Your business is playing for a valuable and elusive prize. You need to earn an own at least 30 minutes of your future customer’s time today.
You can use Full-Stack Content, content curation and syndication, or methodical publishing of useful, insightful, and valuable blog posts.
He was disillusioned and upset…
When I finished speaking, I made my way off the stage to a growing line of attendees hoping to ask a question. Toward the end of the line, I noticed an older man who didn’t have the reflexive “nice to meet you” smile on his face. He ignored the obligatory small talk and quickly explained the scowl on his face.
“Stan, we are getting beat”, he started.
“Our competition is publishing amazing stuff and slowly wooing away our current customers. Worse our pipeline is empty. Our sales team complains that my marketing team isn’t doing enough to establish the company as a quote-on-quote thought leader.”
“We can publish a good post here and there but these are happy accidents.”
He rushed on hoping to get his story out before I politely told him to visit our blog. “We need to put a process into place to publish incredible text-based (blog) content, at scale, that consistently gets noticed.”
“I know you only have a few minutes but what should I do?”
I’ve heard a version of this scenario many times. But this time, this marketing director had connected three objectives: (1) useful content, (2) geared for lead generation, (3) published at scale.
I was intrigued. My talk had finished before lunch and I invited him to talk with me as we ate.
An hour later I had sketched out a quick action plan.
Here’s what I shared.
Breaking Down the Great Content At Scale Process
The solution to producing great blog posts at scale can be segmented into two priorities.
First Be Great: Great content is urgently relevant to the reader. Generic content fails to attract and retain readers because it isn’t immediately useful. Solve this problem and you will convert more readers into leads which is the only real goal for business blog posts.
Be Great At Scale: One excellent blog post a month worked as recently as 12 months ago. Now every niche is filling with competitors implementing aggressive content marketing plans. Last year’s monthly great post is being drowned out by quality post published weekly, daily, even twice a day!
This isn’t the classic tortoise and hare dilemma. The speedy rabbit isn’t napping. The race is over and the crowd has left the race and invited the rabbit to dinner!
The competitive landscape demands a system that can be great all the time. Publish or die isn’t just an academic rule of thumb, it applies to 21st- century marketing as well.
First Be Great
Here are the best practices we use to turn generic content into must-read content.
Map Your Prospect’s Buying Process
Start with the premise that every reader arrives at your blog with a question. This question guides every click. They need an answer and they hope that you can provide it.
Your reader’s question is one of many that must be answered before they are willing to take the next step – becoming a lead. We recommend identifying these questions and categorizing them under each step in your prospect’s buying process.
For example, I’m looking for a way to automatically maintain the temperature at 225 degrees inside my new bbq smoker for up to 12 hours. This solves a critical problem for me, creating competition-quality bbq ribs and brisquet.
Here’s my simple buying process:
Buying Process Question #1: What is the best way to control temperature inside my smoker?
Interesting blog titles:
- 3 Easy Ways to Control Your Smoker’s Internal Temperature?
- Should You Automate Temperature Control inside Your Smoker?
- How BBQ Champions Control Temperature Without Being Chained to Their Smoker
- The Art and Science of Competition Quality BBQ Temperature Control.
Buying Process Question #2: What are my temperature control options?
Interesting blog titles:
- Fans vs Natural Air Flow? Which is Best for Controlling Temperature in Competition Settings?
- Can a Microchip Really Provide Precise Temperature Control?
- 7 Inside Tips Smoker Vent Tweaks from Old-School BBQ Champs.
- Vent Settings for the Rookie BBQer
Buying Process Question #3: What is the best option for my smoker (Weber GSM 18”)?
Interesting blog titles:
- Top Automated Temperature Options for the Weber GSM 18”
- 5 DIY Internal Temp Control Options for the Weber GSM 18”
- How to Control Your Weber GSM 18” Temperature When Money Isn’t A Problem (Or How Donald Trump Smokes Ribs)
- GSM Temperature Control For the Frugal BBQ Rib Smoker
Answer my buying process questions and you’ll gain a hound-dog loyal reader for life.
Mapping out these questions and aligning them with blog content helps you satisfy the “great” requirement. Now each blog post moves your reader through your sales process.
Identify Buying Triggers
Knowing Your readers buying process will help you write relevant content. Identifying your reader’s buying triggers equips your team with insight on how to get readers to take action.
Let’s revisit my bbq rib obsession. My buying triggers are:
1. Geek Automation: I don’t want to watch my grill for 4 – 12 hours straight. I want a geek option.
2. Compatiblity: I use the Weber 18’ GSM. Any solution needs to work with my current smoker
3. Reliability: I BBQ every weekend. Every slab of ribs has to be perfect. A broken solution hurts big time.
4. Price: Not a factor. I’m obsessed.
Flip any of these triggers and you have my attention. What are your buyer’s triggers? Once you’ve indentified the triggers, instruct your writers to keep them in mind while developing topic ideas and writing posts.
Understand the Passion Map
Everyone has a passion (some don’t know what it is but they have one). Great business blogs consistently reinforce their reader’s passion. GrowthHackers.com knows its readers love technical solutions to marketing problems. Brainpickings.org knows that its readerships love in-depth, long form examinations of esoteric topics. Knowing a your reader’s passions enables you to consistently hit the mark with every post.
My team uses a Passion Wheel to understand how to write for our clients. The Passion Wheel helps us investigate specific passion influences in six areas:
- Smart: I want to be smart, witty, and focused.
- Healthy: I want to fit and illness-free.
- Beautiful: I want to look great.
- Famous: I want to be recognized for my intelligence, healthy, wealth, or beauty.
- Rich: I want the resources to experience the best life has to offer.
- Content: I want to be at peace with who I am and what I’ve acheived.
Why do I want to bbq competition quality ribs? I want to be smart, famous and content and you guessed it, I’m not that interested in being healthy (for the moment).
Now Be Great At Scale
How do you take all of those great blog post ideas and pump them out at scale? We had to figure this out to be able to deliver consistently awesome content for results-oriented clients. Here’s what we learned.
Plan in 3-month chunks. A quarterly editorial calendar gives everyone, writers, graphic designers, and editors enough time to do their best work at scale.
For most this means scheduling 12 articles in advance. You can quickly brainstorm 12 topics by answering your prospect’s buying map questions. Notice that I was able to create 12 topics about BBQ temperature control!
After writing close to 400 posts this year alone, I know that on-demand blog post strategies always lead to spotty publishing. Its much easier to write when you already have a topic.
Be Systems Oriented
Build a system to support consistent large-scale blog publishing. Your system should include the following steps.
Its very likely that you will need help to implement this system. But, publishing at scale means that blogging is a key part of your marketing strategy requiring an investment to make it work. You’ll want to create the system before you ramp up your publishing frequency. Spend time tweaking the system and finding the right people to handle each step.
I follow the rule: Be Easy on People and Hard on the Process.
Having a process makes it easy to outsource steps and get consistent quality from every part of the system. Invest the bulk of your time here to scale blog post production.
Do This Next
Download our free Blogging at Scale Process Checklist and use it to design your blog post production process. It’s simple to use and will help you get started and scale as you see success with your posts. Content Toolbox Members can download it for free here.
Not a Toolbox Member? Click here to register for free and download the Blogging at Scale Process Checklist. A one-time registration gets you access to all of our blogging and content tools. Never have to opt-in again.