Want to implement your content marketing strategy? You need to create a Killer Content Bank!
Looking after your customers and then actually growing your business can often feel like 2 full time jobs. And then adding creating enough content to implement your content marketing strategy can seem daunting. They all need time and attention and it can be hard to strike the right balance, especially as your customers will generally win in the importance stakes. So when it comes to your marketing strategy you need to have a clear plan and set out some key processes to ensure that your business continues to grow without needing to take too much time away from serving your customers. Creating a content bank will enable you to make content in batches so that you can ensure that you have consistent targeted content going out, to continually position yourself as an expert in your field.
A long-term Relationship Not a Short Term Fling
Content marketing offers great business growth potential, but I am not going to lie, there is a long-term commitment needed to reap the rewards. It’s not just a case of write a blog every now and then with the odd e-book or video thrown in! Oh no, it takes planning, consistency, creativity, a great promotion strategy, analysis and time to start seeing success. Basically Create, Promote, Analyse, Repeat!
Think of it as a long term relationship, not a one off fling. In the beginning you will need to pay your content strategy more attention, take time to get to know each other and figure out how you fit together, make sure it feels special, shower it with gifts, romance it, nurture the relationship. As time goes on you will feel more comfortable in each others presence, still appreciating each other and learning new things, but you will have more of a grove and know each others little quirks. You are starting to get some of the benefits of being in a stable relationship, a routine. Then as more time passes, you will just click, knowing each other like the back of your hand. You know instinctively what is right and you will build on that, you feel at home in each others presence and you are safe in the knowledge that you have each others back.
In order to make this creative relationship a little smoother and a little less like hard work in the beginning, getting clear on the content that serves your audience and taps into your expertise and then creating a content bank will help you get ahead.
3 Content Creation Strategies to Create a Killer Content Bank
There are 3 strategies that you can employ together to create an abundance of content so that you can get ahead and merrily focus on promoting and scheduling your content out to the world and serving your customers.
1. Content Clusters
To create content we generally have to be in the right frame of mind to write. Content clustering is about setting side a few hours to write and be creative to just power out multiple items of content.
To do this you will need:
Each of these steps are detailed in my previous blogs, so click the links to review those if you haven’t already. Once you are up to step 4 and have created your content concept sheets, you can begin your content clustering. The ideal is to use 3 + of your content concepts that are linked in some way so that there is a nice flow of ideas, they will also make a nice series of content that progresses the buyer on a journey.
Clear your work space, shut out any distractions (as much as possible), even go outside of the home or office if that helps you be creative and get in the right headspace. Gather together any research or reference points you may need to help you form the content ,including your content concept sheets. Put some music on if that helps your focus, grab a drink, snack and anything else that might produce an excuse to leave your creative space and get settled in front of a laptop, notepad or even typewriter if that’s what helps you. And begin.
Remember the idea is to get 3 or more pieces written. Don’t worry about the aesthetics, just focus on the copy.
There are lots of techniques that may help you structure your content and then flesh it out, but here a few.
- Brainstorm - get a piece of paper and marker, write out your topic or title in the middle and then begin to brainstorm everything your can think of that is important about that topic. You may find that there is too much for this one content piece. Winner! Thats ok, create more content concept sheets for each sub piece that you can also write about later or at another time. Once you have this start to put in bullet points, sections or sub headings and then flesh out the info for each.
- Free write - Free writing is literally about writing freely everything as it comes to mind in a set time frame. Set a timer, say 5 minutes, get clear on your topic or title and then just start writing or typing everything that comes to mind in that time. No deleting, editing, pausing, overthinking, just write. Then once the time is up, again begin to section out your content and editing what you have written into a cohesive piece of content.
- Summary Bullets - Start of with a piece of paper and in no more than 5 bullet points, summarise the most important points that you must say in the content. Be strict with yourself. Then add a sub heading for each and begin fleshing each bullet point out with up to 5 sentences for each. This is a great way to write a short, focussed piece of content for a very niche subject.
2. Cornerstone Content
Cornerstone content is content that continues to be relevant over and over. It is generally the content most relevant to your expertise, fits in with your SEO plan and that you are most proud of. It can stand alone as a go to guide or explainer for your chosen subject. To put that in context, for the topic of content marketing that would be a piece like: The basics of content marketing or 5 easy steps to implement a content marketing strategy. You can continuously promote cornerstone content and it should really showcase who you are, what you offer in expertise and really add value to your audience. You may want to add these particular pieces as static pages on your website as well as in the form of blog posts or downloads to have a continual presence.
Once you have spent all of this time creating great targeted content, the last thing you want if for it to be a one hit wonder. You can create loads more content to add to your bank by repurposing content. If you have a series of blog posts that are linked around the same topic, use them to create an e-book to have as a lead magnet or as exclusive content for your members. Then turn that into a webinar. Then split the webinar up into chunks and create an online course or email series. Then edit these down into a teaser video for your course or future repeat webinars and upload it social media and YouTube. Who knows, eventually you might have enough content to publish your first novel or create a podcast. Really the possibilities are endless.
Do your research though, don’t just keep putting your content out blindly and not look at what your audience enjoys. Work out what they like and make more content in a similar vain. Plus make sure that you are cross promoting your other items of content in your blog and on videos etc. If you are talking about one subject that links to another that you have some content for, link to it. Don’t miss out on these easy but prime opportunities to get your audience consuming more of your content.
If you use each of these 3 strategies on a regular basis, you will be able to create more than enough content and hopefully months in advance, so you can feel content that your content is taken care of!
Next week on the blog:
I will be talking about content optimisation to ensure that you are giving your content the best chance to convert.
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