Have you ever thought about launching a content first business? Do you even know what one is? If you’re interested in six simple steps to finding, building and retaining an audience, this new business model devised by Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute could make a difference to the way you run your business.
A new business model? Why?
Marketing has changed over recent years. First, it was all about the website, the perfect tool for promoting products. Then social media was born, creating a host of platforms for attracting an audience. And now? You’re struggling to be heard amid a million other online voices. The customer is in control—they can pick and choose between thousands of sources of information. So how do you make sure they listen to you?
Welcome to the world of content marketing.
You need to create valuable, relevant and compelling information that will engage your customers and build a long term relationship with them. Only at that point should you start thinking about monetisation. And to do this successfully, the Content Marketing Institute has identified six key steps you need to follow.
The six steps to content marketing success
- Finding the sweet spot
The sweet spot is the intersection between something you’re passionate about or your customers’ pain point and a knowledge or skill area that you actually have an authority to communicate about. Where these two meet, you have an opportunity to provide valuable and informative content. This is where you can be an expert at something that’s of real interest to your audience.
- Tilting your content
Once you have your sweet spot, you need to find a way to differentiate your offering from those of all the other businesses in the same niche. This is finding a way to make your voice cut through all the chatter to talk to your target audience. To find out what makes you different, create your content marketing mission statement by answering these questions:
- Who is your core target audience?
- What are you going to deliver to them?
- What will they get out of it?
You need to make this the focus of every single piece of content you produce.
- Building the Base
This means deciding what type of content will be created on what platform. Focus on these four points:
- Start with one type of content – text plus image or audio content or video content.
- Choose one main platform – your blog or website, or YouTube for example.
- Deliver consistently at set times.
- Commit to being in it for the long haul—it will probably be 15 to 18 months before you can think about monetisation.
- Harvest the audience
This is where you can begin to reap the benefits of your work—by harvesting subscribers to your content. The point here is to build up a list of email subscribers. When you build up an audience on a social media platform you don’t own, you can’t control how they receive your content. For example, only one percent of your followers will see an organic post on Facebook. However, send out an email and everyone will see it. Consistently send out emails with valuable content and people will read them. This means leading your followers and website visitors to an email sign up form—and entice them to sign up with an exclusive content gift.
It’s time to diversify and expand into other channels. Follow the rule of three and encourage your subscribers to engage with three subscription opportunities—your email newsletter, a podcast, a print magazine, a training course or an event.
Only once you’ve built your audience are you ready to monetise, through advertising sponsorship, event registration, sales of products or services.
In other words, building a content first business is about creating value for your audience before you extract value. Don’t try to sell to them too early, concentrate on building a loyal relationship. To learn more and hear about specific case studies, watch this webinar by the Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi: