248207022742057
Fresh Content Marketing Ideas for your Small Business

Fresh Content Marketing Ideas for your Small Business

In recent years, the marketing industry has changed dramatically. Consumers are getting smart. Now that there’s so much choice available to us, businesses have to try hard to grab the attention of prospective clients. Businesses are being forced to up their game if they want to be successful. To give prospective clients want they want, the world of content marketing was born.

What is content marketing?

A form of marketing focusing on creating online material which adds value to prospective client’s lives. It doesn’t explicitly promote the business but stimulates interest in it.

Simple enough, right? Content marketing shows prospective clients you care. And it certainly works. 70% of people would rather learn about a company through an article rather than an advert.

To get you started, here are some fun and fresh content marketing ideas. We’ve divided them into two sections – informative posts to do with your industry and posts specific to your business. Enjoy!

Informative content

Let’s start with informative content. What information would your prospective clients find valuable? Which platform is the best way to share it? Have a think about the expertise you can bring to the table and look through our fresh and exciting content ideas.

Bust industry-related myths

Are there any myths in your industry that you can put right? Make a list and start forming them into regular social media updates. Not only is myth-busting informative, but it’s a bit of fun as well! It shows that you’re an expert in your field as you can look beyond widely-held opinions and cut to the truth!

As an example, look at dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto’s Instagram account. She posts regular updates putting skincare fads under the microscope. Her posts are hugely popular. She offers a truthful perspective on her field which makes for memorable content.

If you’re a dietician, what foods do we think are good for us, but really we’ve got wrong? Or any dentists out there, what’s a major mistake we’re all making with our teeth? Grab prospective client’s attention with your expertise!

Content marketing mindmap

Start a podcast

If you have a younger client base, then this one’s for you. Podcast listening numbers keep rising year on year. In fact, 21% of 25-34 year olds listen to podcasts weekly. It could be your podcast that they’re listening to next!

All you need to do is find your niche. Think of topics you could speak about at length. Is there a theme between them? Here are some podcast format ideas to inspire you;

  • Telling stories and exploring case studies.
  • How-to guides.
  • Ask-in shows where listeners ask questions for you to answer ahead of time.

Starting a podcast is a brilliant way for you to network as well. You could invite on other industry experts, interview them, and pull together your knowledge.

Podcast microphone in front of a computer

Upload holiday-based social media updates

As a way of making posts feel up-to-date, try uploading holiday-related content.

Would you like an example?

Last month, Sole Source Digital shared an Instagram post about Leave the Office Early Day. It was a topical post and meant we could use the related hashtag. So, more people found our content. It also encouraged followers to engage and tell us what they did with the rest of their day. This sort of content marketing helps you win on all sides! It’s informative, a bit of fun, and increases your reach. Remember, holiday-related content doesn’t have to stay on social media. Blog posts, YouTube videos, and email newsletters can all use holidays as a prompt.

To help you out, Sole Source has created a July Content Calendar which you can download here for free. If you’d like next month’s calendar sent straight into your inbox, sign up for Sole Source’s newsletter! Scroll to the bottom of our homepage and type in your name and email address.

 

Content related to your business

Content marketing also includes information about your business. Remember, you should try and keep this content to a minimum. You don’t want to appear like you’re going for the hard-sell. Instead, make sure that any business-related uploads are as valuable to the client as possible. Here are some ideas.

A question of the week

Choose from the FAQs on your website and do weekly posts on them!

FAQ pages are usually the most boring on a business’ site. So, find a way to make them fun and informative. You could even turn FAQs into infographics so they’re easier to understand. Sites such as Piktochart can give you a hand making them.

This sort of content is useful to prospective clients, but also shows you’re in touch with them. You know what they need the answers to! It also demonstrations that you’re completely transparent with the way you run your company. No skeletons in the closet here. You only want what’s best for your clients.

Answering questions

Highlight a client

Do you have a special client who you’ve interacted with for a while? Use them in a campaign!

On Instagram, photos with faces perform 40% better than those without. And this trend follows in other forms of media. We find it easier to relate to content when we can see people in it. Try using Instagram stories to share photos of favourite clients. Or, you could interview someone for a blog post, asking them what your business means to them. Remember, include personal details rather than just their relation to your business. A brilliant personality or memorable life story is likely to pull prospective clients in!

This content works best if the person you feature is similar to your average client. It helps make your branding clearer by showing the sort of people who love your company.

Business highlighting their client

Report back on a Facebook poll

This sort of post helps your content come full circle.

Take a look at our blog article discussing the importance of polls for understanding your client base. As we said in the article, it’s all very well asking for people’s opinions, but you need to act on the results. A brilliant way to do this is by reporting them!

Tell clients what they voted for and how you’ll implement the findings. Some of your data might be truly insightful. Make an eye-catching graph to present it.

Don’t be afraid to reuse good content. For example, if you do create a graph to show the results, share it across your platforms. You could record a YouTube video to explain it visually and a write blog post for those who prefer to read. Graphs make brilliant, informative Instagram uploads and would be a great addition to your LinkedIn profile.

Show your clients that you take their opinions seriously!

Report on poll for content marketing

Finally, here are some quick-fire content marketing pointers to leave you with;

  • Keep your content consistent. It shows you’re active and you mean business.
  • Create different sorts of content so there’s something for everyone.
  • Content marketing is a great excuse for you to learn new skills too. So, enjoy experimenting with different forms of media and advancing your own knowledge.

Let us know where your new content marketing strategies take you!

If you’d like any more information on Sole Source Digital, take a look at the rest of our website. We are a social media management company who specialise in giving small businesses the start they deserve! Send us an email on hello@solesourcedigital.com if you have an enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you!

Credit for Jessica Slater, Copywriting Intern

 

 

 

 

How to Create a Winning Content Strategy for your Small Business

How to Create a Winning Content Strategy for your Small Business

You have a brilliant business plan and dedicated clients on board who support you. But, how are you meant to boost the reach of your business beyond your initial client base? We have the answer for you. It’s content creation!

Creating content is a fun and rewarding way to increase your business’ reach. It helps validate you as a reliable source of information, one which prospective clients are more likely to buy from. It’s definitely worth your dedication!

Content strategies help you organise and optimise the content you produce. So, we can’t understand why 63% of businesses don’t have one. If you’re included in that statistic, this is the article for you!

Read on and we will explain exactly what a content strategy is and how to implement one perfect for your business.

Enjoy!

First of all, what is a content strategy?

As a small business owner, creating online content is a brilliant way to attract prospective clients. Your content could include;

  • Educative blog articles on subjects associated with your business.
  • Tips and tricks shared through social media posts.
  • Email newsletters keeping clients up to date on information to do with your company.

Offering up resources for free boosts the credibility of your business. It shows that you’re an expert in your field and that you want the best for your customer. If prospective clients see you as a reliable resource, they trust in you as a business owner and are more likely to use your service.

Creating content might sound like a lot of work. But, that’s where your content strategy comes in.

Content strategies help you organise the content you put out online. They span different platforms and give you a week by week plan of what to upload. Content strategies make your life easier as well as optimising what you upload, week on week.

Content strategy meeting

Brainstorm content ideas

Next, have a think about what content makes sense for your business. It’s a good idea to work in a team for this step. Bounce ideas off each other and see what you come up with!

Whilst brainstorming, ask yourself the following questions;

  • How can I be helpful to prospective clients?
  • What content will my clients want to see?
  • What draws clients to your business? Is there one, particular reason?
  • How can I make the most of my expertise to attract new clients?

Remember, your content doesn’t need to shout about your business in every paragraph. Putting content online is all about attracting prospective clients to your website or online profile. For example, if someone is looking for advice on social media management, they might search google with a query and end up here! Indirectly, we’ve lead people (or you in fact) to our website. You can do the same with your prospective clients!

You also need to consider what sort of media suits the content ideas you have. Blogs, videos, Q&As, image posts, quizzes – you have plenty of options to go at! Here’s a useful statistic for you. Nearly 6 million adults in the UK listen to a podcast every week. New media is worth thinking about. Get creative!

Now you’ve got some ideas together, it’s time to build them into a strategy.

Team brainstorming content strategy ideas

Your weekly view – investigate the best times to upload

The first step of your content strategy should be making a weekly plan. Organise your plan by day and by platform. For example, which days will you upload to Instagram? When will your blog post go up? Planning routine upload times makes it easier to stay organised.

