Do you find yourself: unseen, unheard, and unimportant because your content isn’t getting any attention; bored and frustrated because you’re not sure how to make your content interesting; and feeling untrustworthy and unsure because you don’t know how to come across as an expert? Then this episode is for you!
You will learn:
- What is the difference between sticky content and monopoly content?
- How do you make sticky content?
- How to balance your content plan depending on your current goals.
Highlights in this episode:
[00:00:06] – Know like and trust.
[00:01:20] – What is content.
[00:03:05] – What is sticky content.
[00:07:44] – Why do i talk about monopoly content.
[00:10:20] – Monopoly on steroids.
[00:12:01] – Creating sticky content.
[00:15:13] – Your brand promise.
[00:16:13] – The importance of having a best client.
[00:18:04] – Know your best clients.
[00:20:16] – Thinking differently about your problem.
[00:23:29] – Thank you for listening.
We’re going to be talking all things content and definitions today because there’s a lot of misconceptions out there. And if we’re going to use content as the backbone, the cornerstone of our authentic automated marketing plan, we should probably have a good baseline that we’re all coming from. So in this article, we’re going to be defining what content is, the difference between sticky content and monopoly content, and how to balance your content plan depending on your current business goals.
What Is Content?
So let’s dive into what is content. Content, very simply put, is anything you’re putting out there. That webinar, that summit you appeared on, an Instagram post, that cringeworthy TikTok you filmed last weekend would really prefer no one to ever see… All of those things are content.
But also the email you just wrote to your list a few days ago. Beyond that, that post you put on LinkedIn, even if it’s just sharing somebody else’s post, all of those things are content.
And when I talk about content in this article, I want to make it very clear anything you share is content, but sometimes you share off the cuff things. Here, I’m talking about the intentional content. And when I’m talking about intentional content, I’m not necessarily including something I legitimately posted on Instagram stories yesterday, which was the beautiful Portland City escape, Mount Hood, hazy in the distance, and my lunch in the foreground with a simple caption of “lunch with a view.”
Am I sharing a little bit of my life showing you that, yes, I go places and I do things and I enjoy things? I am. I am sharing my life, and I’m helping you make a connection with me. But that’s not intentional content, and there’s a time and place for that. But that’s not what I’m talking about in this article. I’m talking about sticky content and monopoly content.
So let’s dive into those definitions. And some of these definitions will come from past articles and podcast episodes. Because I have had whole episodes devoted to just sticky content and just monopoly content in the past. But I wanted to bring them together into a seamless experience. Play all the definitions together so that we all have a really good understanding of what content is and how it fits into our marketing plan as a whole.
The Difference Between Sticky Content and Monopoly Content
Sticky content. You might be wondering what that is. Content by itself is anything that comes out of your mouth or keyboard or pen and is seen or heard by somebody else, preferably someone you desire working with, but realistically seen by anyone.
Depending on your niche, it could be anything from a social media post, a video, a podcast, blog post, anything that you’re producing, whether it’s talking about your business or not. It could be you sharing that you went to the gym this morning. It could be you sharing you just finished listening to a fantastic podcast. It doesn’t have to actually be about your business, your services, or your offerings. It’s just things you share.
Sticky content is the kind of content that, hours after reading or viewing or listening to it, your audience is still thinking about it. Whereas monopoly content is watered down, it’s meant for the masses.
And right there you can see the big difference between the two, right? Meant for the masses versus meant for your best client, that person who has a problem that your services are so uniquely, particularly attuned to solving and for whom your personality is aligned in a way that makes it a really easy working relationship.
Sticky content: the definition
Sticky content depends on knowing your best person, your best client really well. And friends, you can’t do that unless you stick to your brand, your offer, and your best client. That right there, that is the trifecta. You’ve got to stick to those three. You’ve got to be consistent and stay true to how you have defined those things to make sure that your content is sticky.
And sticky content is the stuff that converts lookers into buyers, action takers. It’s also the kind of content that you’re going to want to revisit yourself as you put content out again and again. Even if it feels repetitive to you, it won’t feel repetitive to your audience because realistically, most of your audience is not seeing or hearing your content on a regular basis.
Look at your email, open rates. Look at how far your Instagram posts are reaching. Or even worse, your organic Facebook posts. They’re not getting to a lot of people. You need to revisit your sticky content often to reach these portions of your audience.
Monopoly content: the definition
What is monopoly content? Monopoly content is mass market. It’s conglomerative content. I don’t know if conglomerative is a word, but like, that is the best way I can describe it. It’s almost group sourced.
