The Two First Steps to Create Great Content Today

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We all know the importance of content creation for promoting our brands and, ultimately, our products or services.

However, it’s not always easy to achieve success while working on content creation. Considering that the market is full of people, and that we are all competing for our audience’s attention, it can be hard for content creators to achieve their goals – or even to know how to set these goals properly.

In this video, Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Speaker, Strategist, Best-selling Author and Content Entrepreneur will give you two major pieces of advice on how to start working on your content in a way that will make it easier for you to achieve your goals.

Check out the video to learn more!

Transcription:

Joe Pulizzi: You really want to spend, you know quite a few weeks and figure out what is that mission statement going to be? So you start with: 

  • Who is the audience?
  • What am I going to deliver?
  • And then what is the audience outcome?

That’s basically how you build your content mission statement.

Alessio Pieroni: What topic should I create content on? It’s always a recurring question. So what would you suggest?

JP: Well, I think the first, where most marketers and most companies start with, they’re like, Oh, well, what should we talk about? What expertise do we have? What do we want to sell? And we’re already starting off the wrong way.

What we want to focus on is: who’s our audience?

You always want to start with the audience first, that’s what we learned from great media companies. So who’s the audience? What are their pain points, what keeps them up at night? Those are the things we want to focus on.

So we want to get all as much data as we can about our audience and what they’re struggling with right now.

And then once you have that, then you figure out okay, well, what are our expertise areas, what’s our skills? What do we have a unique perspective on? That we can communicate that our competition can’t or, or maybe is not even out there? Maybe nobody’s talking about it?

So that’s where you start with, it’s called the sweet spot, everyone starts at the sweet spot. But really, once you get that far, then you got to figure okay, how do I tell the story, and that’s where you really want to get into the differentiation area got to remember, there’s so much content clutter out there, it’s going to be very hard to make it through so that people can actually find your content in the first place.

So that’s where you have to spend some time, you don’t want to rush into just oh, I’m going to do an email newsletter, or I’m going to do a YouTube series, I’m gonna do a podcast or they’re going to run to Tik Tok, or whatever the case is, you really want to spend, you know, quite a few weeks and figure out what, what is that mission statement going to be?

So you start with: 

  • Who is the audience?
  • What am I going to deliver?
  • And then what is the audience outcome?

That’s basically how you build your content mission statement. So you really want to start there. 

So I would recommend for everyone listening, write down your audience’s desires. On one side, write down your skill and expertise areas that you’re differentiated. But from that, you’re going to want to create something called the content mission statement. And really lay that out.

And that’s what a media company would do: create an editorial mission statement. That’s the same thing you’re doing. So again, be very specific, as specific as you can with the audience, then what are you going to deliver?

Are they short, simple educational tips? If it’s more entertainment, you have to think about what that content is going to be. And then you have to figure out every piece of information you deliver what’s in it for the audience, it’s not what you’re going to sell that comes later, you have to build the audience first.

It’s always about what’s in it for the audience.

And if you do that, Alessio, then I think you’ve got something to start with.

AP: That’s a very interesting point. I love it. Because it’s basically about building, you know, a buyer persona, right? And understanding exactly your audience from this point of view. Okay, that makes sense. And let’s say, once we’ve done that, that’s the moment in which we start creating content. And to me, it’s pretty interesting, because what I’ve been seeing a lot is that in the beginning, everyone is having this fire of “let’s create tons of content” and then, most of the time, it won’t work immediately – you’re learning, right, you’re in this process of learning.

And that’s usually when that fire comes down, and people just give up, right? So what would you suggest to avoid these problems? What would be the approach that you would suggest to people on creating content?

JP: Sure, and this is challenging, right? Because if you were to ask me 15 years ago, what I got wrong when I got started in content marketing, and say, Okay, should you be everywhere your customers are online, I probably would have said, “yes, of course”, we didn’t have all the different channels we have. Now, that was bad advice. So I apologize for that.

So many years ago, you should not be everywhere, your customers, right, you should deliver a content experience. That’s remarkable. It’s valuable that you can do so on a consistent basis. So this is when you’re starting.