It’s a good idea to calculate when is best to upload to different platforms. Take a look at this Sprout Social article. They compiled data from their 250,000 customers to work out when the highest engagement rates are on social media networks. From their data, we can see that around 10 am is the best time for engagement on Facebook. Whereas Twitter saw a spike at 9 am. Work these statistics into your strategy so that your content has the best reach possible.

Also, consider your clients specifically. If your business caters for young professionals, uploading content early, to catch them on their way to work, might be useful. Alternatively, if your primary clients are students, later on in the day might work better. Experiment with times and take note of when you’re getting the best engagement rates. Your strategies should be constantly changing and improving. So, don’t be afraid to stray from suggested upload times if you find they are working for your business.

Weekly plan for content strategy

Consider the differences between social platforms

When creating your content plan, consider which social platforms suit your content best.

We compared Instagram and Facebook in a previous Sole Source article. In general, it concluded that Instagram is better for engagement but certain demographics are higher on Facebook. Take a look at the article for more detail. It’s worth investigating platform trends before creating content for them.

The type of content you want to produce may also dictate which sites you use. For example, image-based content works better on Instagram as it’s a more visual platform. If you want to share links such as blog posts, Facebook is best as links are easy to share through status updates. There are many video upload options on Instagram. Though, Facebook is becoming increasingly popular for video sharing. How do your content ideas fit around the pros and cons of each platform?

However, don’t be afraid of repeating select parts of your content. Remind your followers of your most recent blog post in case someone missed it the first time! Repost a high-performing Instagram picture on Facebook to encourage people to follow you on both sites. See what works for you on your platforms and alter your content plan accordingly.

Choosing suitable platforms for content

Scheduling tools make content easier to organise

As soon as you have a plan, start scheduling your content!

Scheduling is easy with sites such as Later and Tailwind. Some platforms even have scheduling tools built into their software. This means that you can create your content ahead of time and the site will auto-upload it whenever you want it to.

Set time aside each week to sit down and take a look at your content plan. Write out all your Facebook updates at the same time. Have your Instagram posts ready to go! Have you completed your weekly blog post? Schedule that to upload at the optimal time you have decided on.

Once you have your content sorted, you can spend more time engaging with your audience! Talking to prospective clients about your content should be a key part of your content strategy. Reply to their comments. Be personal with them! Add even more custom value to their experience with your business.

Use analytics to keep track of which content is working

Most importantly, keep track of how popular your content is! Part of your content strategy is your weekly plan. But, make sure you’re thinking long term as well. Each month, it’s worth reevaluating and altering where you see fit.

Check out how much engagement your posts receive with analytics tools. If some are doing better than others, adjust your strategy to give prospective clients more of what they love. Being mindful of successful content is sure to improve the quality of what you’re putting out.

Additionally, make sure to note down trends. Some content might boost your follower count. Other posts might result in more website clicks. Keep track of these changes so that if you wish to replicate them in the future, you know how!

And that’s a winning content strategy! Just remember, content creation is a major way to drive traffic towards your business. Adapt your strategy as you go, experiment, and achieve success.

If you would like further information on content strategy, contact us today! Sole Source Digital is a Social Media Consultancy business. We specialise in boosting small businesses with brilliant social media plans and content strategies to give them the success they deserve.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

How to Optimise the Appearance of your Business’ Instagram Profile

How to Optimise the Appearance of your Business’ Instagram Profile

No-one carries business cards anymore, and that’s down to one simple thing. Our real business cards are available to view online, from anywhere, and at any time. Yes, that’s right – our Instagram profiles!

Our online profiles have become the primary way we present ourselves to the world. They are easily accessible and should tell a prospective client everything they need to know about your business. Your Instagram profile is a brilliant place to cultivate your brand. Take the opportunity to show the world exactly what your business is about!

Nowadays, users spend an average of 53 minutes a day on Instagram. This is a huge chunk of time! And, considering that over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business account daily, they’re worth getting right.

Read this article and learn how to optimise Business’ Instagram Profile so it makes the best impression on prospective clients. By the time you’ve finished with it, your account will look professional and slick!

Let’s get started!

Convert your profile to an Instagram Business Profile

Before we get down to it, check that your profile is set to an Instagram Business profile. This is simple to do, free of charge, and means you get access to some special features. Follow this link for a step-by-step guide explaining how to convert your profile. But don’t worry, it’s super easy!

