Something Interact customers struggle with is creating content. One of the reasons for the struggle is that coaches, course creators, and e-commerce businesses often have one core offering that covers a span of needs for their clients.
It becomes difficult to pin down what to write about, and we often see people either creating massive e-books or not making content at all because it feels like they are cheapening their brand by offering ideas shorter than the full-fledged thing.
To help this process, we created the magnet method for content strategy, an effort to provide an alternative approach that allows all of you who have amazing ideas and innovations in your heads to begin creating content without falling into one of the pitfalls above.
We call it the magnet method because, if you think about how a magnet works, one magnet attracts metals toward it, but every single part of the magnet can pull in the metal. Similarly, the magnet approach to content marketing all leads back to one core offering of yours, but you use many different topics to do so.
Definition: Magnet Method for Content Strategy
Creating content on many topics that all lead back to your core offering, so you can continually direct people to what you’re best at.
Step 1: Define your offer—Why do people buy from you?
The first part of this process is defining why people buy from you. For example, if you’re a photographer, the easy answer is professional photos. Or, if you sell skin-care products, the easy answer is skin care.
But let’s take it a layer deeper and ask a few more key questions.
- What makes you unique in your market? Maybe you’re a photographer known for making people’s personalities shine in your photos. Maybe you sell skin-care products with sustainable ingredients that can be traced back to the source.
- What do people enjoy most about working with you? It could be that taking photos with you is fun and not stuffy, or that using your products brightens not just people’s skin but also their day.
Make a list of all these things and group them into one-sentence snippets or value statements. We’ll use these later when we move on to writing content.
1. The most fun photographer
2. The easiest photoshoot experience
3. The least stressful photoshoot experience
Step 2: List all the questions customers have for you
Literally sit down and ask yourself all of the questions your customers usually ask you. Or, even better, employ a friend to ask you these questions. There’s no need for perfection; you just want to get everything written down.
Going back to our examples, if you’re a photographer, questions could be about the best locations and times for taking photos, preferred clothing, and so on. For skin care, questions could be about the best time to wash your face, how to apply creams, and much more.
Just spout them out—no judgment, just get everything written down. There’s no need yet to think about how these questions will eventually turn into content.
Step 3: Answer questions and connect to the magnet
Once you have all of your customer questions written down, consider which ones will make good content. You’ll realize some of them aren’t broad enough to warrant an entire blog post, but perhaps they would be better on social media or as part of a Q&A post.
Once you’ve determined which questions will make the best content, answer them in whatever form makes you feel energized. I emphasized that last part because the content you enjoy creating will be the most sustainable.
It can be video, podcast, written, infographic, anything.
Create a cadence for yourself. It feels really good to publish content consistently, so don’t let perfectionism bring you down at this stage. Ideally, you would put something out there at least once a week.
How does this tie back to your business growth? Refer back to step one, where we defined the unique value that your business brings to the world. As you’re crafting your content, insert prompts for the reader to work with you by using those unique value statements throughout your content.
For example, since we’re on the topic, you can use a quiz within your content to offer people a short automated consultation and help them find out if working with you is the best fit.
See what I did there? I just worked in a short blurb for Interact within this article. You can do the same when creating your content.
Using the magnet method
To summarize, the magnet method has three steps.
- Identify your unique value statements
- Make a list of all of your customer questions
- Write content to answer questions and tie back to your offering using value statements
The magnet method can be done in rounds. You might only think of five or so questions in your first brainstorm, and that’s okay. If that’s the case, create five pieces of content and then run the process again; you will think of more ideas every time. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle.
The examples used in this post are amplified for illustrative purposes but based on Amy Thompson Brand Photography and Mount Lai. Thank you to both for sharing with us!