Writing blog posts and coming up with fun images/videos to share can seem like a waste of time and resources to business owners. I am here to tell you that it is not.
Just like social media for your business can be a waste of time if you approach it with no strategy, creating content can be costly and not yield results if done without a strategy. However, when you take the time to consider your objectives and make a concerted and focused effort, content creation can attract more business than you might think. Though I could go on and on about why content creation is so important for businesses, here are the primary two reasons it can be so effective:
1. It is one of the most effective ways of regularly communicating what your brand stands for. You can always run a big ad when you are looking to boost sales but content creation is a way to constantly engage with your audience (your customers and potential customers) and remind them why they work with you and not the other guy. You can use the content you create to highlight customer satisfaction ratings, talk about company values, and show how your company is giving back to the community.
2. It offers your brand advocates — those who love you already — an easy way and a reminder to share how they feel about you with their friends/family. This is important for a lot of reasons but the primary reason is this: Any potential customer who is considering doing business with you will care much more about what their friends say about you than what you say about yourself via any ad.
Now let’s talk about how you can begin creating content for your business. There are a few things you need to consider when creating content for your audiences:
1. Who is your audience? How old are they? Do they have other interests related to your product/services? Where do they live, etc.?
2. What is a need/desire you can fill with your content? Can you educate them about products/services in your industry or maybe give them some tips to more effectively use your product/service?
3. How can you deliver that useful and relevant content to your followers and potential customers?
These are not easy questions to answer and they are, in part, why I have a business helping businesses communicate with their audiences. However, once you have those questions answered all you have to do is actually create the content.
There are a variety of ways you can create content as a brand but the most typical used by business owners are blog posts and still images. These both do great in their own ways — images suit audiences on media like Instagram, and long-form written pieces tend to perform well on Facebook and LinkedIn. Blogs are by far best when presented on your business website, as they keep your customers aware of your business and the blogs themselves help your SEO. If you have a business website, your website manager should be able to create a blog you can post articles to and share via social media very easily. If you decide that your branding message can be or should be communicated via images then there are a number of applications that make image editing simple for those of us who are not technically inclined. My favorite image editing app is called Canva, and it’s a great place to start. Finally, although it is more difficult and can be more expensive, you should also consider creating video content for your followers. Video, in our experience, far outpaces both written content and images when it comes to business performance metrics like number of people reached, number of new followers, and actual sales per person reached.
I will be writing on the subject of social media marketing and advertising over the next several months. Please stay tuned and feel free to reach out to me if there are questions you would like me and my team to tackle.
Timothy A. Zercher is the president and CEO of Pueblo-based EasySocial, which manages online marketing and advertising efforts across the U.S. He can be reached at easysocial.solutions.