The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship
Podcast Episode 024 – Content Creation 101
Content Creation 101
(Plus, How to Use Your Facebook Business Page to Share Content & Increase Your Visibility Online)
The one thing you can count on in this online space is that content creation is always changing. Those darn algorithms are always shifting—not just on Google, but on Facebook, YouTube, and everywhere else your audience might consider searching for information. AND, on top of that, the competition is always working to improve.
This is why the content creation rules that worked a few years ago are no longer as effective.
Today I want to share a few basic steps to keep in mind when designing your content. These steps will help you hold onto your sanity, keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and keep you focused on creating content for your Facebook Business Page as your main social media platform.
So, let’s get started.
I wish I’d had a cheat sheet when I first showed up online. It would have saved me hours upon hours of frustration when I was creating what I thought was valuable content, only to have it end up in no man’s land. At that time, I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I spent a lot of time creating content without a strategy—without a focus or a purpose.
In those early days (about 3 ½ years ago), I spent way too much time creating what I now refer to as filler content: content that doesn’t lead anywhere, mean anything, or help anyone.
Jeez! If only I knew then what I know now! I wouldn’t have spent so much time sharing quotes or resources that others had created. I would have refrained from writing novels on Facebook—you know, the posts where you click on ‘see more’, only to realize it’s going to take you more than 10 minutes to read the whole thing.
Yup, I did that for quite a few months and felt completely defeated when no one engaged with my content. It took awhile, but once I started paying attention and mixing things up, I finally got it, and my business changed for the better.
So let’s keep you from making those mistakes. Whether you’re brand new to the online space or you’ve been here for a while, this information is valuable to you because we entrepreneurs have a knack for complicating things. Sometimes, it really is about getting back to the basics. Let’s talk about how to create impactful, effective, and valuable content.
Here are 5 Basic Steps to keep in mind when designing your content creation strategy.
These steps will keep you from feeling overwhelmed while you work out a strategy that’s not only sustainable, but enjoyable. Sound good?
Here’s a quick overview of the 5 steps. We’ll take a deeper dive into each one in just a second.
1. Decide What Type of Content You’ll Create.
2. Create Maximum-Value Content.
3. Link Your Content With Your Core Offers. (Reverse Engineer)
4. Track Your Content Performance and Repeat.
5. Show Up Consistently.
Now, let’s go over each one in a little more detail.
1. DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT YOU’LL CREATE
Sounds so simple, and it can be, but deciding what type of content to create will depend on your marketing goals, promotional objectives (what you want to sell), and your target audience, as well as which social media channel(s) you’re planning to use.
(A quick note about this: I’ll be focusing on sharing your content via Facebook so we can make the most out of our time together).
As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, content creation without a focus or purpose will end up frustrating you because you won’t get the results you’re looking for. This is why It’s so important to sit down and write out a marketing plan that helps you clearly identify these areas before you jump into creating content. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling like you’re throwing spaghetti against the wall and feeling defeated when nothing sticks.
Once you have a content marketing plan in place, you’ll have an easier time identifying which content types and social media channels will be most effective for achieving your business goals and connecting with your audience.
2. CREATE CONTENT THAT PROVIDES VALUE
Since the online space is so saturated with content, creating content just for the sake of checking this task off of your to-do list just won’t cut it. Doing so won’t generate the results you’re looking for.
Your content must be helpful, provide a solution, and/or solve a problem. It has to be something that your audience needs.
Based on my experiences, here’s a short list of some of the most helpful types of content you can create:
- How-to tips
- Industry best practices
- Transformation showcases— sharing a before and after, for instance. Bonus points if you can tell a story and include photos.
- Sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes info to show off your processes, systems, or strategies.
- “A day in the life.” Give your audience a glimpse of what your day looks like, share some productivity hacks, etc.
A combination of these types of content will build your audience’s trust in you as a person, showcase your business, and help people see what you do, who you help, and how you help.
3. LINK YOUR CONTENT WITH YOUR CORE OFFERS (REVERSE ENGINEER)
I’ve shared this concept with you before in Episode 21, “What Is Marketing & What Is it Supposed to Do for Your Business?”.
