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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
At the heart of every business should be the answer to one important question – what do my clients want?
Perhaps this sounds overwhelming, abstract even. But, it doesn’t need to. We have some simple tips to get you ever-closer to knowing what your clients expect from you.
Social media is a brilliant resource for engaging with your followers. Sites such as Instagram and Facebook make communication easy. 3.484 billion people worldwide now use social media. So, by creating social accounts for your business, you have access to almost half the world’s population at the click of a button.
But, how does social media help you understand your clients better? Aside from simply asking ‘what do you want?’, social media gives you an insight into prospective client’s lives. It helps you understand who they really are and which content they’re interested in. As soon as you understand what clients want from you, you can work out what your business should be focusing on.
Follow our step-by-step guide to get inside the minds of your clients!
Step 1: Use polls to ask what clients want from you
Let’s start with something simple. Setting up a poll online encourages clients to share their opinions with you. Many of the social platforms include polling features.
On Instagram, it’s possible to post polls on your Story. They’re brilliant for quick-fire answers – followers respond in the 7 seconds a story is on their screen for. They are fun and playful, so keep the questions light. Also, Instagram only allows for binary answers such as ‘yes’ and ‘no’, so keep this in mind.
Facebook, on the other hand, is more flexible. If you create a poll in a group (like your business’ page), you can include several options for your followers to choose from. It’s as simple as clicking ‘Write a post’ and selecting ‘poll’. You can close them at a given date if you wish or leave them running. The content can be more serious and ask for a little more insight from your followers.
Twitter polls work similarly to those on Facebook. They usually last for 24 hours before closing, though you can change the duration to up to 7 days. These polls can have up to 4 options.
Polls give you a direct insight into what your clients want. Additionally, asking something of your followers makes them feel valued and included in your company’s decisions. The very act of voting confirms to your prospective client that they do want to have a say in your company. And, it’ll make sure you’re going in the right direction in the meantime. Remember that on most of the sites, followers can see the results of polls. Make sure you do good on what they voted for or the process becomes counter-intuitive.
Step 2: Do some investigating – who’s your average customer?
To get a more general idea of who your clients are, it’s good practice to take a look at their profiles.
Are you finding that a particular group keep engaging with your content? Is there a certain sort of person who is most likely to use your service? Knowing about your client helps you fine-tune how you interact with them. It also helps you understand what their motivations are for using your service. In other words, you can investigate the needs of your clients – what they want from you.
To start, ask yourself some of the following questions;
- Which age bracket do my followers fall into?
- Where do my followers tend to live?
- Do they give away much information about their employment? What jobs do they have?
Once you have the answers, you can start thinking about your clients in more detail. For example, if you find you have an older audience, it might be worth investing in your Facebook profile. As we found in a recent article, Facebook has a higher demographic of older users. If you find that many of your followers are university students, you could start offering a student discount. It’s all about understanding who is valuable to your business and what they like about your service. Perpetuate the things people enjoy about you and make sure your clients feel as comfortable as possible.
This tip is closely linked to the idea of ‘buyer personas.’ Take a look at this HubSpot article for an in-depth look into the topic.
Step 3: Keep track of analytics
Analytics help you understand which content is performing best with your followers.
For example, you can take a look at your ‘Insights’ on Instagram. They record the number of times users saw each post and which content received the most engagement. Facebook has a similar tool. When using a business account, it tells you how many people a post reached and how many people engaged with it. You can even retrieve data on what sort of device followers are viewing your content on.
Listen to these statistics and notice which content is popular. We all know that liking a post is a sign of encouragement. So, take notice if a status update promoting a new blog article did particularly well. Or, maybe you announced the launch of a new service on Instagram and the post flooded with likes. This is your follower’s way of saying – yes, and more of that, please!
Step 4: Listen out for prospective clients by doing keyword searches
Another clever tip for finding out more about clients is to do keyword searches on social media. Twitter and Facebook work best for this as they are text-based platforms.
But, what is a keyword search?
Well, start by compiling a list of keywords relating to the service you offer. Keywords can be general or more specific. For example, for a dentistry business, their words might be ‘dentist’, ‘teeth whitening’, and ‘dental care.’ Search for the words on social media and take a look at the results. Ask yourself the following questions;
- Is anyone complaining about a competitors’ service? Why were they disappointed?
- Do common questions keep coming up regarding your area of expertise?
- Is anyone looking for a recommendation and your service fits the bill?
Compiling this information gives you serious insight into what’s expected from services like yours. Take notice of it! If the same questions kept coming up, answer them or write a blog post on this subject. Sprout Social research found that 83% of respondents like when brands respond to questions. It makes your business appear engaged with its following. If someone was looking for a service like yours, reach out to them! Tell them to take a look at your website.
It’s also possible to play around with the filtering settings to find different results. You can specify the location of the post so you know they’re nearby, and the date to be sure it’s recent.
As you can search across all public posts, this is also a brilliant way to increase your reach. Stop waiting for prospective clients to find you. You can find them yourself on social media.
There you have it! We’ve given you a range of secret tips to get inside the mind of your prospective clients.
If you’d like any further advice on social media management, why not take a look at our ‘Services’ page. At Sole Source Digital, we want to support your business as you grow and achieve success. With our carefully considered social media strategies, we’ll improve your reach and remind clients of your company’s brilliance. Get a free consultation from us today!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.