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It’s that time of year when winter seems to have dragged on for too long, We can't wait for signs of spring – for warmth, sunshine and green shoots.
 
Business-wise it can feel like that too. We want change, new clients, new growth... It's hard work. Isn't it about time your content worked as hard as you? 

The neglected side of the content equation

When it comes to content marketing, you’ll find no shortage of good advice to help you create better content. At the core of all this thinking is a clear customer focus - the belief that the better you understand your customer, the better your content will be. We won’t argue with that. You do need to know your customer inside out if you’re going to create content that’s valuable to them.
 
However there’s another side to content marketing that sometimes gets neglected. In the rush to create high quality and original content, the business side of the equation sometimes doesn’t get enough of a look in. With all eyes on ‘how is this piece of content going to get the attention of the customer?’ not enough people are looking at ‘how is this piece of content going to help us as a business.’
 
Your fabulous blogs may entertain, and your videos go viral, but if they don’t take your customers a step further along the path with you, then they haven’t done their job.
 
Valuable content works hard for your business
 
And that’s the thing. Valuable content is content with a real job to do; it’s hardworking stuff. To persuade, to convince, to build trust, to sell. Truly valuable content gets people to take the action you want. To refer you, to hire you, to buy your product, to sign up for your updates, to give you their email address, to keep working with you for another year. If you want to create valuable content, be crystal clear what you want people to do once they’ve read it.
 
To do this well you need a content strategy that lines up with your business strategy. E.g. our focus in 2015 is winning 3 more contracts in x sector. Mapping the body of content you create against the journey of your target audience will guide you as to what each individual call to action should be.
 
To really succeed at content marketing each piece of content you create needs a business focus that’s as sharp as its customer focus.
 
Is your content valuable enough?
 
Our latest blog contains a simple checklist to help you determine whether or not a piece of content will hit the mark.

>> Get the checklist: Is this content valuable?

Do tell us if it’s useful for you.

Celebrating the 50th edition of this newsletter!
 
Can't believe it – this is newsletter number 50! To celebrate this milestone, we're giving away a free signed copy of the second edition of Valuable Content Marketing which comes out in July this year. First person to ping us an email gets a book reserved and sent to them as soon it's ready. Who wants it? 
 
Thanks so much for the help that many of you gave us with the book. It's all done and with our publishers now. Sharing your content marketing challenges helped us focus the book on what really matters to people running small businesses today. We can’t wait to share the results with you! 
 
See you next month
 
Sharon and Sonja
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