If there's one common struggle that I hear the most among small business owners and entrepreneurs, it is developing and/or keeping up with their online content.
Whether it's managing their social media accounts or writing for their business blog, they have a difficult time coming up with ideas of what to post for their audience, when to post, and how to make the most of what they post to grow their business.
However, although impactful content marketing does indeed take time, effort and energy, it doesn't have to be rocket science. In fact, it can be quite simple.
Here are four simple strategies you can use to improve your content marketing strategy and start bringing positive exposure to your business:
1. Choose Your Social Media Platforms Wisely
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. LinkedIn. YouTube. These days, there are more social media platforms than anyone can keep up with.
The problem is that most businesses feel that they need to be on ALL of them to get the most exposure…and it’s simply not true!
Posting on social media is more than simply having a presence. It’s about being able to engage with your followers, and to build an effective relationship with them.
That being said, the first thing you should do is find the 2-3 platforms (or maybe even just one) where the bulk of your target market is and focus your efforts there.
If your target market is mostly on Facebook and LinkedIn, it doesn’t make sense have an business Instagram or Pinterest account, does it?
To prevent yourself from doing twice or sometimes triple the work, post and provide relevant content ONLY where your followers will see it and engage with it.
2. Repurpose Content You Already Have
So, you have some great information that you want to share with your followers. You know that they'll value it, and your first thought is to share it all in one e-mail or blog post.
However, doing so many not be the best content strategy and in fact is only decreasing your exposure. Think about it this way:
When we have a craving for pizza, we call our favorite pizza shop and place an order. But, the pizzeria doesn't give us one WHOLE pie, do they? NO! They divide it into slices so that we can eat it one slice at at time, enjoy it, and still have some left for later.
Now I'm sure you're probably craving pizza more than thinking about your content at this point, but you can see where I'm going with this:
Just because you have good stuff to share doesn't mean that you need to give it all away at once.
Instead, break it up into pieces and make it last longer. To increase it's reach, use it over multiple mediums.
Here's an example: You have a video on the "3-steps to achieving 'X'". In addition to the video itself, you can break down the content and write a short blog post for each step. You now have three days worth of blog content. Next, you can summarize the same steps in a short e-mail to your list and refer them back to video.
Spreading out and repurposing your content doesn't just give you more content to work with, but it also keeps your followers engaged and gives them something to look forward to!
3. Leverage Your Testimonials
If you’ve received a testimonial from a past client, you should be using and repurposing them in every way possible! Here are a few ways:
Boost your credibility and SEO by creating a “Testimonials” or “Reviews” page on your website.
Take screen shots of online testimonials or create a colorful Canva graphic with the testimonial and post it to your social media pages.
Use video testimonials as an opportunity to create a blog post about the benefits of your services.
Also, remember that testimonials don’t have to come across as a cut-and-dry “testimonial” that you request on your Facebook page or website. It could be as simple as a compliment about your work that someone casually told you in person or via e-mail, rewritten as a formal testimonial.
Many times, positive testimonials will be what sells your services— use them to your advantage!
4. Follow a content "schedule"
To make it easy on yourself when trying to figure out WHAT to post, create a "schedule" around what types of content will go out each day. For example:
Monday: Share a motivational quote or phrase
Tuesday: Share a useful tip
Wednesday: Share a relevant article
Thursday: Share a blog post or personal story
Friday: Share an industry fun fact
By following the same content "schedule", you already have in mind what kind of post you need to make and what to search for when browsing the internet for resources or brainstorming your next written piece. When special holidays or special occasions roll around, you can easily swap out what is scheduled for a post around that particular theme.
Once your content schedule is established, take some time to schedule your social media or blog posts for the next several days to avoid scrambling to post something later.
Developing content for your business doesn't have to be difficult-- it just takes some creativity and thinking outside of the box. If finding the time to implement the above strategies is an issue, that's when outsourcing or hiring a virtual assistant could certainly come in handy.