You don’t just want to list all your channels and say, Oh, this is what we’re doing on Twitter. And this is what we’re doing in the Facebook group. And this is LinkedIn, you’re actually going to want to strategize

The best strategy is about saying no.

So what we want to start doing is what things can we say no to. So maybe you said, “okay, I’m a business, the business company. I can forget Tick tock or I can forget Instagram or I don’t have to be involved in Facebook to make this grow”.

Maybe you say, what I’m going to do is we’re going to have the best weekly podcast on the planet. And we’re going to deliver consistently for the next nine to 12 months. And all we’re going to do is build an audience.

So that’s the thing: we all have what I call limited content, energy, I don’t care what kind of budget you have in your organization, you only have so many resources.

So what we want to figure out is: what are the one or two things that you can deliver better than anyone else.

So that might be, we’re going to create the most amazing email newsletter on the planet. And we’re going to deliver that once every two weeks, and we’re going to deliver this amazing podcast experience for 30 minutes, once every week or something like that, right. And then that means you’re probably just using your other social channels as listening channels to understand more about your audience.

But you’re gonna say, Now, I don’t need to do the video thing. Or maybe you say, I’m not going to do the podcast, and you’re going to put everything into video. So these are the types of decisions that I want you to make.

Because if you’re doing five or six things, especially at the start, you’re going to be mediocre

At best, you’re going to be average, and we have too much mediocre content already. So we want to figure out what we can be excellent in and you have to choose to be excellent.

AP: Yeah. So is definitely quality over quantity. That’s clear. But how do we measure or understand when our content is actually good? Because that’s a thing that happens a lot. Working with different people, they are just like, “my code is the best in the industry”, and then when I’m looking at a sample, I’m like, “oh, you could do better, maybe”. So sometimes people look at this in our subjective way. So what are the most objective things that we could do to understand when our content is actually great?

JP: The best way is that you’re actually building an audience over a long period of time, and that audience is consistently engaging in your information. So that’s step one.

And then Alessio, step two is marketing, still, we’re not just creating content to be nice, we actually have to market a product or service. So you have to figure out okay, is there ultimately a behavior change, because remember, it’s so marketing, you want to maintain and change behavior, content marketing, you’re maintaining and changing behavior by delivering valuable relevant compelling information on a consistent basis to a targeted audience over time. So that’s, that’s the difference there.

So what we want to do is first build an audience, you can’t show a behavior change until you build the audience. So what I would recommend, if you’re doing this, or you’re starting something new is you have to set the expectations in your organization that for the next nine to 12 months, all you’re going to be doing is building audience, that means you’re getting pod, you’re trying to get podcast listeners, if you have an email newsletter, you’re trying to get double opt in sign in for that, if you’re trying to get YouTube subscribers, you’re actually trying to get subscribers on YouTube over a long period of time.

And so all the other things that you’re going to do are going to help market that.

So if your core base is on YouTube, then you’re using, let’s say, LinkedIn, to help people get to that YouTube page and engage in that. And then so, so spend that time, you’ve got to set the right expectations. And then once you do that, you actually want to start measuring to see, is there a behavior, I’ll give you a good example, when I was with Content Marketing Institute, what we learned – and it took us over a year to get this data, so this is not easy to do – but you have to set it up ahead of time. We found out that our best customers, the ones that spent the most with us, consistently over time engaged in three of our content initiatives.

So for example, they would sign up for our email newsletter, they would subscribe to our podcasts and they would sign up to our print magazine, it didn’t matter which three, it was just three, that was our magic number.

So we knew that if somebody subscribed to one or two things, we had to figure out a way to get up to subscribe to three because for whatever reason, that was our magic number. So that’s where we saw in the behavior analysis.

AP: Thank you for watching this video. I hope you truly enjoyed it. I’m Alessio Pieroni, and I’m the founder of Scale For Impact, and obviously of Scale with Alessio. If you want to see more marketing information, check out the Scale Series – a summit with over 50 world-class marketers, which you can access for the investment of 2 dollars per session. Check out the information below to learn more!

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