Your content is not your business.
Some people, groups, and organizations can generate substantial revenue by selling ads on their blog, podcast, or YouTube channel because of the size of their audience. But this is not the case for the vast majority of content creators. And I would add that I don’t think it should be the goal for most people and organizations, too.
Though the content you create is essential for building your platform and an audience, it is not your business. In other words, it is not what you’re going to predominately make money directly from. But your content does one vitally important thing: It supports your business.
The content you create is what connects you with your target audience, introduces them to who you are and what you provide, and creates a mutually beneficial relationship. Your content can compel visitors to your website to make a purchase, opt-in for your email newsletter, or sign up for a free trial of your service.
Your content supports your business.
How Your Content Supports Your Business Goals
The content you create needs to compel your readers to action.
This seems like an obvious suggestion, but calls-to-action are often neglected. For example, one study found that 70% of small business B2B websites do not provide a call-to-action. Also, from my own unscientific research, I have observed countless pieces of content that do not provide a tangible next step for readers, listeners, or viewers. It’s like providing your dinner guest a taste of dinner without actually offering them a full meal.
Before creating your next piece of killer content, take a moment to ask yourself, “What is my objective with this content? What do I want people to do after reading, watching, or listening to what I have to say?”
There are a litany of ways you can answer these questions, but below are four of the most common ways your content can support your business goals.
1. Make a Purchase
Is your content directly related to your product or service? If so, then look for ways to integrate them into what you’re creating. There are two different ways you can go about compelling people to make a purchase: direct and indirect.
You can directly ask visitors to your website to purchase your product, request for additional information, or have one of your sales reps to give them a call.
One easy and non-threatening way to do this is to provide a call-to-action for people to Learn More. For example, if the content you create is related to a product or service you provide, and then let people know they can learn more about it by purchasing what you have to offer. This is an easy step for products that do not have a significant price tag, like a book, webinar, or inexpensive online course.
You can indirectly promote your product or service by creating a valuable piece of content that is directly related to what you’re offering. Within this piece of content, you can mention or link to your product or service.
Jeff Goins does an excellent job of seamlessly weaving into the fabric of his content creation the products and services he provides. Here’s one example from his blog that provides a high-level of value to his readers while indirectly introducing them to his latest book, The Art of Work.
2. Create a Lead
The content you create can turn visitors to your website into leads by providing them relevant, useful, or entertaining content.
One of the best ways to create leads is to provide visitors incentives to sign-up for your email list. You can provide a free eBook, webinar, coupon, or some sort of instant-gratification that compels visitors to sign up. From this point, you are in a position to follow up with him or her with product offerings.
3. Nurture a Lead
Everyone visiting your website is not ready to make a purchase. And this is okay.
You can nurture a visitor’s initial interest in your content by providing him or her a free trial, demo, or money back guarantee of what you have to offer.
4. Share Your Content
You can easily create brand impressions and introduce yourself to new audiences by encouraging people to share your content. The best way to do this is to provide social media buttons for your audience online or to suggest for them to share what you have to say with their network.
It’s also important to ensure that your social media buttons include the link, the title, and the site/author’s name, which will provide you with greater exposure to new audiences.
The content you create is not your business. It supports your business.
Determine the purpose of your content creation. Identify the business goals you are striving to reach. This will not only help you focus your content creation efforts, but it will also place your content in a position to support your actual business goals.