Your digital footprint and online presence is only as good as the content you are publishing! That might seem like an extreme statement but it is simply the truth. The best way we can explain this is, imagine you are at a braai (or BBQ for our international readers) you start talking to someone at this festive function for the first time. Initially for the first 2 minutes it’s interesting and you ask the usual questions, “How do you know Peter?” etc… and then it turns dull, there’s an awkward silence…
I think we can all agree, it is unlikely you’ll have fond memories of that conversation. Keep this example in mind when you think of the term “Content.”
Content refers specifically, in this case, to what you are saying, posting, tweeting, blogging, mailing to your followers and readers. It is pertinent to your social media accounts, website and any other digital avenues you are currently using to interact and engage with both existing clients or customers and also potential customers or simply just your followers and admirers.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to your content is, it’s not for you. Of course you want to be able to make it clear why your business is the best but if you think back to our earlier example, would you like to talk to someone that is only interested in telling you why they are so awesome or someone who won’t let you get a word in edge ways? We don’t think so. This is a point to keep in mind, we find that conversing and engaging with people is better than having a monologue. When you listen you learn. It is imperative you learn as much about your customers as possible so you can better create interesting content for them.
The first point to consider is your “Customer profiles.” Customer profiles are profiles that you make to better understand groups of your clients based on their demographics. It shouldn’t be literal personal profiles of every customer your business has ever had, break your clientele into groups but remember that even though you’ll be placing them in groups, you will still be dealing with individuals and they deserve to be treated as individuals. Consider the type of person or demographics your business or products are aimed at? In order to better decipher this ask yourself these questions,
- Who is my customer/clientele?
- What do they want to know?
- What do they care/not care about?
You don’t have to guess this. You can initiate surveys, use your demographic metrics and monitor your online and digital traffic to answer these questions accurately.
Some of the things we’ve learnt in our time so far of things to consider when generating content is that formulating content is very tricky sometimes and everyone has had a bout of “writers block” or “blinkers.” Some other things to consider when developing content are:
Consistency – your content must be consistent with your brand values, it must be published consistently and it should aim to be consistently interesting.
Numbers matter – part of content generation is to increase your engagement rates and following so the more people see your content the more chance you have of reaching new people and therefore new clients.
Paternal content protection syndrome -Try to avoid this syndrome. It is normal but best to avoid it. It is when the person who has developed the content gets “blinkers” and refuses to admit that the content is either not working or is unsuitable for your target audience. The best way to combat this is to find someone who you trust to be honest with you about your content and listen to their feedback. We have all been in a situation where our content just hasn’t worked. It’s a bitter pill to swallow it but it will do wonders for your content confidence down the line.
SME’s can’t be content kings – there is this myth that you need a massive team with an even more massive stack of money to be a good content generator. THIS IS NOT TRUE. All you need is to be attentive to your customer profiles, creative with your content and have a steadfast content strategy and you can succeed at delivering top class content.
Once you have a good idea of who your customers are and what it is that interests them most about your business consider your content strategy. Although your strategy must be malleable it must be consistent and once you start posting great content, you can’t stop. The reason is, if you stop, your viewer confidence takes a knock. 5 points you can consider when developing your strategy are:
- Analyse, your budget, resources, the team you’d like to generate content and who will manage it for you.
- Collect, customer profiles, big data and research information.
- Manage, all your content components, content forecasts, and especially your content standards.
- Content Audit, this is quality control of your content before publishing and also to get rid of any content that will not be used or is deemed unsuitable.
- Publish, which platforms will be used, how frequently and your publishing timetable should be considered.
This may all seem slightly overwhelming but remember, your content strategy should be for a period of at least 6 months or better still 12 months. Break it up as much is needed and give your team the ability to have some space and time to be creative.
Most of all, don’t be a robot. Make your content fun, tell a story and be as creative as you want. Put your personalities into it and have a blast.
We’d love to hear about your content strategies and what your experiences with content generation have been. You can contact us here or on our various social media platforms listed below: