Today we are launching a four part series “Four Steps to Creating Content for your Digital Community” to help you create content for today’s fast moving digital and social media community. Many times, people are intimidated and don’t know where to begin when it comes to social media and business. When in reality, it’s not that hard. Allow us to break it down for you in an outline of four simple steps. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to reach a whole new niche of people and get ready to expand!
Build Your Content Strategy
The first part is constructing a content strategy. In other words, planning. “Content” is simply the material you’re putting out there on the Internet. Immediately ask yourself the question “why am I making this? You’ve got to know the answer before moving forward, and it doesn’t have to be anything insanely stellar. Some answers may include:
- Establishing credibility
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Creating leads and driving sales
However, social media gives you more power, as a business owner, than you think. It puts you in control. You control what information you would like to be disseminated to your audience. That being said, you need to consider how and what you want to share with your audience. Again ask yourself why, but on a deeper level. You could be doing this to:
- Create sharable, meaningful content for your community
- Connect with your community on a deeper level
- Develop relationships to get more customers and keep them
BAM! The second set of bullet points really drives the importance of content home, not that the first aren’t incredibly important, both sets are important. The second allows you to see the impact of social media for your business.
Another integral part of building your content strategy are these three things:
- The big picture
- Your online community
- Establishing your tone and voice
The Big Picture
Remember the big picture here, in other words, what you’re writing about. It’s going to be a part of everything you write and be a part of your overall strategy. Details are important, but at this point stay focused on the big picture! Three factors that will make your overall picture, well, BIG are:
- Make It Broad: Your content needs to be broad enough to work on for a long time
- Make It Unique: Your content should stand out from the crowd
- Make It Relevant: Your content should match your expertise and should appeal to a wide variety of community members
Your Online Community
Examine your audience at a deeper level. Exactly, whom are you trying to reach and why? How do they like to be engaged? What problems can you solve that will help them do their jobs better or make their lives easier? Know what your audience wants and needs. Do a little research. Don’t just think of your community as merely your target audience, think about your existing customers, employees, and prospective clients. They’re all consuming your content, possibly sharing it and even helping to establish you as the go-to source in your industry.
For example, if you’re business is trying to reach the millennial audience, your content should include items that speak to their needs, interests and pain points. Write to those needs and interests in a way that benefits both your business and your audience.
Establish Your Tone and Voice
We’ve covered being unique when it comes to developing the big picture. Let your personality shine! Show off your personality via your tone and brand voice. This moves you away from the corporate jargon to a more personal and relatable tone. For example, brands speak their consumer’s language. Think about this example from Mercedes Benz, at the Miami International Car Show. You don’t have to know everything there is to know about a Mercedes to understand what their brand is all about. Consider your favorite major brands. What are they doing that makes them so easily recognizable? Here are three things to consider –
- They know what makes them interesting
- Consumers know what they do
- They stick to their big picture in everything they do across their brand. Plus, they’re original and consistent
Now that you’ve got your strategy in hand, including your big picture, online community and your brands voice, you’ll be able to tackle the first and often hardest step of developing your content. Remember, you’re in control with your content. Use these steps and watch your content help your business grow!
Stay tuned for the second part in our series – Going Beyond Text!
With so many different types of content, which should you pick and why? It’s a big question. In the second part of our series, “Four Steps to Creating Successful Content” we’ll explore a variety of mediums for developing content, and we’ll focus on some the latest and greatest.
Have you begun to build your content strategy? What do you find is the most difficult part of building it out? We’d love to know! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.