You have no shortage of passion for your business and you see first-hand the wonderous benefits it brings to your customers. But when you sit down to plan or write content, you can’t think of anything meaningful to share. So, another week passes without you doing very much at all to connect with or educate your audience. You know you have so much value to offer – how do you tap into that?!
I’m going to share with you my secrets to creating meaningful content your audience loves. Because when you master this, you’ll discover the consistency, authority, and engagement you crave.
What is meaningful content?
If you’ve spent more than five minutes on social media or Google, you’ve likely encountered plenty of content that lacks depth or meaning.
You’re a good writer, so you’ve read countless social posts and blogs from apparent experts and know you could do a much better job of it yourself.
100 million photos are shared every day on Instagram and 500 million accounts are active on stories daily.
And these are stats from 2019 – the last time Insta shared usage data – so are likely higher today.
That’s a whole lot of noise out there for you and your customers to wade through, so what counts as meaningful content on social media?
Here’s my definition.
Meaningful content is original, authentic, and either informative, entertaining, or educational to its audience. It speaks directly to the person consuming it and is created with purpose.
Despite the plethora of content doing the rounds, anyone who uses social media on the regs will confirm a vast majority of what we see on there falls short of this definition. So, if you’re keen to do things differently and don’t want to post for the sake of posting or churn out the same uninspiring stuff others in your industry rely on, read on.
5 steps to creating meaningful content for your website and social media
After 16 years of writing commercially valuable content for websites, blogs, and social media, I’m sharing my insight into what it takes to create content with meaning.
Step 1: Get to know your audience
Screaming into the void is not the way to lead with purpose through your content, so before you start posting, start connecting. How many of your social media followers do you feel like you know? The very definition of ‘social’ means this is a conversation – not a broadcast.
This is how I do that.
- Message new followers to say hi and start a convo
- Follow people back if they’re in your niche or aligned with you
- Engage – reply to Insta stories and leave genuine and thoughtful comments
- Set up virtual coffees with interesting people without an ulterior motive
Getting to know your audience is a critical foundation for starting to understand what sort of content will resonate with them.
Step 2: Conduct market research
Taking things a step further, once you’ve established a rapport with your audience, it’s time to really find out who they are and what they want from you.
Market research comes in many forms, and doing it regularly ensures you stay in touch with what your ideal customer is thinking, struggling with, dreaming of, and working towards on a day-to-day basis.
Here are a few great ways to carry out market research:
- Use social media tools like polls and question boxes to see what your audience needs help with
- Invite ideal customers on a 20-minute Zoom to delve deeper into their mindset (always record the session!)
- Send surveys to existing and previous customers about why they came to you, why they chose you, and what they get from the experience of working with you
- Join relevant Facebook groups for your niche and observe and/or ask questions
The real reason your clients love working with you may be different to what you think.
You’ll never know if you don’t ask – and you’ll be stuck in tumbleweed town forever.
A quick case study on market research
A client of mine is a PT who asked her customers what they loved about her running groups. Smashing their PBs? Conquering new distances? Boosting their energy levels? All of these factored in, but they weren’t the main reasons for coming.
They were a bunch of mums desperate to get out of the house alone. They wanted to have an adult conversation, make new friends, and do something for themselves.
Now, this has transformed how my client promotes her running programmes because she realises it’s about more than fitness, it’s about connection and wellbeing.
Are you sure you know what your clients get out of working with you and what really keeps them coming back?
Step 3: Know your values
Understanding yourself, your values, and your purpose is just as important as knowing your audience inside out.
Why are you here? What’s your dream? What parts of your job do you love and speak animatedly about to your friends and family?
A fantastic way to dig into this is to determine your values as a brand. Think about yourself as a person, and your business as a whole, and what you stand for and believe in. Ask your customers how they’d describe you and your business, and look for common ground between how you perceive yourself and how others experience you.
Once you’ve done this, choose three to five nouns to live by and make sure you embody these through your services, your content, and your demeanour with clients.
My brand values? Authenticity, positivity, and simplicity.
Identifying your values can be a much deeper exercise, but this is a great starting point to remind yourself of your purpose as a business and form the basis for a meaningful content strategy.
Step 4: Mirror your audience’s language
For me, this is the golden rule of meaningful content: listening to how your audience describes their struggles, needs, goals, mindset, and your value.
Without this, you can have all the insight and purpose in the world, but your content could still miss the mark if you don’t communicate effectively.
The actual words your ideal customers use are so, so, so important to connect with them on their level.
4 places to observe how your customers speak
- Your reviews and enquiries
- Your market research findings (e.g. responses to Insta questions or more detailed Zoom interview transcripts)
- Discussions in Facebook interest groups
- Competitior reviews and comments
I like to set up Trello boards to gather and organise data like this, as it often comes in titbits and soundbites easily lost or forgotten if I don’t keep track (and my chaotic mind needs organisation to thrive).
Step 5: Have a content strategy
Once you know your customer, yourself, and how you can help them get to where they want to be, it’s time to organise yourself to ensure your message lands with consistency and purpose.
A content strategy may sound like something you don’t know how to create or lack the time for, but a little simple planning goes a long way towards bringing meaning and impact to your content.
Spend an hour at the start of each month or week mapping out what you’ll share and when to save yourself that midweek panic that no posts have gone out and avoid rushing out something that doesn’t align with you and your intentions.
Starting with a big piece of content and repurposing it is my recommended way of doing things, as the time and effort you put into the initial piece then pays off over time and allows you to divert your energy elsewhere once it’s done.
5 speedy content repurposing tips to save time and maximise impact
- Write a blog based on something your audience is struggling with (this is exactly what I’m doing here – I posted a question box last week on Instagram and a follower asked for advice on creating meaningful content – here’s a blog on using market research to create content)
- Break the blog down into 2-4 emails (depending on how often you send them out to your database)
- Use the same blog to create 6-8 social media captions, separately the different headers, bullet points, quotes, stats, and questions into individual posts
- Organise it all in a spreadsheet or Trello board, so you know what to post and when
- Add some nice graphics and images, and you’re good to go!
Get more help writing meaningful content
Hopefully, this blog has inspired you to understand and create social media content that strikes a chord with your audience and leads to the engagement, enquiries, income, and authority you aspire to.
If you feel like you need a little more help knowing how to create great content that resonates with your dream customer, my self-paced online content writing course is available to buy and binge now – get it here.
Fine with what to do but need accountability to keep doing it?
Join my Content Club community, where we get together over monthly Zooms to chat through what’s working, share ideas, and cheerlead each other on (it’s like therapy for your business – so far, we’ve seen members find their niche, get the courage to do their first Insta Live, and use each other’s services). Join Content Club here – there’s a spot with your name on!
Need more customised and intensive support to get your content up and running? Book a virtual coffee to explore 1-1 content collaboration with me.
Don’t forget to follow me on Insta and LinkedIn and drop me a line to say hi – my DMs are always open.