How often do you come to write your content and find yourself hitting a brick wall? You’ve set aside time to put pen to paper but you simply have writer’s block! How do you get around that or how do you make the writing process easier when you’re on a tight schedule?
Find inspiration around you
Start to notice the things going on around you and take note of what other people are doing or share about. Use other people’s experiences to give you ideas and inspiration. All you need is an idea or a seed and you’ve got something to start from.
Take a few moments every week to make a list of relevant topics or titles which you can use another time. Research what is trending, what other people are writing about and most importantly, what your audience will want to read or hear about. Your content should be relevant to the people who are likely to read it so they can gain the value and insight from what you have to say.
Keep a notebook
One of the best ways to never find yourself with writer’s block is to keep a notebook with you all the time and to jot down ideas as you think of them. Someone may ask you a question which you could later turn into a blog post. You may see something on an advertising board that gives you an idea about a series of ‘how to’s’ or tutorials. You may be in a coffee shop and find inspiration from the conversations that you hear. In all these situations, you don’t need to write a load of content there and then but make a note in your pad so that you have something to write about the next time you sit down to put your content together.
When you hit writer’s block, hit the research button! Spend some time looking at other reputable businesses and industry leaders to see what topics are hot at the moment. Use Twitter to see what questions people are asking or what people are searching for – what’s popular and what subjects need to be addressed.
Research is a good process to go through regularly anyway, whether you have writer’s block or not – it keeps you up to date and in touch with those around you.
Ask your audience
What better way to give your audience the content they want to hear by asking them the question.
Ask them: what do they want to know about \ what would they like to learn \ what would inspire them \ what would help them in their business or life situations?
Gain insight directly from the people who the content is for. If you’re asking them what they need and you’re writing content to accommodate, they will come back for more.
When you hit writer’s block if can be an extremely frustrating time however with planning and keeping your eyes open to what is around you, it becomes easier to overcome. Have processes in place that when you get to a time when you are drawing a blank on content, you’ve already got a backup plan to help you through.
Keeping on top of social media content and regularly posting to a blog takes time and effort. If you’re using a multiple of social channels and are committed to providing valuable content to your audience, it can be a lot of content to write! Try to keep your message from going stale, keep relevant to your audience and be sure to be giving them content that helps them. If you’re providing value, you’ll have loyal followers, you’ll grow your audience and (hopefully) grow your business.
Remember that in everything you do, refer back to your initial marketing strategy and keep to your goals – long and short term – in order to measure what works, what you are achieving and the direction you are heading.
If you still find yourself hitting writer’s block and you know that writing is simply not your thing – talk to us about our content marketing packages.
Why not download our FREE Awareness Days Calendar to see if the day you’re stuck, there is something you could write about – at least you’ll be on trend!
Where do you start when marketing your business online? Do you struggle with getting a relevant, interesting and authentic message across? Do you find it difficult to come up with content that doesn’t repeat everything else you say?
Sometimes when a marketing message goes stale, we need to take a step away to refresh, recharge and revisit our mission statement. What we think we are saying, what we really say and the way that message comes across can be completely different things. Do you find yourself in the trap of repetition and regurgitating the same content over and over again? It’s time to freshen up!
Go back to basics
Go back to the drawing board, it’s time to brainstorm.
Start at the very beginning of your mission statement and the values that you hold, the things that are most valuable to you and your business. What is it that drives you forward, that gives you the motivation to do what you do? These are the fundamental elements that glue your business together and make you want to succeed. And these are essential parts that your audience need to know about when getting to know who you are and what your brand about.
Start the storyboard
Moving from your mission and values, start to set the scene and tell the story of where you’ve come from to where you are now. Everyone loves a story and for you to be authentic and unique will set you apart from the competition. Get the story rolling by sharing the heart behind your mission, the thought process of why you do what you do, the emotional angle of what’s precious to you. And then you can move on to the services you offer, why you offer them, what products you have, what value you give, what people can get from you and everything that physically makes up your business. By now your brainstorm should have lots of parts to it, all different aspects relating to the make up of your business.
Now you can start to link them together and begin to pull a common thread through it all. All these things together are what you’re going to share with your audience. You don’t just have one message to share but lots of multifaceted aspects that make up your brand.
