Creating Content with Andy McIlwain
In his role with GoDaddy, Andy is a member of the content team, working on everything from webinars to blog posts to ebooks. But his primary focus is on GoDaddy Pro users and helping them take full advantage of all the GoDaddy Pro tools and resources. He also has an extensive background in communities, but today we are focusing on his extensive knowledge of content. And that knowledge can be perfectly summed up with his 7 Ps of content creation…
[Be sure to download the ‘7Ps of Content Creation’ checklist at the bottom of the page!]
Watch the Video
He answered those questions and ponderings with the 7 Ps of content creation! They are listed in order below.
1. Prepare your goals
When Andy presented this topic at a WordCamp for the first time, he was talking about the different steps of a marketing funnel: reach, teach, sell, and support. He broke them down on today’s show.
Reach – at the top is your reach content, this is the content that helps people find you (social media, etc). It is content that grabs attention and brings people in.
Teach – this is content that teaches people and helps them learn. Your goal with this content is to teach people something and solve a problem of theirs through education.
Sell – content that sells isn’t necessarily content that closes a deal, but it is content that convinces people to take the next step with you like subscribing to your email list or signing up for your webinar. This content is anything where they are giving you something, and there is a greater exchange of value.
Support – this happens after you’ve helped your prospect come on board and you’ve worked together. After you’ve done that, the support content is there to help them use whatever it is you have built for them.
2. Plan your topics
The next P in the content creation process is ‘plan’. If you’re going to position yourself as an authority, what are all the things you would teach about that subject to educate someone?
Start thinking like a teacher and not a business owner when you are planning your topics. When you do that then can start thinking about what pieces of content you need to put out, what posts to write, and what presentations you’ll put together. Andy recommends leaving SEO out of the game plan at this stage, and focus on getting good quality information out there first.
3. Producing the content
This next P, ‘producing’, can be where people hit a wall! Andy describes what works for him: just start writing.
He brain dumps all of his ideas into a Google doc, and doesn’t worry about making it perfect. He recommends you get into the habit of capturing thoughts and getting things written down and noted. Once you’ve done that, then you can start by researching the rest of the information that will fill in the blanks of the points you want to convey.
You also need to research and add some authority to your content, according to Andy. You can add credibility by pulling in other sources; he suggests using BuzzSumo to find content that has gotten a lot of social shares and to find the big influencers sharing that content.
The fourth P in the process is repurposing. What you create can be repurposed into different formats like video, blog posts, podcasts, etc. One of the things he likes doing the most is creating a presentation on his topic.
After producing and repurposing your content, you should promote it. This is another step where many people drop the ball! The first thing you should do is promote the content you produced yourself through organic social shares on Twitter and Facebook.
But you also need to tap into other people’s audiences too. BuzzSumo or HARO are two tools that can help you find people for this. Work with others to either create strategic partnerships or simply ask them to share your content with their audience. The important thing is to find a way to get in front of other people’s audiences.
The 6th P is ‘participate’. By this, Andy means participate in communities, online and offline. Naturally, this is something you should be doing anyway because it’s a great way to offer your help to others. Yes, you can generate potential leads, business partners, and partnerships, but it’s also important to participate in order to be giving as much value as possible.
On today’s show, he illustrates examples of both online and offline instances of doing this and gives further detail on why it’s so important.
The very last step is ‘proving’: make sure you are actually hitting your goals with the different content you’re creating. Make sure you teach content that is educating people as well as converting. Regularly check your stats otherwise, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not!
Each step of the content creation process has a KPI (key performance indicators) so you can course-correct if things are off. You need to watch indicators to ensure that everything is working you’re not flying blind! Andy gives some tools he likes to use in the proving stage, tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar.