It’s not ‘good enough’ to simply HAVE a blog, podcast or YouTube channel anymore.
With billions and billions of blog posts, videos, and podcasts in circulation today, understanding how content marketing really works is more important today than ever before.
The right content strategy can mean the difference between building an automated money machine that pays you while you sleep…
…And spending the next 10 years struggling just to break even.
No matter what your business does, you need an excellent content marketing strategy that actually brings in customers.
And today, I’m going to show you how to build one.
1. Tune Into “WIIFM Radio”
Your audience will only pay attention to your content (and your business) for two reasons:
- “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
- Who you are
First, your audience will pay attention to something because there is a clear benefit to be gained in THEIR life.
They have a pain point or a problem and they want to find the solution.
In marketing, this is referred to as a “before state” or a negative reality from which a prospect wants to escape.
- Low-profit margins
- A failing marriage
And then there’s another state where they want to ARRIVE – it’s what life after your product or service has done its job looks like.
- Being debt-free with 6 months living expenses saved
- Being in amazing shape
- Having crazy high-profit margins
- A love-filled marriage
85% of your audience’s interest in you or your business revolves around what’s in it for them.
Human beings are inherently selfish creatures (and there’s nothing wrong with that) and as such, you must cater to your audience’s selfishness by creating content that solves a specific problem in their lives, better and more effectively than the other content that is available.
The other 15% of their interest is actually about YOU: your story, background, education, perspective and experiences with helping people just like them.
This is why some people prefer to read about Stoicism from Ryan Holiday rather than Tim Ferriss or listen to one of Tom Bilyeu’s podcasts on mindset instead of reading Carol Dwek’s book.
The problem is too many content marketers waste their time writing about themselves, their thoughts, and their personal stories.
And while there’s nothing wrong with injecting an abundance of personality into your content or using yourself as an example…
…Every piece of content you create MUST have a clearly defined benefit for the consumer.
Until you can clearly define and articulate the EXACT answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?”, your content will continue to be ignored while your competitors steal your audience and your sales.
2. Use Engaging Content Formulas to Stand Out in the Sea of Content
Want to hear something crazy?
Every day, more than 4 million blog posts are published on the internet every single day.
Let me say that again… Four MILLION pieces of content.
Even though many of those posts aren’t in your niche or related to your audience, you’re still competing against millions of other blogs and websites on a daily basis for your audience’s attention.
And if you only use “boring” content formulas like…
“How To XYZ” or “XYZ Ways To Do ABC Thing”
You’ll never stand out and attract the people you need to your business.
Luckily, there are a few simple content formulas you can use to add an extra layer of intrigue to your work and keep people engaged and interested in what you have to say.
- What To Do If X…
This formula might help your audience overcome a common objection (What to do if you don’t have time to cook healthy meals)…
Or deal with an obstacle that’s standing in their way (What to do if nobody is clicking on your Facebook ads).
- Why XYZ People Do ABC (And Why You Should Too)
For an example of this content formula, look back to the start of this article. I said that John Deere uses it’s magazine The Furrow to get clients.
This content formula gives you a great avenue to examine a particular strategy, tool or process (bonus points if it’s related to a product you sell) and explain why it’s working for OTHER people just like your target customer.
(Which, predictably, makes it easier for them to believe that they should start using that strategy too – which also makes it easier for them to buy your product)
‘XYZ’ people could be anyone famous – or anyone successful that your audience doesn’t know about.
- [Desired Result]: It’s NOT About X!
In most industries, there are myths and misinformation that many people accept as common knowledge…
This content formula is a fantastic way to educate your audience about the CORRECT strategy to use to achieve their desired result.
For example, a nutritionist may create a YouTube video called “Weight Loss: It’s NOT About Burning More Calories In The Gym”…
Or if WE here at Early To Rise wanted to promote Craig’s Social Story Selling System on this blog, we could write a post around the formula this way:
Making Money Off Instagram: It’s NOT About How Many Followers You Have!
