When it comes to growing an online business, my motto has always been to focus on the content. Not only is it one of the easiest, fastest and most affordable ways to grow your business, it also allows you to build real relationships with your audience.
And today when it seems like everyone has an online business, customers have lots of options and are choosing to work with the people who they know, like and trust. Content is know-like-and-trust elixir for online entrepreneurs who are usually working with people they haven’t met face-to-face.
Having a content strategy allows you to think big picture with you content – giving you the ability to do more with content and spend less time creating it. Learn more about why having an online content strategy is the #1 way to build your online business here.
For your content strategy to do the most it can for your business, it should include four crucial types of content:
- Attraction Content
- Retention Content
- Validation Content
- Conversion Content
I created this model when I noticed that entrepreneurs weren’t getting as much as they could out of their efforts to create great content and were giving up as a result. I put the framework into practice with my clients and while the results spoke for themselves, the best part was the feedback that using a content strategy finally clicked for them and they understood how each piece works together.
Here are the four types of content you need to grow your online business:
(1) Attraction Content
This is the content that you post on platforms you don’t own in order to attract readers back to your own website to read or learn more. Typical attraction content channels include social media platforms and guest posts on other websites.
(2) Retention Content
This is the content that you post on your website. The goal of this content is to ‘retain’ the reader/viewer by getting them to sign up for your newsletter list or join your community (such as a free membership area). For online businesses, your newsletter list is your best tool for building a relationship with your audience.
(3) Validation Content
This is the VIP or exclusive content that you send only to your subscribers or community. The goal is to woo or court them in order to build the relationship and validate your value in helping them reach their goals (as they relate to what your services or products).
(4) Conversion Content
This is the content that you use to promote your paid offerings. Even though you would usually post this on your website and social media profiles (in the formats that best suit the channel), you’ll have the most luck when you offer it to your list or community since you're already helping them with that problem. The goal of this content is to convert your audience into customers.
Your Business Needs All Four Types
The success of your online business in using a content strategy hinges on these four types of content. Ignoring any one of them could lead to problems. For example, if you focus on retention content (i.e. your blog) but not on attraction content (i.e. promoting your blog posts), getting the word out about your great blogging will probably prove difficult.
A common mistake I see online business owners making is focusing only on the first three types of content (attraction, retention and validation) but not on conversion. Their audiences would love to buy real solutions from them but they’ve essentially made themselves bloggers rather than businesses because they never give their audience an opportunity to buy from them.
Put these content types to work for you business
Evaluate any piece of content that you’re going to create using the following questions:
- What type of content is this and what is its goal?
- What’s the call-to-action?
- How does this piece fit into my larger goals?
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