Your message will not have a chance to go stale when you constantly go back to the basics, revisit the drawing board and brainstorm regularly to bring new ideas and visions to the table.
New content with new ideas
Once you have the ideas flowing and you’ve got everything that says what your business is about, you’ve got an opportunity to create some new content to go with it.
- Blog posts
- Social media content
How can you put your message into the above types of content? It’s about getting creative and sharing your message in different ways. Jump behind the scenes and share a video about what’s happening/ what’s going on/ your team/ your network/ your office. Interview people or create a podcast, this could give an opportunity to work with industry professionals – it’s not necessarily you doing all the speaking but it’s giving value and a variety to your audience. How much more engaging can a video or podcast be rather than a simple blog post? Both varieties have their merit but by doing both blog and video you automatically have two types of content that you can use across your social media, which you can then re-purpose and use again and again.
Once you’ve written a blog post, how many images or types of posts (i.e. infographics / how tos etc) can you create that share a similar message which you can use across your channels? Re-posting the same blog image could get repetitive but 5 or 6 different images that relate to the same thing will give a variety to your readers and your audience.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of what’s always work should always work – but that’s simply not the case, especially in a fast paced online world where there is so much competition and fight for attention. There is no place for complacency. You may be comfortable, you may love what you do, but are you seeing measurable results from it? If the answer is no, you’re just wasting valuable time that could be better invested in your business. Try not to sit on the fence hoping that something will change ‘soon’, if it’s not working, something needs to give. Go back to the drawing board and figure out what your message is truly about and give your marketing some fresh substance for people to get a hold of.
At the end of the day, your message needs to be fresh, consistent, inline with your values and mission and giving value to your audience. If it doesn’t meet these needs, you’re going to struggle to make it work. Use this opportunity to get creative in your marketing, to relight the fire and passion about what your business is about and to think of new ways of getting the attention of your audience. What is it they want to see, what do they want to hear that will solve their pain points? Be there in the forefront of their minds, show up when no one else does and give purpose to your brand. If you love it and share that zeal, then other’s will catch on and be there with you.
If you’d like to chat over your marketing plans or strategy or simply know that it’s time to outsource your social media marketing to a team that want you get results – and know how to get them!, we’d love to talk. Contact us today for an initial consultation.
In the meantime if you’d like some inspiration on what to talk to your audience about, why not download our FREE 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – and start the conversations today!
In order to understand how content marketing can impact a business, we need to understand what content marketing is and the benefits it can have on business owners.
What is content marketing?
According to the dictionary, content marketing is defined as: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Another way of looking at it, is how the Content Marketing Institute put it: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The main thing to remember is that content marketing is about being educational and not all about selling a product.
What is content marketing good for?
The reasons we look to content marketing is not ultimately to promote a product but about building a brand and reputation. Here are some other reasons:
- To build an engaged and interested audience – making sure that you’re taking the people that you want to speak to and not generalising at anyone that will listen.
- To educate customers – teaching your customers or potential customers about your business or industry.
- To increase sales in the long-term.
- To build a loyal customer base and create a brand that people will know, love and trust.
What do people know about your brand?
If you search Google or the search engines for you / your business, what do you find?
This can be a great exercise as you get to see what other people can find out about you.
Do you like what you find? Are you surprised by the results that you find?
By building on your content marketing, you can start to create a base and substance for what people are going to find when they do their due diligence and research your business. You can start to get control over the content people find about you. And the more good content you create, the more reputable your business will become.
Practice – Patience – Persistence
It can be easy to get worked up when you don’t get it right all the time but that’s just part of the process (and a part of life!). Not everyone is good at creating great content, but you will get better if you keep practicing, have patience and are persistent in your approach.
Results will happen when you have patience. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Don’t forget that if you really find that you’re not great after all at content marketing, there are people there ready to help. Outsourcing marketing is a common occurrence and just means that you’re looking after the interests of your business, focusing on what you do best and allowing an expert to take care of the other stuff.
Understand your business goals
Producing content for the sake of it will not get you anywhere fast, it will just increase stress, workload and worry about not producing results. Every piece of content should be created with a business goal in mind. Although this may seem a long process, for everything you produce, ensure that it aligns with a business goal and establish how it is going to benefit your long or short-term goals.
