We welcome this guest post from Pauliina Rasi. Pauliina is a communication strategist and copywriter for small businesses with mighty missions. She recently attended one of our Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders workshops and we asked her to give her thoughts and perspective.
At Archetypical, we don’t often look to fairy tales for inspiration (although regular readers will know we are partial to a bit of Alice in Wonderland). In this guest blog, Pauliina talks about the Goldilocks Zone of content marketing and why providing great content (but a ‘just right’ amount) is key for strategic advisers to establish their professional credentials and win business.
Over to Pauliina….
Adding value through content marketing is a great way to connect with clients, both internal and external. How to create the right amount of value – not too little, not too much?
Content marketing is a great way to improve visibility, nurture client relations and add value. As consumers, we are targeted through content marketing all the time: in the form of blog posts, video series and social media posts.
For businesses, content marketing is indeed a great way to catch the attention of their ideal clients and serve them before, during and after a purchase decision. Content marketing has internal value as well, as it can help communicate the company values and for example support complicated internal changes.
At the same time, creating content that translates into improved relationships or more clients doesn’t always come easy. Content creation is a big investment in time and resources, and we want to make sure to get that return on investment, be it in the form of improved sales or an enhanced internal process.
There are five common traps where many businesses fall with their content creation – and an easy fix for each of them.
- Add value in small pieces
While content marketing is all about adding value, in many cases, companies overdeliver.
If your content adds too much value, it risks turning clients and connections away instead of pulling them in. Sharing too detailed information might confuse your audience, when your content should rather be guiding them on their journey.
Alternatively, sharing too much information for free can solve a big part of your audience’s problems so that they don’t need your services anymore.
Free content should be like an amuse bouche, a free appetizer the kitchen sends out before the actual food that people selected from the menu, ordered and will pay for. When planning content, think of the smallest possible bit that helps your audience take the next step.
- Guide towards the sale
Along the same lines, each piece of content should have its place in the sales and marketing strategy. Where is a blog post, podcast episode, downloadable guide or a social media post guiding your clients or prospects?
That said, free content shouldn’t be too sales-y. It needs to add value on its own, even when the other person never becomes the client. But at the end, your content should nudge the reader, watcher or listener to take action: to sign up for your newsletter, book a call or start a demo, for example.
- Find out what value means for your clients
Naturally, understanding what is the piece of information your audience needs and the logical next step for them, requires client understanding.
Value is very different for your internal clients than for external ones, for example.
The best and the simplest way to get this insight is to stay in constant connection with your audience. Rather than conducting huge surveys once a year, make it a daily or weekly habit to ask questions, engage through water cool chats or social media polls to take the pulse.
How could you solve their problems today? Which tools and pieces of content would help them move forward?
- Play the long game in content marketing
A word of warning: as important and powerful as content is, it’s rarely a short-term strategy. Even the best-planned and formulated single piece of content probably won’t create a rush of clients behind your doors.
Content marketing is about playing the long game. It’s about forging long-term customer relationships, creating trust and credibility.
Of course setting goals and tracking performance is vital, but give your content time and don’t jump to conclusions too early.
- Be creative when creating content
When creating content to market your services, be creative! Often we see content as social media posts, blog articles or maybe downloadable ebooks.
Value comes in many forms. Sometimes adding value is sharing someone else’s content. It can be creating networks and facilitating connections.
Let’s wrap up with an example:
One of the most memorable and delightful Covid-time networking events I joined was Archetypical’s Corporate Snakes & Career Ladders game and networking event.
There was very little actual networking but connecting over a fun online activity forged natural bonds that are very hard to create in usual Zoom breakout room sessions.
When adding value and connecting with clients, the form doesn’t matter. The experience does.
Pauliina Rasi is a communication strategist and copywriter for small businesses with mighty missions. Passionate about words and writing, her mission is to help businesses grow and thrive through clear communication. If you want to turn your business around through powerful content, connect with her on LinkedIn.