Do you regularly create content for your business? Or maybe you’d love to, but you get stuck on ideas? If you find your content marketing efforts aren’t paying off and would like to convert more web visitors into sales, you need to start building trust and authority with your audience. To help you do that, we’ve created a resource that allows you to plan 50 pieces of content in 30 minutes! It’s the exact method we followed to increase our website traffic by 10 times.
If you want to access our 30-minute Content Marketing Planner, you can download it here.
Have you downloaded it yet?
Are you ready to get planning?
Then let’s go.
Step 1 – list all your services
First things first, start by listing all the services you offer. Don’t miss this step because it will give you a structured way to come up with lots of content ideas. Once you’ve got this list, you can then think of content ideas for each of your services.
Step 2 – put yourself in your ideal customers’ shoes
Let me ask you a question. What’s the one thing you did before you made your last big purchase?
I bet you searched for whatever it was on Google.
As savvy consumers, we always do our own research before we buy anything. A study from Google found that 70% of buying decisions are made before the customer even contacts the business for the first time! And that’s because people research before buying – we all want to make informed decisions and avoid wasting our time and money.
So if you put your business owner’s cap back on, how can you help your ideal clients to make informed choices?
Step 3 – use content marketing to educate your clients about your business
Our advice? Stop sharing ‘fluff’ content about your latest awards or office move, and, instead, create a good combination of these two types of content.
- Traffic content. This is content that drives traffic to your website. It’s what people directly search for on Google. It’s content that answers a particular problem, question or need that your ideal customers or clients might be having. And in providing the best answer to their question, you’re attracting visitors to your website. They may not be ready to buy just yet, but they could be in the future.
- Conversion content. This is not necessarily content that people would search for on Google. But it’s something that your ideal customers or clients would pay attention to it if they were already on your website or interested in working with you. Think about people who follow you on social media and regularly visit your blog, previous clients, or subscribers on your email list, for example.
With these definitions in mind, you should then plan your content ideas around 6 key topics:
- ‘The best’ content.
- ‘How to’ content.
These topics come from the book They Ask You Answer, by Marcus Sheridan. You may have heard us talk about this book before (especially if you’re in our membership or listen to our podcast), and that’s because his teachings have literally transformed our business and the way we use content marketing to generate leads and sales. To read more about that, head over to our post: How to 10x Your Website Traffic.
So let’s get into the 6 topics.
Price is the one thing we all want to know about when we do our research. We want to find out how much something costs before we commit to buying it – no matter how big or small the purchase is!
So how can you relate this back to your business?
- Write about the price of your products and services.
- Talk about the costs related to your industry and where you sit within it.
- Discuss what can make the price of your service go up and down.
Here are a few examples of the price-related content we’ve created over time:
- How much does it cost to build your WordPress website?
- Why the cost of your website might increase during the build?
- Why We’re Increasing Our Web Design Prices.
- Why are we so expensive?
No product or service, company, or industry is perfect. So instead of burying your head in the sand and denying that there are any problems in your area of work, tackle your customers’ problems (or ‘perceived problems’) head-on. Being honest and upfront about this helps you build trust and authority with your audience. And ultimately, that’s what helps you convert your audience into buyers!
How do you do this?
- Talk about a problem in your industry and specify how you’re different.
- Create content around something that’s personal to you and your business. For example, we’re a small web design agency, and some big companies might be worried about working with us. So we pre-emptied our prospective clients’ concerns by writing the piece: Why Are We So Cheap? Working with us vs a Larger Agency.
Acknowledge your clients’ objections, show them that you understand them, and advise them on the best course of action. What’s there not to love?
This type of content helps your prospective clients decide whether they should buy a certain product or service or another one. Or whether they should buy from this company or that company. It’s all about comparing two products or services (or two companies) directly against one another.
Here’s an example of how we did this in our business: Janet Murray’s 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner vs Jammy Digital’s 90 Day Challenge Workbook.
The reason why you need to create this type of content is that your clients always have a choice! And while doing their research, they’ll come across your competitors too. So why not be the person who acknowledges this choice and helps them make an informed decision? They’ll certainly appreciate you for it!
Of course, directly comparing your products or services against someone else’s can be one of the scariest and most difficult things you’ll ever have to do in your content marketing. But the key is to approach the topic in an unbiased way. Take yourself out of your business and think about what will benefit your customer or client. Put yourself in their shoes, look at the products or services as objectively as you can, and use your knowledge and experience to guide your audience towards making the best possible decision.
So here’s what you could compare:
- Similar products or services.
- Different industry methodologies or tools.
- Companies or businesses (including yours).
Don’t miss the opportunity to be the creator of this type of content – it’s a genuinely helpful thing to do for your audience!
4. ‘The best’ content
When we invest in anything, we want the best for our needs, don’t we? That’s the reason why we do all this research in the first place!
The trouble is that this type of content is often published by independent websites, which means your products or services (or your company) may not be mentioned (and simply because the creators of the content don’t know you!). So why don’t you produce this type of content yourself?
This might mean that you have to mention the competition, but it’ll work in your favour because people will find you on Google!
Want to know how we know? Because we did this! We wrote the article Top 10 Best Web Design Companies in Manchester in 2017. And years later, we still rank on the first page of Google and have received a lot of business directly from this post over time!
So how can you do this?
- Evaluate other people’s work – their products and services. Talk about what they do, but also about what you do and how you are different.
- Go into detail about why you’ve picked the companies you’ve chosen and what criteria you used to rate them.
This type of content is also incredibly helpful if you ever need to recommend another company to someone who isn’t the right fit for you, or in case you’re fully booked and can’t take on any extra clients at the moment. (Great position to be in, right?).
Just like product or service comparisons, reviews are often done by independent websites. But you can be the business who reviews products and services in your industry and help your customers and clients make informed buying decisions.
You can review:
- Other companies in your industry.
- Specific products.
- Industry-specific tools.
The key here is to be honest and helpful to your reader. Not every single product or service you sell is suitable for everyone. So focus on the fact that you only need to attract your ideal audience. As for everyone else, they’re not your target audience – and that’s fine!
When you think about it, all you’re doing here is offering great customer service. If you were to walk into a shop, you probably wouldn’t want the help of the salesy or pushy member of staff. You just want the salesperson who comes across as helpful, unbiased, shows a deep understanding of the products or services they sell, and has your best interests at heart. And that’s what content marketing should do for you – it should act as the best customer service person for your business!
6. ‘How To’ content
Although Marcus Sheridan (who came up with these topics) talks about the Big Five, he also says that the sixth type of content that business owners should consider creating is ‘How To’ content, which is ideal for generating traffic to your website.
Think about it from a user perspective. We type ‘how to’ into Google all the time! Creating this type of content is good for showcasing your knowledge and expertise and providing your reader with something useful at the same time – teach people how to do what you do or how to find the right products or services in your industry.
But at the same time, don’t shy away from letting them know that if they need any help, you can be the person who makes their to-do list a little lighter.
Join our community and take part in the 90-day Content Marketing Challenge
So there you have it – the exact steps you need to follow to plan lots of ideas for content in 30 minutes! And if you’d like some accountability or help when it comes to creating that content, we are running a 90-day content marketing challenge in our community – Make Your Mark Online.
Our members produce one piece of content each week, and we provide tailored feedback. We run the challenge 3 times a year, so if this sounds like something you’d want to find out more about, head over to Make Your Mark Online and sign up!