When we reverse engineer, we start with the end in mind. What is the ultimate goal for your content? Often it’ll be to promote an event such as an online challenge, webinar, workshop, or to promote and sell a service, course, or paid program.
Creating purposeful content that your followers want to consume is a good start, but these that still isn’t enough on its own. You have to have a strategy. You have to start with the end in mind so that you can create content and calls to action that will take your audience on the journey you want them to be on.
Every piece of content you create must be related to your end goal, period. Creating this journey is what we refer to as content marketing. The content you share should create a buzz around your business and a demand for your services or products.
4. TRACK YOUR CONTENT PERFORMANCE & REPEAT
Don’t get overwhelmed thinking about how you’re going to come up with all this original content, much less make time to keep up with it regularly.
That’s what I’m helping you with.
Instead of stressing about all the new ideas you have to come up with week after week after week, it makes more sense to keep track of content you’ve already published and how it performed.
Pay particular attention to content that performs well. Use it as a framework. Duplicate your efforts. Keep what worked and re-purpose it by rephrasing the lesson, using a different story to highlight your main point, or communicating the same message with a different type of content.
Let’s say you typed up a post sharing 3 tips and a personal story of how you implemented those tips. The post performed really well. Great!
Your next step isn’t to create a totally new piece of content. Rather, it’s to repurpose that post. Maybe you share those same tips and stories via a quick video or a Facebook Live. Maybe you pull out a quote and create a graphic for Instagram. Getting creative allows you to take one original, high-performing piece of content and re-use it over and over again.
If you’re using a spreadsheet to track the content you created and where you shared it, you can easily add a few columns or fields to track how your content is doing.
Measure the performance in numbers of likes, reactions, comments, and shares, and use that information to create additional content around the topics your audience responds to. Using a variety of types of content (blogs, social media posts, videos, etc.) keeps old content fresh, so it stays powerful, relevant, and popular.
5. SHOW UP CONSISTENTLY
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it here again: Your content marketing plan takes time. Getting your audience’s attention is only the first step. They need to see you over and over again, get to know you, and learn that they can trust you. That’s why being consistent is SO important.
Plus, it’s not just your audience who needs to see you showing up consistently. It’s also our good friends at Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and whatever other platforms you’ve chosen to show up on. Publishing regularly on a consistent schedule causes your posts to rank more highly over time.
There’s that word again. Time. IT.TAKES.TIME. But your patience will pay off. A solid strategy will work. You’ll build your following one person at a time, and before you know it, you’ll see results and start getting a return on your initial time investment.
Just remember: Content creation requires patience on your part, and a commitment to produce consistently. There’s no shortcut. Stay focused, and know you’re on the right track. It’s my intention to help you get through those moments when you feel discouraged. When you feel like you’re doing all the right things and nothing is happening, .keep going! It’s normal to experience this, but you have to push through those feelings and remember that we all started in exactly the same place.
The best way to convert your followers into loyal, lifelong fans is to show up for them, be of service, provide value, and let them get to know the human behind the business. Communicating with your audience on a personal level builds trust. Every time they go online, you should be there (without actually having to be online 24/7—that’s where your strategy comes in).
Don’t treat your content creation as something you’re constantly doing at the last minute. Start simply, create a content schedule, and stick to it.
Since the online space changes so quickly, these five basic steps may not be relevant in a few years. But for now, this is what I recommend in order to keep you on track to an actionable and effective content creation strategy.
Let’s do a quick recap.
Here are the 5 basic steps we covered:
1. Decide What Type of Content You’ll Create.
2. Create Maximum Value Content.
3. Link Your Content With Your Core Offers. (Reverse Engineer)
4. Track Your Content Performance & Repeat.
5. Show Up Consistently.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the basic steps to keep in mind when preparing to create content, I’d like to focus on sharing your content on Facebook.
There’s no denying it: Facebook continues to grow as one of the best social media platforms for business. I want you to consider using Facebook to show up, provide value, be of service, showcase stories, highlight client success stories, take polls, run contests, and last but not least, talk about your business. Facebook is a great place to evangelize your services and talk about who you help, how you help, and what problems you can solve.
