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How To Actually Make Your Content Plan Work For Your Business

Jasper Meurs
Hosted by Jasper Meurs on Jul 21, 2022

Show notes

By now you probably know content creation is important for your business. Great! Yet, most businesses are still doing it wrong. This is something I come across quite often as a Certified HubSpot Consultant.

In this episode I explain how to create content in a way that actually works. And even better, with a system that makes it more easy to consistently create high-quality content. I'll also go over an example of how even an accounting firm (I know! Boring, right?) can create valuable content for their target audience!

The methods I am using here are based on Garyvee's Content Model.

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I am Jasper Meurs, and you are listening to Growth Journal, the podcast where I talk about everything I'm learning while I'm growing my business. And today I want to talk specifically about content creation, and how content creation can work for businesses in general.

The first thing you really need to know is that you need to create content with a mindset of a large media company. So, instead of creating content that is trying to sell all the time, you need to create content that brings value to your customers, to your prospects. And for many companies, this is a very difficult switch to make, actually. I've been consulting a lot of companies, and this is probably one of the hardest things that I have to do, basically coaching these companies and changing their mindsets and trying to understand that we're not trying to sell all the time. These days, we really need to bring value to people, and while we are bringing this value, people get a little bit more acquainted with us. We are building a relationship. We are building trust. And then when the moment is right, then you will have a chance to actually sell to these people as well.

A lot of the times, people also think, "We can buy a tool like HubSpot," for example, "and it will fix all of our problems." Now, HubSpot is a tool that really works with content creation. The problem is, you still need to create a content, and the right content, and you need to come up with a plan to actually do this. So that brings the question, "What contents do we actually need to create?" And I think one of the best ways to create ideas for content creation is talking to your frontline staff, like sales people, customer support people, basically the people who are in contact with your customers on a daily basis, because these people, they hear a lot of questions. They talk with your customers all day and they have a really good feeling of what is really important to them and the challenges that these people are having. And this is actually a pretty good starting point for creating your content.

Let me give you a quick example. Let's say we are an accounting firm and we want to create content as an accounting firm, so how do we actually go about this? One example is we could create content around tax write-offs, something that's ... business owners are probably looking for quite often. So, we can do things like, how much is the tax write off on a car? Or, what are tax write-offs in general? Which products and services can we use for tax write-offs? How much are these tax write-offs? What is the tax write-off on a private jets? In case you're tailoring to a different audience. Actually, it turns out that the tax write-off on a private jet is 100%. I didn't even know that, but here's what we learned during research for these podcasts.

And this is pretty interesting content to create, because you are not saying, like, "Are you looking for a new accounting firm? Come to my business and we will do your accounting for you." No, we are actually trying to already solve problems that our customers are having, and this way, they get to know us, they will find out, they will learn that we actually are very knowledgeable about our business and about servicing them. But we need to come up with this content on a regular basis, so let's see how we can actually structure our content plan.

One of the things to know is that creating quality content is really time consuming, especially if we are trying to make this content for multiple channels, like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook. This takes a lot of time to actually create, and there is actually a model where we can make this a little bit more easy, a model that's ... Gary Vaynerchuk, love him or hate him, created a very good PDF for, I'll link this in the show notes obviously, and it's called, fittingly, The Gary Vee Content Model. Now, The Gary Vee Content Model basically teaches us how we can get multiple pieces of content out of one larger pillar piece of content, let's say something long form. In his case, usually it's a recording of a keynote speech that he did. Now, I can understand that most people listening to this are maybe not giving keynotes as often as Gary does, so we'll make it a bit more tailored to how we can actually use this. And so, I am using it as well.

The way that we do this is we create the long piece of content, let's say this podcast, for example. I am recording this podcast as an audio form, so for the podcast itself, but I'm also recording video for it. This makes it a little bit easier to afterwards create micro content that I can use on different channels, on let's say LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram. We can use on different channels like that, and having the video with it makes it a bit more entertaining, a bit more interesting to watch for people. So, we definitely want a video in there. You can even do this with your iPhone, so it's not really about the equipment that we need here.

Now, let's take our accounting firm example again, and put The Gary Vee Content Model to action for our accounting firm. So, as an accounting firm, let's say, as a long form piece of content, we are doing a podcast. We are hosting the podcast, and as a guest on the podcast, we have our top tax consultant within the company. We are having this conversation about tax write-offs, and this podcast itself can already be released, of course. We will also record the video of this podcast, which then can go onto YouTube. Once we have done this, we can also send this audio recording to our copywriter and create a blog post out of it. He can pick out all the different pieces that are interesting for a blog post, structure it a little bit more, and we have three pieces of content already.

