When running a small business there is a lot of competition. How do potential customers find you on the web? To assert your business as an industry leader, you must be the guru of sharp, fresh content.
So, what is content? Content is a message conveyed in different forms of communication. Content appears in the form of articles, videos, and blogs that are meant to entice and educate your customers and attract new business.
For small business owners who are new to creating great content, here are some starting points.
Read books and publications about your industry. Research your competitors' websites and find holes in their content. Find out what they're not telling their customers. Don't simply sell to your customers. Recognize what their needs are and provide solutions to their problems. Ask probing questions. Give them information on why they are paying too much for certain products.
• Attention Snatching Headlines
Technology has made us all attention deficit. When people get online, they normally only scan websites. You've got seconds to get and keep their attention on your website. The headline should be edgy and honest. For example, I wrote an article about building an authentic personal brand. Instead of a lengthy headline, I simply asked: "Are You Real or Fake?" in my headline. I meant to strike a nerve in my reader, and it worked.
• Conferences and Networking Events
Reading books and publications are a great start, but you do have to attend events hosted by people in your industry with decades of experience. If you are in business, you will remain a student. These events are helpful because you will be able to meet customers, but you will also be able to generate ideas for videos and articles for your website.
• Social Media Platforms
Social Media is a definite way to reach millions of people in the most cost-efficient way. Utilizing social media can be helpful if you are strategic in your approach. Join online communities in your industry. Select two strong social media platforms and learn how to utilize them. If you have too many platforms, it becomes difficult to maintain a dialogue with readers. Conduct product testers and giveaways to your customers. Engage with your customers by asking them what content they want to see.
• Audio and Video Content
Audio content is in the form of radio and podcasting. By using tools like SoundCloud, you can create your podcast. It is a more intimate way to communicate on a small platform. You can invite guests on your podcast as well. Video is a way to reach more people and get your face out there. A popular video platform is YouTube. The downside to video is you will open yourself to positive and negative feedback whether it is warranted or not.
Keep in mind, content must be updated on a regular basis. As your business and industry changes, there will always be new subjects to write about. If you are passionate about your business, do whatever it takes to stay ahead of what's current.