You’re probably already aware that having lots of content for your various platforms is crucial for providing your customers with lots of information points to find out about you, and the search engines with lots of up to date company content.
Customers can visit between 6-10 different content sources before making a purchase, so the more relevant content you have on various platforms the better. And from a search engine’s perspective, Google loves seeing fresh content on a website or other platform – it tells them that your website is current and more likely to be relevant for its searchers.
However while many businesses now realise the need for regular batches of content on various platforms, the actual content creation is a barrier for many SMEs, who typically lack the necessary time and resources to invest in planning and producing this content.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a creative whizz with buckets of spare time to come up with regular topical ideas; take a look at the four-step process below to come up with instant ideas for content.
Brainstorming isn’t for everyone, but don’t worry – there’s no creativity required here. Below I’ve listed four classic areas for new content, with 2-3 takeaway ideas with examples for each.
|Main content area||Breakdown||Takeaway examples|
|Products/services||Benefits of a specific product/service
Instructions – ‘how to’ posts
New feature announcements
|‘Six advantages of using our product/service’
‘How to change your network provider in three easy steps’
‘New extra strong glass will make buildings securer’
|Customer interest||Could an existing product/service they use be unsuitable – e.g. dangerous, non-compliant?
Are they experiencing unnecessary inconvenience in an area where your product/service could help?
|‘X areas you didn’t know your home security was lacking in’
‘X signs it’s time to switch providers’
“Fast, courteous and honest – highly recommended” – Mrs Bates, Worcester
|Company news||CSR – charity events, accreditations
|‘Our staff took part in a fun run and raised £X for charity!’
‘A day in the life of a mechanic’
‘How we saved customer X thousands of pounds a year’
‘Are you coming to our roundtable next week?’
|‘Changes to pensions could put your savings at risk’
‘New research illustrates that 6/10 people don’t trust their mortgage advisors’
Make it compelling
You can bring the driest content idea to life by positioning it the right way. Elicit interest from your audience by drawing out the most interesting aspect of your content. Here are a few tips:
- Write it as a list: ‘Seven signs you’re missing a trick with your recruitment strategy’
- Make it a question: ‘Are you making this one fatal reporting error?’
- Add urgency: ‘The one crucial thing you must do to keep your house secure this Christmas’
Check your messaging
As with any business activity, you must ensure that any content creation is aligned with your messaging. Bullet point 5-6 of your business and product/service key messages and ensure that they align with your concepts.
E.g. If one of your key messages is ‘Fast, reliable response times’, a good content concept could be ‘How long should it take for a [mechanic] to arrive?’
Consider your platforms
How many online platforms do you have – website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, third party press and advertising? Now that you’ve come up with some strong content ideas, you can cross reference them with your platforms and work out how far the content will stretch – it may be that a blog post can be shared across all platforms and used as the basis for a media alert, or it may be only suitable for a short snappy Facebook post. Style and tone will probably need to be adjusted for each platform.