The modern digital landscape and the phenomenal growth of social media in recent years has resulted in the conclusion that content is king. The American entrepreneur, author and Internet marketing expert, Seth Godin famously declared that ‘content marketing is the only type of marketing that’s left.’
Thankfully, writing great content is not just the premise of global corporations and professional writers. With a bit of thought and effort devoted to putting together an effective content strategy, small business owners can reap the benefits of the latest form of royalty.
Determining a Content Strategy
Like every aspect of business, it’s useful for small business to determine a roadmap for where they are heading. Common goals for content writing are to develop credibility for expertise within a particular field, increase sales, drive foot traffic or improve search engine visibility.
Putting some thought into what is desired from producing content in the first place and considering the potential audience will go a long way toward honing the approach.
The first place consumers turn to when looking for information is the Web. Listen closely to conversations and you’ll often hear “I’ll just Google it.” So, how do you get your product or small business to rank among Google’s search results? It’s actually not as hard as it seems. All you have to do is create quality, compelling and shareable content, combined with some simple SEO best practices, and you can get your small business ranking in the top of Google’s search results for topics that your customers are searching for.
Small Business Content Writing Basics
To generate the kind of content that will rank well and be interesting, you need to have a plan, so try the following:
- Be consistent and fresh. Try to make sure you’re publishing blog posts at two to three times per week. Not only is the quality of your content important, but so is the frequency with which you publish. To continually grow your site’s traffic and sales potential, you should blog on a regular basis.
- Establish an editorial calendar. Set aside a designated time a few days a week to devote to writing content for your business.
- Be a story teller. People love good stories. Don’t just give them fact after fact. Mix in some real world examples to help bring your blog posts to life and entertain your audience.
- Let your personality shine through. If you’re a funny, witty person, allow that to shine in your blog and throughout your website. Personality gives your writing a unique voice and helps you stick out in the blogging crowd.
- Be current and relevant: If it happened two days ago, great. Write about it. But if it happened two months ago, you may want to consider a different topic or at least a new spin.
- Give away secrets! People love to get inside information from experts on a topic. You’re the expert on your business and your niche, so you’ve got valuable industry knowledge that only you know. Be transparent and share some of your trade secrets with your audience. They’ll thank you for it.
- Steer clear of controversy. Sure, some bloggers make their living off of being controversial, but they’re not trying to sell a product or service. You are! So stay away from hot button topics like politics or religion. You don’t want to alienate any of your target consumers.
- Make your blog posts at least 500 to 600 words. Now, there’s no magic word count to ranking on page one in the search engines, but Google likes quality content (and so do readers). And it’s really hard to deliver quality content in just a paragraph.
- Don’t be too self-promotional. Sure, your goal is to get more leads and sales, but self-serving blog content can turn readers off, and that’s the opposite of what you want to happen.