What does it take to create truly valuable content? The type of content that makes great stuff happen for your business – real interest, more enquiries, more sales, greater love for what you do?
This question has intrigued us for nearly 20 years, and it was top of the list of thorny marketing challenges you shared with us in our survey a few weeks back too.
We’ve witnessed the incredible impact when businesses get their content just right, but as you no doubt know from experience it’s no simple task.
There are a variety of elements that need to work together to get your content right. So what does it take? And is there any way to make the job easier?
The Valuable Content Formula
When we look back at people we’ve worked with who continually create content that connects it’s clear that they follow a similar success formula. It’s a perfectly balanced combination of customer focus, business clarity, a giving mindset, plus systems and skills. This is the foundation for creating valuable content.
So when we’re thinking about people who succeed with this approach, we’ve got people like Andrea Howe of the Get Real Project in mind, or the brilliant team at HSBC Expat and our latest Valuable Content Award winner, copywriter John Espirian whose story we highlighted last week.
All are getting fantastic results from their content efforts, and a collection of shared factors contributes to their success:
1. They know their customers and put their needs first. They’re absolutely clear on the type of people they serve – they don’t try and talk to everyone. And they’ve done their homework. The deep understanding they’ve forged of their customers’ world and how they fit into the story is based not on assumption but by asking them – regularly reaching out, seeking feedback, listening and acting upon it, putting the customer’s needs at the heart of all their marketing.
2. They know their own business. They are clear on their own story and perspective – why, how and what they do. They know their point of difference, what they stand for, what they offer and what ideas they want to share.
3. They share a generous mindset. We boil this down to empathy, curiosity, and openness, with an overriding belief that if you give you’ll receive. Helping before selling is their watchword.
“Marketing done right is an act of generosity. It’s work that matters for people who care.” – Bernadette Jiwa
4. They invest in the skills and systems they need. They have invested in the creative and technical skills required to drive success from their marketing. They have a platform and system that works for them – not just digital systems but personal systems too – so they prioritise and make time for content.
Get the recipe right for your business
There is a balance to be struck here which is crucial.
You might look at the percentages in our formula and assume that we think skills and systems aren’t important. Far from it! It’s just the tactical elements don’t come first. It’s not just about hiring a great writer or creative, or a slick marketing system, you have to have something to say – something that customers are delighted to hear, and that fits with your brand and perspective. Skills – like writing, design, photography – are a big part of creating great content, that’s certain. They take on an equal importance to customers, business and mindset once you’ve built strong foundations. They’re just not where you start.
For many setting out on the valuable content journey, the overriding focus is on skills, systems, and tactics. These are all important and become more so once you’ve done the groundwork. But we know from hard-won experience that it’s the mindset and strategy that really matters most of all. This is the place to start and lay your foundations, or to revisit if your content isn’t making the impact you want.
Valuable content is found at the intersection between your customers’ needs and your business expertise. Stepping back and spending time on the big strategic questions and customer research to uncover that sweet spot is the best place to focus if you really want to drive results from your content efforts.
Make content marketing easier
Yes, content marketing is a challenge but you can make it so much easier. There IS a formula to follow to get your content working so you drive the results you need for your business.
- Know your customers – focus down and really get to know them
- Know your business – step back and work out what you stand for
- Change your mindset – help as much as you can
- Set up your systems, and learn the skills you need
This is the secret to creating truly valuable content. We will do all we can to help you make it work so your business flies.
Learn the Valuable Content Formula in our free online seminar
If you’re not yet getting the results you need from your content and you’d like to uncover exactly how to make the Valuable Content Formula work for you, take a step back for an hour and listen to the webinar.
> Register here us to send you our free online seminar and learn the secret to content that gets results.