Since we just spent time going over five basic steps for successful content creation, let’s go over a few more basic steps on how to use your Facebook Business Page as part of your content creation and marketing strategy.
BENEFITS YOU CAN EXPECT FROM BUILDING A STRONG FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE:
- Grow your audience on Facebook.
- Showcase your expertise that growing audience.
- Create, share and re-purpose valuable content without being online 24/7.
- Grow your EMAIL list.
- . . . And much more!
Your Facebook Business Page can be a powerful marketing tool. Think of it as the storefront of your online business. It’s your shop, and your content is your inventory.
You wouldn’t wait until your customers walked into your store to stock your shelves with inventory, right? You’d fill them up beforehand so that when your customers walked in, they’d have plenty of things to look through. They’d instantly get a feel for who you are, what your store has to offer, and more.
Same with your online content. If it’s your inventory, it’s your job to keep it fresh and available so your audience can always see who you are and what you’re doing.
Whether you’re new and need to set up your Facebook Business Page the right way or you’ve got a page that you’ve been neglecting, use this podcast and the checklist I’ve created to give your business page an audit and, most likely, a tune-up.
Here are a few basics to help you start setting up your Facebook Page the right way.
1. Creating a Facebook Business Page
Set up is easy. First, we start with setting up a personal Facebook profile. You’ll need a personal account to create a Facebook Business Page.
You may be wondering why you need to create a Facebook Business Page if you already have a personal page. The answer is two-fold:
First: it’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions to conduct business on your personal page. That’s why they give us unlimited FREE Facebook Business Pages.
Second: If you’re serious about growing your business online, you’ll eventually want to run ads (even if you have a small budget). You cannot run ads from your personal page.
You need a Business Page, period. End of story.
Once you’ve created a personal profile, create your Business Page. Simply select “Create Page” from the drop-down menu by your profile picture.
2. How to Grow Your Facebook Page
One of the main jobs your Business Page has is to attract fans. Follower engagement is a trigger for Facebook to notice your page as the place where your audience likes to hang out.
But, beware: You want to attract the right visitors, the right fans, the right audience. I’d rather see you have an active, engaged page with 250 fans than a page with 5,000 followers and no engagement.
Here are a few of my favorite strategies for growing your Facebook Business Page.
- Promote your Page on your website: Always include social media buttons. If you go to my business page and scroll all the way down, you’ll see social media buttons that link directly to my business pages on each platform. Replicate this on your own page.
- Invite folks to visit your Facebook Business Page in the header image of your personal page. Use Canva (a fantastic free resource) to design your header. If you grab the free checklist I provide above, it comes with a follow-up email that walks you through designing a header.
- Update your Gmail signature. Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature. I currently do this, and I add a one sentence invitation: “I invite you to check out my Facebook Business Page ‘Veronica Sagastume Coaching’ for tips, best practices, and much more.”
- Create, share and publish engaging content that your audience will find helpful. The idea is to get them to like, comment, and share. (We’ll talk more about what kind of content you can post shortly. I know this is a lot, but stay with me. It’s worth it!)
I could do an entire podcast on ways to grow your Facebook Business Page— and I may actually do that in the next few months—but for now, these are just four of my favorite ways to grow your Facebook Business Page.
3. Use Facebook Insights, Metrics, and Analytics
Here’s another reason why you need a Facebook Business Page: It can provide SO much information about your visitors. Their age, gender, where they live, what they like, and much more.
Once you get a few likes on your page (I think the magic number is 30?), you’ll start seeing an “Insights” tab on your page. This is a great place to study your audience. Once you get the hang of it, you can use the information you gather to decide which content your audience likes the most, which pieces of content are most engaging, and as I shared earlier in this episode, what content is worth re-purposing.
Pay attention to the detailed analytics and spend some time reviewing and understanding some of your content is landing better than other pieces. It might be a little confusing at first, but your analytics tab is a gold mine of valuable info.
Part of your Content Creation 101 Strategy is to:
- Experiment with the types of content you create and share.
- Publish your content at different times of day.
- Use a spreadsheet to track the likes, comments, reactions, and shares for each post.
- Review insights and engagement.