After this, we also want to create some micro content, so let's say we pick the five most interesting nuggets from the podcast. We can do it written, or we can do it with a video, and post these on LinkedIn as five separate posts, so now we already have like five LinkedIn posts as well. After this, we can also take some more nuggets or the same nuggets of information and create some TikTok content from this, or we can create some Instagram content. These pieces of content are all coming from this one podcast recording, where we also recorded the video for the podcast to make it actually more easy to serve these content pieces on social media as well, because it's more visual. But this is how we put The Gary Vee Content Model into action, and this is how we can do this for your company as well.

For myself, I'm planning to do a content sprint, a six-week content sprint starting August 15, and for the specific content sprints, I want to journal it as well. So, this podcast is fittingly called the Growth Journal, and these will be separate episodes each Tuesday. So, we will still have the Thursday episodes as we've been doing on the podcast for the better part of this year already, but we will add an extra episode each week where I will talk specifically about this content sprint that I'm doing. Right now, I'm in the planning phase for it, so next Tuesday will be the first episode that I will do for the content sprint. And I will be talking about this planning, how that's going so far, how I'm coming up with ideas for the content that I want to create, or the ways that I want to repurpose this content. So, definitely tune in for that next week. It will be very interesting.

Lastly, I want to talk about how HubSpot can actually help with your content plan. As a HubSpot consultant myself, I'm trying to create valuable content because this helps me maintaining a global picture of my customer. But the platform itself, HubSpot itself, is only as powerful as the content that you are creating. The core principle here is, as I said in the beginning of this episode, it's not about selling to your customers all the time. It's about delivering them some value as well.

Sometimes you hear this phrase, "Serve, serve, serve, then sell," or like Gary Vee would say, "Jab, jab, jab, right hook," more or less the same thing. It's just to say that we want to make sure that we are bringing value to people. This can be either educational or it can be entertaining or both, but we definitely need some of these things. And while we are doing this, HubSpot will help us identify what people actually like, what people are reading, what people are coming to our websites, and based on this, we will learn a lot more about our customers. This is information that our sales team can also afterwards use to learn more about our customers before even speaking to them.

One of the things that we definitely need to do in this entire process is capturing the email addresses of these people. Now, how can we do this? By creating valuable, actionable content again. Let's go back to our accounting firm for a second, and as an example, they could create a PDF document that's called The Best Tax Write-Offs of 2022. This is content that people will definitely find interesting. It will probably save them some money, and it can be a five-page document with information that already exists within your company.

For this document, you will ask people to actually leave their email address so they can download the document, or you can send it to them, and this way we can identify people, and we already know one queue of where people are interested, in this case, the tax write-offs. And once we capture these email addresses, we can actually build a relationship with these people through well-timed and valuable emails. So, once I downloaded it, we can, for example, give them some extra tips on how they can save on their taxes this year. Maybe we are doing a podcast with our accounting firm as well. That would be very interesting, a very good idea. So, we can talk with our top tax consultants who will tell us more about these tax write-offs and other things so we can optimize your taxes, and we can send these podcast episodes through email to the people who already downloaded this PDF. So, it means that people will definitely be interested in it, and we are bringing more and more value.

At some point, while we are sending out these emails, we can add a call to action at the right time, something like a free 15-minute consulting call for any questions regarding your tax write-offs. People can be interested in this. This 15-minute call is probably what you're doing already for prospects anyway, but this is an interesting way to actually capture people and come up with a call to action at the right time.

HubSpot, in this case, will help us give this 360 view of our customers, and this will mean that once someone is booking that 15-minute consulting call, at this point is also where the power of HubSpot really comes in. As I said, HubSpot gives you this 360 view of your customer, so once someone is booking this free 15-minute consulting call, for example, your salesperson will already see a lot of information about this person. Because this person has probably already been reading our content, been listening to our podcasts, been watching some videos of us, and this information will come together in the personal HubSpot profile for this specific person, this specific contact. And at this point, we really learn, what is our customer or prospect interested in? This is something that the salesperson can use during the first sales call.

That brings us to the end of this episode. I hope these ideas around content creation and how it fits in your business were beneficial to you. As always, thanks for listening to Growth Journal. If you enjoy our show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts, and be sure to come back next week for our first Tuesday episode about my six-week content sprints.

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