November 24th, 2015
How to fuel your content marketing machine – finding the heartbeat of your business
Last month we talked about the importance of content marketing. But how do you generate the content you need to fuel your content marketing machine? Where does it come from?
The simple answer is: it’s already there. It’s all around you. It is all the things that are happening in your business. Things like the achievements of your business and your staff, awards, new contracts or customers, examples of your work and the way you do it, as well as customer testimonials and your own product or service guides. It is the real things that happen in your business and by being real with your content, you can develop trust in your brand. Think about your content as the ‘heartbeat’ of your business and use this approach to create stories about your work which can be turned into press releases, case studies, presentations, newsletter articles, and reworked to suit a whole range of outlets, from your website or blog to social media and video-sharing platforms like YouTube.
© Intandem Communications
Focus on human interest – tell a story
To optimise the benefits of your content, it needs to be shareable and engaging. Business is generally about people and so think about how you can create personal, human-interest stories from what your business does. Think about the key messages you want to convey, what is relevant to your customers and how you can provide evidence of what you do subtly through stories about your work and your clients.
To get the tone of voice right, think about how you would talk to a potential client at your first meeting. What would you talk about, how would you engage them? You’d probably want to tell them about some of your recent projects, but from the client’s perspective. Look at the issues your clients face then explain how your skills and expertise can help them achieve their goals.
How to generate content ideas
So, great customer case studies make ideal content, but what else? Here are some ideas:
‘How to’ guides – use your expertise to create a ‘how to’ guide that’s relevant to potential customers. This could take the form of a video or a blog – helping to demystify an issue and build trust in your brand.
News stories – these aren’t just for press releases. Share news about new employees, contract wins, special offers, product developments, service updates or award wins. Make it real and interesting. Include pictures and visuals.
Project reports/diaries – a blog can be a great vehicle for regular updates on ongoing projects. You can provide weekly progress reports, with photos or quotes from the people involved.It’s a great way to get people coming back to your blog regularly to find out how the project is progressing.
Topical news – be aware of what are people are taking about and link your content to that. It could be seasonal events, like Hallowe’en or Christmas, world news, industry events, popular TV programmes or local events.
Employee news – shout about employee achievements, fundraising efforts, charity events, personal challenges, unusual talents – stories about real people doing real things.
Presentations – if you give presentations, think about how you can use them as content on other platforms, such as online guides, blogs or video tutorials and position you as an expert.
Collaborations – think about how you can work with other businesses that have the same target audience as you, but are not a competitor. You could create joint initiatives or promotions and share them across both of your media platforms for greater exposure.
Competitions and special offers – engage your customers with a competition or offer which promotes a particular service or product. It’s a great way of tracking engagement on social media.
In all of this content, you are trying to provide an insight into the heartbeat of your business; sharing your personality, your views, your knowledge and your passions. If your audience like what they see, hear or read, it’ll build trust in your brand and they’ll keep coming back for more.