Consider your business goals, where do you ultimately want to get to, and think about how your content can contribute towards achieving them…
- Raising brand awareness
- Build an email list / customer base
- Provide a good customer journey and experience
- Upsell existing customers
- Help customers to be an advocate of your brand
Understand your mission and values
Just as you did with your business goals, each piece of content has got to be in line with your mission and values. There is absolutely no point in creating content that goes against what you believe, or doesn’t sit right with the people you want to reach, or even with the values that you promote. Your content needs to true to what your brand is about.
Consider your values or mission and how your content can contribute towards aligning with these:
- Who can you help the most with your content?
- What type of information can you provide?
- What is the desired outcome with the content that you’re producing?
What type of content can you use?
There are a wide range of resources that you can use to create your content marketing ideas, way to many to list but back to what we said at the beginning, all content must be educational or informational – not selling a product. Therefore the list can begin with:
- Books / ebooks
- Webpages / websites
- How to’s
And the list can go on. There is so much content that you create to build your brand, without directly selling.
But the question may come down to what you love to do, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile and sits right with you personally. Looking at the list about, what jumps out at you and makes you think “yes I can produce that”? These are the things you need to start with. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be true to your brand.
The more you start to think about writing or creating content that adds value rather than selling, the easier it will become. In all you do, the audience should feel like they’re receiving value, or being looked after.
Implementing the process
Once you’ve established what content marketing is how you can add value to your audience, it comes down to implementing it into your marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in today’s society in reaching a wide and engaging audience and is often the best way to market to your customers. Build your content ideas into your social media strategy, creating a solid foundation for your business to gain respect, become reputable and trusted within your chosen niche. The more solid and authentic your content is, the more people will become to trust you, in turn becoming loyal and valued customers.
As we mentioned before, great content can increase your brand awareness, it can help build an audience that is interested in what you are about and ultimately it can lead to long-term sales and business growth.
If you’d like to get started with content marketing but are still unsure of how to get off the ground, or would like to look at outsourcing, we’d love to chat with you. Contact us today – let’s talk marketing!
And in the meantime if you’re looking to create engaging content around some of the issues that are important to your audience, why not download our free 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – it’s always good to have new ideas to share!
We look forward to hearing from you.
When we think about promoting a business, we should consider every factor, and this includes actually telling people what we do!
Do we take for granted that people already know us? Do we assume that our audience already have a good perception of who we are and what we are capable of?
Never make assumptions!
When it comes to marketing, whether that be offline or digital marketing – spell out the message you’re intending to say and stick to your message and mission.
Start With The Basics
- Who are you and what is your business about?
- What do you offer – what services or products do you provide?
- How can people get in touch with you?
- Where can people find out more about you?
These are all questions that we need to start with when marketing a business. Make it easy for people to find out about your brand, your values, your products, your way of doing things. Your customers are your life line to success. Without them you won’t succeed!
Dig A Little Deeper
Now you’ve established your presence and people are starting to know more about you, it’s time to go deeper into what you can do for them.
Do your customers know that you can offer XYZ? Are they aware that you can solve X problem?
What is it that your audience is looking for, and how can you put across a message of hope and solution?
Take time to sit in your customer’s shoes for a moment, what would pull you towards your services and what would you be looking to get from it?
Think as a customer and write your marketing directly to them.
Embrace Your Strengths
Everyone has things they are better at and prefer doing over other tasks – embrace those strengths and allow your customers to get a glimpse or taste of those strengths. People buy from people or brands that they trust, by giving them a taster of something that you’re really passionate about, they can ‘try before they buy’.
Learn From Your Weaknesses
On the flip side of your strengths, everyone also has weaknesses. But this isn’t something that shall hold you back. We learn from mistakes, we learn from trial and error and the more we do something, the better we become.
Sometimes we need to step out of the comfort zone and give ourselves a challenge – as hard as that may be to do, it gives us courage, confidence and new strings to our bow. And this is applicable in marketing – social media is a life line for businesses to embrace and to use as best as possible to grow their brand. What could you do to step out of the box, out of your comfort zone and to build relationships with your audience?
For some people the thought of being on video terrifies them – but video is one of the best forms of social media marketing and it gives direct access for clients/customers to see behind the brand, who they’re dealing with and to learn more about a business. Have you tried it?
