May 23, 2017
Content is the fuel of all marketing. It must exist for anything else to work. A website without content is a blank page — just as a printed marketing kit without content is just a folder.
Content can be viewed in many ways. Think of the types: educational, entertaining, and interactive. Or the size: short form, long form, precise or lengthy. Or the format: written, video, audio, or creative.
You need to develop a content strategy that fits the needs of your customers and business. Remember your content must be valuable to your customer, so make it interesting, relevant and informative.
If you are reading this and don’t have a long list of content ideas already popping into your head – don’t worry. You are absolutely normal. Most business owners, when asked to list content ideas for their business, simply look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language.
Business owners like you just don’t always think in terms of marketing strategy and content.
But, luckily for you, just like in the Disney classic Toy Story – You’ve got a friend in me.
Let’s begin with the written content, which is the most popular type of content.
Written content can range from general website content and blog posts focusing on essential information or knowledge to long form content like ebooks and buyer’s guides.
If you are not currently producing content – this is the place to start. Here are four area of your business that can help you generate written content this week
Questions and Answers
Q & A content is easily assessable in your business. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at your sent emails folder and search for any email sent to customers and prospects. There are probably many that contain common questions that could be the basis for your Q & A content.
Start by adding FAQ and SAQ (Should Have Asked Questions) to your website. Once there you can compile groups of questions into longer topic-related blog posts or ebooks.
Time to complete: 2 days
Creating a narrative about a recent project and what made it challenging, typical, special, or fun can draw your customers into what you do.
Do you have some types of projects that are a specialty for your business? Let you prospects know how you handled special circumstances or requests by describing projects that are right in your wheelhouse.
If something on the project that was complicated or required a special skill or certification to complete these projects should go to the top of the list. They provide you with a way to showcase your staff and their skills.
Time to complete: 1 per day
Customer Stories, Feedback, and Testimonials
Ask customers for their stories, feedback, and reviews. You might be surprised at what you will learn.
You can interview customers and use their words to describe your product or service. This helps to relate the products and services to other prospects that are just like your customer. Use their words, not yours.
If you get stuck, come up with creative ways to solicit their feedback through exercises like word association or “complete this sentence” games. Compiling a list of customers completing this sentence “Having my AC serviced by John’s HVAC is like……” may produce humorous results. Don’t overthink this – you’re trying to get creative content juices flowing not writing a masterpiece.
Time to complete: 3 – 4 days
If customers interact with your staff, they probably want to know more about them. Here’s a process to ensure they can relate to the faces of your business.
First, let your staff know you’ll be showcasing them and asking for their help and input. Second, choose the type of profile you want to use to communicate the information. This could be comical, quirky, or serious and to the point. Look at others in the industry and see how they provide details of their staff.
Next, have staff complete short questionnaires that will be the source of your chosen profile. Then compile the information into the format and post to the website into your blog or About section of your website.
Time to complete: 2 – 3 days
These are just a few of the ideas that you can use to begin to develop content for your business. All of them can be completed within a 5-day workweek.
Make content development an ongoing activity of your business, and you’ll see positive results in the areas of lead generation, prospect to customer conversion, and overall improvement in your customer’s buyer’s journey.
Download the Building Your Content Foundation ebook to get started.