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3 basic steps to refresh or kick start your content marketing

Since starting my business, at the beginning of the year, some of the projects I’ve enjoyed working on the most have been the ‘hands-on’ one to one sessions; giving face to face practical support to solopreneurs who want tangible and practical ways to marketing their business.

It’s a win-win situation really. I get a kick out of helping people and my clients learn new skills and techniques that they can put into place to grow their business and raise profile.

Often clients will have some prior knowledge of digital marketing platforms and some don't. When one lovely client asked me ‘so what’s this Twitter thing’ and ‘what’s a hashtag’ I knew we still had a lot to do! But by the end of our session on how her business could use social media to build relationships with her weekly support groups, she was away. She totally got how it all worked and was buzzing with content ideas.

Stripping things right back to basics for my clients, even those who have been in business for years, has helped them focus on their key messaging, branding and being more targeted in who they want to reach.

If you have reached a point when you’d like to re-fresh your content marketing or are just setting out with your marketing, you might want to try these 3 short exercises…

Work out what is your why?

When you take time to explore what it is that motivates you to set up and run your business you can keep focussed and set some very targeted objectives. Ask yourself 'What is it you are trying to achieve?' 'What's my passion?' 'What are the goals for my business?'

Try this exercise when creating marketing material and it will help you write more targeted content across traditional and digital media.

(Here's a helpful article from Huffington Post that looks at finding your company's authentic purpose)

Who is your avatar?

This is a great exercise in exploring your target audience, how and where you can talk to them and how you can help them.   

Imagine your ideal customer or client – the one in an perfect world you want to work with. Then start to give them a name, who they work for, where they live, age and family circumstances. What is the problem that they have that your business can solve? Note down why they might go for information. Do they read trade publications? Do they use Twitter or Instagram? What are their values and goals, both in their home life and at work? Really make them come alive.

Once you have your customer avatar you can begin to reflect on whether your current marketing, tone of voice in your content and the platforms/media you use are going to be reaching your target audience.

What are your brand values?

If there were just 3 words to describe your business what would they be?

Your brand values are at the centre of all your marketing including your look, messaging and customer service. Exploring your branding can be an in-depth process (and here’s a great article which might help) but there are some simple steps that you can begin with.

Write down all the different words or phrases that describe you or your business. Do they describe your mission, define your passion or instil the gut reaction you want people to have about your business? Keep grouping them into similar values until you come down to three key words. Once you have your core brand values then the image you project can be consistent across all your marketing materials.