We live in an information age. Everyone is creating content. Entire companies (YouTube, Facebook, etc.) are built on the content ordinary people are creating; content other ordinary individuals are consuming.
In a previous post we talked about this extremely basic concept: what is content and why it’s important for your small business. Now that you understand the value of good content when bringing in and converting someone from passive viewer to motivated buyer, let’s talk about how to create quality content. More than quality, you want content that will cut through the noise everyone else is creating.
WHAT MAKES CONTENT QUALITY?
- Content needs to provide value. Sharing something for the sake of sharing it is not going to cut it. That’s fine for regular people posting their breakfast, their mood, their new hair colour, and sharing that with their friends. That won’t cut it for you as a business owner. Every bit of content you share must provide value to someone (hopefully, many people). Think about what problems people have that you can solve.
Start with what you know. What’s your expertise?
Figure out how to commodify it, and share it.
You’re thinking, “Well, this is how I developed my business, I commodified my skills.” And you’re right. But you now have to showcase your skills. Give away some of your expertise for free. If your viewers see the value in what you’ve given away, they will help build your brand reputation in return.
Brand reputation is just as valuable as gold.
- Content needs to be clear and easy to consume. If your audience can’t easily understand your content, you’ll lose them. If it’s a chore to read/listen to/watch, you will lose them. Your viewers already have jobs and responsibilities. They want the value you are providing as quickly and simply as possible. Give it to them.
- Content should be directional. This may sound basic, but small businesses often miss this step. Your content should either be asking your audience to do something (contact you, buy a product, offer feedback, refer to a friend etc.) or direct them to additional and sometimes better information, even if that information is not generated by you. The latter may sound counterintuitive, but I assure you, it’s not.
Audiences will trust you if you 1) demonstrate that you’re informed and recognize other great sources, and 2) demonstrate that you’re trying to help them get the best information available. [*Note: you should always aim to be the source of the best information].
- Quality content should be planned. It’s tough to think about what to post and say to your audience whether on social media, at an event, on your website and through your blog. But it’s important that you plan it out. Your messaging should be consistent through all your media and it should be purposeful. In order to do this well, you must think about your themes, your messaging, and your attractive visuals in advance. Think about building a content calendar.
- Good content should stand out. If your content stands out, it will inherently be memorable as well. And that’s what you want. Aim for attractive and bold visuals that align with your brand. Your brand’s voice is also important and should be consistent through everything you create. This helps to build that relationship you’re looking for with your audience. Also, it will capture attention. You want your audience to associate the value of your content with your brand.
- Quality content should inspire engagement. The first step to achieve engagement is to make your content relatable to your audience. You want your viewers to be motivated to share, comment on, and react in a positive way to your content. This gives your brand legitimacy and opens your content up to a wider audience.
- Great content should be consistent. Once you create great and valuable content, you can’t just do this once. You must do it regularly. This regularity builds your reputation as a valuable brand, an expert in its field. This familiarity and trust with your brand supports sales.
The bottom line: you should always be striving to create great content that provides value and helps build your brand. Don’t post content just for the sake of doing it. Don’t waste your time. Have a plan. If you need some help creating a plan, check back the CE toolbox soon for a great content strategy template. In the meantime, if you need to talk it over, or just need a little help, CE as always is happy to be your guide.