- The [Adjective] Way to [Desired Result] [OPTIONAL QUALIFIER]
While this might seem like a mouthful, it’s actually my favorite of the lot so far and the fastest way to explain this formula is with an example:
This works because of ALL the ways to achieve any desired result, we’ll always prefer the fastest, simplest or safest way…
And the [Optional Qualifier] there allows you to specifically tailor your content to the exact types of customers you want to attract.
- Open The Kimono
Best used sparingly (remember only 15% of your audience’s interest is about YOU as the expert) – Opening The Kimono is a crude way to describe giving your audience an insight into your life, business or personal strategy to achieve results.
(A kimono is a Japanese full-body dress that wraps around at the front of your body, and now you’ll never get the visual of opening one out of your head)
You might ‘Open The Kimono’ and show people your Facebook ads, workouts, or process for hiring new staff members…
Or you might ‘Open The Kimono’ and tell people how you deal with disappointment, stress or failure in your own life.
3. Give Your Content A KILLER Introduction
Imagine the reader, viewer or listener of your content is like a skier perched at the top of a steep trail…
When they first begin consuming your content, they have ZERO momentum. One small push, however, and they’ll likely slide all the way through your video, episode or article.
Our job in the first 10 seconds of a YouTube video or blog (or the first 60 seconds of a podcast) is to get to the meat of your content.
Too often content marketers waste their audience’s precious attention by taking a long run-up at the actual value of their article. They explain too much, give too much context and background…
And the reader, trying to ski down the mountain of your content, gives up and looks elsewhere.
Vince Delmonte is a classic example of someone who used to use KILLER intros to his YouTube fitness videos. He would start by saying something like this:
“What’s up champ – I’m Vince Delmonte and today we’re going to run through five exercises to build bigger hamstrings. The first one is over here at the squat rack…”
And that’s it. No laboring through the science of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, or anatomy…
85% of his audience’s interest is wrapped in “What can I actually DO to get big hamstrings?” and the other 15% is wondering “How did Vince get such big hamstrings? Is this the same workout he does?”.
Disclaimer: Listening to a podcast is an inactive way of consuming content. Most people will listen while they’re doing something else (driving, exercising, cleaning) – so you have a LITTLE more space to grab your audience’s attention…
But once your audience has given you their attention by clicking ‘Play’ on your latest episode, don’t waste it.
4. Cross-Link & Self-Promote
When you’re teaching and educating your audience with content, it’s likely that you as an expert could dive incredibly deeply into any topic you speak or write about.
For Vince Delmonte creating a video about bigger hamstrings, he might also know how to stretch them properly and which exercises will prevent injury.
Rather than getting bogged down in accessory details that detract from the promise of the video – which is to make your hamstrings bigger…
If he had other YouTube videos about stretching and injury prevention, those are easily cross-linked and promoted in this particular episode.
This is important because some of your content consumers may be casual dabblers, flicking through a particular platform like YouTube, Google or Spotify searching for something that’s relevant to them…
And other people may be binge-watchers/listeners/readers, eager to learn everything they can about the hamstrings.
If they’re bingeing on content, you don’t want to leave to chance the opportunity for them to continue to take value from YOU.
5. Give WAY More CTAs
Every business has a ‘sales process’.
For a brick and mortar biz, the sales process starts when someone walks in the door of the shop.
For an info or consultant biz, the sales process might be a funnel with a webinar.
If we recall back to the point of content marketing, it’s NOT to become famous or popular – it’s to make money while helping people who want the result you can get for them.
I challenge you to give WAY more calls-to-action for the people who consume your content – specifically, call on them to ENTER your sales process.
Do this near the start of your content, and at the end – but do it in a VERY particular way…
Nobody wants to listen to content that’s interrupted by a promotional message (it’s why we pull out our phones during ads in our favorite TV show, fast-forward them altogether – or just get Netflix).
In this article, I could have conversationally introduced one of the tools Early To Rise offers (a guide to have a successful morning routine) earlier when I was talking about content formulas like this:
By the way, if you’re not creative and struggling for content ideas the BEST time to come up with new formulas to use is THE MORNING.
