Does the content you publish tell potential customers who you are, what you do, how you help, and why they should care?

In an online world, the only thing people know about you is what you publish and what others say about you. In other words, you are your content. How you represent your brand is how others will perceive you. You won’t like to hear this, but people judge you on a daily basis!

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. They know nothing about you or your business. When they arrive at your website or social media profiles, they are looking for solutions. Before they hire you to solve their problems, they’ll peruse your content for signs that you’re:

  • trustworthy
  • reputable
  • reliable
  • real
  • experienced
  • knowledgeable, and
  • likable.

Now, step back for a minute and take a bird’s eye view of what content you’ve sprinkled throughout the atmosphere. What do you see? Are you providing convincing, reassuring content that shows you’re a contender?

If you’re not, then you need to do something about it. And, that’s what we’re going to discuss in this post.

Content creation is a time-consuming, energy-draining effort that takes a while to work. You want to do it yourself, but you’re struggling to do it all in a way that works to build your business—while keeping your sanity in check.

You commonly get wrapped up in the day-to-day content publishing frenzy that forces you to do it all! Operating in this manner usually requires sacrificing something along the way. And, sadly, you aren’t even seeing the results you really want.

What if I told you that you can enjoy better results but create LESS content?

What if I told you that you can enjoy better results but create LESS content?Click To Tweet

Quantity vs Quality: Which Is It?

The good news is that more content isn’t always better. In fact, more isn’t always needed. Targeted, relevant content marketing makes more sense than spinning your wheels publishing mediocre drib-drab.

There’s plenty to learn from brands that make a million dollars with a FRACTION of the content that you produce! (Yes, you read that correctly.)

These are brands without a blog, with very few lead magnets, and without multiple daily social media posts across every platform.

Look at people such as Liz Benny, Bushra Azhar, and David Siteman Garland. They aren’t everywhere. And, they aren’t doing everything.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that their magnetic personalities are also a factor in their success. But, at the end of the day, it’s still about what they create for their audiences. You see, their content strategy’s success isn’t about being everywhere online. That isn’t what differentiates them or convinces people to buy.

No one anywhere ever said, “I’m buying from Jane because she’s on Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit.”

Somewhere along the way, you were bamboozled into believing that quantity outweighs quality when it comes to content platforms and publishing.

Your content must answer questions, activate buying triggers, & resonate with people.Click To Tweet

The truth is that where you publish isn’t nearly as critical as WHAT you publish. And these highly successful entrepreneurs have cracked the code. They know that the difference lies in connecting with their fans about relevant topics via just a few mediums. BOOM!

Limited content works—as long as it answers the questions, activates the buying triggers, and resonates with people.

Wouldn’t it be a HUGE relief to get off the hamster wheel and sell more by doing less?

The secret? Creating content types that people can’t resist. Content that appeals to the heart as well as the head. And, content that is relevant to your audience and to your business goals.

The Types of Content that Influence People the Most

With each of these content types, remember to focus on three goals:

  1. Express your brand and voice
  2. Create content relevant to your target market
  3. Activate a few persuasion triggers that influence people say “yes” to you

Meeting these goals maximizes your chances of improving the results you see from your content.

These goals also keep you from veering off your path when you get urges to create content that doesn’t help your business!

1) Personal Content

Personal content expresses your personality and individuality. I see so many businesses omitting this type of content, but that’s a mistake.

The one thing that differentiates you the most is your personal voice. There may be others who sell what you sell, but there is no other person quite like you.

Personal content helps people get to know, like, and trust you.

Personal content helps people get to know, like, and trust you.

If you follow me, you know that I believe wholeheartedly in Y.O.U. Marketing. Embrace Your Original Uniqueness! It attracts the right people to you and builds your community with members who relate to you. Simultaneously, using your personal voice chases away people who aren’t your ideal customer.

Personal content humanizes your brand so that you can form meaningful connections online.Click To Tweet

Personal content humanizes your brand so that you can form meaningful connections online. It’s much easier to form emotional attachments to other people versus logos.

Can you imagine speaking one-on-one to a logo? No, I can’t either. It doesn’t work. Conversations require people.

Selling online requires a connection with your audience. You’ll have a much harder time fostering the know, like, and trust factor without personal content. After all, how can you build a relationship with your audience without personal human interaction? It’s tough!

Think about some of the biggest, most influential, successful personal brands. Maybe then you won’t hesitate to use personal content! Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, The Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, and Chalene Johnson are examples of people who use their personal content to sell.

