A core component to business success is content.
Your business is known for excellence, amazing service, stunning products, and awesome leadership; why not share this and more of your business’s ideas with the world through content? (and you should, the world needs your voice!)
As you plan to share more, whether you choose to use the content such as blog writing, newsletters, social media, podcasts, videos, etc. if you utilize a mapping framework, or compass, to outline your content goals you’ll find it much easier to focus your thoughts and create amazing content to share.
Here’s how to create a compass for your content.
Define Your Content Goals
I see so many people skipping this step! Most businesses define their growth goals (new product, more revenue, new markets, etc) but many aren’t thinking intentionally about how content can get them to their growth targets faster. Are you trying to attract a new type of client, or perhaps share more stories or evidence for why your solutions work? Are you new in your space and looking to increase your leads?
The more specific you can be about what you are wanting to achieve with your content, this will help you figure out where to focus your efforts.
Choose Key Metrics
You don’t need to have a long list here, but think about how you’ll measure success for your content. Is it increasing website traffic or page views? Converting leads from your new services page? Increasing your email subscribers?
It needs to be something measurable that also helps set early signals about whether you’re on the right track to achieving your growth targets.
Clarify Your Topics
I see lots of websites and social media feeds that dance around a wide range of topics, but for me, having too many ideas means nothing gets published. Instead, I focus my content planning around identifying 3 topic areas:
- Topic A: Core Business – What work do I do?
- Topic B: Industry – What’s my focus or niche within that work?
- Topic C: Special Interest – what else connects to my purpose or passions?
For example, my topic “combo” looks like:
Content Marketing/Writing + “World of Work” + Wellness/Recovery
When I keep these topics front and center, new combinations for what to share start to emerge.
Choose Distribution Channels
Again, I see lots of people skipping this step. Being intentional about how and where to share your content means deciding where to publish or amplify your work.
After experimenting with a few things this past year, I’ve landed on blog articles (on my website and LinkedIn) and an email newsletter as my focus, followed by “echoing” the content to Twitter and IG (vs trying to build a huge following there). I want to use channels where I have a greater degree of control, vs being at the mercy of algorithms, but everyone’s content distribution strategy will be different.
Find Your Hashtags
If using social media is part of your distribution strategy, you may have some hashtags that are common across all platforms and topics, and others that are more specific or niche. Add them to your content compass as a reminder about where you want to be seen (and found) on social.
As you start to map out your content in this mapping compass style, take some time to reflect on what performed well for you in the past.
Once you’re done, keep your content compass nearby as you work out your detailed plans throughout the weeks and months ahead, and modify it as you go. (You’ll likely need to make a few changes, and any updates you make to goals or metrics can also have a cascading effect.)
Content can be your ticket to amplifying your growth if you use it well.
If you’d like a one-page template to help you organize your content ideas, download the Content Compass template I use with clients. It will save you some time, and give you a visual map to guide your content through the year.