At the very core of publishing good content is being able to create and choose the best ideas. Often times the content I see is clearly not going to grow businesses.
Here’s a few examples of the challenges people typically have:
- I’ve got a lot of ideas for blogs but I don’t know where to start or what should come first
- I’ve been creating content for a while but it’s not really hitting the mark or getting the results I want
- I’m fumbling around and I’m lacking certainty – are we doing our best work? Is our work really making a difference?
These are all very common challenges, and there’s one major reason why these problems exist – we don’t have a process to help us decide what the best ideas are for our content.
In other words, what ideas should come first? Exactly what content will grow businesses?
I want to help you figure out the best place to start.
So, let me help you with a few questions to uncover your best ideas so you feel more confident about your work – resulting in you publishing better work more frequently, and ultimately serving your audience and your business in a better way.
Enjoy the show and DFTBA!
- They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan (Amazon UK)
- Join CMA and complete our Content Success Formula Programme
- Content Marketing ROI: How to measure the return of content marketing (Blog Article)
- How does content marketing lead to sales? (Blog Article)
Each week I read, watch and listen to dozens of content from business people and marketers, mostly students in CMA. It’s easy for me to spot the great content from the not so great content, mostly because I’ve been doing this for a while, but I also have a really good idea of what good looks like. A big part of my role is to help people to create better content through giving them feedback, and the progress they make is incredible when they see that feedback, they take that feedback and they put it into practice. Not only can they see their own progress, but I love seeing their progress as well. The very core of publishing good content is being able to create and choose the best ideas. Oftentimes, the content I see is clearly not going to grow their business, and that is what this podcast is all about.
How to create and choose the best content ideas to grow your business. So, here’s a few examples of the challenges people typically have. They say things like: “I’ve got a lot of ideas for blogs, but I don’t know where to start or what should come first. I’ve been creating content for a while, but it’s not really hitting the mark or getting the results that I want. I need better ideas.” Or, “I’m fumbling around, and I’m lacking certainty. Are we doing our best work.? Is it really making a difference? Is our work really making an impact?” These are all very common challenges and there’s one major reason why these problems exist. We don’t have a process to help us decide what the best ideas are for our content. In other words, what ideas should come first? Exactly what content is going to grow our business?
I want to help you to figure out the best place to start. Let me help me with a few questions to uncover your best ideas. A few questions, a few notes, so you feel more confident about your work, resulting in you publishing better work more frequently, and ultimately serving your audience and your business in a better way.
Let’s assume you’ve got a bunch of ideas for content already. You look at those ideas for your content marketing and you think, should I start at the top? Should I start with the easiest, the hardest? Should I start with the most popular? Should I start with the one I find most interesting? Should I start with my favorite? Should I start with a topic that I’ve never written before? You know, there’s lots of places to start, but let me cut to the chase here and give you the answer right away.
You should start with the ideas that will move the needle the most for your business. What content ideas do you have right now, that if you were to publish them, would solve a business growth challenge for your business? In other words, you will get super clear on what should come first if you truly understand your business growth challenges.
For example, are you struggling to get new people onto your website? Are you struggling to get the right people onto your website? Are you struggling to get inquiries or appointments? Are you struggling to convert your prospects into sales? Are your customers leaving you too early? What kind of growth challenges are you having? Take a look at your biggest growth and marketing challenges, and spot these gaps. Peel back the layers. Figure out where these gaps are. I’ve said this before, content marketing should be a commercial and strategic activity in your business.
In other words, your content should be deliberate and well thought out in terms of how it drives your customers through a sales process, from strangers to customers, right through to advocates of your brand. So, drop your ideas down to less that’s focused on helping your prospects to get more educated on their questions and problems that are related to what you do. This is what content marketing is all about. To help your prospects make an educated buying decision. To create better and more qualified customers for your business. To speed up the sales process so people buy from you more quickly. So, at the end of this part, here are the questions that you should ask yourself. Who is your ideal customer? What does the customer journey and sales process look like? Where are the gaps in the process, and what content do I need to create and publish to make the process smoother, faster and better?
What business growth problems could content solve for me? Create content for your prospects in order to attract the right people to your content. More traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more sales, unless you are attracting the right people. In other words, unless you are attracting your prospects to your website. So, this is the first part. We’re going to go into a second part in a second. How to qualify your ideas. I’m sure there’s a lot of content you could be publishing, and I’m sure it will be useful, and fun, and even exciting for you to be involved in, but challenge yourself with this approach. Is this single content idea, or are your content ideas really going to grow your business? You can get to the other stuff later. Most of the people listening to this today are doing marketing in order to grow their business. So, take time to work through your ideas with this perspective.
In this next part, I would like to help you to create better ideas too. If you have better ideas, and you have a better approach to choosing better ideas, then I think you’ll have a lot more success. In fact, I know that you’ll have a lot more success. I see it in our students every single day, every single week, every single month. The ones that are challenging themselves to do better are the ones that are getting better results. I’m going to share with you five ways to get better ideas. Here they are.