- Use a content calendar to plan out themed posts. For example, I currently have a few themed post:
- Tuesday: I promote my new Podcast episodes.
- Wednesday: I host a weekly Facebook Live show on my page.
- Mondays and Saturdays: I share a more personal perspective on my life.
- Thursdays: I’m about to start sharing Tech Tips each Thursday.
- Friday: More personal stuff. Lighthearted info like favorite foods, photos of my dog, etc.
Use these guidelines as you design (or redesign) your content strategy. Don’t forget to have fun—this is YOUR business after all.
4. Facebook Content Ideas
Here are a few ideas for content you can create to share on your Facebook Business Page:
- Share behind-the-scenes photos of conferences, meet-ups, and mastermind events you attend.
- Create inspirational posts from other industry experts you are inspired by. Tell your audience why they’ve made an impact on you.
- Share resources, tools, and equipment you use. Add your own point of view.
- Share profiles of customers or clients. Ask them to share their stories.
- Share a few “pro tips.” Add a story element to bring home the lesson.
- Create a weekly series like, “Did you know . . . ”, “Have you seen this . . .”, or a themed day (like my Tech Tip Thursday).
A few guidelines for your content:
- Keep your written posts brief. I recommend 80-100 characters. Don’t be surprised if these types of posts get shared. The one exception to this is if you’re sharing tips and a story. Story posts might be longer, but people love a good narrative.
- Make your content skimmable and easy to read. Add spaces, emojis, symbols, and when you can, use pictures or design images. Remember you can use the free resource Canva.
- Celebrate milestones. Take your audience on the journey with you.
- Get in the habit of ending your content with a call to action. Tell your audience what you want them to do next. A good rule is to have one call to action per post. Examples might be:
- Share this video
- Tell me which tip you liked best
- Like my page
- Comment below with your thoughts/ideas/etc.
- Grab my freebie
- Listen to my podcast
5. Facebook Page Best Practices
As with anything else, there are best practices to keep in mind in order to make the most of the time and effort you put into your Facebook content. Once you make the FB Business Page part of your business growth strategy, here are some things I recommend for you:
- Get in the habit of checking your Facebook page regularly for any engagement.
- Be sure to like and comment back to all comments on your posts.
- Follow and LIKE other pages. Keep in mind that you can like a page as your personal profile and as your business page profile.
- Be sure to like and comment on other pages you follow. (This can mean carving out just 15 minutes a week to do so.)
- Remember to experiment with your content. Don’t be afraid to mix things up, test, and track.
- Don’t worry so much about posting every single day. Quality is more important than quantity.
- Likewise, choose a frequency schedule you can sustain. Don’t commit to going Live every day if you aren’t prepared to do so in the long-term.
- Show up! Remember that if you don’t show up for your audience, you can’t expect them to show up for you. Dropping off for weeks at a time isn’t going to work.
WE JUST COVERED A LOT OF INFORMATION, SO LET’S DO A QUICK RECAP OF THE ADDITIONAL 5 STEPS to start setting up your Facebook Business Page the right way:
- Creating a Facebook Business Page
- How To Grow your Facebook Page
- Facebook Insights, Metrics, and Analytics
- Facebook Content Post Ideas
- Facebook Best Practices
Keep in mind that Facebook is constantly changing. However, it can be a great way for you to grow your business. Once you have a good basic strategy in place, you may want to try and test other more advanced features like Facebook Live and Facebook Ads. But let’s start out with the basics as I’ve outlined them in this episode.
If this is making sense, but you need a little help to give you a quick start, be sure to grab that free checklist I provided above!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I’d love to hear from you. Scroll down to the comments section and leave me a comment letting me know: Do you have a Facebook Business Page? Are you showing up consistently?
BUT WAIT—before you go, have you subscribed to my Podcast yet? Hop over to iTunes and subscribe now. It’ll take you less than 30 seconds and each week’s episode will be downloaded automatically, so you’ll never miss and episode.
Be sure to come back next week. I’ll be sharing some specific, step-by-step ways to repurpose content you create!
I thank you for showing up for me, for yourself, and for your business.
Until next time—bye for now!
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