Time to read: 3 minutes. Figuring out how to start content marketing is easier than you think. The trick is not doing what most people do. Follow these strange but effective 3 steps and you’ll be producing content that SELLS products and services, with a smile on your face.
You’ve probably heard the experts preaching about how important it is to have a strategy. “You’ve got to have a goal for your content” and “start with the end in mind.” Blah-blah-blah. This never helped me get started. I already had a goal:
Attract customers searching on Google to a blog or YouTube video, capture them as a lead and create a SALE.
So here is exactly where to start: Your target market’s pain, suffering, fear or aspirations.
Literally, jot down the answers to these questions on a piece of paper:
This is how to start content marketing.
Coming up with blog content that creates sales is as easy as:
Get tuned-in to topics that customers are motivated to take action on—then answer them.
Now that you’ve jotted down customers’ biggest pains, most frightening fears and exciting goals give them some results. Show them you can actually move their needle. Yes, for free, but with earning a lead in mind.
Show prospective customers how to change their success rate.
Using your blog, take them by the hand. Just as I’m doing in this blog post with you. Show them step-by-step how to achieve something important to them—then make it easy for them to do by offering them what I’m about to offer you.
Short-cuts and ways to access what they want faster. Scratch their itch.
Literally take your new point-of-view, better way of achieving something or avoiding a risk and share it. ALL of it. Give content away free and make sure it’s your best stuff.
Because effective social marketing filters out people who you do NOT want to talk to. If someone can’t afford what you sell, or doesn’t see the value in it (yet), let them try to do it themselves. Or let them waste the time of your competitors’ sales reps! Let go.
Focus your time on netting fish that DO see value in your services—and need little (or no) convincing of it.
Changing your customers’ success rate makes them confident in themselves… and that rubs off as trust in you.
So spill the beans on what you know and show customers how to get results they crave, in a limited way. Make them hungry for more by showing them how to solve a small yet serious problem—one that you can eventually connect to a more complete solution, a more satisfying experience.
This leads us to the final step.
Now that you’ve scratched an itch it’s time to get a lead.
Point blank: Your ability to earn leads with blog or video content depends entirely on one thing:
How much hunger (for more details) you create in presenting the content. The idea is to answer questions in ways that create more questions in prospects’ minds—then bury a call-to-action inside your blog post or video.
Your call-to-action will provide customers with a way to act on their urge—a means to access a more complete set of answers or a faster, easier way of developing this new skill you just described.
I’m talking about providing “cheat sheets”, checklists, guide booklets, tutorials and other ways to access what prospects want—faster or more effortlessly.
For example, here is a free online course that gets you started on what I’m describing. This is an example of what I’m describing AND a means to help you. I practice what I preach! Are you hungry to get going on this? Well, check out the course.
My course offers a handy worksheet that makes doing everything I’ve described in this article effortless… and takes you to the next step. It will get you blogging in a way that creates results—all for free. Why?
I want you to DO what I’m telling you about because it will create success for you.
You see, if I change your success rate you’ll become confident in yourself. You’ll actually be blogging in a new way that moves your needle. You won’t have invested a dime in me but you will, most likely, trust me.
Giving prospects a way to better understand their problems… and gain confidence over them… can help make what you sell the obvious next step. This way, your product transforms from something to consider buying into a logical next step in a journey prospects find themselves on.
Your blog or YouTube video is a chance to do more than engage—it’s an opportunity to take customers on a journey toward where you know they want to go. Along the way you’ll create a “mini-success” for them.
This positive experiences makes it EASY to connect what you sell to the journey later on.
So start responding to whatever prospects need or crave in your blog or video. This is how to start content marketing. Keep it super practical. Use this 3-step system and make it easier for yourself to (in time) connect what you sell to your blog posts.
Start right now by asking yourself, “Which questions do our customers need answered before they’ll buy?” or “Is there a skill I could teach them that would make them feel (and act) like a smarter buyer?”
Remember: Don’t restrict the questions to those about your product—think like a buyer (who may not, yet, be ready to buy).
My free training program is a great place to start doing this. It comes with a worksheet to get you started on this exact process www.makesocialmediasell.com/free-training
Otherwise, follow these strange but effective steps to start producing content that SELLS for you. That’s how to start content marketing—by getting it done effortlessly and making certain it creates sales effectively.
Photo credit: SantiMB
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.
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