RELATED: One way to convey your personality and message is using quotes in your social media strategy.

The Content Cure | social media content for small business


2) Product Content

Is it just me or are many small businesses stuck on one of two strategies?

A) I don’t want to talk about my products because I may lose my prospects.

B) All I want to do is talk about my products because everyone exists to buy what I sell.

When it comes to increasing your conversions, not mentioning what you do or sell is not an effective strategy. If people don’t know about your offer, how are they going to buy it? They’re not. And that’s a problem.

You’re afraid to even mention your offers since you’ve heard that “selling is a big no-no.”

If people don’t know about your offer, how are they going to buy it? They’re not.Click To Tweet

Your skin may crawl at the thought, but you must sell! Otherwise, you’ll never reach your income goals or survive as a business.

You want to help others and improve the world. But you also chose small business ownership because of the big opportunities it affords you. However, if you never achieve those opportunities, the passion you had to make a difference will fade quickly. So, we agree that selling isn’t optional? 😉

Your prospects want to know more about how you solve their problem. But, they’d like that information in a pleasant, entertaining, informational tone.

Storytelling helps promote your offers in a non-salesy way.

Storytelling helps promote your offers in a non-salesy way.

You avoid salesy product content through:

  • Storytelling
  • Highlighting benefits not features
  • Before and after descriptions
  • Offering free value before asking for the sale

For those of you who want to talk about your product content 24 x 7, stop. Outdated, in-your-face marketing tactics will hurt your results. Modify your content to lead your prospect to your solutions via the suggestions I mentioned above. Your audience has options!  They won’t suffer your endless sales pitch.

3) Educational Content

People LOVE free stuff. They also like informational content that makes their lives easier.

When you share educational content with your audience, they appreciate you. Over time, you earn their trust. They look to you as the authority in your niche.

Educational content fosters relationships with your audience because you’re helping them for free. You may even solve a few of their pain points. In the process, you’re building your influence and brand.

Content that is educational is a potent tool in your lead generation arsenal. You can offer free informational webinars, eBooks, videos, presentations, or email courses to your prospects in exchange for their email. The more value you offer, the more valuable you’re perceived.

Eventually, your cold lead turns warm as the buyer journey continues. Your educational content can activate persuasion triggers of reciprocity, authority, and liking. In turn, you’ll strengthen your position of influence.

4) Visual Content

I can’t emphasize often enough how visual content improves conversion. At the moment, visuals are the Holy Grail of marketing, in particular, video.

Your audience is inundated with textual content. There’s too much text now, which makes it harder for people to consume. Visuals are easy, quick, and fun to devour. Your audience prefers them, so it’s what you need to create.

Visual content leads to more traffic and higher conversion rates.

Visual content leads to more traffic and higher conversion rates.

Visuals are superior when it comes to memory, understanding, attention, and engagement. What’s not to love about that?

The mac daddy of visuals, however, is video. The stats support the popularity and effectiveness of video marketing. And, I’ve recently added video to my strategy by way of YouTube and Facebook. Although I’m aware that video helps, the rapid uptick I’ve seen in my traffic and reach surprised me.

Video is the one content type that exceeds all others. Why? Because it incorporates all of the other content types and puts them on steroids!

Video allows you to produce personal, educational, authoritative, supportive, and product content in a way that makes people feel as if they’re with you in person. Seeing your face and mannerisms as well as hearing your voice creates bonds faster.

Live video? If someone can’t be with you in person, live video is the next best thing. This makes live video extremely impactful when it comes to reaching your goals.

The beauty of live video or even simple videos that you shoot on the fly is that they take less time to prepare yet pack a powerful punch.

5) Authoritative Content

I just mentioned how educational content increases the perception of authority. However, authoritative content goes beyond sharing information.

When you publish authoritative content, you’re making a unique assertion, expressing a different viewpoint, or revealing new research.

Authoritative content benefits your business in multiple ways. It:

  • conveys your voice and brand
  • illustrates your expertise
  • attracts more people to you, and
  • positions you as a leader in your industry.

Playing it safe by agreeing with everyone in your industry prevents you from getting noticed. If you have your own opinions and results, don’t be stingy with your gold nuggets! Embrace your knowledge and experience so that you feel comfortable sharing what you know with your audience.

Authoritative content positions you as a leader.

Authoritative content positions you as a leader.

