Do you sigh whenever you have to think up something new to post on social media? Do you groan when it’s time to write another email to your subscriber list? Does the very thought of content creation make you want to hide away and forget about it all?
We’ve all been there! Running your business, dealing with customers and managing suppliers and contractors are hard enough, without having to add content creation to the mix. But coming up with new ideas for your website and socials doesn’t always have to be so hard.
Meet the guru who makes content creation easy!
Recently, our Organic Digital Marketing group was lucky enough to have content marketer, content coach and strategist, Mel Daniels from Meld Business Services come in to share her tips on easy ways to drive content creation.
Empowering women in service-based businesses to use content purposefully to connect with their ideal clients, Mel shared how harnessing the 5 step client journey can simplify content creation. It’s such an easy process to follow – join the group to watch the session for yourself (it’s packed with amazing insights!).
If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s an overview of how you can easily drive content creation by focusing on the 5 phases of the client journey.
First of all – what do we mean by content creation?
Content creation is a broad term that covers anything you write online. It takes in your website content, blogs, social media posts, email marketing and direct messaging (including chatbots). When you stop to think about it, you’re creating content all the time (which is possibly why you feel overwhelmed right now).
You know that you need to keep producing quality content to stay competitive, but that doesn’t mean churning out anything that comes to mind. Content should have a purpose, whether that’s to create a connection, get someone to make a purchase, provide valuable information or provide a glimpse behind the scenes of your business.
Why the client journey is the key to content creation
Without a plan or strategy, content creation becomes another chore that only adds to your load. Worse still, it may become a time suck that doesn’t give you any return on your investment (which is a shame as organic marketing has the potential to supercharge your business!)
If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed right now, planning your content in line with your client journey can make everything easier. Positioning content along the entire journey from first-time visitors to raving fans will give you endless inspiration for your content plan while encouraging your ideal audience to take a journey with you. It’s a win/win all-around.
What’s the difference between the client journey and a sales funnel?
Sales funnels are used to capture leads and guide them to conversion, with your audience moving from the broad top of the funnel through to the narrow bottom. Typically, this involves getting the attention of as many people as possible in the beginning to secure a few sales in the end.
Unlike the traditional sales funnel, the client journey doesn’t concentrate on numbers or transactions or try to force everyone down your funnel. The client journey focuses on creating relationships and providing value to encourage interaction and build trust between you and the client or customer.
Instead of going after everyone, you place trust in your processes, your customer service and your value to draw the right people to you. This is a shift in outlook that can be challenging to embrace for business owners, but moving away from the traditional approach gives you purpose (e.g. instead of selling, you’re helping) and allows you to make a greater impact in your space.
What does focusing on the client journey look like?
It starts by sharing information and knowledge to build relationships and prove your value. You might share educational material with your audience via a blog post or offer a quick win via a free lead magnet. As customers move further along, you turn your attention to providing value through email marketing, direct messaging and exclusive content.
At every stage of the client journey, it’s about delivering value to build trust, create connections, develop relationships and prove your expertise.
While you might worry about giving too much away for free, don’t be scared to give lots of value to your clients. While you may not get a sale straight away, people will remember your assistance and choose you when they are finally ready to buy.
Stop relying on paid advertising to bring traffic back to your website.
Our handy guide contains actionable tips you can implement so that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising. Download the Organic Marketing Essentials Workbook and enjoy!
How content fits into the 5 phase client journey
Phase 1: Connect
In this first phase, it’s important to show who you are and what you do to attract attention and start creating connections.
- Leverage social media posts to let your potential audience get to know you
- Use Facebook groups (your own and others) to comment and help fellow members
- Harness direct messaging (DMs) to further the conversation
- Collaborate with other experts in your field to widen your audience
- Participate in podcasts, videos and lives to connect with more people.
Phase 2: Subscribe
In the second phase, it’s time to capitalise on these connections by getting people to subscribe to your email list.
