Ep.185 The 3 steps of content marketing

The 3 steps of content marketing

In this week’s episode, Anna looks at the key steps of content marketing.

It can be overwhelming to come up with all this content, all these different formats, across all these different channels. She wants to help you simplify with the help of the 3Ps – the 3 steps of content marketing.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Academy: A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

3 steps of content marketing

Transcript:

Hello, hello there. And now we are back looking at pillar four of building a life and business outside the nine to five, which is your personal brand. And we kick things off last week with how to stand out in a cluttered market, we talked about the importance of being yourself, of really knowing who you are, what you do, and then communicating that clearly. So have a listen to that one. It’s a really good one. Of course, I say that. And today we’re looking at content marketing. So okay, we briefly talked last week about okay, bringing to life your experience expertise, and eccentricities in your bios on social media in your about page and your website headline, but then more dynamically, because those are just static things that live on your own territory, as it were, want to go out into the world and actually create content now, content strategy, I should tell you I should warn you now is something I can talk about forever and ever because it was what I really specialized in, in my corporate days in my marketing role at Procter and Gamble, I was promoted into a digital role, I basically was an internal consultant. So I and I didn’t have a lot of support, which in the end was a blessing. And then gave me the confidence and the experience expertise to navigate the transition out of that job and to work for myself. So I’m eternally grateful for that.

But content strategy was really bringing together the content that we want to talk about on the one side with the content that your clients want, and need to know about, right?

Because historically, and if you’re new to this, you might not have experienced this terrible phase of marketing. But we would have in the past, even when I was doing that, and I started to doesn’t seven, had, you know, a new website for every launch, it was all flash heavy. If you know anything about tech, that’s not good. They weren’t mobile optimized, they weren’t search optimized. And they weren’t in a coherent brand. Most importantly, it was literally, this is our TV ad, this is our product, buy our product, look at our product. This is our beautiful celebrity who is advertising our product. So I worked in perfume, and then Skincare Makeup. And that apparently worked, I guess. But it came a little bit traditionally, from the TV broadcasting medium, right? Where it really was just blasting out advert adverts, rather than really engaging now, what’s happened is, thankfully, and now everybody kind of gets this most companies most brands get this, that content has become more about answering questions. So the example I was thinking about is laundry instead of hey, buy my washing detergent, it’s answering questions, how do I get out a red wine stain? How do I wash at a lower temperature to save energy, and definitely valuable now not just for the environment, but also for the for the cost of living, increasing, and so on with utilities. So content sits at that sweet spot between what you want to stand for because of course, it needs to be still relevant for you, and in this context, your personal brand, but then also what your clients want and need to know. And there should be an overlap there. And that’s your sweet spot.

So today, I want to talk about the three P’s of content marketing, plan, produce and promote.

Because I talk a lot about creating content. And again, even when we began to talk about content in my corporate days, we talked about content is king, which you know, why is it not queen? I don’t know. But there you go content is king. And then since then various people have kind of adapted that right. But yes, at the time, content is king was a really important message. But again, as we said last week, it’s such a cluttered market. Now, there is so much content that is not just about creating content, in particular, and I hold my hand up here again, I’m being very relatable and down to earth and admitting this transparent for you, I tend to err on the side of creating a huge amount of content. In fact, my partner the other day was saying to you, does everyone else do a podcast a week? Do you need to do a podcast a week, I really tried to scale back my social media, you know, there are people experts who say you’ve got to post you know, five times a day on Instagram, and three reels a day and so on. I do now Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, more or less I do reels when I kind of when the mood takes me. And you know, I must say I’m on LinkedIn, I think Facebook group we do a bit more because that’s people who are really part of my community. I do a weekly podcast, we do a video. So I do a lot of writing articles, both for my Anna limbo.com as well as pitching the media and getting paid or not for those articles. And I’m about to start writing. Hopefully, when you listen to this, I have started writing my next book finally. So that’s going to be coming out later in the year. So I focus a lot on creating however, there are two elements that were missing from creating. The first is the step before and the second is the step after now starting step before that’s the planning when you first begin well in fact maybe your you’d let me know you tell me message me and let me know where you are in the spectrum. People either go one of two ways, right? They either only plan and I have prospects rather than clients but peoples in my Instagram saying, Oh, I’m almost ready to put my website live. I’m going to do it. You know, I’m just refining just want to make it perfect. And that’s dangerous. If you do too much planning and strategy and perfecting. You don’t know how the content is going to land until you get out there.

It’s never going to be perfect anyway and The important thing is to be quite ubiquitous and cray cray cray, then you could adapt, you know, refine and so on as you go, I’ve found and I’ve shared this before that live video is incredible because I say, our and you know, my hair is a bit out of place, and it doesn’t matter. I can’t and don’t have to redo it as I would if I recorded stuff. And so that kind of thing is really helpful to me, right?

If we spend too much time trying to make it perfect content is so what’s it called, like a flash in the pan, right, especially on social media posts pops up, and then it’s gone.

