How do I know what to post?

"How do I know what to post?"

This is often the first question business owners and marketers ask me after I tell them to stop posting for the sake of it.

They realise that they have been posting things to their social media because they were feeling guilty they hadn’t posted in a few days or weeks, but there was no strategy behind it. It might be a selfie of themselves with a cute caption or resharing an article they think their audience might like. However, they haven’t yet stopped to think about their business goals and how exactly their content ties back to these.

The content you create and share should be building fans around what you do while directly bringing you new enquiries and clients, but for many businesses, this isn’t the case.

If you find yourself in the same situation, here’s what I recommend.

Carve out some time in your diary and start by revisiting your business goals. How do these look over the coming months? What services are you wanting to sell more of? What type of clients do you want to attract? Once you have identified the priorities for your business, it’s important to spend some time exploring your ideal customers and researching, brainstorming and planning the type of content that would appeal to them.

Some ideas to do this are to go into Facebook groups that your ideal audience hang out in and look at the questions they are asking; explore the blogs they follow and find the themes in the most popular content; and of course look back at the previous content you’ve created and use your analytics to find the most popular among them.

Now you should have an idea of different types of content themes - I call these ‘content categories’. These might be testimonials, case studies, interviews, recipes, guides, lists… In a very simplistic sense, your content should be designed to pique your audience’s attention, nurture them over time by giving value, and convert your audience to clients.

Next, decide what quantity of content is realistically and strategically best for you to create for your business. If you’re a solo business owner, you’re not going to have the time and resources to create the volume of content that a big business can.

Whichever size business you have, map out a plan of the content you’ll create each month and how these different pieces of content relate to each other.

For example, you’re likely to have an email newsletter included in your content plan. Time your blog posts so that you can feature a new one in each newsletter. Don’t forget to take into account national celebrations, holidays, and events that you could create content around, however I typically recommend creating ‘evergreen’ content: blog posts, videos, interviews and so on that won’t date and can be easily re-shared in months to come.

Finally, look at ways you can outsource your content creation. It might be the writing, the proofing, the newsletter creation or the social media scheduling. If you can focus on spending time on the things you’re naturally good at and enjoy, and outsource the rest to professionals who are quicker and stronger at these tasks than you, you’ll free up time to spend thinking, strategising and developing your business, while your content marketing runs like a well-oiled machine, bringing you new leads at the same time as building a community around your business. Isn’t that what we all want?

I offer a session specifically designed to help business owners get clear around the content to create for their business. Find out more here.