If you’ve been researching how to market your small business, the importance of content has likely popped up more than once. It’s true – a valuable, steady stream of content can be your best ally in regards to engaging customers and communicating messages about your product or service. However, just as there are amazing image-based ads and mediocre – or even outright bad – ones, all content is not created equal.
Consider a customer searching for top ten fashion tips in the middle of July in a hot climate – do you think he or she will be interested in a well-written piece on ten great looks, complete with how-to steps? How about if all of those outfits involved fall colors and long-sleeved tops? The latter scenario would send them bouncing right off your page and heading to get a cold drink from the fridge. The timing of your content is just as important as the composition when it comes to capturing customer attention, so here’s a few things to keep in mind:
Align Your Editorial Calendar With a Real One
Unlike some product photo shoots or manufacturing schedules, seasonally-appropriate content doesn’t need to wait for its own heyday to become an asset. As your competitors are creating content a few weeks or even days in advance of holidays or seasonal shifts, you could be tapping into an existing backlog of “evergreen” content that was pre-written months ago. Whether you instruct your writing team to leave some blank spaces to inject in-the-moment mentions within a core of tried-and-true subjects or choose to move ahead with just that core concept, you’ll be saving yourself the seasonal scramble of authentic, timely content creation.
Treat Your Content Like a Road Trip
Driving lessons may have happened a few decades ago, but that doesn’t mean those lessons don’t endure. Just as you’re encouraged to look a half-mile ahead to anticipate obstacles in the road, you should always consider your future business when planning content. If you have a launch of a specific product coming up, let your writer in on the prototype, or discuss your vision for it to ensure it comes across in content. Your creative team is already primed to know how to market your small business, and letting them in on works in progress keeps them on the same page.
Keep An Ear Out
Read trade publications, set Google news alerts and stay alert to anything that’s relevant to your business or industry. Each news-worthy item or interesting tidbit can be spun into content curation or short, hyper-relevant social media posts that keep you poised at the forefront of your industry. Your customers look to you for guidance, and if you position yourself as a knowledgeable resource that communicates trends as they happen, you’ll gain trust and authority smoothly, rather than via a constant uphill battle against your closest competitor.
Content itself does offer value, but when it’s spun and tied to an event, it takes on a more authentic outreach experience that customers find appealing. Think about your current content – are you “in the moment” and posting about specific holidays, seasons or news-worthy items, or are you simply hitting “post” on pre-written pieces that don’t change as the seasons do? Knowing how to market your small business means knowing what’s new and now – if your content reflects the culture surrounding it in a timely, meaningful way, you’ll look and feel more authentic, and that’s likely to show in your sales.
Writer Bio: Delany M is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.