If some is good, wouldn’t more be better? If posting a blog once a week engages your clients, wouldn’t posting every day be better? No, not always, actually rarely and especially when it comes to Content Marketing. Whether you are creating a blog, managing a social media account or sharing a regular online newsletter, complexity, adding more just to add more, is rarely beneficial. This is where the old K.I.S.S. adage comes in, Keep It Simple Sexy. The original saying goes, “Keep it simple, stupid,” but I much prefer the positive affirmation of “sexy,” don’t you?
The KISS principle was created by renowned aeronautical engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. “Johnson came up with KISS during World War II as a way to remind his team that their state-of-the-art jets still had to be repaired by average mechanics with basic tools.” 1 Now used across many business and personal development philosophies, KISS is a life-changing approach to creating an engaging and manageable Content Marketing strategy.
Here are 7 points that, when applied to your Content Marketing plan, will simplify your processes and increase your return, without loosing your mind.
Point #1 – Know Your Why
Creating content can significantly increase your workload, if you don’t know your why. Getting clear about your why will lay down a guiding track in your overall strategy.
“Because everyone else is doing it” is not a guiding strategy. You probably hear the response in your head already: “If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do it too?” Creating content because the people and businesses around you are doing it is not your why. It might be your inspiration but it is not why you would make content creation part of your marketing plan.
Your why is what you want to get from your efforts. Your why is the end-result you want to see.
So what is your why? Why are you writing a blog, or creating a YouTube channel? Why are you offering a digital newsletter or managing a Facebook page? What does it get you in the end? And even more importantly, what does it get your clients or students?
Point #2 – Know Who You Are Talking To
One of the most important areas to apply the KISS principle is your target audience. The clearer you get about who you are aiming to reach, the simpler your work becomes: you know who they are, and what they need from you. These are the next important tracks to lay down in your overall marketing plan. Who are you talking to and what do they need from you?
It can feel disconcerting to reduce your client vision to a small group, or single person but doing so can bring depth to your connections and value to your content. Though in essence your target audience is an act of exclusion, in the end it creates greater inclusion through effective messaging. By focusing your efforts to one clearly-defined group or person, your work becomes magnetic, precise, and powerful. The needs of this niche group are the needs of those you are most trying to help. Directing your content to these people with their needs in mind, will help you to authentically connect with potential clients and students who would most benefit from what you have to offer. Isn’t that a great why – the desire to reach people who need what you have to offer?
Point #3 – Set A Schedule
With a clear why and a deep understanding of your target audience, you have laid down important guiding principles of your plan. This clarity helps to keep your work simple, remember it is all about KISS.
Another important guiding structure is your schedule. Creating a content schedule frees up your time and energy to focus on your clients and students. Without a schedule, the content creation processes can very easily spin out into a tornado of ideas with very little value or results. This is where the KISS principle is most needed. Keep your schedule simple and realistic. Remember just because someone else is posting on Instagram every day, or sends a newsletter out every week, doesn’t mean you have to do the same.
When setting up a schedule there are a few factors to consider:
What would your audience respond to? Rarely do people like getting bombarded daily with marketing content, even when it is jam-packed with valuable information. We can only take in so much information at one time. Does your audience need you to share content daily, weekly or monthly?
How much money do you have to create content? There are great free tools that can help you to create engaging content. There are also great fee-based tools and services that can help you to produce engaging content with less time and effort. Take stock of what you can invest into your content creation long-term. What would support you in keeping focused on your clients?
What is realistic for you and your workload? Your business, the services you offer, the people you help are the main focus of your time and energy. Writing a blog post, or shooting a video for YouTube, even taking quality photos can take a lot of time and energy. If you are spending all your time and effort making and sharing content, it’s time to apply the KISS principle. Your services come first, your content comes second, maybe even third.
Point #4 – Keep it consistent
When creating your content schedule, consistency is key. What can you realistically do at ongoing, regular intervals?
We have all been there: you’re inspired, excited, and enthusiastic to spread the word about what you have to offer and how you can help. This energy is awesome! Keep it coming, but guide it with an eye to the long-term objectives and realities of your daily life. It truly is better to share content on social media once a week, or a blog once a month, and keep that schedule consistent than it is to create an ambitious schedule you can’t maintain. A seemingly-random sharing schedule may not destroy your audience’s trust in you, it doesn’t do anything to help build it. Trust is essential. According to Edelman, 81% of consumers buy based on brand trust. 2 Content Marketing is a great way to build that trusting relationship with your potential clients and students, but only if you are reliably posting and sharing.
Point #5 – Do One Thing, Do It Well, Then Move On
Another great way to simplify your Content Marketing is to focus on one platform at a time. There will always be other people and businesses who seem to be doing it all, they have social media accounts with every leading platform, they have a blog and run a weekly newsletter. You don’t have to. It’s better if you don’t. Just like trying to live like an Instagram Influencer is untenable and ultimately harmful, trying to “do it all” in Content Marketing is also destructive.
If there was a second sentence to add to the “Keep It Simple, Sexy” adage, it would be, “Do one thing, do it well, then move on.” Pick one avenue for content sharing and learn all the ins and outs, learn how to make it work for you, and get the process for planning, creating and sharing content in this format down. Then, if your audience would benefit from an additional way to engage with your brand, you can add the next content vehicle to your plan.
This will simplify your process and ensure that you are getting the most out of your social media account, blog post, newsletter or website. Running a content marketing plan without a schedule can become pure chaos, trying to create content for multiple streams at once can squander your efforts. The reality is that many of the brands that seem to be doing it all online aren’t really succeeding at their content marketing efforts. When you pull back the curtains, their facebook account hasn’t been active for months. They started a blog but haven’t posted in a while and it wasn’t very valuable, or they have a team of people helping them juggle all the content work.
Point #6 – Ask For Help
Digital Marketing in all its facets is a full time gig, and often handled by a team of experienced people. As a small business or micro-entrepreneur, online marketing is about choosing what is right for your business and your clients or students. Making informed decisions will help to deliver valuable content in a reasonable and manageable way. Asking for help to plan, manage and assess your marketing efforts can not only alleviate your workload but help to direct your resources most effectively. You are not expected to do it all on your own, though it absolutely can feel like that some times. Asking for help in the areas of your business that are not part of your skill set is not a weakness but a strength, you are prioritizing your success.
Point #7 – Keep It Real
To keep your marketing manageable and sustainable, keep it real, keep it true to you and those who work with you. When working as a sole proprietor or small business, we can add a lot of unnecessary workload by trying to be something we aren’t. You don’t have to be anything other than what you already are. Allow your content to come from the truth of your services, your work and your intentions and it will find a community of like-minded people.
Dot & Line Digital is here to help. If you want more guidance or are looking for support in managing your digital marketing, book a Discovery Call now. We can help you bring your services to those who need them most.
- Braithwaite. “The Business Story behind the Kiss Principle.” Braithwaite Communications, 16 June 2017, https://gobraithwaite.com/thinking/the-business-story-behind-the-kiss-principle/.
- Edelman. “Only One-Third of Consumers Trust Most of the Brands They Buy.” Edelman, 18 June 2019, https://www.edelman.com/news-awards/only-one-third-of-consumers-trust-most-of-the-brands-they-buy.