Content marketing for visibility and engagement
As a small business owner, you probably feel that you are under pressure to create new content, new posts and constantly come up with new ideas! We all know the importance of remaining consistent and marketing regularly, but it can often feel like an uphill struggle. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Below, you’ll find 10 ways to make content creation easier and more natural. The suggestions will help you to remain consistent and visible, which in turn will lead to more engagement and more leads.
1 – Assess old content and reuse
The best place to start looking for ideas is to do a quick assessment of the content you have published before, including blog posts, website content and emails, as well as social media platforms. You have access to plenty of statistics that will show you which content was most popular. Note down good ideas that perhaps didn’t do as well as you had hoped, as well as those pieces of content that got good reach or engagement originally.
Be brutal and consider if there are platforms or forms of content that are just not appealing to your ideal client any longer – should you be focussing your efforts elsewhere? If so, consider if it is worth continuing with these.
In comparison, also consider what you can simply reuse and post again. On social media, we all know that a small proportion of people see each post, plus it is likely you will have gained new followers, so do not be afraid to reuse content too. Consider also what useful information have you not shared for a while that new followers might need to know?
2 – Do a mighty ‘brainstorm’
Get a big piece of paper, your favourite pens and get in a strong, positive mindset. Put on some inspiring music, if you want to, and start brainstorming everything that is brilliant about your business! Consider your plans and dreams too.
Think about all of your services and products. Think about other business’ content that you like and admire. Think big. Aim high. There is no time, money or skill limitation here. Just write…write…write…!
Put down as many ideas as you can. It’s the best way to see what you have not shared and what you want to do more of. Afterwards, you’ll easily be able to assess what you are drawn to and can start making more of a comprehensive content plan. Long term, you can also return to this sheet of paper when you are struggling for ideas.
3 – Identify topics and themes
Choose ‘a topic’ or theme that you are going to focus on for a certain amount of time, i.e. for a month, or perhaps the same day each week. Having this focus can be very useful for creating content which is cohesive across all of your platforms.
You will probably notice themes and ideas that group together well (possibly in your brainstorm). Some months and topics may be dictated by something external like an anniversary, national holiday/event or international day too.
4 – Plot a basic calendar of content
Imagining you have to create 365 days of content is overwhelming. However, by simply, doing a 12 month plan and plotting important days and dates can suddenly reduce the amount of ‘empty’ days you have to fill with original content.
Look again at holidays, national days or events that you got ‘involved with’ before, in the last year or two. If they were successful, consider how you could expand your content offering further this year or next. A lot of us make the mistake of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ last minute of something like International Women’s Day or Mental Health Week, when we should be making a plan and more of a campaign around these days and events, especially those that are important to our values, as well as our business.
Consider not only national events but also events or anniversaries that are important to your business. Again, ensure they are clearly marked in a content calendar so that mentally for these dates (and perhaps even a few days leading up to them) content is ‘covered’. The fewer gaps you have to fill the less overwhelming creating content will feel.
5 – Consider different ‘purposes’ for content
Instead of focussing on having to come up with lots of new ideas, focus on having a different purpose for your content.
For example, on social media, in one week I may plot to have one post that encourages engagement (where I hope to see lots of reactions); one post that sells (a clear message about what I have to offer, which hopefully will get enquiries); one post that boosts my credibility (e.g. sharing a testimonial or good news about my business that I hope will engender trust); one post that helps my followers get to know me (a personal update or news that I hope will engender authority or offer an insight) and one post that encourages comments and interaction (asking a specific question or asking for feedback) – after all social is meant to be social!
For lots of ideas on varieties of post based on the purpose and what you want your audience to do, join my mailing list here.
6 – Create content about yourself
There is a famous saying: “write about what you know”. When you are struggling with content ideas consider what you can share about you and your business. For many of us, we are our business. Think about your passions; why you run your business; who you like working with; what makes you tick. People are essentially nosy and it’s a good opportunity to give them a little glimpse behind the scenes. You don’t have to share anything personal that you don’t wish to, but equally if you are busy, perhaps a little behind on orders or slower to respond to messages, it is better to be honest and make people aware. This can all be done completely professionally.
7 – Create content about others and by others
Get permission first, of course…but we can share information about your suppliers, clients or customers. Consider who else you work or collaborate with.
It can be as simple as sharing testimonials, which are easy to quickly create in to social media posts and add to your website. You could consider inviting suppliers or fellow business owners with complementary organisations and content to write a guest blog (which saves you writing something). Tagging others gives you instant bigger reach (and, hopefully, they will share too), plus linking to them and their websites also gives backlinks, which are powerful for optimisation.
If you haven’t got time to organise guest content, on social media, it can be a good habit to share interesting content from sources you trust on a regular basis. It shows that you are engaging with the platform and others’ content, highlighting that you know your market and you share interests. In return, you may see more people sharing your content too, which helps reach and visibility.
8 – Rework and repurpose old content
It doesn’t have to be extensive reworking but things can date quickly. You may have more to add and some things to remove. It’s amazing how as you develop your business your style of content may change or you may feel more confident to offer more depth of information.
Best practice, guidance or advice changes too. Therefore, look at past posts and blogs that need to be updated. You don’t constantly need to create content from scratch.
Also consider how you can repurpose one ‘format’ of content into another. For example, take longer form content – videos, blog posts, emails, print media – and breakdown content within in it into smaller chunks for social media.
Equally, are there a selection of social media posts on similar topics that you could bring together to make something longer, as the basis for a video or blog post.
9 – Figure out what you enjoy – don’t do it all!
Focus on what you love and content creation will never be a chore.
Do you love making videos but hate writing long blog posts? Do you love Instagram but can’t stand LinkedIn?
If you enjoy creating your content this will be evident in the final output. If it is constantly a chore, then you’ll also end up falling behind with any plans or schedules you come up with because sticking to it is just too hard (like every diet ever!).
You need to be where your ideal clients are…but the way you communicate with them in that space and the content you create in order to do so, is up to you. Instagram is a good example – you can create Reels, but you don’t have to, if you prefer longer videos or lives, stick to IGTV. If you love creating something visuals make the most of stories and carousels of gorgeous images, but don’t worry about overly long captions.
It’s the same with your blog or emails, they don’t have to be reams of text. Nowadays, you can easily embed videos and images. Make blogging or regular website updates suit what you like creating best.
10 – Remember, it’s ok to take a break
To finish, remember it is ok to take a bit of a break and to recharge. The pressure to create content can feel like an incessant treadmill. If you feel tired and fed up, you are likely to rush it and the quality will be poor.
It‘s ok take a break. If you can schedule a few posts to keep your platforms active (even if it is a lot less than your usual output), then that’s great, but if not that’s fine too. It is also ok to simply state you are taking a short break…loyal followers and committed clients will still be there when you return!
Whilst you are taking a break, try some of the suggestions above, to give you some motivation. Try a brainstorm or take some time to simply figure out what you enjoy and what’s working well. You can even consider if outsourcing might be the right thing for you too. Once you have a clear sense of the type of content you want to produce, its purpose and you have plotted key themes and dates (all suggested above), it can make it a lot easier to hand over to someone else.
Consistency and passions leads to sales
I truly believe that by showing up consistently with a passion and belief in the purpose of the content you create, you will draw more engagement and leads. In turn, your increased visibility will help to convert sales.
Find your spark for content creation…and content marketing will become less like a treadmill and more like a wonderful portal to opportunity.
For more information about The Content Consultancy, visit www.thecontentconsultancy.com