How to create great content without the overwhelm? As business owners, we all want to be visible, to get exposure for our business. One way of doing that is to create great content. So I want to look in this blog at what is content, why do you need to create it, what kind of content should you be putting out there for your type of business and your personality, and how you can do it without being overwhelmed and by working smart.
What is content?
Rather than assume everyone knows, as they don’t, this term needs to be explained before I move on. Content is educational, promotional and personal material you put out on social media, on your blogs and on your website, or in printed materials that helps people to get to know you or your products and services, or gets to understand through educational material why they benefit form your offer, why to trust you as a brand and eventually make a buying decision.
Why do you need to create great content?
It can be tempting to think it’s a waste of time creating so much content especially when you feel it isn’t directly driving sales. Most of the time you are correct, it isn’t going to directly drive sales because mostly it’s not promotional content that you are putting out. So is it worth the time? Well, I’d say make the most of your time and work smart. More on how to do that later in this article.
Content really helps your business in several ways. It can help to promote your brand so clients become familiar with you and eventually begin to trust you. When they trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. It also helps to establish you as an authority in your niche. As your content starts to be shared and spreads, you will also gain more followers. Again that helps to build trust. So with content, you are growing a pile of a different sort of currency – trust.
What kind of content can you create?
There are different mediums of content you can create and the ones you choose will be the ones that suit your current skills and your personality type. The basic choices are:
You don’t have to do every type of content there is, just what you feel comfortable doing. Or you can outsource the creation of most of it (except the videos you appear in) to a Virtual Assistant.
If you are not comfortable on camera, you may be better doing written or audio content. If you hate writing but have a flare for the dramatic, video would be your obvious medium. I would recommend you try to become more comfortable on video as this tends to reach further on Facebook than static content and by putting content on YouTube, you take advantage of one of the world’s best search engines.
I run a short course on getting comfortable on camera called Find Your Voice. Check it out here.
Written content is great for getting found on Google. The more good quality original content you can put out in writing on your website, the more chance you stand of showing up in searches for relevant content.
Having a blog on your site is a great way to organically grow your website page by page with good written content. It is not a feature reserved for foodies and travel writers. It’s a proven strategy you can use to get seen on line in any business.
A case in point, one year, we were asked to provide a transcription service for an existing client. It wasn’t a service we provide and we don’t list it as such on our website, but it was something we could easily provide for our client, so we did. In that week of doing it, we wrote a “behind the scenes” blog about the experience and posted it on our blog. Shortly after that, we started to get enquiries for transcription services and at first we were confused. Why are people suddenly phoning about this? we asked. Then we realised it was the blog article that was coming up in people’s searches! So be careful what you blog about!
You can also write long-form copy on your Facebook and other social media posts. These do well and yes, people do read them. How much they read depends on how engaging you make the article, but don’t avoid doing this type of content based on a misconception that people don’t read. One of my clients put out a long post on Facebook and because the article was engaging, emotional and relatable, it went viral.
Using illustrations, images, photos and infographics are great ways to add engaging content to the mix. If you are strategic about this, you can create 3 months’ worth in one go and schedule out the posts to drip daily.
I put out a lot of inspirational quotes using my Fairy Godmother illustrations and this helps to perpetuate the brand. You can also take photos of yourself in different scenarios and poses and put quotes next to these.
Infographics are a great way to make a complex idea easily understandable, especially processes.
If you aren’t comfortable on video just yet but know you need a show, some way to reach a wider audience while giving of yourself not just in static form, then a podcast may be the answer for you. Creating a podcast show is not as difficult as you think. In fact it’s really easy once you know the equipment and software you need. There are free and paid podcast hosting platforms you can choose from. You simply choose your format, i.e. just you, or interviews with others, then decide on the average length of each episode and how often you will release an episode.
I built my podcast myself, including designing the visual tile used to promote the show online. I designed this with Canva and the intro and outro recordings were edited using video editing software.
The hosting software will place your podcast to all the main places where people listen to their chosen podcasts like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.
Having a podcast with interviews is a great way to grow your listening audience as you will have your audience and your interviewee’s audience tuning in at the same time.
You also get to interview people from all around the world that you would never have met otherwise.
As mentioned above, videos get the most research and you get to draw on the massive search engine that is YouTube as well.
If you can do Facebook lives, so much the better. Nowadays you can use StreamYard a streaming service to stream your live video presentation to multiple platforms at the same time. I regularly stream simultaneously to my Facebook Page, my Facebook Group and my YouTube channel.
Some people are shy to go live as they may not get many live viewers, that’s OK. Firstly, you can announce on Facebook the time you intend to go live so those interested may turn up. Secondly, it doesn’t really matter if no one’s listening as people will watch the replay anyway. Remember the money is always in the follow up.
So what can you put out videos about?
These are common to do. Quickly plan out your topic structure with 3-4 main teaching points and you have a handy video presentation in the making.
Video is a great way to demonstrate products, how they work and their benefits. You can also use case studies in the same way. Show on video how you have helped a customer, their issue before you met, what you did for them, how you did it, and the proven result you delivered.
Testimonials on video are the most compelling you will be able to show.
You know, you’ve seen these online. How to lose X kg in 10 days, the ice water bucket challenge, etc. These can be highly engaging as you get people to do the challenge with you and post their daily results.
How to save time by repurposing one piece of content multiple times
This is how I do it:
- I record a how to video of me speaking on camera and use that for social media and YouTube.
- I take the audio recording and make this a Podcast episode.
- I cut up snippets of the video content to show one by one on social media as short videos of around 30 seconds to a minute each. I could get between 10-20 pieces from one video.
- I play the original video with Google Docs open and the Voice Typing tool turned on and Google Docs transcribes the whole video for me. That gets edited and becomes a blog article or two.
- I send the transcript to my VA and ask her to pull out interesting quotes from the text and they become my static image posts and quotes. Again I can get 10-30 quotes out of one transcription.
And all I did was record a 30-min video and now have around 50 pieces of content!