I’ve said this before, but it’s worth a repeat: business-owners should drive the creation of marketing content. This is too important an activity to delegate: the content represents your business, and you should control the process.
Does that mean you don’t need a marketing manager/intern/consultant? You might. But your marketing person is the facilitator. She trains you on the tools you need — social media, a CMS for your website, recording and sharing podcasts. She trains you on writing and edits what you write; she puts your thoughts into better words.
But you’re the one who has the thoughts and the ideas in the first place.
A smart marketer will help you communicate your knowledge to your customers and your audience.
So how do you create marketing content if you don’t think of yourself as a writer/creator? Here are my tips.
Read and view all the content you can. Follow what your competitors and thought leaders in your industry are doing. Read about writing. Read about creating good webinars or infographics or whatever form of content you want to create.
2. Get Help
This can be the aforementioned marketing person, your college-age cousin who’s on Facebook all day, or a friend who’s a blogger. If you’re new to this, you may need help getting set up.
3. Know Your Customer
It’s no point being witty on Twitter all day long if your customers are all on Facebook. Go where your customers are: make it easier for them to find you. Write about what they are interested in, don’t just shill your product.
4. Don’t Be Boring
Seriously, don’t. Your content needs to be entertaining as well as educational (unless you’re serving up something brilliantly original). If you’re just going to sound like a press release, don’t bother.
In fact, I’d say don’t write like it’s a press release even if it is a press release you’re writing. However…
5. Be Honest
Don’t make up stories in an effort to sound more interesting. Be yourself — be the best version of you. The very point of social media is to build a closer relationship with your audience.
6. Be Consistent
Show your audience what to expect by the way you behave — and once you’ve set up those expectations, don’t turn it around on them. Don’t be predictable in your writing (see #5), but be consistent in matters like frequency and voice. For example, don’t publish three blog posts in one week and then nothing for a month. Don’t write like a freewheelin’ hippie one day and an uptight grand dame the next. Once you’ve created your persona, stick to it.
Don’t just talk, listen. Start conversations. Respond to comments on your blog. Answer questions on industry forums or Quora or LinkedIn Groups, and spark some discussions. Be a part of the community.
After you’ve done your research and you have a vague idea what to do, jump in. Don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t wait for your first podcast to be perfect, don’t worry about the occasional typo. You’ll figure it out.
What are you waiting for?
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