What are the benefits of having an Instagram Business profile? Firstly, you’ll be able to view your Insights. They give you access to information on how well your profile is performing. This includes;

  • The number of times each of your posts were seen.
  • How many times each of your posts were engaged with.
  • The number of profile visits you gained in the past week.
  • Once you have 100 followers, you will also be given information on your follower demographics.

Now you have access to all this data, you can understand which content is working with your following. This will help you out when it comes to content creation, which we will speak more about further on in this article.

Having an Instagram Business profile also means you can set up action buttons. For example, on Sole Source Digital’s Instagram, we provide the option to ‘Book’, ‘Call’, or ‘Email’. This makes it so easy for prospective clients to engage with your profile.

Convert your profile today. It’s invaluable!

Sole Source Digital's Instagram profile

Selecting your profile picture

Next, onto your profile picture. The little circle next to your name is the first thing prospective clients will look at. You need to make sure it’s a brilliant representation of your business.

You have a few options here. If your company has a logo, that’s a brilliant place to start. It will make people aware of your branding, so they can recognise the trademarks of your business. Logos also look very professional. So, they’re sure to validate your business’ reliability.

Alternatively, a photograph of the business owner (you!) is a lovely way to appear more personable. This is especially effective if you are a smaller company. Seeing a picture of person reminds clients that your service has a personal touch to it. You’re not a big corporation, but a human-led business! More than anything, a picture of yourself makes your business more approachable.

Whichever you go for, make sure the image is clear and eye-catching.

Person taking a photo for their Instagram profile

Writing your bio

Once a client has been drawn in by your profile picture, they’ll be taking a look at your bio. You need to make sure it’s short and snappy but contains all the relevant information a client needs to know. You only have 150 characters, so make every one of them count!

Below, we’ve listed some of those key bits of information you should be including in your bio.

  • The benefits of following your account! It can be tempting to only write what sort of business you are. But really, this should be obvious from the content you upload. Instead, it’s more effective to tell prospective clients what they’ll get out of interacting with your business.
  • Include a call to action in your bio. This could be anything from ‘check out our website’ to ‘give us a follow.’ Be direct and get user’s attention!
  • Create a hashtag for your business so clients can tag you in related content they upload. Hashtags unify your branding, creating an atmosphere around your business. They encourage clients to get involved and be part of your exciting company.
  • Include your location if clients need to know where you are to use your service.
  • Create a Linktree. This means you can include multiple important links in your bio, rather than just one. For example, your Linktree could include your website, Facebook page, blog and online booking system. They are easy to set up and ensure that your Instagram acts as a portal to all your other online platforms.

Just remember – make sure your bio has some personality! It may only be 150 characters, but you can say a lot with the right choice of words.

Person writing a bio for their Instagram profile

Creating Story Highlights

Next up, we have Story Highlights.

Story Highlights are one of Instagram’s newer features. They’re always visible at the top of your profile and give an overview of what your business is about. They’re made up of selected Instagram Stories that you can store together in groups. For example, on Sole Source’s Instagram page, we have Highlights for BTS footage, shoots, and one for further information on the services we offer.

What do you notice about these categories? Some are formal, and others informal. As they are Stories, it’s brilliant if some of your Highlights have a behind-the-scenes feel. It’s your chance to show that there are real people behind your business. Equally, we also included our more serious ‘services’ category. Here, clients have access to straight forward information about our business.

Also, notice that we created thumbnail images for each Highlight to make them look slick. These are really easy to make on sites like Canva. They could feature text or a little illustration, whatever suits your brand best. Again, this is all about making your profile as clean and easy to understand as possible. The message should be clear – you mean business!

We spoke about Highlights in our Instagram Video Marketing article. So, go and take a look if you’d like any further information.

Person taking a video to add to the Story Highlights on their Instagram Profile.

Optimising your content

Finally, your content needs to look clean for anyone finding your account for the first time.

When we stumble upon new Instagram profiles, we don’t normally click on individual images. More likely, a user will quickly scroll up and down, getting an overview of the content. So, make sure your images work well together, as well as standing alone beautifully.

A brilliant way to do this is by planning out your content. This means coming up with a well-thought-out order that you post pictures in. For example, you could alternate between image and text-based uploads. Small changes such as this stop your feed from being overwhelming to look at. It’s important to strike the right balance and work out what looks best.

