One of the biggest social media marketing challenges is to produce a consistent stream of content that will engage your audience. Infrequent or badly prepared content will quickly be ignored and could even do more harm than good. However get it right and you could enjoy one of the most effective ways to attract new customers, build relationships and grow brand loyalty.
What do we mean when we talk about “content”? Here are some examples
For many SMEs, content marketing is an alien concept. When we talk to business owners, they express concerns such as:
- They don’t have enough to write about
- No-one would want to read it, and
- They don’t have time to do it
From my own experience though, I know that every business has stories to tell, and information to communicate, that will help to develop relationships with prospective customers and to stay engaged with existing customers. Sellers and buyers meet face to face quite rarely these days, so using your website and social media to communicate isn’t just a good idea, it may be critical to your business success.
5 tips for the creation of good, shareable content:
1. Educate your readers
We all like learning something new, especially if it helps us make better buying decisions. As a professional in your field, you have so much knowledge and experience which you can share to engage with customers and prospects. By providing insights into your industry you will build greater trust and demonstrate your expertise.
2. Ask questions
Everyone has an opinion, so prompting participation by posing thought provoking questions shows that you are interested in your readers views.
If you can encourage comments and questions in return, you can gain useful insights for your next marketing campaign – think of it as free marketing research!
3. Repackage existing content
Repurposing older content such as videos, articles, blogs and photos, is ideal for reaching new customers. By bringing older content up to date, perhaps looking into one aspect in more depth and writing it in an open and engaging style, you can make it fresh and engaging, and you can also provoke further discussion and engagement.
4. Incorporate visuals
The web is increasingly a highly visual medium, so share photos or short videos of your products, staff or office, so you can demonstrate what you do, rather than just talk about it. Videos don’t need to be professionally produced in all cases, but must appeal to your audience.
5. Make it sharable
Having your content shared is a great way to increase your coverage and its free, so include share buttons and make it as easy as possible for viewers to tell their friends and colleagues. The more entertaining your content is, the more likely people are to like or share it.
How to create new content on a regular basis
The problem for small and medium sized businesses is that time is limited, and if you wait for the perfect moment to create your content, it will probably never happen! And sometimes when you have a great idea about something to write about but you’re busy doing something else, so it gets forgotten.
Have somewhere (e.g. a notebook, your PC or use the notes feature on your mobile phone) where you can jot down ideas or events as they happen. Then block time out in your diary to focus on content on a regular basis – the more frequently you do it, the less time it will take – trust me!
Develop an easy reference content calendar which includes what, when and who will publish your content across your social media channels.
Do you need help with this? If you would like to engage more customers by improving your content marketing, get in touch.