To stand any chance of your content creation efforts having meaning and a long term commitment, there has to be a goal.
Here is why you need a content goal to revisit and come back to.
It is far too easy to say, ‘we need to start doing a blog,’ and not be able to answer why you are doing it in the first place. The reward can sometimes be in doing, but when you’ve ate the whole bar of Toblerone, it doesn’t feel good when all you’re left with is a gold looking box.
It Doesn’t Have To Be One Target
The content that is distributed throughout my media channels, I have to hold my hands up, I don’t have one clear goal, and I seem to have a collection of wish lists and things that I am aiming for.
Without getting to the A-Z of how to do business (there are plenty of articles out there with not a lot of substance, just textbook regurgitation), the main reason I have a goal for my creation and distribution efforts is to use it as a barometer to determine success and that I’m heading in the a clear direction. In the words of cultural sage Kim Kardashian, “I think as long as you learn from your mistakes and don’t make them over, and over again, you’re on the right path.”
It is time to stop thinking, ‘shall we do that event thing and charge people £700 for the two day, get better at Twitter course?’ without having a clear content goal in mind.
I am moving away from asking you to look at the ‘why’ but show my hand to you, so that you can see the things that I aim for and have documented.
Maybe there are a few things here that you can relate to and take forward.
My Content Goals
BUILD A COMMUNITY OF SUBSCRIBERS
This is probably the main goal. Whilst I accept that not everyone who subscribes is going to become a customer, who knows where their sphere of influence takes them?
I break my subscribers down into two groups, those who subscribe to receive my weekly You Are The Media, Thursday email and those where I can move from the digital to the physical space. This is via the events that take place during the year, such as the Marketing Homebrew LIVE evening on Tuesday 22nd (hey, I got a plug in…it’s right there!), as well as converting to ongoing customers.
MOVE PEOPLE FROM A SOCIAL SPACE TO AN OWNED SPACE
Whilst the social areas are places that I will never be able to control without someone else’s permission, I want to build a conversation with people who strike a chord to a channel that I own, namely email.
This is how the principal behind the Talking Content Marketing project works. Connect to someone on Twitter, have a brief DM, continue the dialogue within my garden.
RECOGNISE WHAT FRUSTRATES OTHER PEOPLE
If I can find out the frustrations (don’t like the word ‘pain points’) of others, I can then find out a way of giving clarity by providing an answer. This has helped feed my ongoing weekly articles.
This has come from customers, through to people who are taking on board a content driven approach, just to conversations I’ve had with others. This article comes with a nod to Pippa Saunders at Resolution Interiors.
What they provide is clarity and a way to look deeper at something that people have concerns about.
CREATE A DEEPER CONNECTION WITH CUSTOMERS
This adds validity that those people I work with. They know that I am present during the week and there are places to stop by that are outside of a meeting/one to one space.
By looking to build a closer connection with your customer base, shouldn’t the whole reason be that if you were not around, things would be a bit flat? The world needs to be a bit emptier if you are not around.
Take the interruption approach and put it in a box never to be opened again. When customers see a commitment that you provide insight and knowledge, it is intended to provide assurance to them that you have a belief for the industry that you are part of.
IDENTIFY & CEMENT ALLIANCES
If there are others who can identify my angle of attack, they can see clearly an approach that is committed. This can help build a strong connection.
In the words of Napoleon Hill from Think & Grow Rich and The Mastermind principle, this “consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others.”
From working with Ian Rhodes on the Marketing Homebrew podcast to asking Robert Rose, Chief Strategist from the Content Marketing Institute to create the foreword for The Content Revolution, I know that if I didn’t have a body of work and lay my path of breadcrumbs, then I would have perhaps been seen as a potless chancer with no substance.
USE CONTENT AS A WAY TO DEMONSTRATE THE BENEFITS OF AN APPROACH
By having the ability to create, curate and distribute, the majority of content that I produce is to highlight that small businesses can build audience and grow with an owned media approach with a virtually zero paid media framework.
If I can demonstrate the value, provide proof from others and take a role to be relentlessly inquisitive, that is in a better place than demonstrating product and service benefits with lazy opening lines of: ‘do you want to be more successful this year?’
FIND THE RIGHT BLEND BETWEEN SEARCH & HUMAN EMPATHY
There are over 3.8million Google searches per day, and whilst we shouldn’t rely wholly on expecting a search engine to bring people to you, there has to be an appreciation between creating content that people will want to read and pages that are acknowledged by search engines for particular themes.
I have made the mistake by being too generic on some articles; hence visitors are no more than tyre kickers, not interested in coming back again, to making a long tail approach work by tailoring to a niche.
For instance ‘audience’s time not yours’ is ranked high on Google (take a look for yourself), whereas ‘audience’s time’ is lower.
USE IT AS A WAY TO DEVELOP NEW BUSINESS ANGLES
Content creation helps to develop new ideas. Whatever is being created has to have the potential to lead to new ideas that would be relevant for others to take from.
For instance, the development of the blog led to a structure for The Content Revolution, the concept behind creating a Content MOT has led to a three-month programme for businesses. A key goal is to bring ideas to fruition by effectively creating your own brief and letting them mould into different media assets that extend the initial from the initial source.
There we have it, the goals that I have and the reasons I create.
I hope it serves as food for thought as a goal shouldn’t necessarily be one outcome to stick rigidly to. In order to be recognised as a provider of knowledge, you have to be flexible. If there are goals here that have meaning to you, be interesting to know how you are progressing on your journey, you can email me here.
Anyone can replicate what you do, but what you create and how you distribute is something that no one can duplicate. It is time to set some clear goals that can become your content guide.