Only about 1% of Internet users actually create content. That means that there is a massive opportunity for your small business to create, share, and promote content because 99 of 100 people are just sitting there waiting to consume it. Many small businesses are creating content, but most will also tell you that they haven’t found that magic ingredient to make it effective. That’s why many, despite the data, have written social media, video and blogging off as an after thought or something that can be taken care of by someone who doesn’t have the talent or passion for it.
A few years ago, businesses could attract Likes and engagement through contests or gimmicks alone. It didn’t taken much effort. Simply post, and you will be seen. But Facebook is a business, and they need to keep providing their users with value. Posts that were off topic or that were not relevant to what they engage with online dropped to the bottom of the newsfeed. They even updated their algorithm to restrict promotional content.
Our rules for valuable content are simple: edify, entertain, or educate. Producing content that hits one of those marks typically takes more effort than most think, but it can and should be done to drive results.
Create Better Content
Content creation takes thought and time. Creating really great content takes more of both! If you want to leverage the Internet, which is where everyone from 10-70 years old is paying attention, then the extra effort to stand out will be so worth it!
If you want to break through the noise, you need to:
- Create better content
- Get it in front of your customers – share it, promote it through ads, add it to newsletters
- Use it to set up the “ask for business” (the sale)
When you’re the business with the solution to your customer’s problem through valuable content, whether it’s needing a new roof or something fun to do with the family, you become the hero that they choose over your competition.
Where to Create and Share You’re Content
Where should you start creating content for your small business? The simple answer is, “wherever they spend the most time.”
Creating a Business Blog on Your Site
Since so many people actively use Google before and even during shopping (even in store), I usually suggest establishing that your brand is the number one source for answers and customer help. That’s where a blog comes in to the picture. If you’re not a great writer, work with someone that can help you out your thoughts into written word.
Start with producing one great post a week, then two, then three, and keep going until you’re writing a blog post for every day of the week. Keep writing and stay patient. Share your posts on social networks, email newsletters, and even pay to promote them with Twitter and Facebook ads.
Facebook for Small Business Is Key
Facebook is the next place you should be creating content. Keep it original and make sure that it matches the context of the network and your fan base. Why do they follow you? What makes people love your small business over the competition? Is it because all you do is offer sale after sale, or because you have a more compelling story? Can you use that story to tell why the customer will experience better results or customer service through your story? Can you use Facebook to help customers connect with your team and build a brand loyalty? These are all questions you should be asking yourself. If you’re interested in learning more about this idea, check out how Coca-Cola, Go Pro, and Red Bull tell a story behind their product. Red Bull isn’t selling just another energy drink.
Facebook has 1.7 billion users now, and the only thing holding them back is a lack of people having access to the Internet (they’re trying to fix that too). Their product and platform continues to amaze us as they adapt to remain relevant. They knocked it out of the park with the purchase of Instagram a few years ago, and they saw an opportunity with Snapchat before anyone else (they’re adapting to compete with Snapchat since their offer was turned down). The power behind their advertising is still just being tapped into, so small businesses that care to learn more and leverage Facebook Ads have a huge opportunity. Think of it this way; what if you could have used AdWords or email marketing 15 years ago, before anyone else. We’re still in that stage with Facebook ads.
Become a Production Company and Use Video
Apple just announced their first original series, Netflix is creating original movies and television shows, and your business should be tapping into video as well! You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to produce your content.
When we first started #AskAWebOp, we were just using an iPhone. Above creating pretty content (and it does help), your number one goal with small business video should be to provide your customers with content that will pull them closer to your brand. Explain the history of the business, be the first to teach about a new trend in your industry, or teach your customers how to make the most of your product!
Just like writing, video is going to require you to find the right personality to take it to the level that you’re probably hoping to achieve. If you’re not the most engaging personality, find the person in your organization that has the ability to pull people in with their presence.
The What Ifs
What if you’re not a talented writer? What if you don’t know what to do with your hands when the camera is rolling? What if you can’t find time to do it?
Here’s my question: What if you ignore this and do nothing or keep doing the things that aren’t working? If you’re a business owner, you have three options:
- Find Time – Make the time to create and share content. If you don’t know how to do it, find the time to learn how to be better. Take a few classes, join clubs, write about your hobbies, etc.
- Delegate – Find the person in your organization that has a talent and a passion for creating content. Just because the person is a millennial doesn’t mean that they are talented, and just because someone is a grandparent, does not mean that they will be a wrong fit either. If you’re not the one to do it, find the person that can create the vision and execute it for you.
- Outsource – We have built TrustWorkz to be that third option, and we frequently fit in as an extension with larger franchises that have time and delegation taken care of internally but need an extra pair of eyes. Finding the right Internet marketing agency for your small business can provide you with a level of expertise and help that can be extensive (both personally and financially) for most small businesses and franchises. Instead of hiring 5 new team members, you can higher one or two strong marketers and fill in their weaknesses (time or understanding) with an agency.
Find what works best for you, but make content creation a priority. The opportunity for small businesses is way too big to ignore.