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How to write great content that your customers want

The reality is *63% of small and medium businesses don’t have a content strategy in place. Considering that the majority of businesses (72%) realise that more content is needed. So essentially, shows that we all know we need content, but are probably not sure what to create, or have the time to create it. Time, is a business’s most valuable resource (as we talked about in a previous article.) So what can we do about building great content?

To be honest, we still do need to give time, however if we consistently give our time in small bite size chunks, over a long period then we can build up quite a bank of content for our customers. Say 15-30 minutes twice a week and vow to keep the content short and snappy!  The best way to do this is to create a content plan. What I mean here is to know what you are going to talk about. When you are going to talk about it. How often you are going to talk about it and be clear where you are going to deliver that content. How do you do all that? Just follow the simple steps below.

Step 1: Come up with ideas to create your content on.

Content is highly personalised for each business. You may be a bog-standard accountancy firm; however, your business’s personality, niche and people make you different. That’s why your clients chose you in the first place. It would be smart to use those elements.

Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm your content

  • What are the things you care about as an organisation?
  • What are your values? How do you integrate them into what you do?
  • What are the problems you solve for your customers? What stories can you share?
  • What expertise/opinions do you and your team have that people what to hear about?
  • What’s new in your industry and what’s your view or commentary on these new things?
  • What are other people in the industry saying or making? What’s your view/response to those things?
  • What’s fun about your business, your people, your ideas?
  • What do you think the future will hold?
  • What charities / causes do you hold dear and support?

Create 3 pieces of content from each of these areas and you’ll have 27 pieces of content with a lot of variety. Not that hard, right?

Step 2: Decide who creates the content?

To be frank, this should be you and your experts. It’s all very well paying someone to write an article. However, don’t expect them to have your level of expertise and knowledge. If the article is supposed to represent your expertise, make sure your expertise is in it. If you don’t have “time” then jot down 4 points you want to get across in the article and give that to your content writer to expand on for you. If you have a little more time, say the aforementioned 15-30 minutes twice a week, write about 300-500 words on each piece of content and that will build you a lot of content.

Step 3: Decide where you are going to deliver the content.

Once you understand the channels your customers use this decision will be easy. Typical ones are,

your website, your newsletters, online blogs, LinkedIn profiles, articles and groups, Facebook, social media etc.  If you don’t know what these channels are then find out. There is no point placing your content where no one will see it.  Decide also how you are going to backlink your content to your website. All content should lead back to a page on your website where you have a call to action. A landing page, a special offer, a free report etc. Or, to your archive of other articles so people can understand your expertise and can “try you out” without paying anything or signing up to your newsletter.

Step 4: Decide how often you are going to deliver content.

Daily, weekly monthly? Whatever it is, keep it consistent. Once you are aware of your timeframes you can create a content map and timeline. Decide when in the year you will talk about those subjects. If you can, have content that follows the previous ones and builds upon it. Like building a story. This will also nudge people to read previous articles you have written, which will help them build trust with you. Lastly, leave room for flexibility. If something big happens in your industry and you just have to talk about it now, then make space in your plan for your special report or commentary. People who are following you, will want to know what you have to say.

Following these simple steps will go a long way to you creating a large databank of knowledge that your customers will love. You’ll be seen as an expert and it will help potential customers build the trust that they need to potentially work with you.

Are you interested in improving your marketing success? If so, then sign up for our free master class “Mastering Your Marketing For Success” on May 24th in London. To find out more CLICK HERE.

*Figures taken from research carried out by Adobe Corporation in 2017.

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