Create An Event
Another great way for your customers to get to know what you do is to create an event. This could be a physical ‘go to’ event, it could be a networking opportunity, it could be a webinar or even a podcast. But whatever it is, it’s something tangible for people to get to know you.
Again this may be stepping out of your comfort zone but does that matter if it means your business may grow, you’re raising your brand awareness and people are starting to like, know and trust you? It’s a step toward success. It’s a path to growing a business and it’s great for you personally as you get to meet new people and your reputation grows.
The main point is that it’s good to make clear what you do and what you can provide for your customers.
Get to know your ideal audience, get yourself well established within the right circles and the right networks, and become a person of interest in your local area. The more you get out there, the more your business will flourish.
If you’re looking to raise your profile and create a better awareness of your business, we can help! You don’t have to go it alone, and we’d love to chat with you if you’d like some direction in getting started or building on what you already are doing online. Get in touch today!
Are you struggling to get the attention that your website so deserves? Do you find it hard to drive traffic to your website or to work out why your audience is not visiting your site?
Introducing SEO (search engine optimisation). SEO is an extremely powerful tool that can help boost your site immensely when done correctly. As a small business owner, you may think that creating an SEO friendly website would cost a lot of money but actually there are tips you can do yourself if you’re not in a position to pay a professional that will enhance the productivity of your site, boost sales and of course, increase your brand awareness.
Check out our quick 5 SEO top tips to increase website traffic, ideal for small business owners …
Always start with the keyword research – there’s never any harm in doing it and you’re more likely to do good than harm by digging a little deeper. Try not to assume what your customers want, guessing doesn’t get you anywhere!…you need to understand them and get into their way of thinking. Google Keyword Planner is a great little tool to help you get started.
When you get into the swing of keywords you’ll use them in titles, throughout your pages and throughout your blog content.
Understand Your Competition
By understanding the competition you know what what’s going on around you, and you can use the same tactics and tricks that other people use to attract customers. You can stay up to date with trends and industry news, which you can then use on your own website, meaning that when people are searching the net for specific info or trends, your site will be ready and waiting.
See what is working for other brands and create relative content that reflects what people are buying into. If it ‘s working for someone else, there’s nothing stopping it working for you if you put in the effort too.
Optimise Your Website
Everyone nowadays is on a mobile device and your website should be accommodating this at all times. Did you know that Google can penalise you for not having a mobile-friendly site? That’s right, in order to rank well with Google it measures organic content, mobile experience and page speed. Therefore it’s worth doing a regular run through of your site to ensure that it’s completely mobile friendly and it doesn’t have any glitches or broken pages. Google Analytics is pretty good at picking up specifics that need fixing so if you’re able to get started with analytics, we recommend you do so.
Post Regular Content
Keep your site up to date with regular updates coming through. If you have the time to blog then this is a great way to create regular, relevant content, suitable for your audience. However, not everyone has the time to start a blog, or the skills to write good content, so why not start off with publishing your own ideas or take some snaps, it doesn’t have to be text format for content refreshment. For example, you could post images that tell the story of recent projects. You could upload transcripts of happenings, or quick videos of behind the scenes. They key is not what you post but keeping it consistent.
Grow Your Social Media Network
As you explore other areas of networking your presence becomes wider and people start to recognise you. Expose your business to a variety of avenues online through social media groups, communities discussions and much more. The more you get your name out there the bigger the exposure for your business, raising your brand awareness. You don’t need to be hard selling all the time, but provide value, expertise and advice. Become an expert in your industry, get talking with people and from here you can introduce them to what you have to offer – and in turn directing them to your website.
Word of mouth is a powerful form of marketing and this is prevalent in social media making it easier for people to recommend your services or direct people to your website.
Add social media links to your website too, not only does it give more authority to Google and show more organic content, it allows any visitors that stumble on your website to find out more about you via your social channels.
Many people want to get to know more about you before they buy so by building up relationships they learn to trust you and your brand.
Wherever you are in your business journey, ensuring your website is as SEO friendly as possible will have positive effects on your online presence. Optimise and do as much as you can to give your ideal customer the experience they’re looking for.
If you’d like to talk to someone about creating credible SEO friendly copy on your website or just an expert opinion, get in touch, we’d love to help.