Number one, look at your sent box in your email. What questions do people typically ask you when they are considering buying from you? Have you published the content that answers those questions specifically?
Number two, ask yourself, why do people not buy from me? Why do people not buy from me? You should be able to come up with a bunch of reasons, on the reasons, why people might not buy from you.
I love this question. I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time, and I still come up with a lot of ideas for this question. Sales objections and stories that people tell themselves about the problems in your industry. What reasons do people typically give you, or what reasons do people typically have, for not buying what you offer? Have a really good think about that question. It’s such a powerful question.
Number three, research the gaps in your industry. In most industries, a lot of content is already out there and available to your prospects. However, often times when I’m doing research for others, there’s a lot of room for better, and more in depth, and more helpful content. Could you create content that’s better than what else is out there? Could you be the most helpful in your industry? There is tons of room for better, so that’s another challenge for you.
Number four, they ask, you answer, and the big five. Now, I could do several podcasts on this subject alone because this is my main topic for teaching, coaching and speaking. They ask, you answer, and the big five. Now, hopefully you’ve heard it before and if not, you can either read the They Ask You Answer book by Marcus Sheridan, because this is his philosophy and methodology, or you can also do the content success formula, which is the course that we run, or the program that we facilitate exclusively within CMA, which is built upon They Ask You Answer and Marcus Sheridan’s philosophy and methodology. I’ll put links into the show notes for you, so you can go ahead and have a little nosy, all of that. In short though, there are five topics and subject areas that will move the needle in every industry.
Those are pricing, costs, problems, reviews versus comparison, and best of best in class. Those are the five main areas. You should be able to create content, and content ideas, within those five areas because those are the five topics that when someone’s considering buying something that they’re going to research in and around those topics. Now, I’ve dropped a few links into the show notes for you, including links to two main blog articles on this subject.
If you want to know more about how the big five, and They Ask You Answer leads to sales. When you learn this methodology and you prioritize it, it will unlock hundreds of core ideas for content that will grow your business. I have absolutely no doubt about that. So, number four is They Ask You Answer, and the big five.
Number five, and the last one, is to own a geographical niche. If you have a localized business, you may have the ability to own a geographical area with your content. Again, regardless of how much content is already out there from your industry, you could own it in a geographical area.
So, that’s five areas, five core areas I feel, that will move the needle for you and get you thinking about content that moves your prospects forward through the sales process. In summary, the five are, look at your sent box in your email. Ask yourself, why do people not buy from me? Research the gaps in your industry and be better. They Ask You Answer and the big five, and to own a geographical niche. So, this is your challenge and it’s twofold. Not only should you push yourself to create better, better ideas, but also challenge yourself to only then pick the best ideas too. Sometimes the best ideas are the hardest ones, but that’s where you’re going to learn.
That’s where you’re going to push yourself to be better. At the end of the day, for you, for me, for business owners and marketers, this is really about three main things. Number one, an effective use of your time and making sure your resources and efforts are being used in the best way. Number two, it’s about return on investment, so creating content that’s far more likely to have an ROI for your business. In other words, it’s strategic. You are creating content with purpose and with the objective to grow your business. Number three, feeling like your effort is actually worth it. Feeling like content marketing is really worth it for you and your business. When you don’t know, or feel like something is worth it, it can really stop you in your tracks. It can demotivate you, but with better ideas, you will get more confidence and you will start to feel like it’s truly worth it.
In conclusion, you don’t want to be publishing half-baked ideas. I get that, but at the same time, you can’t always wait until you have all the information available to you. In other words, don’t allow perfectionism to stop you making progress. There’s always going to be gaps, but you can always publish another piece of content later. You can always get more specific later, right? You can always publish something else that goes into more depth. So, don’t let your ideals stop you from publishing. Challenge yourself to get the best ideas out there and appreciate that this is the best you can do right now with the information that you have. You also can’t expect every single piece of content that you put out there to be a hit, or to even be your best work, but you still have to keep going. Even professionals can’t do their best work every single time. Embrace the process.
As a business owner and marketer, you need to be publishing your content. When you produce it, it makes you feel good, and embracing the process will help you to become more confident in the choices you make, and the ideas that you generate. It’s a process, right? We’ve got to embrace it. On a final note, how would you feel in six months if your main competitor started doing what you’ve been planning to do for ages? If you don’t start this now, where will you be in six, 12, 18 months? Do you want to be in the same position or worse? My guess is that you want to make progress, so let’s get to work. Your customers and prospects need your expertise to help them, and if you don’t start getting out there with your content, you are doing you a disservice, and them.
So, let’s be better at creating and choosing the right ideas for our content. Let’s strive for better. As always, my door is open. Any thoughts, questions, ideas on this, please tweet me at @chrismarr101 on Twitter, or email me, Chris@cmauk.co.uk.
I hope you’re enjoying your work today, and until next time, don’t forget to be awesome.
Thanks again for joining me on the Content Marketing Academy podcast. If you would like to join the Content Marketing Academy, you can get yourself a 14 day free trial with no obligation to continue. Just email me, Chris at Chris@cmauk.co.uk for your free trial.