So thankfully, the industry is moving away from all these perfect Instagram feeds and so on. And as someone pointed out to me, as I was developing my course, I was sort of stuck on Oh, I don’t know the video, and I’ve got this fancy camera, but I don’t have a nice background, because we’re moving house and doing up the house and blah, blah, blah, they pointed out that the best courses, best experts, in fact, can just stand with poor lighting in a basement with a pen and a whiteboard. And tell you the most incredible things and you would so learn so much, and appreciate that so much more than someone with the perfect setup. And I see more and more people with his beautiful, you know, backgrounds and camera, you know, podcasting, microphone, etc setup and, you know, are you actually getting a lot of value from the site? Maybe not.

So you might go to the in the direction of planning too much. Or you’ll do what I do. I’ve always been a fan of planning and so but that’s kind of second nature to me, you’ll end up just creating willy nilly too far. I don’t do willy nilly. But if you do just I just feel like posting this. And then a few weeks pass I haven’t done a newsletter in a while and then you create something Oh, no, I’ve got a bit of energy, I’ll do a few videos and then it goes away. Consistency. Everyone says this Now thankfully, is so so crucial for for your own habits and routine for your discipline for you to feel satisfaction as well as for your audience to get a consistent message consistently from you. You know, initially I started with my blogs, I think once a month, the newsletter once a month. And of course, nobody would have complained at the beginning especially Hey, I didn’t get an email from me this week. But for me, it was crucial. Because having that date in the diary, I knew that I had to push it out. And I think I never missed it maybe once something but I generally didn’t. So planning is the step that comes first producing. And then finally, the step that we often miss is actually promoting and I don’t necessarily mean putting money on it. I used to do some ads boosting posts as I went on Facebook. I don’t do that at the moment, for various reasons. But I quite like the organic approach. However, it means actually publishing it. Yes, you have to publish it into the world for people to see it. It means really promoting because me just pushing out a podcast episode and I’ve now got 200 episodes that are out there. But we reshare again and my Facebook group and repurposing. So the podcast is transcribed onto the website, we do a video for Instagram, IG TV, maybe do a real, we do LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. And we turn that into carousel infographic, whatever. And of course, again, resharing later on, right. So actually, and I’ve seen a sort of a stat which is kind of 20% creating ad promoting. I don’t know if that’s right. It’s always hard to put a number on it.

But certainly I think I certainly need to lean into promoting more than creating, right, because I’ve got everything now I’ve got a lot of content, I almost don’t need to create content, although I like to keep things up to date and add and evolve and so on my thinking. And of course I need to stay top of mind with my audience. But the truth is, I should, and you can hold me to account here, spend more time promoting the content that I already have. I have my business accelerator masterclass that I can promote. I have my three lead magnets resources that are really great quality, comprehensive resources. And of course, I have my programs, I now have my new course another plug wants to buy.com Ford slash course it’s the Business Academy.

It’s what is it now I think it’s 20 modules, 20 modules, 20 videos, 20 steps, I call them five modules on my five pillars are building a life outside the nine to five and say, videos, worksheets. That’s an incredible resource. I spent years putting the thinking and developing the frameworks for it. And then of course, weeks and months now, putting together the slides, and I’m recording the content as well. So that’s a huge, hugely valuable resource.

And I now need to focus on putting that out there promoting it.

So let’s walk through it again, planning. Yes, it might seem spontaneous, and fun and easy. But if you’re just going live and posting whenever you feel like it, number one, you’re going to be inconsistent and non strategic. And number two, it’s really hard to come up with things on the fly. The one thing I do do, I do play around with the reels a little bit on Instagram, because as of recording this, they are getting, you know, 1000s of views compared to my posts that only get a few views in the feed. So then what I do is I scroll through, you know, 510 minutes in the bath in the morning or whatever having a coffee, find some sounds that I think would be appropriate. And then if I feel like if I have an idea, I’ll record a couple so that’s a little bit spontaneous. I’ve started to try to record maybe three, four in one go because I have them on the phone in my draft and then I can push them out. But generally, if I had to every week I sat down I thought, Oh God, what should I write about this week? That’s so exhausting. So for me knowing that I have my five content pillars that I cycle through each pillar, you know, this June July now is personal branding and 2020 You too. I do too. Every week, you know, last week was how to stand out in a cluttered market this week is the three P’s of content marketing next week is how to be more visible, et cetera, et cetera. I know, the theme. I know the topic, and I know what I’m promoting at the end of it.

So that clarity, huge amount of relief for me, and I’m much more consistent, strategic and relaxed.

So content themes, topics, I know what formats I’m doing. I’m know what channels I’m doing. If you’re just starting out, you don’t won’t have as much as I have. And you don’t need to be as complex perhaps, because I’ve kind of laid this on over time. But planning must not be emitted omitted from this from this process. Right. So the three P’s number one, plan number two produce, this is when we create, but I’ve used produced cleverly to get you another P, aren’t I clever? We can batch create things, right? So yes, if you’re doing videos, it really helps. You know, I recorded the other day, what was a six, seven videos for the course. Finally, I managed to get the video set up. It was zooming in in the right place, I brushed my hair, I had my makeup, whatever, normal makeup, nothing fancy. These days, I had a bit of a lighting ring, and I recorded those seven videos. I’m now recording, hopefully, we’ll see how it goes. But I was going to record two months worth of podcast episodes in one go, then I can upload those to the transcription website, I can send them over to the podcast editor, we can give that to car and my Freelancer who’s then putting these on to the website, etc, etc. So especially for video or podcast, but also I’m finding more and more sitting down and writing the content calendars for each week, whether it’s you posting or someone else sitting down and doing a few weeks is great, because I think okay, Mondays is introducing the topic, boom, boom, boom, Wednesdays is a bit more detail. And then Fridays is the call to action and sitting down doing that, you know, in one go is you’re in the same frame of mind, you’re super clear.

