Creating your own content
When I speak to small businesses right now, mostly on social media, many are asking what they can do to promote themselves.
Now, as you’ll know if you’re a regular here, I am what I’d describe as an ‘integrated PR pro’. I believe, and it can easily be demonstrated, in integrating many parts of the PR and communication mix to achieve greater impact.
So when I see these calls for help or someone asks me “what kind of news have I got to share”, I advise the person to stop thinking about what news they can “get out”. It’s not all about news and it’s not about broadcasting.
My top tips right now:
- Always think about your target audience before you think about the message
- If you’ve done your audience profiling go back to that list of the things your audience values, what they care about and flesh out some of that
- Now think about what you can do to talk about those values. Maybe it’s share some helpful tips on your blog or perhaps it’s collaborating with a like-minded business or person, or run an online workshop to demonstrate something. Don’t think about what you want to tell them – that’s the wrong way around! Think what your audience would like to know or to hear.
Don’t miss the biggest opportunity right now
Your own content, or ‘owned content’ as we call it (part of the PESO model), is the biggest opportunity you have to get the message right, get the look and feel right and get the timing right. You’re in complete control of it. Just like I’m sitting writing this blog as I’ve spotted this challenge in many small businesses, I’m trying to help by giving you some basic tips on how to go about getting over your problem. I’m in control of writing, posting, sharing etc.
I’d say that there is a LOT of content being shared right now. Mostly because people think that by creating content they are doing something useful, but there is no value in just putting out content for the sake of it. So, be thoughtful about the content you are considering putting out. I blogged recently about being thoughtful. Make sure it adds value to your audience.
Tips to grab attention when creating your own content
In addition, make sure it grabs attention. Your image/video should be compelling enough to make someone take notice, stop scrolling and read on. Your headline or caption has to support the visual and make it a message worth clicking on. If your content leads to a blog, website or something else, make sure the landing page is clear, succinct and captures the imagination. You want them to hang around and check out more of your content. Then you need to ensure your other content is engaging enough to make them want to subscribe, follow or whatever your call to action is.
Things your audience will likely stop to see is if there are key words that stand out, or you’re answering a problem they face. They also love seeing people, so if you aren’t camera shy, try out some video or get your insta-husband/wife to take some pictures of you.
Which brings me onto another point. Your website is realistically where people are going to come to see a product, read a blog or read about your services. Make sure your website looks good, the user will have a great experience and find things easily, and again, make sure it speaks of the values your brand holds and that your audience will resonate with. This can be done visually or through great copy.
Right now is a great opportunity to have a website audit and make an action plan of things to do, to have better SEO, better path through your site for visitors and perhaps make it clearer or more visually captivating. Let me know if you need help to come up with ideas for improvements.
Creating nice visuals for free
One tool I use for creating my own content, because I create so many blogs and posts, and considering most small businesses can’t afford a designer on tap to create graphics, is Canva. It’s an amazing tool! You can do so much even with the free version. Loads of templates all ready to use, downloadable immediately, easy to use… I love it. I’ve actually done a 20 minute webinar on using the tool if you want to check it out.
There is an online version and an app, so it’s handy for using on-the-move, too.
Just do it
You can test your content with your audience and make sure you use the insights available on your channels to post at the right time. The biggest issue some face is getting over the fear of creating the content, especially video or the likes of lives and stories. My advice is just do it. There’s no easy way!