I’ve been blogging for 12 years, and I will tell you that it’s no small thing to build a brand online using content. To develop a blog, you need to define the purpose for your blog, a specific target audience, an engaging content strategy, and build up a significant following in social media, if you want to monetize your blog.
Your website is the first step in the critical task of building an online presence for your business. But it is consistent content that will bring people back to your website day after day to engage with your brand. Today kicks off Part I of a three-part series on Blogging for Small Business. Effective online marketing is about engaging customers where they are online, in the right way at the right time, and most importantly, with content that solves a problem and demonstrates your expertise. Today’s focus is on developing a content strategy.
For small businesses, the Internet is the great equalizer. As long as you are positioned as a problem solver or an expert, many customers will focus on how fast you can provide them a solution and not how big you are. Because of the amount of data we can now access about our target markets, things like brand messaging, content, products, and pricing can be customized. No matter the age, gender, education, or income level of your target customer, they are online, and often using a mobile device to search for content.
Social Media Marketing
Social media sites give you a chance to join the conversation online about your industry or subject area. You meet customers online by adding value to the conversation with your content.
Social media facilitates richer, more meaningful customer connections. When done well, your consumers will find you and become ambassadors of your products and services. The face of social media marketing is changing constantly. Current top social media sites include Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, but there are many other options in the social media landscape.
You can also hire a tech-savvy virtual assistant or a social media strategist to teach you how to leverage social media sites, but developing content is where you need to spend time first. We tend to think of content in terms of blogs or written words. Writing how-to articles, checklists and informative blog posts are certainly an avenue to pursue, but it’s really hard work to do it consistently. I recently wrote a blog post about how to develop content if you hate writing, it will give ideas of what kinds of alternative content you can create to build a brand.
Types of Content
To develop a content strategy, think about producing great content. Great content starts with understanding your customer’s pain. You should make a list of all the things your customers struggle within their business or personal life. In other words, why do they need your product or service? Once you have your list, that is your starting place. Now you must remember that some people like to read, others like to watch and some like to listen, so content can be in many formats. NO matter what you post, you’ll need custom graphics or artwork with it.
Here are 12 potential forms of content.
- How-to Videos
- Podcasts (audio interviews)
- Product Pictures
- Facebook Live Videos
- Behind the Scene Photos
- Product Reviews
- QA interviews
- Book Recommendations
Regardless of the type of content you produce, there are a few things to keep in mind, always be brief, less is more. People have short attention spans, so be concise, hit it and quit it. No one wants to be sold to, educate instead. Your audience is all about “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me. It’s not about you or your business, it’s about them. Help them, teach them, entertain them, highlight them, that’s how you build loyal blog visitors.
How to Develop Your Blog Content
Before you start blogging, develop an archive of content to get started so blogging will not be stressful for you. I suggest developing at least 20 articles, podcasts, or interviews. Professional blogs are updated at least 3 times a week. Develop a publishing schedule for your blog and stick to it. For the last 10 years, I’ve published content every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 5:30 am ET. Building a consistent routine will help your readers know when to expect new content from you, it will also help you build your organic search rankings in Google and Bing.
There are firms you can use to develop content for you, but you must consider whether generic content written by someone who doesn’t know your audience is really going to serve your audience. I suggest that you outsource the social media push out of your content, not the content itself unless it’s to another industry expert.
No matter what kind of business you have, you can benefit from blogging, it’s just about finding the right content strategy that feels natural to you. Next week we’ll talk about How to Promote Your Small Business Blog.
Please let me know your content suggestions.
The post Blogging for Small Business Part I – How to Develop a Content Strategy appeared first on Succeed As Your Own Boss.