It is fairly widely appreciated that today’s successful modern marketing techniques involve the generation of a lot of content. In fact, that is a whole article in its own right – however, suffice to say that the internet has completely changed how businesses market themselves.
Buying decision makers are looking for ways to rule you in or out of their purchasing decisions and what you say and how you say it will be taken into account. You should aim for your content to be shared, but of course if you provide information that is relevant, useful and interesting, it will be freely shared amongst your target market, helping you inform buyers and reach new people.
Know your audience
There are loads of platforms out there to publish your content on and I bet you already participate in some of the most successful ones like Twitter and LinkedIn. In order to decide which platforms are best for you – you need to know where your buying audience is hanging out.
For example, if you are a B2B business then LinkedIn must be on that list, if you are B2C, then Facebook must be on the list. Why not ask some of your existing customers which ones they participate in?
“But what can we talk about?”
In my role as consultant, one of the questions I get asked all the time, in a somewhat panic stricken fashion is, “But what can we talk about?” While most business owners recognise that content generation helps them attract a relevant buying audience to their website, many get stuck on what exactly they should talk about.
Have a point of view
Remember that what is interesting to you, may not be so interesting to others, so try to make your content ideas pass the ‘so what?’ test. However, equally, don’t get too stuck on being ‘on topic’. Having a point of view, being interesting, producing easy to digest or funny content is all highly shareable.
Keep It Simple Stupid. Your content shouldn’t be a thesis. Stick to a simple point and your readers will get the idea. There are varying formats for different types of content but in general, shorter is usually better than longer. Most decision makers are time poor. You need to add value and not waffle.
Here are some suggestions:
- Your project work – how you have helped others overcome common industry problems (always ask permission if you want to share their name)
- Findings of your research – a survey says…
- Market opinion. What’s hot and what’s not – latest industry thinking – your take on market dynamics
- Everyone loves a quick list – 10 great things about…
- Market/industry exhibition and event reviews
- Topical news stories and how they connect with what you do
- You could also share what you are learning as a business owner/entrepreneur
- Or even relevant book reviews
Mix it up – sticking to one type of content can become dry so try to write across many of these ideas genres to keep interest up.
Inspiration for topic ideas can come at any time!
Often ideas arrive in the shower, in the middle of the night, mid-conversation with a friend or just about any time where it really wouldn’t be at all convenient to stop what you are doing and write about it right there and then.
Keep a note on your phone (please don’t do this in the shower) where you can jot down ideas and then when you are faced with a blank sheet of paper and the need to publish more content you have something to start from.
Cast a wide net: Go multi-channel
Remember that these ideas could easily be transformed into content that might work across many marketing channels. Why is that a good idea? As humans we are all unique, some can’t stand Twitter, others intermittently stare at it all day; some prefer to receive relevant information from trusted sources via email only while some expect to hear about you on LinkedIn.
Maximise your efficiency by creating one piece of central content and re-purposing it for other distribution channels.
Claire is the founder of Loud and Clear Marketing where she provides best practice strategic marketing consultancy and services.