Almost every entrepreneur needs content marketing to grow their brand. It’s usually the easiest and most cost-effective way to get your customers’ attention and demonstrate your expertise. Plus, it’s the first step toward providing value — the key ingredient in earning brand loyalty.
Many entrepreneurs get overwhelmed by the idea of content marketing. Which kind of content works best? What does your audience want to see? And most of all, how will you find time to do it all?
As with pursuing any sort of entrepreneurial freedom, it comes down to the 5 Ps. I developed these to help entrepreneurs overcome their frustrations. They definitely apply to content marketing as well!
Let’s take a look:
Everything you do in and for your business should stem from your promise. Who do you want to reach in your business and what problems are you solving for them? Those answers should shape your content marketing strategy.
Your content should complement whatever you’re offering. If you promise eco-friendly cosmetics, you could publish a blog about reef-safe sunscreen or host a podcast about vegan makeup products. If you aim to help pet owners take better care of their animals, you could create nutrition guides for cats and dogs or produce videos about basic pet health.
Many business owners feel pressure to release content for the sake of content. That’s a mistake. Imagine that your ideal customers or clients are asking you questions. What would they ask, and how can you answer as an expert? Moreover, in what ways are you an expert while your competitors are not?
The overlap in that Venn diagram is where you can create content that fulfills your brand promise.
The second P stands for Product, which is whatever your business is selling. But in content marketing, Product also refers to your content. Yep, it’s a product, too!
And like any product in your business, it must follow from your promise. I know some entrepreneurs think they need to hit on the trending topics and publish, publish, publish until they reach a wide audience. But as marketing guru Seth Godin says, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
All your content should be yet another solution you provide your customers or clients.
Moreover, you must treat it as a product. How much does it cost to create? Will it generate enough revenue to be worth the trouble? Does your target audience want to consume it?
Just as product development requires lots of research, so does your marketing content.
Process is closely tied to Product. If something takes tons of time and money to develop, you must be sure it turns a profit. If it doesn’t, can you streamline the process to reduce your costs?
The same is true for content marketing. It’s likely not worth your while to spend countless hours writing, editing videos, recording podcasts, etc. Also, that’s a one-way ticket to burnout if you try to do it all on your own!
With a good team, you can spread out the work and create content that makes an impact. Consider how the right Process can more efficiently create our Product while fulfilling your Promise.
Speaking of good teams, all business success comes down to People. That’s especially true for content marketing. Too many entrepreneurs don’t bother to find the right marketing talent because they figure it’s more important just to have something.
That can be a costly mistake. Content that doesn’t align with your promise doesn’t reflect well on your brand. You’ll also end up spending more money than it will generate.
Misaligned content marketing is often a huge drain on business owners’ budgets. They assume that more content is better, that quantity is more important than quality. However, consumers can easily detect generic, keyword-stuffed content — and so can Google! (In fact, Google will penalize you for it.)
That’s why it’s always better to have the right people develop your content. Together, you can translate your brand promise into a compelling product.
And let’s not forget the problem of noise. More digital content is being created than ever more. Rather than contributing to the flood, focus on content that best suits your customers’ interests!
The right people can fix all these issues. Your team should buy into your promise and know how to share it with your customers. When hiring your copywriters, graphic designers, and so on, look for those people.
Then, speak to your ideal audience. There is little point in creating content for those who will never care about your brand. Remember — a broader net doesn’t necessarily mean more fish.
The final P is Profit — which is the purpose of running a business, yes? Your goal is to make money. And great content marketing compels more leads to become customers.
It can be difficult to quantify the revenue you earn from content marketing. At first glance, it’s hard to see how many customers I gain by publishing these articles. But when I look at the bigger picture of my brand’s credibility and authority, the benefits are obvious.
However, gaining Profit from content marketing requires the first four Ps to be in order. Without a strong Promise, we can’t deliver a good content Product. An efficient Process and talented People make content marketing sustainable.
Put together, that enables us to profit from our content marketing campaigns.
Don’t be scared by the prospect of content marketing, but don’t throw money at the problem, either. Take the time to understand your audience and speak to their interests. Great content stands out in their endless scrolling. When you captivate them with content, you’re much more likely to capture their attention to your brand.
Best of all, a robust content marketing strategy can be relatively self-sustaining. You’ll continue to draw new customers and prove your expertise. There’s a constant opportunity for engagement — and that’s vital to earning their brand loyalty.
This article was inspired by an episode of the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast (speaking of content!) in which I interview Marc Ronick of Ironick Media and we chat about what could be one of the most important pieces of your content package…. A Podcast!