Creating compelling content can take time. Something which typically small business owners don’t have much of (Trust me, I know, I’m one of them!). So, whatever you develop needs to work ultra-hard for you.
Your content needs to cut through all the chatter and noise in your market. It needs to instantly resonate with your ideal customer and get them to act. And, it ideally needs to be something that you can re-use time and time again to save you time, effort and money.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to creating brilliant content for your small business.
Step 1. Understand your audience – and create the connections
If you try and speak to everyone, chances are you’ll end up speaking to no one. Marketing content is at its most powerful when it speaks exclusively to one person. Not literally of course (unless you are doing VERY targeted marketing) but specially to the needs, wants and desires of your ideal customer.
Start by creating a persona for who you are selling to:
Step 2. Think about their buying journey
How do your ideal customers seek out information? Are they avid social media users or do they prefer more traditional mediums? Do they prefer short content because they are busy, or are they are all about the details? Do they prefer video to words or infographics to long brochures?
Understanding this will help inform your content strategy and ensure you are not wasting time on content that your customers will potentially never see or connect with.
Step 3. Get your message straight
Now you know who you are talking to and how they like to receive information, you can set about developing your core message.
To create content that really stands out, make sure everything you say answers the customer’s question “what’s in it for me?” Simply telling customers to buy from you because you’re great or your product is the best, is no longer enough.
People want to know WHY they should buy from you and understanding what you do for THEM. Why you do it (your vision) and how you do it (your values) is important factor in their decision making.
Follow this simple framework for repeatable success. You can use it for most content including brochures, product descriptions, web pages, case studies, award entries etc.
Get in the habit of collecting as much anecdotal evidence as possible about your successes (testimonials, facts and figures, reviews etc.), it makes GREAT read-made content.
Step 4 – Repeat what works, not what doesn’t
With so much data available, it’s easy to understand what type of content really works for your ideal customers. Tools like Google analytics will let you know where people spend the most time on your website. You can track email open rates and click thrus by using automation platforms like Mailchimp. And all the main social media platforms include insights so you can see which posts work best, how people are seeing them and what engagement they got.
Finally, have fun with it. Your content is your shop window and customer’s love a good reason to peek in, especially if it looks enticing inside. Good luck!