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2023 was a wild ride for content. With the rise of AI, a wave of doubt rippled through the business world: is content even still valuable, if it can be made by anyone? Skeptics and visionaries took to the web to discuss, some saying it’s more alive and kicking than ever, others saying its glory days have gone.
What is true is that content as it was always done, is no longer cutting it. And many businesses have felt that, especially in a year that was challenging for all kinds of sectors. People were scrambling for ways to cut costs and increase profit, and the chaos around content creation may have led to some businesses undervaluing the impact of great content.
But when embracing a bold, uncharted approach to your content strategy, you can certainly make it work for you. Not just in terms of traffic or engagement, but even when looking beyond that. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can make your content a profitable part of your business, not just something to tick off the to-do list.
When looking at maximizing profit or improving the bottom line, most companies turn to their sales department. ‘’Sell more’’, is the verdict. Or they turn to the product or pricing side, to see if margins can be bigger. But these things – although important to do – take time. Turning to marketing and content to boost profits is an often overlooked option.
Yes, it takes time as well, but content allows for more agility and innovation. Tweaking your content strategy is less risky and more fluid than taking your product. It’s a more dynamic way to connect with your audience, build brand loyalty and ultimately drive sales. And there are plenty of options to play with.
Before you can start making money off your content, it’s crucial that you know how it is performing right now. Evaluate what you already have and if this is impacting your business results.
Look at everything: from blog posts to social media posts. This step will help you focus on the channels that show potential, so you will no longer be posting content for the sake of it.
You can work with SEO agencies in the UK or your country to see what opportunities lie in your existing content in terms of link building and other optimization activities.
This is also the time to look into the data. You’ll want to get a clear view of your audience demographics, their online behavior and content preferences. Understanding who they are and what makes them tick will help you focus on content that works, and eliminate the need for guesswork.
You might think content is blogs for SEO, or social media posts for engagement. But it can be so much more than that. Your words, images, and videos can be converted into tangible profits.
The answer lies in not just creating content, but in creating a strategy for each piece you put out. Let’s dive into some innovative and proven ideas that will transform your content from just another post to a profit-generating tool.
1. Go big on storytelling
Many brands ‘weave in’ storytelling in their content. They’ll add in a touch of narrative, but the content will still feel like most B2B or B2C content. What if you make storytelling the base of the cake instead?
Here’s why that might work: everyone’s tired of seeing the same content over and over again. Every white paper looks the same, every article has the same structure. Surprising people doesn’t just help catch the attention of people, it also proves that you are different – and your products and services might be too. You’ll be able to grab the buying intentions of those who are looking for something new.
Create a video ad that is really different, like Upwork did for their 2023 ad, or Slingshot did for their ad for Slingshot Biosciences. It’s unexpected, it shows that these companies dare to innovate and that this will likely reflect in their services as well.
You can forever repurpose these creative pieces of content. You can easily convert video to text for content on X or other platforms, or divide creative content up into more bite-sized pieces for TikTok. Creativity is the gift that keeps on giving.
2. Set a goal for each piece of content
One of the reasons many pieces of content don’t actually boost conversions or profits is because that’s not their goal. That might seem obvious, but hear us out.
If you create content because it ‘fits’ into your strategy or because it is ‘good’ for SEO, you don’t tie an objective goal to it. And if there’s no big goal, there won’t be any big effort.
Create content with the intention of it impacting your bottom line. Invest in content so it pays itself back.
Optimize for conversion and have a clear path ready for readers to follow after interacting with your content.
3. Focus on content that solves problems
All too often, business owners would rather not give away too much. They’re afraid that if they give away too much of their knowledge, people will no longer have a need for their product or services.
The truth is that the answer to basically anything is already out there. From Google to Reddit, people can find the info they want. The best way to deal with this is not to keep your secrets, but to be the go-to resource for super specific problem-solving.
That way, people will see your value, and you’ll be the first person they think of when they need help with related issues.
Take a lawyer, for example. If your law firm can help with immigration documents, you probably have a template or step-by-step plan that you follow. Now, you could keep this all for yourself, because you want people to pay for that part of your knowledge as well.
But just try searching forums and other alternative sources on the web to find first-hand information and help from people who have prepared those documents in the past. You’ll very likely find them – and so will your potential customers.
Focus on what you can do for your customers further down the line, and reel them in by giving them a solid foundation.
4. Offer educational and training content
Take it a step further, and offer content that is so valuable it can fit into an online course or training. This is another creative way to turn content into a profitable part of your business.
Let’s say you’re a solo entrepreneur or a small designer agency. You probably share countless insights with your customers on choosing the right styles for designs and maintaining their website on whatever platform you use.
Some customers will not be looking for your entire service, but only a part of it. For them, you could single out this valuable advice and put it into a fairly priced online course.
Not only is this a way of attracting customers you usually would not serve, and making a little bit extra from the knowledge you already have, it also helps build relationships. If these people ever need help with something else related to your work, you will already be their point of contact, and it’s more likely they’ll work with you.
5. Leverage affiliate marketing in existing and new content
Affiliate marketing isn’t only for bloggers and influencers. As a business, you can also make it part of your content and profit strategy.
Let’s say your business is an LMS that allows people to sell and buy online courses. To create these courses, people will use all kinds of tools, from Adobe to Grammarly.
If you write content that gives users tips and recommendations for tools, you can work in affiliate links when you mention these tools. Especially if you write enough helpful articles, this could be a very lucrative and relatively easy way to make some extra profit.
6. Start smart content collaborations and partnerships
Why only leverage the power of your own audience? Partner up with other companies and collaborate on content that is more engaging, far-reaching and influential than what you could achieve alone.
From podcasts to joint webinars, you can work together to provide more value, and get more customers back in return. You can even use this content to promote package deals to offer even more value to your audience.
7. Introduce paid premium content
If one thing has become clear in the past few years, it is that people are tired of seeing the same generic content copied over and over again., People are willing to pay for premium content that is more personalized and provides more value.
You can leverage this. For instance, by creating a newsletter for paid subscribers that offers more than your regular content does. An example of how this is done is recruiting agencies offering paid subscribers more extensive lists of job opportunities, but you could find a model that works for virtually any type of business.
If you’re ready to do things differently to get better results, next year will surely be your best one yet. If you’re a business owner looking for more fresh tips, keep reading with these 20 tips for running your own business.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.