So batching you know, putting things together. And by the way, a little tactical thing. But I use Asana as my project management software, I use the free version. And I’ve put in recurring to do their action steps now, right, so I’ve put in plan topics for the next month. I’ve put in record podcasts, record videos, those are two different things. Because right now I’m going to admit something to you my hair is wet, and I’m not wearing makeup. But you don’t know that because apart from fact that I’ve told you, you know, podcasts much more flexible. I went through a phase of trying to do videos for podcasts. But it turned out obviously, that’s just a step too far for me right now. So producing, batch creating, boom, done. And then remember the third P promote.

So again, I mentioned the kind of 20% Creating a dividend promoting much better to Yes, have a high quality piece and amazing blog post, maybe you created your first lead magnet, you’ve done a set of videos, you have a course a free course update, whatever. Now make sure that you’re pushing it out there. Make sure that you’re posting about it multiple times.

People need to see you and not the same thing. But they need to see it you know, seven times 13 times 25 times whatever they say now to actually then remember and to come into your ecosystem and buy from you. So multiple touchpoints you might feel like you’re pushing things out again and again. But I’ll promote the masterclass again and again and then somebody will say well, masterclass, what are you talking about? So, you know, you’re very deep in your business, your audience is busy, they just don’t care. They may be read it on the bus or on the loo or wherever and they forgotten about it. So a little prompt, a little extra poke is always good. You know, the big the big tabloid newspapers and I guess any any publication now does a lot of reposting you know, very clickable click baity headlines,

I’m not saying you should do that. But they’ll post the same article with a different headline, and they’ll get different people. Unfortunately, sometimes the same person I get annoyed that I fall in for it is the same article. But that’s the kind of thing we need to do. Right. In fact, I don’t do it so much. But the recommendation from many, many people is to many people, is to send out your email newsletter to all the unopened, right, so people who haven’t read it, I find that a bit. But maybe I should do that, actually. So I should walk the talk myself. Because of course, if you’ve missed it, then then it’s in your interest to read it because it’s really valuable content for you. So again, promoting, people need to see first of all existing people need to see it multiple times.

And secondly, new people always come into the community, right. So hopefully, and I worked with an SEO agency last week, last week last year, people are finding the content right that you have in the past and they’re finding your podcast, they’re listening, maybe if you’ve been guesting on someone else’s podcast, we’ll talk about this next week, then they’ll be coming into your community and so on. So you have those two things, new people need to see the old stuff. And existing people need to see things multiple times.

So those are the three P’s of content marketing. So where do you need to focus more?

Do you need to put more thinking into planning? So really think about what your themes are, what that sweet spot is between what you want to talk about what your clients need to know about topics, formats channels, do you need to be producing more perhaps you’re not so ubiquitous, and you need to be batching things. It’s a bit sort of sporadic and you want to be more consistent Since I can’t tell you how amazing it is, when you’ve done like now I will have done all the podcasts hopefully today. I will next week, I think on Monday record the videos then and then I can just hand those over and I can relax for a few weeks before it starts again.

In the meantime, that’s how I was able to finish my course because I’d already batched all the sort of day to day weekly content, right. So that was when I could actually do the business development and the real creation that’s going to drive the business. And that’s hopefully now ongoing going to be how I’m going to write the next book because I’m, I’ve already done streamline this, I’ve done the day to day that’s happening. And in the meantime, I can work on that kind of legacy piece of doing something else. So where was I’ve gone off on a tangent produce? Or do you need to be promoting more like media, you have a lot of content that people aren’t seeing? How can you put that on different channels. If you own particular channel, let’s say you chosen Instagram and LinkedIn bit diverse, right? Because Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Mr. Zuckerberg. But let’s say LinkedIn, Instagram, use everything on that use the medium to its full capacity. So yes, on Instagram, if you’re posting Do you know try the different things like carousels and individual posts and quotes and whatever, make sure you have a call to action, do stories do lives I did a couple of lives so for the first time in ages and you know, it’s just throwing some extra into the mix. Have a go at reels you don’t have to do the dancing and pointing and said chicken lets you just talk and maybe put a little bit music in the background. But use the platform to its full capacity. Same with LinkedIn. Now I actually don’t use the stories again, I need to walk the talk but I do posts and articles, videos and I’ve tried lives and so on right so maximize your visibility and that is a good place to end because that’s what we talk about next week how to be more visible. Three pieces of content marketing plan produced promote. I’ll see you next week.

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