It’s watered down. And since it’s watered down, it’s going to have a lot of people who like it.
That’s that mass market appeal that we’re talking about. But also since it’s watered down, there’s not much that you can stake a claim with. You’re not going to have a lot of authority opinions in it, or if you do, they’re going to be super popular opinions, in which case they’re probably not building a whole lot of authority for you, right?
But because it has mass market appeal, you see a ton of it out there. You see instagram feeds just flooded with all those “you do you” or boss babe, all of those things, especially a few years ago.
That is exactly what I’m talking about when I say monopoly content, it looks good, it sounds good, it feels good, but is it really driving conversions? Monopoly content will often look good but does not aid in converting clients and it may even get a bunch of engagement along the way so you feel like it’s doing a good job. This one got 42 likes and yesterday’s only got 21. Must be doing something right.
But is that double tap doing anything for your business?
It’s probably not. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb here and tell you that in my business and in the businesses of many of my clients and colleagues, the content that gets the most likes and comments, traditional vanity metrics of engagement, is often not the content that is actually converting clients.
Sometimes the content that’s converting the most clients is barely getting attention on social media when you put it out there. And the reason for it can be varied. Sometimes you talk about very sensitive things. One of my clients is a relationship coach and marital and divorce issues aren’t super fun to talk about on social media. So when she puts out really good posts on it, maybe a lot of people aren’t liking it because they don’t want to be seen as liking it. So that’s one reason why you might not be getting a lot of engagement on your best content.
But those are the kinds of pieces that are actually going to get clients contacting you, or in the very summarized way of saying butts in seats, dollars in pockets, right? So when we’re talking about monopoly content, it often has that mass market appeal. It’s going to look good, all of that stuff, but it’s not special.
Know the Goal of Your Content
So why am I talking about being special? If I’m so negative on monopoly content and clearly biased towards sticky content, why do I teach about monopoly content at all? Answer: There’s a time and a place for everything.
Since monopoly content has mass appeal, if you’re in an audience-building season or you’re trying to build your list, for example, it can be really helpful in gaining attention.
Think of the kind of books that you still see at airports. I know that there aren’t as many bookstores in airports today now that everyone’s using the kindle and e-readers, but remember how you used to pass by Hudson News and they’d have all the showcase books on the end caps? They were always mass market books, like books by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, right?
They’re really popular and for a brief period they felt special and people were talking about them. They even made movies out of them. But can you name the last Dan Brown book that came out? I can’t, and I’ve read like five of his, but I cannot remember the name of the last one that came out. I don’t know if I’ve read it. I don’t even know when it happened because it’s no longer special. That mass market appeal made it almost average or a commodity.
And if there is anything that we as online service businesses want to do, it is to avoid being a commodity.
Remember, we’re always bringing everything we put out there in terms of marketing back to attention, interest, and trust. It starts with attention. And while monopoly content is not probably going to gain trust, it can get the ball rolling, especially with attention. It can gain you just enough of that attention that someone clicks through and looks at the rest of your great content, that sticky content, to start the journey towards trust.
How to Balance Your Content Plan
If you haven’t signed up yet for my free Clear Your Content Chaos Guide, it’s a five-day, short email series that gets dropped into your inbox, you’re going to need to go do that. In that guide, in those five simple emails, I cover the easiest way out there that you can balance your day-to-day content planning.
That said, I’d like to cover balancing your content between sticky and monopoly content as well. And of course, that’s going to depend on your current business goals. I cannot give you a one size fits all approach to this because we are not businesses in a box. I know that would be a very popular marketing stick, but it’s not what I offer here.
So to do this, we do need to talk about the monopoly board game for a moment. Not to be confused with monopoly content. I know I’m so helpful naming them the same. Right? But if you’ve ever played monopoly as a game, you’ll know that some people immediately go for those high dollar properties like Boardwalk and Park Place. My son does this immediately, every time we play. And then others are going to go for as many as possible.
Me, I always go for the orange properties and the railroads. And I’ve got my reasons. The orange ones get landed on most often when you leave jail and a lot of people spend a significant amount of time in jail. In the monopoly game, railroads are on every side of the board, so you always have an easy rent-getter if people are just slowly moving around the board. And when it comes to the game, I really believe slow and steady wins the race most often. And when it comes to collecting rent, that’s what you want to be doing most often.
So now let’s liken that board game to your business goals.