- Create a free lead magnet that’s packed with value for subscribers
- Use social media to promote your new offering
- Update your website to promote the optin (don’t forget to create a thank you page)
- Set up an email automation sequence to welcome subscribers and provide more value.
Phase 3: Nurture
In the nurture phase, email marketing takes centre stage as you continue to build a relationship with your new followers.
- Create a follow-up email automation sequence to offer even more information and value
- Break up blog content into smaller chunks for social media posts
- Share more tips and tricks to build trust and prove your expertise
- Remind your audience that you are ready to help them.
Phase 4: Convert
Now that your audience is primed to take action, ensure they know what they will be getting by working with you.
- Share testimonials and case studies to provide social proof
- Create social media posts to promote your packages
- Offer exclusive discounts to encourage take-up
- Answer common questions to break down barriers to purchase.
Phase 5: Onboard
This final phase seals the deal by giving people a little extra something to reward them for taking action.
- Add in ‘wow’ factor to your processes to encourage them to share their experience
- Think of some little extra you can offer to convert them into a raving fan
- Provide VIP content, like a video walkthrough of your processes for additional value.
Putting your content plan into action
Remember, not everyone will be at the same point in the journey at the same time, so your content creation plan will need to feed into all 5 phases at once. One way to do this is to focus on a different phase for each day of the week. So, if you only post 5 days a week, make sure one post addresses each phase of the journey.
Another approach is to give each month a specific theme, so your focus remains consistent throughout the month. This makes it easier for you to plan and execute content (hello efficiency!) and helps new clients to get to know you better as you won’t be continuously chopping and changing your direction each day.
Blogs are key to any content creation plan as they give you the chance to explain issues and address specific pain points. Blog posts can also be broken down into micro-posts for use on social media which can drive traffic back to your website, your lead magnet and your packages (and save you LOTS of time in content creation!).
Email marketing should also be a cornerstone of your content plan. Providing the highest return on investment of all marketing strategies, people who have freely given you their email address are more likely to convert. Email marketing also has the advantage of being an asset that your business owns, unlike your social media channels, which can be shut down at any time.
A quick primer on lead magnets
Lead magnets are most often digital products that you offer people for free in return for their email addresses. They can take the form of downloadable content, pdf checklists, workbooks, challenges, masterclasses, webinars and more.
Anything that delivers value to your client by solving a pain point can become a great lead magnet. The trick is to design it to be something that your audience wants and values enough to give you their email address in return.
A good lead magnet can make all the difference to your business, providing a thriving email list for you to nurture. Lead magnets are the best way to draw your ideal customers away from social media (which is essentially rented space) and onto your patch, where you have more control.
When developing a lead magnet, keep the following points in mind:
- It needs to speak to your ideal client, meet them where they are now and give them a quick win (in other words it needs to be obtainable).
- It needs to be actionable and help them move forward – that’s why videos and checklists work so well.
- It needs to logically lead into your main product or service to guide them along the client journey.
Remember, no one has the same email list as you and even a small list can deliver big returns with the right lead magnet. This is where the gold is people – get to it!
YOU are the secret sauce when it comes to content creation
Hands up if you exclusively focus on your business when it comes to content creation? Most of us try to keep things strictly business-related on our feeds but YOU are the secret sauce for your business. As Dr Suess told us all those years ago, “there’s no one you-er than you!”
While your information is valuable and clients might at first DIY a solution based on your information, it’s your explanation, approach and knowledge that makes the difference. That’s what will attract visitors and transform them into raving fans.
So, don’t be afraid to include glimpses into your life and personality in your content along the way. It’s important to show yourself and share a bit of who you are through your content. You might find that the Instagram post you share about baking at home could lead to more comments than usual and create new connections (that’s what Mel found, anyway!)
Want to know more about simplifying content creation?
Thanks so much for an amazing session, Mel!
Interested in finding out how focusing on content creation and the client journey can supercharge your organic marketing efforts?