Planning Paradox: How to Create Higher Value Content in Less Time

If you have struggled with planning your content marketing you are not alone.

However, once you get your plan in place, you will be astounded at how you can deliver more impactful content for your community, and in less time.

I’ve been there too; and that is why I’m excited to share how this is working for me now.

Of course, you will have to adapt this to your available resources, the specific needs of your customers, and most importantly, how your business can uniquely help them.

#1 – Give Your Customers What They Really Want

If you have been blogging for a period of time you are fortunate, because you know from experience what your customers most want from you.

However, many of us fail with this. We give our community what we generally want them to have, as opposed to what they really want.

As an example, for my audience a couple of the most popular topics are writing and social media tools. While I tend to think of writing as blogging and content marketing, writing in particular is the keyword that evidently most resonates with my community.

Writing is foundational to all forms of marketing. Therefore, I have pushed it to the front of my 2014 editorial calendar. It is the focus for this month of February, with topics that build upon it to follow.

How about social media tools? While I love learning about new tools, my strength is applying my business experience to choosing reliable tools that will stand the test of time. In other words, I only share the few that I have had direct experience with and can confidently recommend.

Therefore, I refer those hungry for an ever-growing list of cutting edge tools to my friend Ian Cleary at Razor Social. That’s his strength and focus.

This all comes down to knowing your audience and how you can best help them. Sound familiar?

This is your content marketing mission statement.

#2 – Design for Progressively Increased Value

The purpose of your content is to deliver value to your community that in turn leads to profitable outcomes for your business

As Epic Content Marketing author Joe Pulizzi says, “You can educate and inform your audience, but if it doesn’t lead to profitable customer actions, it’s not content marketing.”

Do you want to take your content to a higher level?

Design a process to create content so valuable your community will gladly pay for it. Tweet this

Start by considering how to address the topics that your audience never gets tired of learning about. These are topics specific to your industry, but that are of universal interest. For financial advisors, these topics would include preservation of capital and retirement planning.

Choose a dozen or so topics and organize by month, with seasonality being a practical method. Then brainstorm on subtopics and decide what will be the most logical order for each month.

When you do this you are designing your higher value content marketing. At the end of the month you will have sufficiently planned and organized content to create a high quality eBook or long-form article that can then be used as an incentive, such as for new subscribers to your newsletter.

If you want to increase the value even further, these short eBooks could be organized into a traditional book, or even a training program.

The idea is you are not just planning to get the work done, but planning it such that every piece of content builds upon the prior content, so that it all grows into high value content that better accomplishes your business objectives.

#3 – Atomize Your Content for Social Media

When your content is planned and organized, you will quickly discover how it makes your work easier, while concurrently making your content better.

You have no doubt heard about repurposing your content. I’m not fond of the term, because I think many interpret it as taking something from here and putting it over there, with the hope that they can squeeze a little more value out of it.

A better approach is to learn about atomization. This term refers to planning the design of the content for the respective distribution channels BEFORE it is created.

When you have a plan you know where you are going. That focus gives you the power to consider in advance how your content can be more useful for your communities on the respective platforms where it will be consumed.

I imagine Stephen King writing a novel and considering who will play the main character when the novel is made into a Hollywood film, and even what that film will be entitled. Obviously, if this were true (which it probably isn’t) it would change how the original content in the novel is written.

That’s the idea of atomization. It’s more than planning, more like pre-planning.

So, as you create your content, consider how you will later break it down, retitle it, and remix and associate the various formats of print, audio, photos, and video so that it is highly focused for the respective social media channels.

This is what I find interesting.

You can build higher value content by planning both it’s construction and deconstruction. Tweet this

It’s a simple matter of building themed content and then planning for it’s distribution on the respective social media channels.

Leave a comment and share how your content planning works.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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How Consistent Content Marketing Builds Your Community

Does the media always deliver? Maybe not always, but they do tend to show up as scheduled. That’s one of the keys to building your community with content marketing.

A business chooses when it is available for serving customers. Since content marketing is designed to provide value for prospective buyers with the intent of encouraging profitable customer actions, it makes sense to apply those same standards to content marketing.

To effectively communicate what your business stands for, your content marketing must keep regular hours – just as your business does. Tweet this.

There are three reasons why consistent content marketing builds your audience.

#1 – It Builds Familiarity and Trust with Subscribers

What does it say to subscribers when the content shows up on a random basis? Doesn’t it also suggest that the products and services the business offers will be delivered in similarly unreliable manner?

Producing valuable content takes time, regardless of your level of skill. Yet, so does every other discipline that is necessary to serve your customers and earn their trust.

Therefore, when you approach content marketing (and the social media that it drives) as a necessary discipline for business success, it’s quality will rise and  your subscriber base will grow.

Everything your business does is one business channel as far as your customers are concerned. It all speaks to your level of professionalism. It shows your subscribers that you care enough about them to show up on a regular basis.

Soon, they feel like they are getting to know you and your business; and that familiarity is exactly what you want your content marketing to accomplish.

#2 – Consistent Media Production Creates Opportunities

The most obvious benefit of consistent content marketing is it allows you to plan your content, thereby making it better for your community.  If you subscribe to our weekly Web Marketing News you learned how this works on Monday.

Another benefit of regularly showing up is that you begin to notice trends, thereby heightening your awareness for particularly important breaking news.

For example, when the news of Facebook hashtags were announced quickly realized this was one of the keys to how Facebook’s Graph Search would transform Facebook marketing. Therefore, I was not surprised when my article that published that evening had generated significant traffic by morning.

When you know your schedule, you can also plan the type of content for that day. Monday is a high traffic day when many of us publish our high quality long-form content, with lighter programming such as this article arriving later in the week when most of us are busy.

When you control more of the content marketing variables, you open the door for leveraging other opportunities.

#3 – Your Content Marketing Gets Progressively Better

Every successful content marketer will tell you that following a disciplined schedule provides for gradual and progressive improvement.  These improvements include:

  • Becoming more skilled with technology
  • Recognizing the intersection of related content
  • Developing systems that increase quality and save time
  • Building a backlog of content that minimizes stress
  • Better understanding how to help your community

Everything on this list gives your business the freedom to take more risks with your content marketing, and that will in turn increase its effectiveness for serving your community.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit

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