Content is important to any marketing program. Developing a content strategy and getting fresh content in front of your audiences is key. But how do you do this consistently? It is important to understand what topics are important to your target audience. You also must monitor trends in the marketplace so you can continue to offer relevant views, varying perspectives, and potential solutions.
Your competitors have probably developed content to support their marketing efforts. Look at some of their sites to see how they are approaching the marketplace. They may give you good ideas about what to do, or what not to do.
The best way to start developing content is to be aware of your potential client’s problems. What keeps them up at night? What challenges are they facing? You don’t have to be able to “fix” everything, but you should understand their perspective enough to speak to it.
Showing your understanding of their challenges creates a connection with prospects. Sometimes, simply acknowledging a challenge is enough to start an initial conversation. Your content should also make a great impression on the person who is seeing it. Is it interesting, compelling, timely or valuable?
Develop a list of important topics that you want to address. As you think about each topic, try to list subtopics that may also be explored.
· What topic is important to clients and prospects?
· What is your view or experience with the topic?
· Are there nuances or complexities that your prospect may need to understand and that you can explain?
· Are there other experts on the topic who you could interview on behalf of your clients?
· In each case, what is the main message you want to deliver to prospects and clients?
This may be intimidating as first, but it is time well spent. There are some great online mindmapping tools that can help you visualize topics and subtopics and their relationships. I have used MindMeister in the past and found it helpful in organizing and categorizing subtopics around a larger subject.
These types of tools are also useful if you are running a content brainstorming session with team members because they stimulate additional discussions and before you know it, you have a ton of content ideas to explore.
Quality content will help you develop and amplify your voice.
As you begin to develop content, kick the idea that “nobody wants to hear from you” out of your head. Most prospects and clients want to learn, appreciate the voice of experience, and would welcome the opportunity to hear from you – if you are producing and delivering quality content.
Your content can be a differentiator that adds value and sets you apart from the competition. So… what are you waiting for?
Take the first step: Start your content list today and keep adding to it. Ideas beget ideas!