Every so often, a company will come to me confused as to what they’re doing wrong. They’ve put out all this great, well-produced content, and have tons more coming down the pike, but they’re not getting any engagement. “What are we doing wrong?” they’ll say.
I ask them, “Do you know what your audience wants?”
Often, companies are so eager to start creating content, but they haven’t even solved their biggest problem – understanding what their audience wants and what their audience will respond to.
Sure, they have a great brand deck and their content calendar is mapped out for the next year. But all this work is for naught if they don’t know if their audience even likes this kind of content. They’ve put all this work in to produce content at scale, but they don’t even know if this content will resonate. Sure, maybe they’re scaling, but they’re potentially scaling the wrong thing.
The analogy I like to use is vaccines. When you’re developing a vaccine, you don’t start mass-producing the first version you create. What if that vaccine wasn’t effective, or had harmful side effects? What if the ingredients you used didn’t even make a vaccine? Before you scale, you have to test the vaccine to make sure it works as intended. Only when you know it’s working do you start thinking about production at scale.
So how do you avoid falling into this trap? Before you start scaling, test. Make a hypothesis, such as “I believe our core audience will appreciate our Monkey Mondays videos.” Then, you test. Maybe you make slight iterations on Monkey Mondays to see if a certain title works better, or a thumbnail. You’ll often find you’re not even remotely in the right direction. When, and only when, you’ve proven your hypothesis correct, can you start mapping out your content schedule.
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