It’s little secret the internet has changed the way we access and seek information. With over 3.95 billion users now online, we have more access to information at our fingertips than ever before.
Importantly, the type of information we access is vastly different to a generation ago when news came from accredited media organisations, and advertising was the go-to method for brands looking to increase their reach.
Now a product is but a Google search away, news comes via social media, any layman can post a story and people can actively seek the recommendations of their peers on products they should buy.
The upshot? If you’re looking to make a ripple in the vast online ocean, you need to master and surf the digital wave, establishing your brand as the trusted authority in your space.
The tool of choice? Great content, and lots of it. Here are the keys to creating content and how it’s a strategy employed over time, never just a one-off.
In the next 24 hours…
- Over two million blog posts will be published on the internet
- 95 million posts will be uploaded to Instagram
- 75 billion items will be shared by Facebook users
- Over 4200 articles will be published on LinkedIn
So, how do you establish yourself in this ever-growing well of content? By creating a content strategy that builds trust, authority, meets your audience’s quest for information and differentiates you from the crowd.
Here’s just some of the ways that’s done…
Telling your business story
Believe it or not, your business has endless fodder for content – from where it originated to the story of its founders and the day-to-day inner workings of your operation. It just involves looking inside your business and considering the following topics of interest…
When people look to become invested in a brand they seek to learn about it. How did your company get its start, what need was it looking to meet? Is it a David and Goliath tale, a gap in the market, or an overnight success story? Telling the story of how your business came about establishes its credibility in the field and lets people into your world.
How did your company get its name?
Many a business has a fascinating tale of how it came to be called what it is. That can be the epic tale of family history, a bright idea at 3am or the merging of previous businesses into an acronym.
For example, what does IBM stand for and why would you call a computer company Apple?
The story behind new products or services
Every product or service has a reason for existence, what’s the story behind yours? How do new products come to fruition? What’s the testing and trialling process or was it brought on by consumer demand. Letting people into the world of product development allows them an emotional investment in your business.
Who are the people who work within your business?
At our core, humans love an insight into the world of other people’s experience and telling the stories of your staff members helps create that connection. Staff profiles and stories demystify a brand, puts the personal in front of the professional and allow consumers to connect with who you are.
What’s it like inside your business?
More and more consumers seek to understand the ethics and sustainability behind the products they buy. You can let them into that world by telling the story of a day in your business, or better yet creating a video that allows them to see inside it.
What are the statistics of your customer base or product?
Statistics relating to your industry, product or customer base are a great way of adding credibility to your content, and they’re in no short supply.
What case studies or customer success stories you can share?
Case studies are a great way of combining a personal story with an insight into your services and how your products work. They also act as a quasi-testimonial, providing a platform to showcase how well your business has met a customer’s needs.
Proactive content involves anticipating the type of information your customer seeks about your industry or products and then furnishing them with the insight they need.
Basically, it considers what types of questions your consumers would ask before they make a purchasing decision, and allows you to position yourself as the best business to meet those needs.
What do your customers need to know to make good purchasing decisions?
This involves taking a step back and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, considering the types of questions they ask or the information they need. From decoding industry terminology to offering step-by-step guides, this is all about providing useful information.
What is a complete how-to guide?
So, you’re a paint retailer…rather than just offering an insight into the latest paint trends, this content strategy sees you consider what people will be doing with your product and offering them the tips and tools to use it to the best effect.
In this instance it would include a host of topics that all lead back to you, like:
- Five steps to ensure a perfect interior paint job
- The seven tools every amateur painter requires
- Six things you need to know about the art of painting
Where is your industry headed in the future?
This type of content is all about positioning your business as an authority in the field, allowing you to stand out as the go-to expert for media and consumers alike.
Between the lines of every customer interaction and within conventional media coverage are endless sources of great reactive content. This type of content strategy is about responding…to frequently asked questions, to breaking industry news and also to trending topics.
Here are just some of the ways it’s done…
What are the most frequently asked questions from your customers?
Each and every day your customers ask questions, and this is a hugely valuable source of great content. By answering their commonly asked questions, you not only address their needs, but anticipate them, offering a valuable solution to any purchasing hesitation they may have.
What are the biggest myths about your industry/business?
Myths are a simple sensational topic to cover – from law firms to smart homes and painting, every industry has common themes that need to be rebuked.
Although this is a reactive strategy, based on myths you know abound, it’s also proactive – addressing issues before they become the problem that stops consumers seeking you.
How does new legislation or government regulation impact your consumer?
This type of content also spans the scope of PR, allowing your business to actively respond to news, initiatives or changes as they happen.
It allows your business to be the go-to-source in a bid to decode something that seems complex to your consumer answering the all-important quest what does this change mean to them?
Creating great content isn’t complex but it is intensive. The art comes down to offering your insight in the right place at the right time.
Mastering the art of great content sees you anticipate your consumer’s needs and meet them, like a gatherer or translator bringing back snippets of information and serving them up in a way your audience understands.
With more and more content hitting the internet each and every day, the best chance of standing out sees your business establish its credentials, own its space of expertise and talk directly to your audience in a way that captures their attention.
Importantly, that content varies. Sometimes it’s a story well-told, sometimes it’s a video and sometimes it’s a meme.
Above all content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And those who win the content game, out-contribute, out-expertise and out-strategise the competition.
At Openseed we specialise in content marketing, working with business to tell your story, showcase your expertise and offer content across mediums that engages and inspires.
We create intuitive branding, websites and quality content strategies that reflect the internet trends as they are now and will be in the future.
We get to the heart of your business message to help your business rank foremost on Google and at the front of your consumer’s mind. You can learn more about our services here or contact us directly to learn more about how we can help.