We all know that content marketing is the name of the game for businesses large and small. Content is king and all that. But how does a small business create enough good content to reach their marketing goals? That’s the question.
The answer, as it turns out, is easy. All you need is a primer with ideas that you can use in multiple ways to create content. That’s what I’ll do here — break down simple content ideas that you can use (and reuse) to grow your business.
Let’s start with content that comes from a section you probably already have on your website: Frequently Asked Questions.
If you’re like most companies, you have FAQs with short, snappy answers. I’m willing to bet that you could flesh those questions out with additional information and suggestions to provide detailed and actionable content for your clients.
I suggest reviewing your FAQs and picking out questions where there’s room to elaborate. Then, think about the best way to expand on the problem. It might be a blog post, a short video, or an infographic. Whatever it is, you can share it to provide your customers with the kind of authoritative content they need.
Behind the Scenes
How do your products get made? You might think that people aren’t interested, but there’s a reason that television shows like “How It’s Made” are popular.
Think about your process and what makes it unique. Is there an element of your product that’s handmade? Do you have a shortcut that you created? Once you’ve identified a behind the scenes story, you can break it down into a slideshow, video, or photo array to share on your website and social media. Alternatively, you could do behind the scenes videos introducing your staff.
Product demonstrations are a kind of content you can cheaply create. Still, you might not realize the possibilities for content creation locked inside the products you sell.
Beyond the simple introductory product demo, you can show your customers the potential for other uses of your product. Even a product that doesn’t require a demo can be highlighted in a demonstration video.
For example, a clothing boutique that sells scarves could put together a demonstration video showing 10 different ways to wear a scarf. A kitchen supply company could show multiple uses for a utensil or a condiment.
Not every piece of content you post needs to be original. A big part of social media marketing is content curation. Content curation is about finding great content and then presenting it to your social media followers in a way that adds value.
The key here is not to simply share the content as you find it. Instead, you should create a way to add some authority or a unique twist to it.
For example, you might find an article in your local paper or an industry publication with a list of… whatever. Instead of merely posting the list, share it and point out which item is your favorite and why. Alternatively, you could mention something that wasn’t included in the list you think should have been.
Customer Testimonials and Stories
Happy customers are your best ambassadors, and you should be featuring them in your content. While reviews are essential, testimonials offer a more in-depth, story-oriented way to share the benefits of your products or services with your target audience.
The wide availability and affordability of video mean that it’s easy and inexpensive to film customer testimonials. You can even do them on Zoom.
It may be useful to map out an outline based on the customer’s story. That way, you can share the kind of journey that will resonate with people and help them make an emotional connection with your product.
Have you noticed that podcasts are suddenly everywhere? There’s a good reason: They’re relatively easy and inexpensive to produce. For some businesses, they feel less intimidating than video. Experts predict that podcast advertising will be worth $1.33 billion by 2022.
From a marketing standpoint, the best thing about podcasts is that they feel personal and engaging. People can download them and listen while they’re in their cars or cleaning the house. They offer you a way to connect directly with your audience and share insights they can’t get anywhere else.
Your Brand Story
Differentiating yourself from your competitors is a must, and content marketing provides the ideal way to do it. No matter what industry or niche you’re in, your brand has a unique story that is yours to tell.
It doesn’t matter how you choose to tell your story, a series of blog posts, videos, or photos on your Instagram Story. You need to tell the people in your target audience what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. It’s essential to include the specifics of what makes you unique, whether it’s a proprietary manufacturing process, personalized attention, or innovative products that deliver the solutions your customers need.
It’s always a good idea to create evergreen content because it has a long shelf life and will likely be as relevant two years from now as it is today. However, not all content needs to be timeless.
Seasonal content can be beneficial to your customers and entertaining at the same time. Chances are that you’ve found yourself looking for content related to a holiday or time of year — so why not provide seasonal content for your audience?
Finally, don’t assume that the older content you’ve created is no good to you now. Instead, take an inventory of old blog posts, videos and graphics and see if there’s an opportunity to update or improve them.
If there’s information that could clarify or expand your existing content, add it and repost it. Take old video footage and intercut it with new footage. You could even break an old piece of content into parts. For example, you could take a long blog post and transform it into a series of short videos.
I hope you get the idea. Your focus should always be on providing value and entertainment to your audience. You don’t need to have a vast content marketing budget to create the kind of content your audience will love — and be eager to share.
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