When it comes to promoting your business, in this day and age content is king.
But what exactly does content mean? And how can you create it quickly, effectively and efficiently?
Content comes in many forms. From blog posts, web pages and social media updates to video, photos, gifs, memes, slideshows, stories and much more.
Creating content is a minefield of confusion for most people with hours and hours spent staring at a blank word document hoping the knowledge you have can be transferred effectively onto the page.
Then, once it’s created, there’s the big question “what should you do with it?”.
Here are some top tips to help you not just create great content for your business but also help you to best utilise it cross-platform:
- Subject matter / topic
When selecting your subject matter for a piece of content, whether it’s a 500 word blog post or a 50 word social media update, think about your customer. Don’t think about what you want to tell them, consider what they need or want to know. By selecting a subject matter that speaks directly to your customer you are more likely to grab their attention.
- Don’t overthink it
You’d be surprised how many people procrastinate and over think their content, as a result they create complicated, over written and sometimes overly academic pieces. Write your content like you would speak to your customer on the telephone or in person.
- Blog post formula
The easiest blog post formula to use is the list-based post one. All you need is an introduction of a few lines or paragraphs and then a list of top tips and hints or a list of things you want people know.
- Make 1 blog post go far
When creating a blog post have in mind that it can be worth much more than just a simple link. Think about creating everything from a slideshow and video to infographics and more with the content. Break it up into smaller points or even create a series that people can follow.
There’s no point spending a lot of time creating content, in any form, if you don’t have an audience to distribute it to. Posting on Facebook or Instagram isn’t enough, it’s important to think of ways that you can get your content to people. If you have a really good piece of engaging content, it might be worth considering paying to advertise it.
- Use content creation tools
There are some great online tools and apps that can help you generate professional content. From apps/websites like Canva and Flyrr which help you design posters and other graphic. Make sure you download the Instagram Layout app and Pic Collage for creating great photo based content. There’s also iMovie and Ripl which are really good for creating video/slideshow content.
Getting the right photography is essential when creating content. More often than not this is the thing that will catch people’s eye first and foremost. If you don’t have the time or skills to take the photos yourself consider using a royalty free stock photos website. Try one such as pixabay.com or pexels.com.
- Filters are your friend
When using photos that you’re not quite happy with try out a few filters. You’d be surprised how the Gingham filter can soften up even the harshest of images. Also, consider black and white, it can hide a multitude of sins.
When writing blog posts or subject lines for your content think about keeping them snappy. Research what other companies like yours uses and mirror their style. Not just that check out online publications like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post for some ideas around how to write eye-catching titles. Think about problem solving too. Remember, your customer will be more likely to click if you’re solving a problem for them.
- Don’t be afraid to be you
Personality is vital when it comes to creating content so don’t be afraid to inject an appropriate level of personality into your content. Think about your customer, what kind of person would they like to deal with…create that voice in your content and make it easier for your customer to identify with you and your company.
People respond best to real life and real stories. Try telling your audience a little bit about you, the company or your customers. Think of ways to engage with people on a personal level, take them on your journey with you rather than just simply broadcasting sales messages to them all the time.
- User generated content
There is nothing more powerful than your customers generating the content for you. Why not consider incentivising them to photograph themselves using your product and uploading it to their own channels? Make sure you engage, repost and thank anyone who does this.
Create a hashtag to bind all your content together. Encourage your customers to use it to. Again an incentive for doing this is the best way to ensure other people use your hashtag.
- Email marketing lists
When you have created suitable content, especially relevant blog posts that your customers will be interested in, think about sending it out to your mailing list. Or, alternatively, use the content as an opt in so that you can grow your mailing list. Either way, an active and up to date mailing list is probably more valuable to you than any social media channel.