoying reality about creating content

There is so much information about how to make content and what to do with it. The problem for most businesses is still actually making it happen. If you want results from your content then think about who in your business is going to do it. Likely they will need guidance and support and that is why myself and the Live And Social team works the way it does. Book a 30-minute strategy call with me to talk about your content struggles and I will help you see a way of getting the results you deserve.