But we’ve got nothing to say! How to develop quality content to promote your business
You might have heard people say that marketing is “all about content” these days. Whilst not particularly correct, content is certainly important and every business, small and large, can benefit from generating it – even when you feel you have nothing to say!
What is content?
Phrases like “content management” and “content marketing” have become commonplace, but they might not always make total sense to everyone. So, here’s a handy, layman’s definition (why make it more complicated?).
“Content” in this instance is simply referring to subject matter that you can use over various communication mediums to heighten the profile of your business and convey certain messages.
It might include many of the following:
- Details about a new product launch
- News on a contract win
- Your own opinions about topical issues
- Advice that is of value to your target audience
- Comments that can reinforce the style, substance and character of your company
- Details about employee activities such as training, charity fundraising and special skills
- News of new members in the team
- Case studies of projects
This does not all have to be in written form of course. Think about short videos, animated videos, images and infographics, which can all be powerful tools when added to the mix.
Where can keywords come into it?
Another important source of ideas for suitable content can be your keywords. Most businesses will have a list of phrases or keywords that they would like to be found for when people search in the likes of Google. You might already have optimised your website for these keywords. Great! But they can be handy for idea generation when it comes to content too. Let me give you an example.
If one of your keywords is “blue cheese” and you have a consumer audience, you might wish to consider creating some content around the following ideas:
- Our favourite blue cheese recipes
- How is blue cheese made?
- Top British blue cheeses you must try
- Best drinks to accompany blue cheese
- Blue cheeses you might not have heard of
You get the gist. Any of these pieces (or videos or infographics) could be optimised for the keyword phrase “blue cheese”, so it becomes a useful addition to your website and your ranking. But it also gives you plenty of ideas for fresh content.
Never ever copy
Creating your own, bespoke content is always the best course of action. That can often seem hard given the amount of content that is in existence. But plagiarism is never the answer. For one thing, it does not portray your business in a very good light and for another, Google will fall out with you if it is posted online in any capacity. Just don’t do it and then you will never fall foul of this very important rule.
Content management – what this means
Get all of those ideas down on paper – you’re not going to use them straight away but get them documented. Challenge everyone to come up with ten fresh ideas – this needs to be a team effort and you’ll be amazed with what they come up with! There's even a number of online content idea generators if you want to add more fun to the process (but they don't always deliver decent ideas!)
The next step is to develop all of this into some sort of a content plan. This can be simple or more complex to suit your own requirements. Establish what communication tools you intend to use (blog, email, social media, hard copy newsletter, press releases etc.) and consider how often you wish to have content to use on each. Remember that one piece of content (or different versions of it) can be used in many ways.
Next, think about what in-house resources you have to plan and manage all of this. Do you need to involve some outsourced help? Remember, that’s where Cantaloupe can help you. This is about doing what you do properly and effectively, rather than trying to do too much badly. Better to do a good job of less than a poor job of more.
The result will be a plan of what ideas you which to use when – plan by week or month if you like, it all depends on the specifics of your company, your industry, your target audience and your objectives. The plan of course, is a working document and subject to change along the way – but at least you have a plan!
And at least you now have something to say with any luck. If you plan ahead like this and use ideas from various members of your team, you can always have an ideas list to draw from, in addition to news and content that develops along the way. You can always be developing good quality content to help you promote your business in a way that helps you to achieve your objectives.