Are you only selling high-ticket programs? Guess what? You’re the Boardwalk player. You don’t need a lot of people to land on your properties to make money. How about if you’re selling a lot of low-end programs, the SLOs, the self-liquidating offers, you’re going to need a lot more people to land on your properties to make the same amount of money. So you’re going to need a larger property portfolio (or audience).
In our business’s case, the same goes for sticky versus monopoly content. You need both no matter what. That is a non negotiable. But if you don’t need as many clients, you don’t need as much monopoly content.
If you need a larger audience to support one-to-many programs and courses and things like that, you’re going to need a larger mix of the monopoly content in your content plan. And that right there brings us to the next point. We see a lot of examples of mass market content out there. But how do we create sticky content for the rest? That’s what’s lacking and that’s what we’re going to cover for the rest of this article.
Creating Sticky Content to Boost Conversions
Know Who You Are & What You Bring To The Table
So how do you make sticky content? Let’s break it down. Let’s talk about first who you are. Now, I am going to break this up into three categories. It’s going to be your personality, your core values, and your experience.
Who you are actually encompasses way more things than that. Many more things! But realistically, when it comes to marketing at least, these are going to be the things that really move the needle. They’re going to be the things that matter as a personal brand or as a business owner who is marketing your services online. Now, if you want an in depth discussion on how to show each of these three things, check out the original article on sticky content.
For now, I’m going to say how you present these things matters to your best client. It helps them feel seen, feel special, and feel like they are part of your inner circle. In my content repurposing master class BE SEEN, I’ve started calling them Easter Eggs thanks to one of my clients who actually helped me name that particular element–those little inside jokes that your people love to find.
My appreciation for all things beautiful flows into my content every day. If you’ve seen anything I put out there, you’ve probably realized this: I’m going to end up posting a snowy landscape as a creative for an ad. Or maybe I’ll be driving along the road and get super distracted by the pretty clouds. Those are the kinds of things that happen in my everyday life. So they often end up becoming examples in what I am doing in my content.
The things I’m showing my students and my clients always loop around to beauty in the end because it’s one of my values. So if one of your core values is loyalty, for example, you’re going to want to find ways to talk about that in your content that shows it as an attribute for your audience.
Remember what’s in it for them. You always have to tie it into something that’s going to benefit your people for them to be interested in it.
So maybe having someone believe in them is really a big deal for your clients. That’s a huge draw. How can you show and tell that in your content?
Or maybe fun is one of your values. I have a girlfriend and fun is one of her big values. There are ways to inject humor in almost any piece of content, of course, but how could you explore showing fun in other ways? That fun value can come across in many ways. Maybe your next challenge would include some really off-the-wall exercises. Maybe you’re going to have a podcast guest on your show that’s there just for the fun of it, not necessarily there to teach a lesson because you feel like people need a break and have more fun in their lives.
There are so many ways that you could do this and the key of course, is doing it so that it serves your audience, your personality, your values and life experiences and various skill sets. They all set you up to be the perfect person to hire for your best client. That is why you show character and personality in your content.
What is Your Brand Promise?
From there, let’s talk a little bit about your brand promise. What is your brand promise?
That’s fancy marketing-speak for asking, “What do you promise your clients will get as a result of working with you?” and also your audience of hanging out with you.
I promise my clients authentic automated marketing. It’s authentic for all of the reasons we’ve just gone over in the who are you section. It’s incorporating your personality, your values, your experience and it’s automated so that you don’t burn out in generating all that authentic content.
I help clients with content systems, content strategy leading to their funnels and ultimately a steady stream of lead generation from those funnels. That is my promise. All of my offers fall under that authentic automated marketing promise and they all lead one into the other from a value ladder perspective, which all leads to our third thing that’s important for sticky content, and that is your best client. I have previously done entire articles just on the concept of your best client.
Where You, Your Offers, and Your Best Client Meet
I don’t like the term ideal client avatar. I don’t like it at all because it sets up a wall between you and the human you are serving. And that’s never a good situation when you’re building relationships, especially online where things can already be a little bit cold in the first place.
But sticky content depends on you knowing where you, your offer, and your best client meet. I’ve said in a recent episode of the podcast called Strong Marketing: How to Lead, that strength in marketing really just depends on three things.
- Knowing what you’re really good at.
- Being so good at it you can’t not help others with it. And then
- Finally learning how to talk about it.
There, just those three things, that’s what marketing is. And we can complicate it in many ways, but that’s really what it distills down to in the end.