Use our Quick & Simple Guide to Create A Successful Morning Routine here to turn your content marketing into a customer-getting machine.
Short enough to not deter people who ALREADY have the Morning Routine guide, and relevant enough to what we’re talking about here to not be intrusive or disrupt the flow.
Open your CTA casually with By the way, before I forget, if this is helpful to you, if you want to know how to do MORE stuff like this…
Go and get this so you can [benefit].
No matter if you HAVE an audience right now – or whether you’re growing one – don’t waste your audience’s attention.
They’re not consuming your content for fun – they want to achieve a desired result and the BEST way for them to do that is to purchase your product, so help them move closer to that point.
6. Syndicate Your Content
Most content marketers publish a new article, blog or video…
And then immediately post about it on Facebook, email their list and create a quote card from it to share on Instagram.
What happens if someone in your audience is overwhelmed with work on the day when you do all that posting?
What happens if they see something you share, think ‘That looks great! I must check it out later’ and forget?
I’ll tell you: Consumption of your content goes WAY down.
You have a window of time to share new content with your audience – and best practice is to drip-feed calls-to-action to consume it through social and email.
Create two or three share-able assets (a quote card, short snippets of your video, an audiogram from your podcast)…
And syndicate those across your platforms over the course of five to seven days.
Allow people who subscribe to your YouTube or Podcast channel to see the content organically as a notification from that platform, and then remind them throughout the week.
Let’s say you create three share-able assets for every piece of content you make (two quote cards and an audiogram or snippet from your video)…
And you publish on a Monday. Your syndication calendar may look like this:
|MONDAY||NEW CONTENT PUBLISHED|
|TUESDAY||Content 1||Content 2||Content 3||Email 1|
|WEDNEDSAY||Content 3||Content 1||Content 2|
|THURSDAY||Content 3||Content 2||Email 2|
|FRIDAY||Content 2||Content 1|
|SATURDAY||Content 3||Content 1|
(In this example, Email 2 on Thursday could be sent to everyone who didn’t open Email 1)
Every day there are at least two NEW assets going out on every single platform to your various followers.
While this may seem like a lot of work, it’s easy to learn and therefore very inexpensive to pay someone to do this.
Content Syndication is how you take a YouTube channel, Podcast show or blog that NOBODY knows about and turn it into a customer-getting machine.
Finally, for your content marketing strategy to work, we must…
7. Drive Traffic (The Right Way)
Your content marketing should live in the same place as your sales process…
NOT on YouTube or a podcasting app (although you should publish there)…
Your content should live ON YOUR WEBSITE.
No matter whether you create videos, articles or podcasts your content should always be embedded in a blog post on your site.
When you do that and syndicate links to your website across social media, via emails or through paid ads…
We already know the audience is now more likely to consume the content (because it’s now got a KILLER intro), and it’s more valuable and interesting (thanks to our High-Value Content Formulas).
However when they’re done watching they’re not confronted by millions of other videos on YouTube. They’re on your site – and the only videos there are YOURS.
When they download your podcast there aren’t thousands of other shows for them to browse – your sales process will be right in front of them!
Whenever possible you should always drive your audience to your own website and make sure that the Call-To-Action is easy for them to access.
No matter if you’re a seasoned content marketer or brand new to the game…
Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in “X Ways To Y” and “How To X” style content when there’s a world of different, exciting formulas to use.
Make content that’s about the particular goal or struggle your audience is facing down – and keep 15% of your message about yourself as the expert.
Increase consumption by using better introductions syndicating your content and driving traffic to your website…
And you’ll find that when you actually start inviting people into your sales process, you’ll get more leads and customers who WANT to do business with you.
Do you want help turning your content into a cashflow machine?
Then we want to help you.
There are still a few spots left in our Millionaire Case Study coaching program and Unstoppable Mastermind where you’ll learn proven content marketing (and other business growth) strategies that are working right now for the entrepreneurs at the 8-figure level and beyond.
To learn more and see if you qualify, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “7-Figures”. Tell us a little bit about your business, goals, and obstacles and we’ll help you figure out how to get your content and business to the next level.