This is Jacob Erdei. If you read out blog you probably already know I have spent 10+ years doing digital marketing and consulting for many small and medium sized businesses as well as my own ventures and as an affiliate.
Years ago when I developed out someones website the company owner or decision maker would always say they would write their own content. They just wanted me to come in and advice on page layouts or build out a template for them to work from but they had employees who would actually write the content.
It sounded great to me, less work on my end. After all who is better to write your websites content then those who are already working in that industry.
The end result however was a poor website result either from half empty website pages or outdated content that never got changed. I have since changed my consulting to automatically talk about Content Development and it’s importance on several levels.
What is a Content Development Strategy?
Simply put content development is is a plan in place to ensure your company is developing content that is relevant and useful to your website visitors. The content produced may be for generating leads, peaking customer interest, product announcements, company news, education and entertainment.
Think of a Website as a Dog (Say What?)
A website is like buying a dog. You can’t just have a dog and do nothing with it. You have to take it for walks, give it food (At least I hope you feed your dog!), provide water and bath the dog when needed. There is a lot of responsibility in keeping your dog alive.
So why is it that we don’t think of websites as living breathing things? I know technically they are not alive but if you ever want someone to visit your website you sure as hell better treat your website like a living being and take care of it.
How to Take Care of Your Website?
This comes back to my first thought about Content Development being lacking in most industries. After you build out your first several webpages you need to constantly add in new content. The good news out of this is it does not have to be an everyday task. While medium sized and large businesses may need to curate and develop content everyday, the vast majority of small businesses don’t need to have daily content creation. Depending on your industry you may be able to get away with as little as 1 article a month.
Your content Development strategy should identify topics that will be of interest to people who are looking for your products or services. If you sell fashion clothes then your people probably care deeply about fashion. You should have no issues creating plenty of content around such topics.
A site who I think does a GREAT job of Content Development is http://www.gentlemansgazette.com/ . Take a look! You will notice this website sells clothes but they do so much more then just sell clothes. They teach people about clothes and styles as well as lifestyles and proper etiquette. This is done through interest and entrainment pieces.
Social Media Content Development Strategy
I’m writing this as a social media marketing post so maybe it’s time to talk a little more about social media and content development.
Often times both website content and Social Media content can be the same. Why not kill two birds with 1 stone and do a Facebook post to your Facebook company page linking back to your article of interest to your customers. While you are at it, you can use that same image in that article as an image on FaceBook to get a better reaction and reach.
That same post can go to twitter and Instagram or even Pinterest.
When it comes to social media there is no reason you can’t post once a week. Facebook is the most dominant and rewarding for most companies. You don’t have to post huge thoughts or do full page posts. Just write a few sentences telling your fans what your company is doing or what interesting tid bit you have for them that week.
Social media can be a strong seller but it’s those who have the soft touch that get more out of it. It’s not going to be about selling your products or constantly pushing your specials. It’s about creating a culture that your customers want to be a part of. This can be don through engaging content that entertains.
So What Should I post About?
I get this question a lot from small business owners. I can’t tell you the exact topics that are engaging for your audience. You can do some searches on Google to see what kind of topics your industry is already a buzz about and take those topics and make them your own.
As I don’t have any dental clients I can advice freely on what I would do for the Dental Niche.
Your clients have already come to you once before so getting that repeat should not be all that hard. It does however say a lot about you if a client starts to like your facebook posts and all their friends (Most of whom are most likely local) keep seeing your name pop up every few weeks. Chances are if they are in need of a dentist they may easily think of you first.
The content you can write about is endless like with most businesses. You just need to dig deep and think of curious factoids about your industry.
Here are some quick Headlines I came up with around Dentistry
Do you Floss Before or After your Brush? – MG Dentistry Solves this Age old Mystery
Do You Wet the Tooth Brush Before you put tooth paste on the Brush? – MG Dentistry has the answer
Do You Really Need to Go Twice a Year to the Dentist? MG Dentistry Talks Facts. (This article is done for branding and educating customers about going to a dentist twice a year)
Why is a Root Canal So Expensive? MG Dentistry Explores the True Costs (This is meant to explain why the cost is higher for certain procedures even if the same time is involved and to maybe talk about your payment plan options)
How Safe is At home Teeth Whitening? MG Dentistry Explores Your Options (Upsell for your teeth whitening services that are not expensive)
I could go on and on and on with examples. It’s about finding those curious factoids in your industry and talking about them. By quickly explaining and answering things you establish yourself as an industry expert.
Because you are putting out interesting content you will most likely get several likes to your content as your fan base grows it will just keep going as long as you FEED your site and don’t let it die.
If possible sit down an hour a week and put some real thought into how to make your content more engaging and of interest to your customers. Keep writing down article topics and even a series of ideas that build upon each other. As you start to do this every week the process will soon become second nature and in just a few short months you should have no issues coming up with article topics. The absolute worst case would be a 1 hour consult with us or a forum membership where you can get input from marketing experts to help get them juices flowing. Getting started for some people can be rough so that is why we allow a forum membership at a huge discount over our hourly consulting rate.
Lastly… Ensure you have a dedicated person in charge of posting the content. Ideally it should be the person in charge of marketing as they should have a high level of knowledge about your products and services as well as some marketing training on how best to implement the content development strategy.