Content Management System
Does your business or that of your clients’ have an online presence, of any sort? As you are reading this online, I’ll assume that the answer is ‘yes’. If I’m wrong, then I invite you to join the 21st Century way of doing business, albeit a little late.
Here I want to offer some ideas about why it is important to have a content creation strategy, instead of the often ad hoc approach that marketers have. Your strategy might be modest (2 blog posts a month) or full-on (daily posts, weekly press releases, social media posting schedule etc), but having that strategy and implementing it, will keep you on track in an online business environment that is full of distractions and talk of the ‘next big thing’.
I’m not alone in this view, nor is it based on the need to create more business for myself (!). Hubspot’s recent 2012 report on the “State of Inbound Marketing” has really driven this point home. How often new posts are added to blogs, and how this frequency relates to customer/client acquisition, the following was revealed:
* Companies which posted more then once a day enjoyed a customer acquisition rate of 92% – Those who posted once a day enjoyed a customer acquisition rate of 78% – Those who only posted 2 or 3 each week had a customer acquisition rate of 70% – Weekly postings generated a rate of 66% acquisition and monhtly postings acquired only a 56% rating (HubSpot, 2012)
The principal demonstrated here is: the more frequently you post, the more customers and leads you’ll attract. There are several reasons why this is so:
* If clients, visitors and customers know that they will be seeing regular new content they’ll visit your blog or site more often, and look for any alerts that you send out, and refer their friends.
* They will begin to trust you, the recommendations you offer, and, importantly, your brand. Trusting visitors become leads, who will convert into customers, then loyalists, and, ideally, advocates for your business/service/product/brand.
* Google and other search engines rate those websites that regularly offer new, unique content. Fresh, unique, relevant content means better search engine rankings.
So here’s the challenge: how will you be able to come up with all the time and ideas needed to create fresh posts several times each day?
Create A Schedule For Your Editorial Activities
To help you get started, first put together an editorial schedule. This is a way of holding yourself or anyone else handling content creation accountable. Begin by determining what kind of schedule you’ll set up (weekly, bi monthly, monthly or annually) and then start listing your business, its brand, or the product or service orientated content ideas.
Avoid sticking only to blog posts however, expand your horizons by including ideas for eBooks, white papers, social media posts, webinars, press releases, document sharing and more.
Next, to keep your blog ahead of the schedule, start identifying content source opportunities – setting up Google Alerts for the key terms used in your niche will help. It’s all too common for a business to start falling behind, then, once this happens the problem can turn into a chore and begin falling far behind schedule.
The final step to take: implementing and maintaining your content. One option available for facilitating this activity effectively is software for customer relationship management(CRM) and Content Management systems (CMS). Investing in these kinds of systems can potentially allow you to form an almost one step management of adding and keeping your blog and website’s content organized while simultaneously updating each of your social media accounts.
I use WordPress for my sites, and this allows me to add content in advance and nominate its automatic publishing date. This is great if you want to take the plunge and outsource a batch of content that can be loaded at once, but drip-released over a period of weeks or months.
Getting Other Teams Involved
If you’re planning on creating your business orientated content single-handedly, then the past will reveal that you’re headed for failure. By involve your company’s teams in the creation of relevant content relevant, or by taking things to the a more professional level, and outsourcing your content to those skilled in this fine niche, you will tap into a wealth of content ideas – ideas that you may not even recognize exist.
To illustrate, the people who manage your customer service are likely to have great content ideas. Comprised of the people who assist and interact with your customers and leads each day, your customer service staff know the types of people that make up your target market. They know what they are looking for, what they love or struggle with regarding your products and services, and how they use your products and services – the are in the best position too to ask for customer service testimonials.
When getting other teams involved, be sure there’s a set procedure for content and idea submission, or you may find yourself burdened with more material then you can handle!
Don’t Leave Out The Visuals
Did you know that Pinterest has now become the Internet’s 3rd most popular social media website (according to Mashable, 2012)? This means that more then ever before, it’s is now vital, to have relevant content that is both visually and textually engaging. Providing visual content will lend your business additional online exposure and if you produce it yourself, it’s free – so remember to have a camera/camera phone on hand to capture images of displays, labels, new shipments arriving off a ship or truck etc and keep them in an easily accessible folder.(using Dropbox myself, I find it’s especially convenient for storing images, particularly when you want other team members to access them).
This is not the only advantage though. Visual content boosts user engagement and also aids the development of your brand’s identity. Earlier this year, Simply Measured reported that just having an image or anything visual incorporated into a social media post can increase your site’s visitor engagement by 65%.
The reason is that:
– Infographics and other types of visual content can showcase content in a way that can be instantly processed by people who think ‘visually’. And because they are attention-grabbing (at least the good ones are!) they have a much greater chances of being shared, increasing your business/product’s online exposure.
– Content that’s appealing visually attracts visitors’ eyes and peeks their interest and curiosity.
– According to a study conducted by the US Government, 83% of learning is achieved visually (OHSA, May 1996) – so the more visual the content that you include to accompany your written content, the more memorable it will be.
The key concept here is that you need to become aware of opportunities upon which to base content – content that is both textual and visual.
If your organization is holding a holiday party or participating in volunteer event, take some pictures and post them online.
If you’ve ran a survey or gathered a lot of information that will help promote a product or service you’re selling or demonstrate your company’s industry related expertise, combine them into an infograph.
Any customer/client testimonials that you have can also be included in your visual content.
Opportunities are abundant, so any business, regardless of whether it’s a medium or smaller sized company or a one-man band, can take implement a content strategy that will enhance its online presence. You can keep it really simple, but I recommend you take the time to make it happen.