Knowing what you’re really good at comes from knowing who you are and mixing those three elements, personality, core values, and experience, together. Being really good at it comes from that experience. And then learning to talk about it comes from knowing your best client in and out. Who is that person that you can not only help, but help so well that the work feels effortless?
Who is the person that has a problem that you are so good at solving that is the easiest part of your day? That is the person who you talk to. That’s your best client.
Really what it comes down to is, your best client is who you’re talking to so they are the ones who really determine your marketing message.
It could be the coolest marketing message in the world. It could be all the effort, it could be all the expertise, it could have all the cool things you’ve always wanted it to contain. But if it doesn’t convert because it doesn’t speak to your best client, it doesn’t matter.
A personal experience with finger-pointy content
So I want to share a personal experience story with this.
Last month, one of my current clients sent me the loveliest of emails. So lovely. It now sits in my nice emails folder for when I inevitably have a bad day down the road. And it said, after she told me how well her launch went, she said more than one of her students said it was like Google was reading my texts.
It was exactly what I needed to see at just the right time. I loved reading this email, not only because it’s nice to know that things are actually working wth my clients, see the brilliance of all the plans that we spent so much time putting together, but also because that email wasn’t out of the blue. I engineered it.
So you might be thinking at this point, great, but what do I say to get to that finger-pointy level?
It’s both easy and it’s hard. You’ve got to know your best client, and for that you have to be consistent in your brand and your offer so that your best client is also consistent. Because, yes, friends, if you change your offer or your brand promise, your best client will also shift with that.
And getting to know that best client really intimately, so well that it does feel like Google’s reading their texts, depends on you having spent some time with them.
- Time with their mindset,
- time with their problems,
- time with their results,
- time with what they’re saying along the way as they move through solving that problem.
Remember, your best client is the person you can most easily help with a certain problem.
How to take action with sticky content
So my goal for you is to figure out what balance of sticky and monopoly content you need based on your current business goals–not mine and not one of my clients. You’ve got your own goals and you need to figure that out and then schedule out that monopoly content. Create some quotes, film a few reels, TikToks. You can batch this stuff and you can schedule it out really easily.
Because it’s mass-market, it’s rarely going to be seasonal. Sometimes it might; you might have something like for Christmas in particular, right? But because it’s mass market, you don’t need it to fit a launch pattern. It’s just always going to be in your content plan and then spend the meat of your time on sticky content.
Here’s a quick exercise:
If you don’t know what to say to market your business, ask yourself these questions that I’m about to say.
- What does your best client need to hear to help them think differently about their problem, to help pull them out of whatever they’re in?
- How can you start that thinking change so that you naturally become part of the solution? (Usually, for the record, that answer is by giving them a quick win.)
- How can you meet them where they’re at so that your solution can even become part of their world?
Remember, if you’re really good at what you’re doing, they might think that you are so far beyond them they’re never going to be able to learn from you.
How can you take the pressing need of your best client? Pair it with a fun story from your week that shows off your snarky personality or your empathetic nature. How can you get your best client thinking about their problem just a little bit differently than they did yesterday? That’s the goal. That’s what makes it sticky.
A five-point sticky content plan
So let’s give an example of this. If you’re going to sell a product or a service that solves a level five problem (that’s severity out of one to ten, a level five problem), your audience is probably mostly filled with level two people. That is, they’re aware they have a problem, but they’re only just starting to think about searching for a solution. And realistically, they’ve got a lot of growing to do.
If that’s the case, then you need to put out content that:
- Acknowledges where they’re at right now.
- Shows that you also were there at one point
- Gives them a quick win and progression to level three, maybe even level four
- Then next shows them that level five and beyond are now attainable and not so far off from where they’re at right now
- Finally, you want to demonstrate the value of being at level five. What does that do for them?
Be very explicit here. What results will they gain?
You’ve all heard it, right? If a tree falls down in a forest and nobody hears it, did it even happen? This is why sticky content matters, folks.
If you create a marketing piece and nobody remembers it, did you really create something? Did you really market?
This is what sticky content does for you. Your best client has that aha moment, a little realization that moves them from point A to point B. And since you helped them with that thinking that made the jump, you are naturally the person they turn to when they’re considering moving on to point D or H or even M.
But you have to get that sticky moment in first.
Do you need help incorporating the right amount of sticky and monopoly content in your business?
- Sticky Content #132
- Monopoly Content Will Fail You #156
- Strong Marketing #128
- BE SEEN
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Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!