Content is king is a saying used well enough that some may roll their eyes at it. But, it is well used for a reason and the reason is that it is so very important.
Having great content that is interesting, relevant and useful will ensure your customers read it. It must be interesting enough for people to read the whole message, it must be relevant to your business and to your customers, and it must be useful so that your customers benefit from reading the message and go on to share it within their network.
Engaging your customers will help educate them on your business and encourage them to buy your service or products. To get this right you must put a plan together!
So, how do you plan great content?
- Get to know your audience, listen to their needs. Ask them for feedback and react accordingly.
- Look at what your competitors are doing or not doing. Don’t just copy them but see where the gaps are and think up ways to fill them.
- Be able to describe what you do or sell in one clear sentence. Donald Trump is correct, that elevator speech is really important.
- Keep all marketing communications clear, brief and focused.
- Be creative in what you do, don’t just give it lip service. If you’ve decided to adopt a memorable approach whether it be in your tagline, business signature, giveaway, a mascot, quirky illustrations, themed photos or a great colour scheme, be sure to use it consistently in your marketing. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
- Test it on friends and family to see if they understand the message.
- Don’t forget a ‘call to action’ – what do you want the customer to do after they have read the message? Call you, email you, visit you?
What do you do with your great content?
- Use it everywhere!
- Add the content to your website. You can add in new pages and add a promotional banner to the homepage. (Having great, relevant content on your website is also a massive factor in improving your Google ranking which helps you become more searchable to potential customers.)
- Marketing stationary (pens, umbrellas, teddy bears etc.)
- Marketing literature: door drops and leaflet hand-outs.
- In your emails: branded e-shots (e-newsletters) and in your email signature.
- In advertising: magazines, newspapers, local village pamphlets.
- On your social media platforms, put the message on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google Plus, on LinkedIn and repeat the message on a weekly basis. You can repeat the message on a daily basis, just change the way you word it so it doesn’t become boring.
- If you have a shop window, produce a poster and or captivating window display.
- If you are going to an expo (exhibition), have a pull up banner with the same message.
- Network! Share and repeat your message to everyone you meet. If you meet with the same people on a weekly basis, keep the message the same so it seeps into the listener’s conscious but tell your message in a different way.
- Remember that inconsistent advertising is a waste of money. A potential customer must be exposed to the same message numerous of times before they are ready to entertain a buying decision. So, pick an advertising channel where you can afford to have an on-going and consistent presence.
Remember failing to plan is planning to fail!
So, what are the effects of having great content?
Utilising several of the marketing channels mentioned above is called a ‘multi-channel comms plan’. You are using multiple channels to advertise your planned communication.
The benefit of using several channels means you can reach your customers with more than one contact point. So one customer may follow you on social media, receive a leaflet through the door, walk past your shop window display, and then read the advert in the newspaper.
Even if the Facebook post is just scrolled past, the shop window is just glanced at, by the time the customer sees the newspaper advert or receives the leaflet through the door, your consistent message / branding / image will have reached through to their subconscious and they will be drawn into reading the information.
At this point you still only have about 6 – 8 seconds to capture their interest so this is why you message needs to be short, sharp and to the point.
So take time to think about your business message and understand what your customers want to know about. Think about the best way to package and brand your message, and plan how it will look and sound through the various marketing channels you decide to use.