Have you ever felt like 24 hours isn’t enough?
Between work, your hobbies, and your personal life, there are days when some tasks on the to-do list aren’t completed. And those that have been are done in haste, and at times, half-heartedly.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you know this more than most.
Especially when it comes to developing content for your website, social media accounts, blog posts, newsletters, and various other marketing materials. You might have a few employees to ease the load, but there are priorities elsewhere too.
The customer knocking at your door, or those packages that need to be shipped, for example, take precedence over the chore of writing copy and devising ways to distribute it strategically.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned the importance of a grassroots, content-first approach with over seven years’ experience as the Marketing and Sales Manager for a small business.
Remember, that customer placing an order on your website, emailing for a quote, or visiting your storefront doesn’t arrive there without the content that supported their decision to do so in the first place.
Think of it this way, if your windshield has a chip in it, it’s likely you’re first step in getting it fixed is researching local automotive repair centres online. It’s more probable that you’re going to choose the shop that:
- Provides additional value beyond the initial point of interest (free how-to videos, engaging podcasts, helpful blog posts, etc…)
- Clearly communicates the features and benefits of the products and services offered
- Offers credible and educational information about their business and experience in the industry
How Does That Help You Find Time (or Money) to Write Valuable Content?
It doesn’t, honestly.
That job belongs to of a Freelance Copywriter and Content Marketing Strategist.
But if the expense of a freelancer isn’t in your budget, here are three things to remember when it finally comes time to properly producing your content.
1) “Accept that people scan web pages, rather than read them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fight it.”
This quote from Jakob Nielsen’s Seminal Web Usability Study in ‘97 is supported by the stat that 79% of online content is scanned by your audience rather than read thoroughly.
That means short, snappy copy that gets your point across quickly is more effective, while bolding and/or italicizing specific text allows the reader to scan your content and still take away the vital elements.
2) Every piece of content you write must have a singular purpose with a clear objective (ideally, the solution to your viewers’ problem).
Let’s say an at-home chef and avid hunter discovers a blog post from a small business while searching for cooking recipes online. The company sells premium knives and have recently launched a new line for harvesting wild game; a series of blog posts were developed as a way of generating leads.
The post solved our chef’s need for recipes, while also educating him on the knives where appropriate. Throughout the content, the business also prompts him to subscribe to their newsletter and concludes by offering a 10% discount on his first purchase if he does so.
By subscribing, he enters the sales funnel and begins to be marketed to appropriately, and eventually is turned from a subscriber into a paying customer.
3) It’s all about building relationships and leading your audience along through each stage of the journey
This seems obvious, and that’s because it is.
However, the way you build relationships with your customers and how you conduct business with them has altered since the advent of the internet.
I recently watched a video of Noz Urbina, Content Strategist and founder of Urbina Consulting, presenting during the 2019 ContentTECH Summit. He reminds us that face-to-face interactions are no longer the initial connection with consumers – they are developing a bond with your brand online well before they introduce themselves.
Your content and how you distribute it is your chance at a good first impression.
The Ubiquity of the Web
Great brands who offer terrific services and produce fantastic products still fall flat without great content to back them.
The digital landscape is cluttered with competition, all with their own advantages, leaving your business with seconds, if not milliseconds, to get noticed.
If your web presence is lackluster, your growth potential will suffer.
Of course, crafting compelling content takes more than great copywriting and smart marketing. It also requires an in-depth examination of your target market(s) including their habits online, the keywords and phrases they’re searching, and how they’re consuming content (reading, watching, listening).
This type of data is not only useful for engaging your audience, but it’s invaluable when it comes to search engine optimization.
A topic for another blog post, perhaps?
For further guidance through the realm of content marketing and strategic copywriting, subscribe to The Davis Daily!