Create a content marketing strategy for your small business with EASE with the 4 EASE pillars system.
Be seen and heard, get selling and thrive when you harness the power of these four pillars:
The heart of content marketing is all about “pull, don’t push” marketing tactics.
You don’t want to push your business in people's faces. Instead, you want to provide them with reasons to like and trust you. You want to offer your target audience value and nurture those leads.
This is the basis of “pull” marketing. Creating compelling content provides answers and solutions to attract your ideal customers. But you cannot stop there. You need to continue providing your customers with value. You want to turn them into evangelists.
What is an evangelist?
An evangelist customer is not only a loyal, repeat customer. They truly believe in your brand or service. They will tell all their family and friends about you, even the person sitting next to them on the train. An evangelist acts as a mouthpiece for your small biz, touting how great you are to anyone who will listen!
So how do you get a complete stranger to not only buy from you but become a loyal, repeat customer who promotes your small biz to everyone they know?
It is simple with my EASE system.
The 4 EASE pillars.
The EASE system consists of developing content around four pillars.
These four pillars are designed to step your potential customer through the buyers cycle, whilst providing value and building trust. The EASE pillars help your small biz become known as the place to go for your target audience.
Using these powerful pillars you will gain traffic, increase leads, nurture those leads and ultimately increase the revenue of your small business.
So what are the four pillars?
This is content that seeks to inform and educate your intended audience. You want to provide content to provide further information about their problems and ways to solve it.
- Introductory posts,
- business story,
- tips and tricks,
- industry news.
This content can be blog posts, videos, social media posts, infographics, eBooks or any combination of these.
Animate content seeks to inspire, entertain and have your audience excited to solve their problems and needs.
Examples of this type of content are things like sharing a story of a client's success or transformation with your service. Or motivational and inspirational quotes and blog posts. You want your audience to walk away feeling like they have found a business who understands them and knows how to solve their problem.
Now we get to the selling side of things. This is where you want to sell your product or service. It is your opportunity to provide examples and testimonies of WHY you are the best business and how your intended customer can solve their problems when they invest or buy from you.
You don’t want to be a sleazy sales person here. You still want to produce content that provides value, whilst highlighting HOW you solve a problem.
Examples of this type of content are things like testimonials, case studies, reports, and live demos. You can also utilise discount offers, giveaways and free consultations.
Remember, you are trying to sell yourself without being pushy. Pull, don’t push!
Be sure to always ask yourself, what value am I providing? Does this HELP someone? HOW does this help?
Now, evangelist content aims to turn your customers into life-long converts who not only keep buying from you, but will recommend you to everyone they know, and even those they do not!
Most of your content will be aimed at the first three pillars, but this is one of the most important. Word of mouth is vital to any small business, and what better way than turning customers into loyal evangelists?
- social media engagement. Don’t post and run. Take the time to interact with your followers and customers.
- encouraging your followers to interact with you or reward them for certain behaviours. Like if you recommend a friend who buys you will receive a freebie.
- Loyalty rewards program.
The 4 EASE Pillars tap into the buying cycle
Most marketing specialists will talk about the “buyers journey”, aka buyers cycle.
It is a combination of steps you need to lead a potential client or customer through before they invest or buy from your small biz. Again, it uses the tactic of pulling not pushing to nurture leads.
The three stages of the buyers cycle:
Your target audience become aware of a problem and they want answers and solutions. At the awareness stage they are researching the problem and trying to clearly understand exactly what this problem is.
This is where you want to educate your intended customers. Provide them with the answers and inspire them to keep looking at your business. (Educate + Animate).
During the consideration stage, your intended customer has defined their problem. Now they are looking at options of how to solve it. They will be researching all of the available solutions and methods.
Seek to motivate and inspire your audience to follow your business and aid in making their final decision. (Animate).
Now your intended audience is putting all their research together and are evaluating the right person/business for them. They will be looking to make a final purchase decision. (Sell).
This is where the sell part of the EASE system comes into play. Provide content that showcases why you are the best, give discount offers, free consultations and live demos.
How do the EASE pillars relate to the Buyers Journey?
Understanding the buyers journey is essential to creating the right kind of content to guide your IC from stranger to investor in your small business and beyond.
