"Help! I've got nothing to say..."
In today’s digitally-focused world, there’s a certain amount of pressure for every organisation to have something to say. As business use of content spreads, more and more companies are acting as publishers – delivering their own content to demonstrate their value, and discovering a valuable marketing tool in the process.
However, for every company using content to increase its profile and attract new business, there are many others yet to do so. Often this is down to a misunderstanding – that such content can only come from businesses that are inherently ‘interesting’. These companies think they must have something brand new or extraordinarily useful to share first, or that because they make plastic bottles, or lawnmowers, or software, their business is of limited interest.
But they’re slightly missing the point. Now that any business can publish its own content, there's room for everyone to share their knowledge and expertise directly with their audience. Content doesn’t have to be groundbreaking to be useful or interesting.
The plastic bottle factory, for example, might add some human interest by introducing the team behind its products, or show how it is making bottles stronger or easier to recycle. The lawnmower maker might provide a series of tips on how to store a machine when it is not being used, or the best way to cut the grass. And a software company could use videos to show the latest ways customers are using its products.
While none of these are headline news, they’re still subjects that customers – and potential customers – may find interesting. And they demonstrate that often the first step to publishing your own content is coming up with ideas. If you’re struggling, here are a few tips:
- Think about the questions your customers regularly ask, as these can provide a great source of useful content. If your existing customers ask a question, your future customers will probably want to know the same thing. It’s easy to turn these questions into a series of blog posts, or add an FAQs section to your website, or even film one of your team members answering each question
- Go 'behind the scenes' of your business. Add some personality to your company by sharing interviews with your team members, documenting milestones - such as how many years you've been in business - or even putting together a photo book of an office move or new product launch
- Interview an industry leader. Is there anyone in your sector whose views might be useful to your clients? If so, could you arrange a short interview for your blog or newsletter and share their expertise? Many people are happy to contribute in this way, especially if will help to boost their own profile
- Have you given any recent industry presentations? If so, could you turn the content into an article for a local business magazine, or a white paper that you share with prospective clients?
- What are the trends in your industry? Anything that affects clients and their businesses is likely to be interesting for your audience, particularly if you also show how you can provide solutions. When looking at trends, it’s a good idea to suggest ways of exploiting those trends, or explain how to deal with the impact they may have on a business. You could also offer a free consultation to discuss the issue and position your business as an expert voice
- Has anything newsworthy happened in your sector recently? If so, is there an opportunity to respond, either by highlighting the news in a blog post and giving your opinion, or by putting together a short summary, with recommendations for clients, and sharing it over email?
- If you're already producing any kind of content, you might also benefit from a simple social media presence. You don't have to sign up to every platform out there, but if you choose one or two which help you to reach your target customers directly, you can use this as a way to drive people to the latest content you create and highlight your expertise to prospective customers
Whatever approach you take, the key is to think about how you can demonstrate value for your audience. In plain terms, this means creating something – recommendations, information or news - they can use in their own lives.
Ultimately, there are huge opportunities for any business to market itself by creating content that demonstrates knowledge and expertise. So, take that first step and try something out today. You might be surprised how many people think you do have something to say…
If you’d like to discuss how your business can deliver more valuable content, contact us now for a free consultation