Many small businesses believe creating high quality content is too expensive and time consuming. Only big companies have the budget to employ someone just to write up pages for a website, right? It’s true that many big companies spend the big bucks on hiring staff with the sole purpose of keeping their websites up-to-date and interesting, but it really doesn’t have to be done that way! By investing a little time, your small business can have big-bucks content too without breaking the bank.
Firstly, forget what you’ve been told about high costs of content. Your content can be kept simple and low budget, if necessary. A quick tweet, blog post, re-sharing of an article with added commentary about how your brand relates to it, or even a short video or podcast, are good examples of low-investment/high-return content.
Define Your Goals
Start by deciding what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve? Increasing visitor numbers to your website? Having people sign up to receive emails? Targeting potential first time sales? Encouraging happy customers to come back again and again? All of the above are goals that can be met with careful content strategy. Your content needs to have a purpose, and be relevant to your readers. It needs to fulfill a purpose in a tangible way. Your CRM data will help you decide which goals are most important for your company, right now.
Choose Your Target
Focus your efforts on your target audience, and on finding out which particular needs and wants you and your brand can meet. Use your CRM data to help you find and reach your target audience, and decide which direction you want to take.
What is your audience looking for? What do they as a group, prefer to see? What brand style are you hoping to achieve? Formal, informal? Cartoon style, flowcharts, graphics led? You can develop content in many ways: Vlog, slides, sound bytes, written content. Your original content, shared with context, with a mix of the types of content could be a very effective strategy.
Quality not Quantity
Whichever style you opt for, you’re after quality, not quantity. Keeping the standard high is vital. Remember, you’re competing for attention against every other site on the internet.
Make your content snappy, informative, and personable to draw your customers in and make them want to come back for the next installment. If you only have 60 minutes per week to spend on your content, then make it a great hour’s worth of work, rather than short-changing yourself with 20 minutes each on a few sub-standard pieces. Research shows that people prefer to spend a little longer on reading one great, informative article over giving smaller chunks of their precious time on average or less-than-average articles that aren’t new or interesting.
Using your CRM to monitor click-throughs, you can quickly and easily check on which posts are most effective at catching attention.
Vary Your Content
Content is not limited to words, and you don’t need any special equipment to create videos; most of today’s smartphones have amazing camera features. Try something simple, like greeting your customers with an explainer video. Keep it short, upbeat, and informational, and tell your customers about your business as if you were telling a friend. Other simple-to-create video content might include how-to’s and, if you can get them, customer endorsements.
Keep it Relevant
Everything you post should be on-topic and relevant to your brand. Refrain from over-posting on social media. It can turn people away if their notifications are full of repetitive, unoriginal or thoughtless updates. Your brand will be judged by the quality of your content.
Keep it Fresh
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself, all the time. Give your team members a chance to post about what they’re working on. It’s worth considering attracting authoritative guest writers from time to time, too.
Track your social media metrics to see which platforms and article styles are most effective at fulfilling your goals, and emulate that style for future promotional pieces.
It All Comes Down to Promotion
Whatever your style and content, it’s only going to be successful if it’s promoted. Use social media to get your brand out there and get people talking about it. Extend your reach by mentioning and linking to others who are influential in your field, and ask them to do the same for you.
Join the conversation on other industry blogs and social media posts to increase your audience. Mention relevant information in previous articles and link to them when creating new pieces. Send email newsletters to highlight informative pieces you know your customers will be interested in.
You don’t have to spend big bucks to produce strong and effective content, just take a little time to get your content strategy together, build your brand with strong content and be ready to follow through with top quality service.
About the sponsor:
Insightly was designed as a simple to use yet powerful Web-based CRM system for small businesses. With integrations to widely used applications such as Google Apps, Office 365, Mail Chimp, and Dropbox, Insightly CRM keeps you connected to the right information at the right time—including contacts, sales information, project activities, and more. Because we handle all of the technical issues like server upgrades and security fixes, you can focus on growing sales, not maintaining an IT support staff. Insightly CRM helps you concentrate on what matters most, running your business.