Don’t overlook the significance of an authoritative tone. Make declarations and support them with facts and your reasoning. Act like the leader you want others to see you as.

Earlier this year, I tried using a more authoritative tone in one of my blog posts. Writing from a stronger position of expertise and authority made a clear difference. Most notably, that post generated five hot leads who were ready to hire me pronto! Confidence and authority are influential factors when it comes to how others perceive you.

6) Supportive Content

To get ahead faster, you’ll need support. Going at it alone isn’t impossible. But you’re a good person and want to help others to succeed. And many will want to help you in return if you have a mindset of generosity and gratitude.

Supportive content aids the endeavors of your colleagues, friends, and industry influencers while also benefitting your audience. I call this “sharing the love.” Here are examples of how you can support other people:

  • Distribute and re-share their content
  • Mention them in social media and your website
  • Promote their offers
  • Refer to them as experts
  • Highlight their savvy and proficiency

There are numerous methods to assist your colleagues, such as social media, blog posts, emails, videos, and testimonials. These efforts expose your audience to your colleagues, which extends their reach and highlights their expertise.

Supportive content helps others succeed and, in turn, can help you succeed.

Supportive content helps others succeed and, in turn, can help you succeed.

Many times, your bolstering of others helps you, directly or indirectly. This is one way to form relationships online through good will and visibility. Also, associating yourself with people of influence makes you appear more authoritative and increases your social proof. But, by far the biggest payoff comes when one of your colleagues returns the favor and supports you.

I’m not talking about using people to climb your way to the top! Approach this one with an attitude of “it’s better to give than to receive.” Only support those who you recommend, admire, respect, and are familiar with. Your audience trusts you, and you don’t want to be a sellout. Be genuine when you’re supporting others.

Never expect or demand a response or reciprocation. Remember that you’re not supporting others to get something in return. This is about value and forming connections with your colleagues and your audience.

About Content Delivery

I mentioned that some of the most productive, successful entrepreneurs and small business owners aren’t online “everywhere.” They’ve strategically chosen the platforms best suited for their personalities and their audience’s preferences.

You don’t have to deliver your awesome content on every single social media platform. And, there are enough success stories nowadays to prove you don’t even need a complex blog when a landing page works. It depends on you, your goals, and your strategy.

Here are some less common ways that prosperous business owners get their content into the hearts and minds of their ideal target markets:

  • Webinars
  • Facebook groups
  • Live video (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Email
  • Podcasting
  • Slack
  • Workshops

And there’s no reason you can’t do the same! Creating less content can set you free as long as it’s content designed to help your business and delivered in a way that your audience desires most.

Why These Content Types Improve Results

More isn’t always better. Quality is now starting to outperform quantity when it comes to content. This isn’t always the case, but it’s starting to happen to more frequently.

What is it about these content types that make a bigger difference?

Your content’s impact relies on getting seen and on how it moves your prospects to take action. It takes time! But with enough consistency, your content can move the needle. The key is to use these content types since they take advantage of the persuasive aspects of conversion factors.

These types of content work together to produce better results. Implementing only one type won’t move people to take action as effectively. For instance, if you publish only educational content, that won’t be enough to convince people that you are the one to solve their problem. Add other content types into the mix to give people more reasons to say ‘yes’ to you.

After all, you want your content to show people all the many reasons that you are the right choice. Focus on these content types to make a difference in their lives and your own!

Put These Content Types to Work TODAY with The Content Cure!

Ready to start using visual, personal, and supportive content in your social media strategy? The Content Cure is a membership program that gives you 50+ social media images to use every month.  For less than $50 a month, you’ll have images that you can brand and post on your social media accounts. No drain, no strain. Just winning visuals designed to build your community. Stop posting content that doesn’t work…the cure is here!

The Content Cure | social media content for small business

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Meghan Monaghan
Meghan Monaghan
CEO/Co-founder at Smart Bird Social

Meghan is a digital marketer with expertise and certifications in visual content, social media, web design, email marketing, blogging/content marketing, landing pages, and sales funnels. She helps entrepreneurs and very small businesses get found in search and social via custom content and do-it-yourself marketing tactics, systems, and strategies that she teaches online.

In an effort to empower business owners with knowledge and confidence, she creates content that informs, educates, inspires, and entertains. She contributes to blogs, including Social Quant and AccessWP, and can be found wherever there are rescued greyhounds afoot.

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