Also, take a look at your content from an outsider’s perspective. Do your six, most recent uploads sum up what your business is all about? Are you happy with those images representing you and your company? It’s important to ask yourself these questions every time you upload so that you maintain a high-quality feed.

Tune back in next week as we will be giving you a whole article devoted to content planning!

That’s it. Our guide to optimising your Instagram Profile has come to an end! Enjoy making the most out of your online presence.

If you would like any further guidance, why not book our one-on-one Instagram Consultation Call? Or, if you have any questions for us, just shoot an email our way at hello@solesourcedigital.com. We’re here for all your social media management queries, so get in contact today!

 

Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses in 2019

Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses in 2019

A recent study revealed that businesses with an active blog receive 97% more links to their website than those without one. This statistic is incredible! A blog is proven to drive traffic to your website and spread the word about your up-and-coming business.

Writing a blog needn’t be strenuous. It takes only a few hours a week and is most likely free if your business already has a website. Choosing something to write about shouldn’t be difficult either – the fact you own a business shows you have an area of expertise. If you can become a reliable source of advice, you’ll get prospective clients visiting your website again and again.

With all this in mind, let’s look at the benefits of starting up your business’ blog in a little more detail.

Major Boost to SEO

Ensuring your website appears higher in search engine results means more people are able to find your business. The process of improving your rank is called Search Engine Optimisation. Creating content with SEO methods in mind is essential to broaden your website’s reach. Some of these methods include;

  • Regularly uploading new content.
  • Including keywords that are often searched for, especially in page titles.
  • Linking to other reliable websites.

Simple, hey? Search engines keep a look out for these qualities and if a website fulfils them, the site is marked as more relevant, and achieves a higher position.

Blogging is such a simple way for your business to fulfil these criteria. Compiling a list of keywords related to your company is a great place to start. Which search-words might lead a prospective client to your website? There will be dozens of them! You can build regular blog posts around these topics, demonstrating to search engines that your website is relevant.

After you adopt some of these SEO strategies, prospective clients no longer need to be led directly to your page. With the help of Google and some of your useful blog articles, the clients will be finding you.

Content for Other Platforms

Regular social media posts prove that your business is active and engaged with its audience. Articles from your blog make for brilliant, shareable content. The caption can even be an excerpt from the blog itself; why not pick out an especially effective passage to encourage people to follow the link. It couldn’t be simpler for you to bag one of your weekly social media updates.

Further to that, blogging makes it easy for clients to do some of the leg work for you! Links to articles are easy for them to share, especially through sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

A snappy article headline can make someone jump from being a social media follower to an active user of your website.

Compiling a Mailing List

Regular blog updates make great content for email newsletters – what better way of meaningfully landing in your client’s inbox?

Website building platforms such as Squarespace and Wix include email marketing tools within their software. Mailchimp is another great platform to experiment with which specialises in email campaigns.

Skill Development

Aside from strengthening your business, writing a blog helps you build upon some of your key skills.

Writing weekly articles encourages you develop a routine – which part of your week would you put towards sitting down to update your blog? Following through on self-implemented deadlines is a brilliant discipline to practice. Even having the opportunity to write and develop your writing style is a rarity nowadays. The more you write, the easier words will come. This will make other writing tasks, such as updating copy on your website, come more naturally to you. Blogging also helps you develop skills in editing, proofing and being critical with your own work. The benefits are endless.

Brand Building

There are few opportunities for you to sit down, take a moment, and collect your thoughts on your business, but blogging gives you this chance. Who are you and what is your business all about? This is something you can play with in your writing, honing down exactly what sort of personality your company has.

It also gives you the opportunity to show there is a real person behind the website, helping you build up trust with a prospective client. If you want to keep the main blog content informative, the comments section allows you to get personal and perhaps more informal. Responding to comments gives you the opportunity to engage directly with customers and build relationships with them. From customer’s comments, you might even learn more about what they want from your service. Starting that conversation is key to a growing business.

The benefits of blogging are difficult to look past, so what are you waiting for? If you would like any further information from us, or would like to know about the blogging services we provide, then take a look at our ‘Services’ page. Alternatively, email us at hello@solesourcedigital.com.

Want to grow your small business faster? We will deliver actionable tips to your inbox to show you how to get the most of your social media, email and content marketing.

Thank you. You have been subscribed successfully.