Last week we spoke about the 3 things I tell all of my clients: that online content must be authentic, consistent and worthwhile. This week, I thought we should go more into depth and talk about the different types of content that you can create as a small business. But first, let’s talk about why content is worth investing your time in.
Why should you be creating online content as a small business?
Content, in all forms, helps potential customers get to know you as a brand. It shows off your expertise and it is also great for driving traffic to your site and letting people know about your business. And, yes it can seem time-consuming. Especially at first when you don’t have a lot of traction, but please stick with it! It will be so worth it in the end, because it will show that you are committed to your company, your industry and your clientele by giving them so much value and information for free. You will reap the rewards when potential customers turn into loyal followers.
So what kind of content should you create as a small business?
There are many options. I’ve listed five below. Pick one. Pick two. Pick all of them if you like – but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you have a good team of people around you because you won’t have time!.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before: video is the future. And well, the reason you keep hearing this is because it is true. Video is not only stepping up on Youtube (more and more people are uploading and watching videos), but also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all major channels. I always recommend paying attention to what the social channels are focusing on and focus there too. All social platforms are focused on improving their video content right now, so if you do the same, you will improve your engagement levels with minimal effort. Facebook is a great example of this. They are pushing more video content in front of the user in their organic news feed, so if you want to increase your organic reach without resorting to boosting posts and paid ads, then video would be a great place to start. It can be an intimidating medium to start with, but you don’t have to make a fancy piece of content that takes a long time to film and edit. Just simply holding your phone up in front of your face and talking to your camera will suffice if you simply want to communicate quickly with fans.
Live video is performing even better on all channels, particularly Facebook and Instagram. That can be scary though right? You don’t have to go live straight away. You could practice a few times until you feel comfortable or, if you’re feeling brave, just go for it! You’ll get more comfortable with time and your followers will enjoy watching you improve too. Authenticity is on the up. You can simply document parts of your day as opposed to curating a perfect produced video and it should perform well. Try filming yourself unpacking a delivery (gotta love a haul video!) or how you organise your outgoing orders or even how you use your favourite tool or program in your office. See a great example below from a previous client of mine, Nadia at Penelope Hope, who occasionally has her little boy in the office with her. This video is showing off her new product development, but also displays her life as a working mum finding balance between her business and family life. Equally, it is highly entertaining because it’s super cute, so it got a lot of great engagement which in turn let people know that she was due to launch tote bags, but also gave followers the opportunity to get to know her better.
This is how we roll on a Sunday! My assistant did this little video of me sewing some new prototype products. A little bit shaky but he may have a future in film 🎥😆 Posted by Penelope Hope on Sunday, May 14, 2017
Sharing your tips and expertise for free will lead to a loyal fan base willing to pay for your products and services further down the line. And writing a blog is one of the easiest ways to do that. It doesn’t involve a high level of production or tech – you can simply write down your top ten tips or “How To’s” and pop it up on your website. Blogging is also a great way to show off the personality and fun side of your company. You could list funny things that customers and followers can interact with, in addition to company news and helpful tips. You can show the human side of your team by posting interviews with staff members or monthly updates from your office.
To give you a good example of what to share, here at All Things Social, we share a post a week. Often we post tips and tricks for social media and content. This is often linked to the services that we provide in order to show off our expertise. I always like to make the posts simple and easy to read so as not to overcomplicate ideas or overwhelm the reader and I always encourage comments in case people need more information or have specific questions. We also post more fun and inspirational content for small business owners. This can be an interview with one of our team or another small business owner, recommended books or podcasts or a round-up of the month where we share social media developments, as well as internal news telling our clients and followers about what we’ve been up to. We like to have variety and we find that it really helps to drive traffic to our site, in addition to starting conversations and increasing new business enquiries, as people get a taste of what we can do and book in for a more personalised session.
For more info on blogging for your small business, please take a look at our previous post, written by Mary: Why Your Business Needs to be Blogging. We also write blog posts for small businesses, so if you want to blog more but don’t have time, allow us to help with that. Get in touch for a chat.
Got more of a face for the radio? Or simply think that a weekly recorded radio-style show may be an awesome way to go for your business? Then a podcast is for you. It’s relatively easy to record a podcast and share it with your followers. Simple ideas for this would be a weekly industry news show, interviews with your team or people in your industry as well as a simple list of tips. It’s a lot easier as a consumer of content to listen to an article rather than read it because often people can catch up on podcasts whilst working or commuting or even just catching up on chores. I listen to a lot of podcasts in my office when working. It’s like having a personalised and highly relevant radio station on in the background all the time.
I’m no expert on making podcasts but I can recommend Martine Ellis‘ list of Everything You Need to Know to Start a Podcast Now to get your off on the right foot. If you read her previous interview with us, you’ll know that this girl knows her stuff. Take inspiration from our 6 Podcasts That Every Girlboss Needs to Listen To.
Social Media Posts
YES, social media posts are content. Sharing updates, pictures and videos on social is a great way to interact with your audience and grow your reach. Content on social is a great way to show your company’s personality and share news. It is also the quickest and easiest way to connect with fans in real time. A well-crafted social post can gain so much more interaction than a blog post, simply because of how easy it is for a follower to engage with it – in their timelines or news feeds whilst scrolling. You can create fun pictures and branded quotes for fans to be entertained or inspired by. Offering free advice is also a great way to give value to your audience. For example, if you sell workout clothing, why not give some advice on healthy eating or some examples of fat-burning exercises? Or, if you are a hotel, share some useful information on your surrounding area or some fun packing tips for your potential guests. I’ve collated a couple of fun great examples of social media content from brands below.
— William & Son (@WilliamandSon) April 24, 2017
As annoying as they may be to you as a consumer, from a marketing perspective these things blinking work, so make sure you have at least a monthly newsletter as part of your repertoire. Don’t email for the sake of it, of course, but it would be worth sending people highlighted products and your latest news, shortly and succinctly. It’s a simple way to remind them that you exist in case they miss your other content. If you package it well, they may even enjoy receiving it. I look forward to a couple of the ones I get because they hit my top 3 musts: They are authentic, consistent and worthwhile.
P.S. I am hosting a workshop on 30th June at the Digital Greenhouse in Guernsey on ‘Getting Content & Engagement Right on Social.’ See you there? Find more info on our events page.
Liked this post? Pin it!