It’s about the What and the When…
When working with clients who are trying to figure out what type of content they want and need to share with their customers, there’s often confusion as to what to create.
There is an assumption that the small business will be reaching out to their customers online, but that doesn’t help with what to create and what value it has to the visiting public. It’s an incredibly stressful situation when all that work doesn’t seem to be generating sales or meeting the business owners often understated or undefined expectations.
My clients often start the conversation by saying or acknowledging they are disorganized and confused by the whole topic, never mind overwhelmed by the whole “what, when” content creation topic.
They’ve heard about the need to create something as a giveaway or “lead magnet,” a Facebook live to connect with their followers, or new blog posts on a regular basis (by the way, what’s a regular basis?), but aren’t sure what this content might be or how it can draws the potential customer closer to that sale they’ve been working so hard to attract.
After helping my client set their marketing goals, this is the point I introduce my clients to a couple of strategies to help their focus, as well as to help them to decide the “what, why & when” when creating material or content in the future.
The first introduction is to the marketing term A.I.D.A. A model for big picture understanding of the buyers’ journey. The acronym stands for:
Attention or Awareness (Getting prospective customer attention)
Interest (Keeping their attention once you’ve got it)
Desire (Arouse their desire by showing them how you can solve their problem)
Action (helping to make the decision - “close the sale”)
These four ideas align with the second concept, the four content types outlined here. Each content type helps the visitor move through the buyers’ journey and helps turn them into fans, which I believe is a good thing. The content types are:
Matching AIDA to Content Types
At each stage there are content types to achieve the phase in the A.I.D.A. model, for example:
A.I.D.A. = Attention | Content type = Awareness
A.I.D.A. = Interest | Content type = Lead generation
A.I.D.A. = Desire | Content type = Relationship Building
A.I.D.A. = Action | Content type = Buy (including recurring sales)
I’ve found that once clients are familiar with this strategy, they find it easier to decide what type of content they need for each step, and after brainstorming what their own customers need, they are more than ready to create valuable, strategic and results producing content, in the format that works best for all involved.
At the first stage (Awareness), it needs to be understood that the visitor doesn’t really know who you are. Your contents’ job here would be to introduce yourself and your business, using free content without the need for any type of barrier to access the information (eg: no email address required). Brainstorm what types of content would work here.
At the second stage (Lead generation), your content is meant for a single purpose. Getting potential customer’s names and email address so you can add them to a list for sending them additional information. This is where the Lead Magnet comes into play. Consider what types of content works well as a lead magnet.
At the third stage (Relationship Building), is the most important stage. Nurturing the relationship here will turn your leads (those on your list) into customers with proper care and attention. This type of content is information to help the potential customer or people already customers make informed decisions. Work through what types of content meet this criterion.
At the fourth stage (Buy/Paid), is the final area you need to create content for. It’s all about your products and/or services and you can supplement services with other products by increasing value. There are plenty of opportunities for content that enhances your paid offers, as long as it’s what your audience is looking for.
What to do now? two things: 1) download your own copy of the 4 Types of content for your business infographic here, and 2) brainstorm content for all four types and steps so you can use them in your business.