Time To Unstuck Your Content Marketing?
Content marketing has become a kind of universal answer to any business-related question:
How do I get more leads? – Do content marketing.
How do I attract the most talented employees for my company? – Do content marketing.
How do I scale? How do I get recurring clients? How do I save on advertising? – Do frickin’ content marketing.
(I’m almost expecting to see some superhero content marketer explaining to us all on Medium.com how CM is actually the answer to everything we want in life)
It’s not that I don’t think that content marketing is great. I do. I simply want to point out that doing content marketing doesn’t automatically mean doing it right, and here’s a weird stat to show why that’s an important distinction: only 5% of B2B marketers consider their content marketing efforts to be “Very Effective”.
Meaning, most of them are stuck.
We at The Boardroom are currently in the process of redefining our own content strategy (yes, that means you’ll be seeing more of us). What we’ve been doing so far has worked to some extent, but we want to do better and are now getting more strategic about it.
That means I have to answer some questions, re-think some things, and make some choices.
If you are planning to revamp your content strategy here’s what works for me. It’s only 2 questions but take your time with them – they’re revealing.
First Big Question: What do I want to achieve with content marketing?
If you’re not a Coca-Cola size brand, the smartest thing is to focus on one specific goal (at a time) and to create content strategy that supports it.
For example, these are some of the goals that would make sense for us at The Boardroom:
- To reach more potential Board Chairs and be able to start organising the Boardroom meetings across all of the UK, or all over the world (our Board meetings are chaired by some extraordinarily talented and proactive professionals, so one way to grow our business could be to attract more of such individuals from different regions).
- To get more business owners to experience our meetings (our actual live taster meetings are our strongest selling point – about 80% of people who visit one of them say they want to join a board).
Try this as a thought exercise – write down possible goals, potential areas of growth for your business, and choose the one you want to pursue with your content.
We decided that at this point we want to focus on getting more business owners to participate in our free meetings, to strengthen the core in a way.
Second Big Question: What’s the most straightforward way to show them WHY they should come?
We don’t want our audience to consume our content and think, “OK, so what?”. We want them to consume our content and to think, “What these guys are doing sounds interesting, could be useful to me too”.
The most straightforward way we can show them why they should pay attention is to share ‘the real stuff’: we can actually demonstrate how our members have been benefitting from the community (our average client tenure is over 3 years. Seeing as all our clients are on a 30-day rolling membership, this means they’re staying with us because they want to – i.e. what we do works – A fact I’m really proud of).
For example, I’m thinking to start sharing content with some of the real-world challenges and solutions that emerge from our member Peer Board meetings. I think that‘d be useful to other entrepreneurs facing similar challenges, which means our sharing of this kind of content would get us (earn us) their attention. (I’m still processing this one but I promise the format won’t be: “You won’t believe what this catering company did to sell 1,000 cakes in 3 hours!”)
Now, getting their attention is obviously important, but to actually book one of our taster sessions, they need to get to know us, like us, and trust us.
For some, one blog post or video will be all they need to decide to come and find out more, but probably most people who consume our content will need more assurance before they decide it’ll be worth their time to attend an (albeit free) event. That’s why it’s our job to consistently show up, be visible, be accessible, and to be there when they are ready.
For some of us, that requires a mindset switch to long-term thinking (think small scale J. Bezos).
For most of us, it means we should take the content we publish more seriously. Be clear on its primary purpose, know the people we’re talking to, communicate (as clearly as possible) what makes it worth it to them, and play the long(er) game.
That’s what we’ve been figuring out anyway.
I’d love to hear what it’s like for you, how you go about strategising your content. It’s a complex topic (and a challenging one!) and I think we can all benefit from sharing our approaches, don’t you?