No Content, No Conversation
Why Educational Content Is A Must For Companies Today
With all the things you have to do to take care of your customers and grow your business, creating content feels like the last thing you want to do.
After a long day at the office, who wants to sit down and write a blog or make a podcast? Trust us, we know how you feel! But before you pour yourself a beer and flip on the game, take a minute and think about what that content is actually doing for you.
Blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts, websites and social media – all these channels help you tell your story and attract the attention of future customers. Without content, your business isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
You need to be using your content to not only tell the story of your business, but to also educate your customers. Share your knowledge. Share your best practices, share case studies, share tips and advice. Even share failures and what you learned. Failure only occurs if nothing was learned.
By giving freely of your expertise, you start building relationships with future buyers while demonstrating your own knowledge. A blog reader today could be a client in three months.
Not everyone is ready to buy right now. But by regularly creating and sharing content, you keep your business in front of them. And when they’re ready, they already feel like they know and trust you. You can’t pay for trust; trust is earned!
Then calling you up is an easy and logical next step for them. After all, they’ve been reading your content for months now. They know they can trust you and that you have the solution to their business needs.
But Why Should I Share My Expertise?
I know. It seems counter-intuitive. You’ve spent years building your knowledge. In some cases, it’s the secret sauce of your company. Giving it away for free in your content just seems … wrong.
What if they take your advice and do it themselves? What if they don’t buy your products or services because you helped them figure it out and you’ve lost out on a sale?
While it’s true that there will be some people who will do that (they were always going to do it themselves anyway), the vast majority won’t ever have the time, resources or commitment to do it themselves. Instead they’ll read your blog or LinkedIn post, think “Wow, that guy/gal is brilliant!” and give you a call the next time they need someone in your field.
Or they may be able to do some of the simpler things but get stuck trying to take it to the next level. Again, this is when they give you a call and you get a new customer.
And for the very few people who read your content and do it on their own, consider it a little bit of good karma. And who couldn’t use more of that?
Go Where Your Customers Are
So you’ve put down the beer and picked up the laptop. (Or maybe you picked up both, we’re not judging.) What should you write and where should you post it?
Think of your ideal customer. What do they ask about when you talk? What are their pain points? Where do they go for information?
If your ideal customer is just launching a new business and is looking to build their customer base, then think about the ways your business can help them do that. Share your best tips about finding and securing new customers. Share anecdotes, share what worked and what didn’t. Share the resources you used when you were getting started.
After you take a minute to proofread it, then think about where to post it. Should it go on your company’s website? Would it be better if you posted it on LinkedIn or Facebook?
Look at your website and social media traffic. Where are you getting the most visitors? If traffic is about the same or you’re just getting started, post content in both places.
Maybe you put the longer, “how-to” blogs on your website and some quick tips on your social media. Maybe you share a great article or funny meme on Facebook.
The goal is to get a conversation started. Encourage your readers to leave a comment. An easy way to do this is to ask for their own experiences or to submit a question for you to answer next week. And remember, this all takes time. Don’t worry if no one responds at first. Every great blogger, vlogger, celebrity and big-time CEO all started from scratch, so don’t get discouraged.
Do I Have To Do This Every Day??
So unless you’ve always dreamed of being a famous novelist, writing a blog every day may not sound like fun. But don’t worry – you can still get good results without posting every day. Start out with a blog every month or week and a few posts on social media. Make it part of your routine -check email, make coffee and spend 10 minutes on your blog.
Once you get into the hang of writing every week, you may find it’s not so bad and want to add another blog or social media post. Or if you find that writing really isn’t your thing, you can also find a freelance writer to write some blogs for you or your friendly neighborhood marketing agency can handle the whole thing for you.
A Word Of Caution
While your content should be educational and full of good advice, let’s make sure it’s not TOO conversational. You’re representing your business in front of the entire world, so be careful with the adult language. You should probably also steer clear of politics because this can go really, really wrong. But hey, you know your customers and audience the best, so really just use your best judgment.
We can’t stress this enough, you can end up doing some major damage to your company’s reputation with one poorly-worded tweet, insensitive post or ill- timed joke, so take a minute to think before you hit send.
Now Go Write Something!
With your ideal customer in mind, pick a common question and start writing. Aim for 500-800 words for a blog. Keep it concise and conversational. Break it down into steps and use bullet points to make it easy to read.
When you’re done, have a friend or employee give it a read. (And don’t forget to spell check!) Now it’s ready to go live on your blog.
Congrats! You’ve taken the next step in building your business and it’s digital presence. Keep up the good work and remember, patience and commitment are the keys to generating readership. Listen to them, provide value and the rest will take care of itself.June 18, 2018