25 April 2019
Looking to expand your content strategy, or feeling stuck to get it started?
If you aren’t a writer or a graphic designer, that’s OK — you can still successfully put a strong content plan in place.
Check out our list of tips to produce the best content for your customers:
Research your target customer and find out how they talk.
Before you get started on creating content, it’s important to understand who your customers are and the type of communication they like.
For example, if you’re running a home furnishing shop, think about the types of customers who might like the type of décor and goods you are selling. Is it a younger crowd? What do your products look and feel like? That will help to inform you about how you should be writing.
If they’re a more sophisticated crowd and you’re trying to sell high-end pieces, let that set the tone for your content. Or if they’re a younger crowd who enjoys some light-heartedness and sass, write in that tone of voice. This also will help you to maintain consistency with your content.
Start with a calendar.
You may feel like you need to hit the ground running and get all the content you can online, but the truth is that content is not just throwing out anything online or in a mailing. There needs to be more thought and strategy, so starting with creating a content calendar and mapping out what you’re going to create and share in the next month (or the next couple of months) is going to help you organize your ideas and what is essential for you.
This also will help you to pace yourself with content creation; you don’t have to write everything at once. That will likely drain your energy fairly quickly, and the quality of the content will start to suffer if you aren’t mentally prepared to create relevant content.
Discern when it’s appropriate to write short- vs. long-form copy.
You may have a lot to say, and you could be feeling anxious and excited to tell everyone all they should know about your business. You also might have seen that SEO standards for high Google search rankings are over 1,500 words.
However, people have short attention spans and are not likely to read all of a long piece of content. As more people are switching to mobile and browsing the internet from their phones, their attention spans are even shorter — just about 8 seconds long.
Unless it’s something important, try writing more short-form copy to start. For example, emails shouldn’t exceed 100 words unless the intent is to be an in-depth newsletter or something special you’re writing for your email subscribers.
The same thing goes for social media posts — you can only hold someone’s attention on your content for a few seconds until they begin scrolling through their feeds. You’ll also want to be sure that you are sticking to the recommended character count for your social media posts.
If you are working on building a strong website and a blog, then it may be appropriate to give the long-form copy a shot with blog posts or informational landing pages on your services and products.
When in doubt though, “less is more.”
Be consistent with social media posts.
Social media isn’t necessarily your business’s content strategy be-all or end-all, but it is important if you want to keep up with your competitors. It’s also essential to raise brand awareness and get your business in front of your community. That means including social media posts in your content calendar. Start with posting one or two posts each day. That may seem like a lot, but it will help you to gradually and routinely acquire more followers on your social platforms.
You also want the look of your posts to be consistent — the color, text, and frequency of how often you post. For more information, check out our article on Facebook content.
This also ties into consistency with all of your other content. For example, you’ll want the tone of voice and style to be the same when you’re writing a post for social media and emails, as well as your website. Wherever you’re sending customers content, it should all look consistent with your brand.
Take advantage of visual content.
People are more likely to engage with your content if there are visuals, whether it’s photos or videos.
You have a great business, and you need to show it off to get customers through your door (or to contact you for your services). Sometimes the best content is to take high-quality photographs of your products or services and to write a description to go along with them. Maybe you’re updating your business’s service menu.
Instead of just writing an update in an email, share some images or even a video clip of the new offerings. This will likely convince customers to pay for your wares, as they can see what you do.
Keep in touch with email optimization.
If you want to earn trust and loyalty from your customer base, then you’ll need to think of creative ways to engage with them and build a relationship. Email is one of the best ways to do that. Whether it’s a season’s greetings email or check-in to see how people are doing; showing that you care about your customers will go a long way. It’s also a nice way to let email subscribers know about promotions ahead of the general public or to send them a discount code.
Make sure your emails always include a CTA — something that will interest them to head for your website, whether that is to read a blog post, check out a new product, or to get more information on a service. Or it could be introducing your social media pages. You’ll want to ensure that your sender address is recognizable and doesn’t come across as spam. Also, make sure that your subject lines are interesting enough to get your customers to open and read your emails.
Don’t spam your customers.
It’s a turn-off when a business spams you with sales and promotions. If all you’re doing is producing content that advertises your business and pushes your product/services, you’ll lose trust and validity. Instead, opt to share news about your trade. For example, if you’re a beautician, share some DIY tips or news on new beauty products. It could even be a link to a video tutorial on how to apply mascara correctly. This way, your customers will begin to trust you and feel like you care about them and not just their business.
Provide customers interactive content.
This will depend on your trade, but if you want your customers to get more engaged with your brand, you’ll need to provide them with high-quality content that they can use for free. This will help you to establish trust and customer loyalty. Some examples of interactive content are downloadable eBooks, videos, and podcasts.
For example, if you are an energy healer, you may send a meditation guide that your customers can download for free. In that scenario, it’s in alignment with your trade and also helps to advertise your business.
There’s a lot of content that can be of value to your customers, so try to think outside the box and provide them with tools that your competitors aren’t providing.
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When she’s not writing for SB, Pauline runs an intuitive healing business... and is still writing as she types up psychic readings! As she was raised by entrepreneurs, she knows what it takes to be a small business owner.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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