Marketing is about helping our ideal customers get to know us – and not about frantically trying to get as many people as possible to buy our stuff.
People rarely buy the first time they hear of us, so content marketing is a good way to enable people to move through the cycle of getting to know, like and trust us, and if the time and circumstances are right for them, to try, buy, repeat and even refer.
I have found the ‘MOVES’ framework described in the book The Introvert Entrepreneur to be the most useful way to consider the different types of content you can create at four different stages in the marketing cycle. Here’s a description of the four stages, and some examples of the types of content that are a good fit for them
Description: No financial investment required by potential clients.
Examples: blogs, articles, and information on social media that people can access without making contact with you.
Description: Minimal investment required by potential clients. Access to targeted information in exchange for an email address or other contact details, or some of their time to attend a presentation for free or a small charge. This content is provided on a one-to-many basis, rather than one-to-one.
Examples: workshops, presentations, webinars, email newsletters, or accessing a free document from your website in exchange for their email address.
Description: Clients are paying for services you have developed, and you are likely to be customising these services to meet their needs. This content is provided on a one-to-one basis.
Examples: coaching, training or written documents
Description: Clients in this category are convinced that you and your business are the right fit for their needs over the long term. They are likely to recommend your services to others.
Examples: this will vary considerably, depending on your business, so it’s more difficult to provide examples. However, these will be your highest level of services, in terms of both quality and customisation.
The value in understanding these four levels of the marketing cycle is to consider which parts of your marketing cycle are working well, supported by excellent content, and which parts are less well supported at the moment.
It is helpful to look at how other businesses are applying this framework, to understand the options you can consider for your own business.
Beth Buelow, the author of The Introvert Entrepreneur has a clear MOVES framework on her website:
1. Listen to a podcast online.
2. One-to-many offerings include: her book is available for sale, as is her online ‘business selfie’ programme. Another option is to join one of her book clubs.
3. Beth is available for one-to-one coaching.
4. Beth has an ongoing partnership with the Northwest Entrepreneur Network to speak at their events.
Here’s a fictional example, to show how your marketing strategy doesn’t have to focus on written content. You can achieve the same outcomes through networking and speaking, if that is a better fit for you.