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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

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Using LinkedIn for Personal Brand Building

Benefits of Using LinkedIn for Personal Brand Building

LinkedIn is growing, and fast. Two professionals join every second. Two million posts, articles and videos are published on LinkedIn every day. These statistics are mind-blowing!

So, you need to get yourself out there! If someone’s searching for you on LinkedIn, you know they’re already interested. Prove to them that they’re right to look you up! LinkedIn can also be used to help new people find you. You want them to get to know the very best version of yourself.

In this article, we show you how to use LinkedIn to promote your personal brand. We go through everything from profile pictures to LinkedIn publishing. Read on for our definitive guide to LinkedIn personal branding!

Your profile’s first impression

Let’s take a look at your LinkedIn profile with fresh eyes. What first impression does it give off? And, how does it align with your personal brand?

Profile picture

First of all, we need to put a face to your name.

Your photograph helps set the tone of your profile. So, make it clear, professional, and friendly. Wear whatever you’d wear to work and remember to smile. This is your first opportunity to present your personal brand to LinkedIn members. Choose a photo that makes sense for who you are.

In an article posted to the LinkedIn blog, one of their employees tested out a range of profile pictures. They found that different photos changed how their profile was perceived. It’s a light-hearted article, but demonstrates just how important first impressions are! Take a look at to see how changes to lighting, facial expressions, and background alter how the subject came across.

To make things easy, there are tools you can use to analyse your picture for you. Try this one by Snappr. It gives your photo a score out of 100 and suggests ways to improve.

Background image

Your background image begins as a blue, patterned band across the top of your profile. You may not have thought much about this space. In fact, did you even know that you can change it?

A lot of LinkedIn users leave it as it is. But, they’re missing an opportunity to show some initiative! By adding your own photo, your profile becomes much more engaging to look at.

So, what are your options?

Firstly, you could use your business’ logo. This is exactly what Tobi, Sole Source’s creator, has done. This option aligns you with your brand and reminds users you have a business to your name.

Or, if you don’t have a logo, use an image that sums up who you are. Do you have a brilliant photo you took to promote your business? Use it!

URL

One last step to optimise the appearance of your profile – clean up your URL.

When you first create a LinkedIn profile, your URL is made up of your name plus a combination of random numbers. LinkedIn gives you the option to edit the last part your address to whatever you want. This means that when you link to your profile from other sites, your web address looks clean and professional. Changing your URL will also improve your profile’s rank on search engines. So, if someone searches for your name, your LinkedIn profile is more likely to come at the top.

You can change your URL to 5-30 letters or numbers. As well as your name, you could also include something to do with your brand such as your business’ name.

Follow these simple steps provided by LinkedIn’s help centre to make the change. It will take you less than two minutes!

Tobi Oduola's LinkedIn Profile which promotes her personal brand

A closer look at the details

After optimising the appearance of your profile, you need to consider how well it reads.

Up to date information

Firstly, ensure your information is up to date, especially your job title and location. These are visible as soon as someone clicks on your profile. Keeping on top of the details shows that you are organised and in control.

Just think about why someone might be looking at your LinkedIn. They’re interested in you! Show them that you are worth investigating!

Summary Section

Once someone has looked over your profile, they’ll want some extra details. This is where your summary section comes in.

Give the internet a summary of who you are, what your experience is, and what you hope for the future. In essence, this is your personal brand’s manifesto. It might feel strange writing at length about yourself. But, many influential sites, including LinkedIn’s own blog, suggest your summary section should be around 300 words.

The tone should be professional, but conversational. Try to write as you’d speak about yourself. There’s no need for jargon here. Simple introductions are always the best.

Phone screen displaying LinkedIn, a great site for promoting your personal brand

Publish articles using LinkedIn

You may have read our article last week about creating content strategies. We spoke about the importance of giving clients free content. It helps to draw them towards your business and build their trust, showing you’re there to help. Well, publishing on LinkedIn works very similarly.

LinkedIn allows you to publish original articles that are displayed in the ‘Articles’ section of your profile. LinkedIn then shares the pieces with your connections via their news feed.

Much like content marketing, LinkedIn publishing shows you have an area of expertise that you’re confident to talk about. In fact, you’re willing to share your knowledge with other members of your community to help them out too!

So, start thinking of topics you could write on. Perhaps, some knowledge associated with the service you provide? Or, what about articles discussing what it’s like to start a small business? A lot of successful content on LinkedIn talks about difficult career journeys which in the end, lead to success. Don’t be afraid to get personal! Whatever you write on will also help steer your personal brand. What do you want to be associated with?

It’s simple to upload. Follow this guide by LinkedIn and soon, you’ll be a published author!

Someone writing an article to help create their personal brand

Connect with others and engage

Sometimes we forget – LinkedIn is a social media network. So, make the connections you know will be beneficial for your business and brand. 45% of LinkedIn users are in upper management. That’s a lot of people to draw from and get to know.

Start by adding people who you’ve worked with before. Endorse their skills where you feel necessary. They might endorse yours back! It’s good practice to add people as soon as you’ve met them. You want your connections to feel fresh and relevant. Interact with people. Say ‘congratulations’ when someone gets a promotion. Like content that other users post. Little touches will make you seem friendly and positive.

Also, follow companies that you feel fit with your personal brand. Anyone can see who you follow on LinkedIn. By following strong and successful companies that you aspire to emulate, you’re setting a brilliant president for yourself.

People engaging with each other, expressing their personal brand

That’s everything you need to know about how LinkedIn can help with personal brand building!

If you’d like more information about Sole Source Digital, take a look at our website. We are a Social Media Management company, ready to help your small business on the road to success. We offer a range of services, including Instagram audits and social media strategy sessions. Why not send us an email today and see how we could help you out.

 

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!

 

 

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