The secret to creating great content for your small business is stepping into your customer’s shoes and figuring out how you can help them. In this video tutorial, digital and social media strategist Martin Waxman provides an overview of content types and offers ideas and tips for creating breakthrough social media stories your customers will want to share.
- [Voiceover] Content, that's a word we hear a lot these days. In simple terms, content is all the ways you tell your company's stories and express your brand personality online and off. That includes your website or blog, Facebook and Twitter updates, and it includes a YouTube video, a photo on Instagram, or a digital ad. Content also includes non-digital assets, like brochures, signage, sales material, trade show booths, and so on, and they all work together to give your customers a picture of your brand's personality.
The secret to creating great content is stepping into your customer's shoes and figuring out how you can help them. Start by writing down all the questions they ask, then group the questions into themes and prepare a two line answer for each. While you're doing this, imagine which format or platforms would work best for that particular subject, then add it to your content calendar.
Say you're distributing a DIY product, you may want to consider a series of how-to videos that are optimized for a mobile device. You might write a blog post to introduce the series, and craft several social media posts with a link to the how-to video. For instance, Topsy Turvy could produce a video with cake decorating tips and promote that on Twitter. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a super slick production, your customers are looking for authenticity over Hollywood production values, but you still need to create something of quality.
For example, you can produce a simple video using your smartphone, just remember use a tripod to keep it steady, get an external mic for better sound, and pay attention to framing and light. In their book, Content Rules, authors Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman encourage businesses to speak in a human voice, solve a problem, and surprise and delight their customers. When it comes to social media content, remember the three P's and think like a publisher to create the best story possible, a producer to add in multimedia assets, and a publicist to get the word out, then imagine how your story can play out overtime on different platforms.
You don't have to create everything yourself, you can curate content by discovering posts your audience is interesting in and sharing those, just be sure you provide context and give credit by linking back to the original author. Who knows, maybe they'll notice your post and will link to you. When it comes to curated content, try to cut through the clutter so your audience doesn't have to. For example, Topsy Turvy could curate content about event planning because it knows many of its customers are planning parties and events.
Follow these three simple steps, find, filter, share. Find interesting stories, filter to make sure they're relevant, and share them to your network. The best content helps your customers and showcases your businesses personality, and it's not about volume, it's relevance to your audience that counts, and that's the content one-two punch.
- Using social media to listen to customers
- Setting goals
- Crafting a social media policy and a plan
- Creating shareable content
- Measuring your social media success