The EASE pillars sets out a way for you to brainstorm content to hit each stage of the buyers journey. The EASE pillars ensures you create content that guides and nurtures prospects from stranger to evangelist.
How do you use the EASE pillars to make this happen?You don’t want to be the person who jumps straight to “buy from me”. You want to nurture your target audience and show them why you are the best prospect. This leads to loyal customers, increased leads and a thriving business.Click To Tweet
Let me give you an example of how I use the EASE system to create successful content campaigns for my clients.
This example is especially useful for start-ups or newly established small businesses. But can also be applied to those small biz who have not used content marketing previously and need a great strategy to help boost their visibility, grow their business and nurture leads.
You need to start with the big picture in mind and work your way down.
First, establish what big action you want your target audience to take at the end of this particular content campaign. It may be to buy a digital product, invest in a service or buy a product from your online store. For the sake of this particular example, lets say you want your intended customer to buy your organic face moisturiser.
Plug your big action into a document, spreadsheet or use good old fashioned paper and pen.
Develop your pillar piece of content. This is a key piece of content all other content will point towards.
In this example, you could use a pillar blog post: “Natural Face Moisturiser To Keep Your Skin Hydrated”.
Other fantastic pillar pieces of content are things like How-To Guides or videos.
Put this into your document, below your big action you identified in step one.
Create four columns, with the headings: Educate, Animate, Sell, Evangelist.
Now brainstorm content under each of these headings, ensuring you hit the purpose behind each pillar. Make sure you brainstorm a few ideas under each pillar. A number I like to stick to is 3 each for Educate and Animate, 2 for Sell and 1 for Evangelist. Or, as I like to call it, my 3-2-1 method!
Educate: “5 Common Skin Problems A Natural Face Moisturiser Helps.”
Animate: “See How Our Natural Face Moisturiser Helps Your Dry Skin.”
Sell: “Client Testimonial: How This Natural Face Moisturiser Transformed My Skin.”
Evangelist: “See How Our Loyal Customers Achieve Amazing Results Using Our Natural Face Moisturiser.”
Make sure when you write and publish them to link each piece of content to your pillar piece, which ultimately leads your intended customers to your big action item!
Stuck for ideas? Grab 70 blog post ideas here!
Now you have a plan to create an offer, a pillar post and content to support your offer, nurture leads and provide value for your intended audience. It is time to put your plan into action.
If you follow my 3-2-1 method you will have 10 content ideas (1 pillar piece, 3 for Educate, 3 for Animate, 2 for Sell and 1 for Evangelist). That is more than enough to post 1 per week for 10 weeks!
Take those pieces of content and plug them into your content planner. Pat yourself on the back for a plan well done!
Need a content planner? Grab this simple but super effective one I use every single day in my own biz and for my clients.
Repurposing content with EASE.
Now here is a huge secret! A way to take those 10 pieces of content and fill out your content calendar for 10 whole weeks. This includes emails, social media and more!
This is my all time favourite content marketing tactic to fill in content calendars, continue to provide value and to know I am hitting each pillar of the EASE strategy.
Take each of those pieces of content you brainstormed above and set out a plan to repurpose them.
For example, if you are using a blog post as your pillar piece of content (look back at step 2) you can repurpose it so many different ways:
- Turn it into a Facebook/Instagram live.
- Pull out the important points and create a series of social media posts.
- Use those important points and create a series of Instagram reels and/or stories.
- Develop the blog post into a downloadable guide or eBook.
- Turn it into a video for YouTube.
- Turn it into a Podcast.
- Create a series of emails for your subscribers based on the important points.
The list is endless!
Start selling with the 4 EASE Pillars!
There you have it. A simple system using the EASE pillars will have your business seen, heard and selling in no time.
If you use the EASE pillars plus the 3-2-1 method you will have 10 weeks of content (posting once per week). Now think about what other big ticket items you have to sell and recreate this strategy. You will have a year's worth of content in no time at all!
Don’t forget those powerful four steps:
- Decide your big action.
- Develop a pillar post.
- Brainstorm content for the four EASE pillars using the 3-2-1 method.
- Fill in your content planner.
- Bonus step: repurpose your content!
What was your favourite step from above? Drop into the comments and let me know!
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May your days be full of compelling content, joy and plenty of coffee! ☕😊