Are You Being Intentional With Your Content Marketing?
Are you making intentional decisions that enhance your business content, or, would you say you’re more ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’, click your heels three times, and hope for the best?
Successful content always has a clear, purposeful, intentional strategy driving it - here's why.
Information Overload is Affecting Your Decision-Making
We live and work in the digital age and we’re consuming more content than our brains can keep up with. We’re starting to feel the effect of content and decision overwhelm – it’s a stressful beast.
But, our brains are these complex super-computers that simplify our data-processing to reserve power.
They file away mundane tasks we’ve done so many times they can be automated (think, flushing the toilet, or driving the car). How many times have you set off on a drive to the shops, got to your destination and not remembered seeing a single memorable object, street sign, bus stop, person along the way?
It’s kind of like auto-pilot. Your brain just knows what to do.
Your Brain Filters Content
When it comes to content – when so much of it is thrown at us, from the loud, pushy advertising to the gentle pull-approach of content marketing – there’s a heap of crap your brain doesn’t let through. It chooses what to retain and what to dispose.
Left unchecked, it can lead to decisions that are impulsive, unplanned, and lacking purpose.
Now, I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty sure what I’m talking about has a proper name and scientific research behind it – so, let's pretend I'm wearing a white lab coat and hear me out.
With so much information available to us at the click of a button, we’re unlikely to make good decisions because we likely all suffer from information overload. I reckon the content most of us choose to create is probably more the result of:
Entrepreneur Success Story says I should do X.
Smarmy used-car salesman is coercing me to do X.
Crafty Copywriter suggests I write X.
(but seriously, you should listen to what she says – at least on this occasion.)
So, you feel overwhelmed by what you should and shouldn't do, panic, and crawl into a tight, little ball choosing to create only what’s easy or safe.
Are You Creating the Best Content for Your Business?
We’re drowning in so much information, so many stories, and so many empty promises of fame and fortune.
So, how can you say you’re making the best decisions for you and your business?
When it comes to your content – are you producing quality content that aligns with your values and goals? Or, are you just churning out whatever you can to fill the ‘Entreporn’* requirement of one blog post each week? Easy as! So, is that it for you?
What influence does cognitive bias and a fear of judgement by your peers have on the content you publish?
Don't you think it's time you stripped all that rubbish back and started being more intentional? That you start writing great content that's fit-for-purpose?
When I Realised I Wasn't Being Intentional
When I started freelance copywriting last year, I was looking forward to the freedom. Freedom to create. Freedom to explore. Freedom to take ownership of the projects, clients, and relationships I wanted.
My business goals were/are to enhance relationships between business and consumer / employee using personalised, humanised, relationship-centric communication. But, from the moment I started the decisions I made were not aligned with my goals and sense of purpose.
I accepted every client that approached me. I accepted every project. Sometimes – it was work I didn’t enjoy but, I convinced myself I needed the income to pay my bills.
My Business Decisions Affected My Content Decisions
It took 6 months to get my content plan in place, and a further 4 months before I made the time to put it into practice. So, for the first 10 months of my business’ life, I was reactively producing content as the need arose.
I felt obligated to publish at least 1 blog a week because Entrepreneur Success Story told me I had to, but I didn’t put enough thought into a content theme or purpose or objective to make it relevant.
I just wrote.
Although the blogs and emails I wrote were valuable (i.e. tips to improve SEO and website copy) – they weren’t valuable for my business goals and the audience I was trying to attract. It’s what we content creators like to call ‘content for content’s sake’.
I know I’m not alone. Every business owner I talk to approaches their content the same way!
Hence this post.
What Happens When You’re Not Being Intentional
I realised that when I’m not intentional about my clients, projects, and content – every decision leads me further and further away from who I am and where I want to be. I was the go-to for websites when my heart, values, and mission aligned with content marketing.
The more website work I accepted, the more I wrote about websites and SEO – the less I focused on content marketing, and the less clients approached me about content marketing!
#Freelancelyfe started feeling a lot like #corporatelyfe – I was flatlining. But, I was still paying the bills 😉
Remember Why You're Here
A few months ago, I had a valuable and productive conversation about my values, instincts, and goals – and, suddenly my purpose fell back into place. I re-calibrated. ‘Paying the bills’, although helpful, isn’t my personal or business goal.
Changing the way businesses build relationships with their people is my goal. Effective content strategies is my goal. Building a business that affords me my creative freedoms is my goal.
That same day – I became more intentional with my content. I now only create the stuff that aligns with my business values and goals.
How to Create Intentional Content
Intentional content provides more value to your audience and business. So, before you create anything, refer to these three points to guide you:
1. Understand your values
The most important aspect for your business is your values. Your personal values and your business values and how you will present both. Your values drive what you do and say, why, and how you do and say it.
2. Understand your business AND your life goals
Most people start their own business as it will enable them to meet specific life goals. More time spent at home with the kids. More flexibility. Greater control and influence. An ability to create for yourself. For me personally – my copywriting business was initially a means that allowed me the freedom and time to write my novel. Now – I’m inspired to create something much bigger 😊
Knowing your goals is key to building a successful business.
3. Use data to make more informed content decisions.
Use your data (Facebook, Instagram, & Google Analytics) to identify the content that resonates with the most people. What sort of posts get the most organic reach? What blogs acquire the most comments and feedback? How can you use this knowledge to inspire future content?
Let’s face it – as much as you might want to blog every week about your cat’s crazy daytime antics (mine certainly fits enough frivolity into the 2 hours he spends ‘awake’ each day I could write a novel) – your consumers might not share your enthusiasm.
Create Intentionally; Create Results
Content creation can be a hell-of-a-lot easier when you choose to operate intentionally. I mean, everything you say, do, share, sell is the result of an intentional decision working towards a specific result.
The more intentional you are with your content, the more your content will have its desired effect. The more your content will reach your target audience; intrigue them; compel them to respond.
The more return you’ll have on time invested. The more opportunities you’ll have to work with your target audience and build the type of business you set out for.
A bonus, of course, is your happiness 😊
Get in touch if you need a hand re-calibrating your values filter. I can help you create an intentional content strategy for a value-packed punch aligned with your business goals.
*Entreporn (noun): emotionally manipulative; stuff of fantasy.