Turn your social media content from a tasteless pancake to a juicy sponge cake by mastering the Three P’s of successful content marketing.
What is the secret to successful content marketing?
Why do some brands seem to rock it online, effortlessly attracting the right people to their offers, while others struggle to build an audience and turn them into paying clients?
Through my work with small and mighty brands and projects, I’ve mapped out three key ingredients that make for a successful content marketing recipe.
Actually, content marketing is a lot like baking a cake: you need eggs, sugar and flour. If you skip the flour, you’ll end up with a soufflé, and if the sugar is missing, you have a plate of pancakes (but maybe not much flavour). Without eggs… Well, you’ll have a weird and dry mix of flour and sugar, but surely not the juicy sponge cake you set out to bake.
When it comes to content marketing, you need to replace the eggs with Planning, flour with Production and sugar with Promotion. Do so and you’re on your way to baking a content cake everyone wants a slice of.
Three Ingredients Your Content Cake Needs
Plan: Know Who You’re Talking to and Where
Everything in content marketing starts with planning. Defining clear goals, understanding your audience and crafting a message that resonates with them.
When your plan is solid and detailed, your brand will effortlessly stand out from the crowd, even on the most saturated platforms.
When setting up and evaluating your content marketing plan, consider the following questions:
- What is the one thing you want to communicate to your network?
- Is your message coming across clearly on your platforms?
- Who are you serving? Get really, really specific: women, entrepreneurs or “anyone” isn’t a well-defined target audience.
- Where do these people hang out?
- How can you serve them in a way that no one else can?
- What are the specific goals you want to reach with your content marketing?
- What are your content marketing resources like?
- Are the resources and the goals aligned?
Produce: Implement your Plan with Success
Once your plan is in place, it’s time to bridge the gap from planning to implementation.
For small teams, especially, this is a crucial moment, as a too ambitious or not detailed enough plan can exhaust the team’s resources quite quickly.
The production part is all about asking yourself and your team the questions that allow you to turn the insights gained in the Planning phase into visibility, engagement and real business or communication results.
When moving from planning to production, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- How does my audience’s understanding translate into content topics?
- Which content formats work the best on the channels we’ve chosen?
- How do we combine predictability and spontaneity in our content?
- How much time does creating this content require?
- Are there skill gaps in our team?
- Do we need to acquire materials or tools to implement these ideas?
- When is this content getting created and by whom?
- Who can provide feedback and ensure quality control within or outside the team?
- How and when do we track the performance and adapt the plan?
Promote: Because Quality Content Isn’t Enough
Finally, when your strategically planned content has seen daylight, it’s time to work on the part that gets it in front of a bigger audience.
This is the part that is most often forgotten. Too many brands, businesses and entrepreneurs create great content but then just leave it hanging on their platforms, not giving it the love and nurturing it requires to reach as many people as possible.
Including a promotion strategy to a content plan helps you navigate this phase and grow your audience steadily and authentically. It keeps you from getting stuck and ensures a steady flow of dream clients in the future as well.
Promoting doesn’t only mean paid ads – it doesn’t need to include any additional budget whatsoever. Instead, it means pondering the following questions:
- How do we generate engagement on our owned platforms?
- In which groups and networks can we add value by sharing our content?
- What kind of value could we add to those platforms, channels and networks?
- How do we repurpose and recycle our content?
- How could we add value as guest speakers or writers?
- Which media outlets could help us spread our message?
Is This Mix Not Working Out for You?
Turning the three P’s of Content Marketing into a fourth one, Practice, can sometimes take time and trial and error.If you want to jumpstart the process, make sure to fill in the gaps and move to the results part as quickly as possible by scheduling your complimentary 30-minute Content Strategy Call. In the call, we’ll evaluate your content strategy together and map out the next step to turn your content into clients and impressions into real impact.