If your website is the shopwindow of your business, then content is all those things a shop needs to stay relevant on the high street; marketing, customer service, brand communication – everything.
– Lee Currie, Koobr
Fresh, interesting and insightful content is essential to your online presence. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect their content output because they either underestimate its importance and effectiveness, or they simply don’t have the time to create content that is good quality.
Putting content into context
The internet is no longer built for pragmatic users only and anybody can connect with your business online, regardless of whether they are an existing customer or not. What you effectively have, is a shop for people to come and visit, browse your offerings and check out your brand.
More than just a blog post, content is marketing. It’s customer service, brand communication – everything a customer expects when they engage with a professional business. It’s how you convey your personality and how you reflect the needs of your clients. Content is the digital voice of your entire organisation.
All content is performance-driven
Yes, some types of content are more directly focused on selling your products and service offerings, but all types of content have their place in improving the performance of your business online.
When you’re writing about your industry, it establishes your business as an authority and helps to foster trust. When you’re writing for your target demographic, it generates engagement, and delivering engaging content to clients on a regular basis demonstrates customer value. And let’s not forget that your outreach is amplified when content is shared across social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Oh yes, and when you upload fresh content to your website on a regular basis, it shows Google that you are maintaining a useful, relevant and active website, which will help towards improving your search engine rankings. So you see, content isn’t just good for business, it’s a Must for your online presence.
Be dynamic – Relevance is good, but only writing about your business, with a narrowed focus on your industry, isn’t going to please your readers all of the time. Broaden the topics of your content by thinking carefully about what else interests your target demographic.
Be personable – Professionalism is ever so important when building lasting relationships, but so is personality. How much ‘personality’ you inject into your writing will depend on the nature of your business, so find a tone of voice that matches your brand. Writing how you speak (so long as spelling and grammar is correct) is usually the best way of engaging people.
Be clear and concise – Break up lengthy bodies of text with headers and distill information into salient points for readability. People want information quickly, most probably because they’re browsing on the move or in the habit of consuming information in bite-sized portions, so format accordingly.
Be different – There’s a lot of businesses competing for the attention of your customers, so it pays to be different in the kind of content you put out there. Yes, you want to be useful and relevant, but a little creativity can go a long way. Keep an eye on what’s hot in the media as well, as your industry, and find ways of bringing the two together.
Consistency is key
When it comes to publishing, whether it’s fresh content, or an email communication rounding up the content of the week/bi-weekly/month, it’s important to remain consistent.
Once you’ve cultivated a loyal following, keeping them serviced with interesting and useful content not only demonstrates your capacity for quality customer service, it keeps your brand fresh in their minds and helps retain clients for the long term.
You can also broaden your outreach publishing across various platforms. Your website is just one place to publish a post or article, you should also be using LinkedIn to publish content that is more targeted to that specific audience, and publish on third-party websites (non-competitive) who have a relevant yet untapped customer-base.
How often do you publish new content?
How often you publish new content really depends on what type of business you are. Some industries are more “news-rich” than others and, as such, require varying levels of engagement with customers.
So, for example, a business that supplies gardening products won’t necessarily need to publish content as regularly as a tech company, which is a generally more dynamic industry. But that’s not to say regular content isn’t equally important to both types of businesses. At the end of the day, you will only receive as much engagement from your customer-base as you give in return.