If you have googled "how to increase sales" or "how to grow your business" recently you most likely have come across the word content repeatedly being suggested as a way to gain exposure and increase your sales. Content seems to be the new buzzword when it comes to marketing, but what is it exactly and why does your business need it? Content is simply the information you are providing your customers on a consistent basis. Seems fairly simple but the reason this is important is a little more complicated.
Why is Content Important
The reason why content is important boils down to one thing; visibility. Anyone who has been a member of society in the last 5 years knows full well that business is now done online. Customers go online to seek out products and information about the products that are looking for and business are online to catch those customers and potential customers that don't know about their product yet. In other words, there is basically one giant online market place. Content is what allows businesses to be found. This goes hand in hand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which I will explain more in another post. Without informing your customers constantly that you exists it is next to impossible to compete in the online market place. Usually this content is created in the form of a blog or posts through social media but it can be virtually anything that you post online in relation to your businesses. Keywords, search words, hashtags are all just helping people find your content. The more content you have the better you can compete in the online market place.
How To Use Content to Grow Your Business
Consistency is key. Seriously, that is the key. Regular, daily content is a must for any business trying to carve out a space online. Scheduling daily posts on as many channels of social media as possible will get your content to a wider audience. For businesses; likes matter, followers matter, paid ads are important, there is no real way around it right now. If you can grow your social media audience, you can get your content to more people which can spread the visibility even further if it is shared, this will help your online ranking and will bring in new customers thereby growing your business, this is referred to as engagement.
The biggest challenge of course is time. I have been a small business owner and I knew that I needed content, I had read enough articles, I got it. The problem I had was time and consistency. I would have a good week where I could get a bunch of content scheduled, I wrote a blog post, posted some articles related to my field but then work would get stupid busy and it would be 3 weeks before I got back to it again, that was a bad strategy. If I could go back, I would have spent the money and hired a social media manager to do it for me. In fact, that is why I am a social media manager now, it was probably one of my biggest lessons learned when running my business. So if you don't have the time to dedicate to writing blog posts (or the know how), searching for articles and then cross posting to all your channels then stop reading this article and check out my super affordable social media services.
Sorry for the shameless plug there but seriously, I learned the hard way and if you think you need help, don't hesitate, find a way to get some.
If you are truly dedicated to DIY, follow these tips to get regular consistent content:
6 tips for Regular Content
Use a program like Hootsuite to schedule a few months worth of content at a time. There is always a free trial available so I highly recommend you give that a shot.
Plan a themed schedule- Example: Monday- Motivation Quote, Tuesday- Industry Article Wednesday- Blog Post, Thursday- Engagement, Friday- Humour, Saturday-Tips Sunday- Quote, this will help you keep things moving when you don't know what to post. Something is better than nothing!
Use all social media channels to cross post your content. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram.
Have a Blog- Every website comes with a blog now and it is the best way to develop content. I will write more about this in another blog post.
Grow your audience with quality content. The better your content is, the more people will engage (share, like, comment). Pay attention to what they are commenting, liking and sharing, this tells you what to give more of (or less). Any questions that are asked are a new piece of content that people are looking for.
Analytics give you direction on what your audience wants to see more of. Take that into consideration each time you add more content
For more tips and information on content strategy, see my Instagram page fore quick tips or find me on Pinterest!