Last week I wrote an article about why content creation is important for your business growth. This week I’m following up on that article with how to create a content strategy plan.
Content Strategy Plan
You don’t want to create content just for creation’s sake. Each piece of content you create should be helping guide your potential client to the desire of working with you.
Now, I’m not saying every type of content should be a veiled ask of working together. But a good content strategy will have you creating content that builds the desire in your client to work with you.
Here are 5 steps to building a content strategy plan for your service-based business.
1 – Understand the goal of your content
The biggest mistake I see is creatives and coaches creating content just for the sake of “showing up”. All that is going to do is lead to burnout and you won’t see any traction from it. So to avoid that, you want to look at your content and determine what your goals are.
Are you building brand recognition and authority?
Are you generating leads?
Are you building connection and community?
Your goals will be different depending on the platform you choose and depending on your service and audience. So really think about what the purpose of your content is for. Your strategy will be different if you are trying to show you are an authority vs if you want to build community vs if you are trying to bring in leads.
Determine your goals and then create the right content that will make those goals happen.
2 – Know your ideal client and what their needs and tendencies are
Having a deep knowledge of your ideal client is key here. And this is why niching down is so critical. When you know your niche, you know exactly who you are talking to and what they are struggling with. For example, my niche is service-based businesses. Your needs are different than those of a product-based business or retail brick-and-mortar store. I can speak to the pain points you are feeling and give you tactical strategies to fix your problems that wouldn’t be effective for a product-based business. The more you niche down, the easier your job becomes and the more desirable you become to your ideal clients.
3 – Frequency and platform
This is both a question of what your ideal client will respond to, as well as what you can sustainably commit to. The truth is, the more often you show up, the more likely people will find your content, and your business will grow.
You need to make it sustainable. Creating new content every day may work for one person, but may burn out the next person after two weeks.
What can you consistently commit to doing? A great starting point is to create new content 1 time a week at least. This way you can help consistently and are less likely to burn out.
The next question is what platform are you going to choose? You need to make sure to choose a platform that you enjoy being on. Love the production of video? Great! YouTube is perfect. Love having deeper conversations with people? Then a podcast is the way to go. Looking for the simplest way to start that takes the least production time? A written blog is a perfect place to start.
The next thing to consider though is how your ideal client wants you to show up. If you are helping with something super visual and people want to see the how-to or the transformation; then video is going to make a lot of sense. If your ideal client is crazy busy and only has time for content if they can be multitasking; then a podcast is the way to go.
The best choice is one where you know your ideal client is going to consume the content and you choose a way to show up that you can do consistently.
I personally love the simplicity of blogging. It’s low production, people can skim (because that’s what I do!), and Google loves it. I show up highly ranked for my keywords because of my long-form blog posts and people who want to hire a branding photographer or a branding coach will find me. It may not be from the blog posts now, as I’ve done the work and Google shows me to them in organic search results. (Using links like I just did above is helpful to viewers who may want to see what I offer, but also to Google. As it shows them another page linking to the pages with the keyword I choose. This helps increase my ranking)
4 – Align content with launches or promotions
Next, create a plan that aligns with any promotions or launches you are doing through the year. The more you can warm your audience up to an idea or mindset, the more likely they will be ready to invest once you are ready to promote.
This does mean you need to plan your promotions or launches out far enough in advance so to be able to create content that warms your audience up to the idea of what you are launching.
5 – Create a repurposing plan
Once you know what you are creating, you can build the graphics, videos, etc… that ALL the social media platforms want from you. Then you can repurpose the content you’ve created for your blog and make it work for that platform.
One thing to pay attention to is that some social media platforms are great for giving a snippet of the topic and then linking to your blog post to learn more. Some are not.
For example, a Facebook post works just fine to link out to a blog post. But you don’t want to do the same for Instagram. To get traction on Instagram, you want to simplify and give an overview of the content to be consumed on the platform. As Instagram wants people to stay on the platform, create your content to share the value, entice conversation, and encourage them to follow!
Before you are done with your content strategy plan, you want to review it, asking yourself these questions:
- align with brand values and beliefs?
- share your brand message?
- help your customer where they currently are at?
- build your brand authority and trust?
- a way to measure the results?
If you haven’t done the foundational work on understanding what your brand represents, then your content strategy plan will be harder to create.
For success and growth in your business, it’s important to have done the work on understanding your brand, your vision, and what your brand stands for. Because all of your content is meant to align with your brand promise. Then it leads people to build trust in your brand so that they want to hire you. If you’ve yet to do this foundational brand identity work, check out From the Brand Up. It’s a 12-week group coaching program for creatives and coaches to help you build an irresistible brand through your personality, messaging, and content.