So much of what we’re encouraged to do online is to create, create and create so that we can develop strong and consistent content marketing for our brand and business. Content marketing has changed everything for me - but maybe not in the way you would first expect. A lot of the content marketing advice you can find out there is both parts useful and formulaic - and I’m a big believer in forgoing formulas and instead moving forward with purposeful strategy and ideas. Content marketing isn’t one-size fits all, from working one-on-one with my coaching clients I’ve really started to see how unique the needs are of each and every single brand and the key is to develop a content marketing strategy that works for you and the needs of your brand. If you’re new to the term, you may be wondering exactly what content marketing is.
It’s how we share and establish our expertise, connect with our ideal audience, and ultimately convert them into paying customers and clients. I’ve personally found that its power can be found in two things - building brand awareness and then converting your ideal readers into customers and clients. At first you may think to build a strong and profitable content marketing strategy that you need to be updating and creating new content as often as possible, and you may even feel a big pressure to always be active and available online. I’ve talked about Slow Blogging in depth in the past, but today I want to expand on that idea and talk with you about the power of saying more with less when it comes to content marketing and building a profitable online brand. Although this alternative approach may not suit everyone, I think it could definitely be one worth exploring for passionate creatives who are building a business that is as much about doing the work they feel inspired to do as it is about making a sustainable income.
Prioritise impact over quantity: Sometimes all it takes is one killer piece of content to really connect and engage with your ideal customers and clients. Archives and archives of content can do one of two things. It will either excite and delight a possible new reader/client, or it will overwhelm them and leave them confused as to what your brand is really all about - and whether it’s for them or not. This is where staying focused and really understanding your audience really comes into play.
I’m a big believer in prioritising impact over quantity - I’ve seen the power it has to transform brands in both my own journey and that of my clients too. By saying more with less, you can actually then cut out all the fluff and filler that will start to dilute your brand over time. We all have this big fear of being smaller if we say and do less online, yet once we step back and start to prioritise impact over quantity, amazing things can start to happen.
Take your audience on a journey of change: When we start to define what impact and reach really looks like, I think for many of us it looks like encouraging positive change. Whatever our focus and topic, so many of us are sharing information, ideas, and insights in the hopes of having a positive effect on others. Whether that’s by informing, entertaining, encouraging, or motivating them along the way - we’re all sharing for a reason. When your online space works alongside your business, its main role is to attract your ideal customers/clients and connect them with your brand, your message, and your services and products.
Instead of just sharing content in the hopes of establishing your expertise, I think a much more purposeful approach can be to take your audience on a journey of change. Instead of just creating content that someone reads for 10 minutes and then walks away from onto the next thing, if you share ideas and information that takes your audience on a journey, you will establish your brand as one definitely worth paying attention to. You can do this in many ways, but saying more with less is definitely a good place to start. Being very specific and intentional with the content you create, with the way you distribute it, and the user experience you build means that your online presence will be able to really dig deeper with your ideal readers and prospective clients along the way.
Let your brand stand on the weight of its work, not on the depth of its noise: So many of us fear that if we go quiet for a day or two our brand and our work will start to become irrelevant and small. I really believe that we have to trust in the power and the value of our work - if we believe enough in the message, the purpose, and the value of what we offer, we have to know that our daily internet activity will not actually define our potential in the long run. It is of course so powerful and important to be active and available online, but we shouldn’t confuse that with just showing up for the sake of it.
Taking a more purposeful approach to the way we market ourselves through our content means that we can direct our creative energy towards creating really impactful pieces of content. Believe that your work has value, trust in the fact that you’re creating for a very specific type of audience, and give yourself permission to stand on the weight of your work instead of just adding to the noise.
If your readers could learn one thing about your brand when they visit your website, what would it be? Content marketing isn't about converting readers from their first visit - though from time to time, if you're doing it right, you probably will - but instead building a long term lasting relationship between them and your brand. We all know first impressions are so important, but you have the power to really direct the path it takes. Ask yourself - what's the one thing you'd like people to learn about your brand when they visit your website? What part of your story, or brand message, or mission statement do you want them to take away with them? If your ideal clients knew one thing about you and your brand that would keep them coming back as loyal members of your community, what would it be?
If people who visit your website could be inspired into action to do one thing, what would it be? This ties into that idea of taking your audience on a journey of change. It's one thing to have a beautifully designed site with decent content that shares your expertise and catches your readers attention, but it's another to really engage them into digging deeper into your ideas and really let your work into their lives and their process. When you're building a business and a brand that is rooted in passion, your work is way more than just a means to a paycheque. It means something to you - you really believe in what it is you're doing, and almost always it's about people and how you know that you can serve them best. What could your website inspire your audience into action to do that will ultimately allow you to build a deeper relationship with them in the long run? There's something so powerful in actually showing what you're capable of instead of just talking about it.
How could you say more with less? Look at your content marketing strategy - if you don't have one yet and you're hoping to use your online presence as a game changer for your brand and business, I definitely recommend giving some of your creative energy into building one. If you do have one, ask yourself - could I say more with less? Could I have more impact with a more focused approach to sharing online? It can feel a little safer to hide behind tons and tons of content - and I definitely see and understand the power behind archives and archives of high quality content - but more than anything you want content that is purposeful and has the ability to really have some impact and reach with your ideal audience along the way. Take your audience on a journey - instead of just throwing any and everything at them in the hopes something will click, craft a purposeful path for them to engage with your brand and really give them the opportunity to dig a little deeper into how you can serve them best.
Like I said in the introduction, this approach will not be for everyone. But I think it's an interesting perspective to explore and hopefully some food for thought for anyone who is starting to craft a content marketing plan that really aligns with their brand vision and goals. More than anything I'd like this post to encourage you to know that there is value in saying more with less - you never need to speak the loudest to be listened to and heard. There's something to be said for quietly doing the work that you feel called to do and letting the weight of your work do most of the talking for you.
I would love to know your thoughts? What's your approach to content marketing?