Once upon a time I used to create lazy content. I’m talking about the kind of content that you throw up on your website or Instagram feed because you read on a few blog posts or heard on a podcast episode that it was a good way to get more people to your website. So I would think of a topic I could write about, bang it out in a Google doc, and then post it on my site when I was finished. I never really knew if what I was creating actually did anything though because rarely did I ever check the analytics to see how each piece of content performed.
Eventually, I got savvier and specific about my efforts. And my content creation strategy, as a result, became more effective. And the results? Even without checking the analytics (which I eventually did start doing!), they were hard to ignore. I was receiving more project inquiries, saw an increase in sales, and adding new subscribers to my list weekly. And it was all for free! I didn’t have to pay a dime.
So when I hear things like, “I don’t really get what I’m supposed to see happen after I post on my blog,” from other business owners, I get it.
For starters, if you have a business and you’re starting to think about ways to beef up your website or brand with more content for your audience, just know that I’m doing a little happy dance for you right now on the other side of your screen. Without content, chances are your website is pretty static and doesn’t get updated very often (maybe, even if at all?). So you’re not giving your visitors much reason to come back to your site and click that “Book Now” or “Add To Cart” button, are you?
However, if you load your site with really great content value, such as weekly blog posts, info-packed freebies, or a monthly video series, your ideal customers and clients will have a reason to come back to your site and soak up what it is you have to offer. So if you’re able to provide your audience with something they need or are looking for (whether they know it or not), you can propel your business (and bottom line) forward in more ways than one.
But the thing is, a lot of people create content just to create it (I just told you I even did!). But don’t do this! Yes, creating content around relevant themes and topics to provide value that your audience cares about is one part of the equation, but you have to also ask yourself, what do I need this to also do for me?
That’s why content value is key and works on both sides. If you create content with intention, with purpose, and with authority, you’ll be able to tailor it to your business goals and that’s when the results really kick in. Here are 3 types of content that will give your business the most value.
Not All Content Value Is Created Equal
You can think of content value in 3 ways: content to sell, content to build, and content to grow. Once you realize that you can frame your value in these 3 kinds of buckets, you’ll be able to step up your own content strategy’s engagement and growth rates.
Content To Sell
Also known as content that makes you money, creating content with the goal of ultimately selling your product or offering is to show your audience how you can help them. Frame your content in a way that shows them that you can provide the solution they need to go from where they are currently (before finding your content) to where they want to be (their desired goal that you can help them reach). Make it a point to touch on their frustrations, answering questions like: Why you? How do you do it? What do you have to help them?
Content To Build
Content to build means creating value that builds your brand by establishing yourself as the go-to person in your space or on this topic. This kind of content should establish your trust and authority. Share your credibility markers (any press you’ve recently been featured in, interviews you’ve done, or recent results you’ve gotten for your customers or clients). You can also let your audience into your life candidly or aspirationally (for the latter, show them what they can have- this works great for product-based businesses). And even share your beliefs and what you stand for (or what you don’t). This kind of content value will give you more trust and remind your audience that what you are uniquely qualified to help them with is exactly what they are looking for.
Content To Grow
Content to grow means framing your content in ways that grow your community and audience. When you’re making this kind of content, find ways to engage your audience by asking them questions that boost interactivity (i.e. “Leave a comment below if you’ve tried this recipe and know what I’m talking about.”). You can also post shareable content like memes and gifs that they are more likely to share with their own communities as well (and get on other like-minded people’s radars).
Content Value Takeaway
Every single piece of content you have or you publish needs to have some sort of end goal. And not just for your audience (“what will they learn from this?”) but also for your business. If you’re just getting started on creating content for your brand or beefing up your website with more value for your audience, my Ultimate Guide for Content Strategy will guide you through all the pieces of the process in an easy-to-follow way.
Whether it’s to grow your audience, build your brand, or sell your product, approaching your content creation with this framework in mind will prove to be much more powerful in your efforts.
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