Three Types of Content your Business Should be Producing
Updated: May 4, 2019
So, let me get this out of the way from the beginning. I know in today's world when you hear the term content writing or content creation you might get this picture in your mind of a 20-something-year-old Instagram influencer (okay maybe that’s just me but keep going with me here).
This Instagram influencer is taking photos, posting videos, promoting sponsored products, and calling it content creation. Which, don't get me wrong, they are creating content, and in all fairness, they are driving traffic and sales for whatever brand they represent. But we want to take a different approach here.
Content writing for business owners is going to look a little different (unless you are said 20- something-year-old Instagram influence, then if so, more power to ya).
When I talk about content creation, what I mean is content writing, with a heavy focus on storytelling and creating authentic, emotional, content that resonates with the consumer's emotions and builds connections.
Take for example in this blog. I could have EASILY gone in, made an academic paper with statistics and hard to pronounce terms explaining why you should adopt a content marketing strategy, but instead, I tell you a story, and I don’t do this because I wanted to daydream all day long, but I teach content marketing through stories because that's what resonates with your heart. You want to laugh, you want to cry, you want to think, and question your own beliefs and knowledge.
Through telling stories I show that I am a real person, that I am human and not just a photo or blog, and that it’s A-ok to feel connected and invested.
Now, let's bring that back into the business world. I want you to take a second to visualize something for me:
It’s one year from now. You once read this fabulous blog from some random content marketer who also claims to be a world traveler. How the heck did you end up with that. Okay whatever, moving forward. You decided to adopt an inbound content marketing strategy by either creating one yourself or outsourcing the work to a professional in the industry. You having a raving blog that tells stories of your customers, your love for the industry, your best industry tips, and you openly share your knowledge to the consumers who are already searching for it, because you want to help them solve their problems. You were a little doubtful at first. You thought, “Man, this is a bit of a time investment that could be spent binging hours of HGTV while over overeating the recommended amount of dark chocolate and red wine because it's “healthy.” But, instead, you busted out your laptop and decided to keep creating content. And did it pay off.
Today, you have a strong presence online, customers flow to you in abundance because they already have trust in the work you do, just because of the content you have published. Finding new customers is now an inbound game of having them come to you, and you getting to be picky about who you serve. You’re killing the selling game because your new customers already feel as if they have a personal connection with you, and the rapport is already there because of your content marketing efforts. Phew.
How does that feel?
What does your life look like?
“Wow. Take me back to that daydream. How can I go about manifesting this into my reality? How does one do this Content Marketing thing?”
Three types of content you should be creating:
1: Core Content
Core content is the content you produce that supports your brand, services, and products. This content should explain who you are, your mission, and it should educate your consumers and help readers solve their problems. This content should be all about you as a professional and the ins and outs of the industry. This can be done through your website content, your about me page, blogs, and educational content.
Your website is one of the most simple places to start for core content.
A website is your online shop or office, your content is your product, and your actions are your service. Your website acts as a hub for all of the content you produce, your case studies, your services, your blog. Your website is a representation of the kind of industry leader you are, and through your website, you are able to reach the 3.2 billion people online.
Let’s dive a bit deeper on what should be on your website.
Your About Me Page:
Take a look at your about me page on your website. Let me take a guess, does it say something like “John has been serving his community for the past 15 years, helping his friends do XYZ.” Did I nail it? If you take one thing away from this whole blog, I ask that it be this: have your about section be more of a reflection of who you are as a real-life human being.
Are you a single mom of 3 teenagers, secretly have a black belt in karate, and knows how to make steamed veggies appetizing? Let the world know, sista!
People are going to hire the professional they emotionally resonate with, not the one who can put on the best professional front.
Nicole Tip: This goes for all types of content created; the content written with personality will sell 100 times over the content written in a standard professional persona you are trying to portray to the public.
Blogs & Education:
Ahhh blogs. Aren't blogs for millennial travel bloggers talking about where to take the best Instagram worthy photos in Paris? Well, yes. There are many wonderful bloggers who talk about just that topic, but a blog is critical for every business in the market today.
An effectively written blog should:
Provide educational information (Tips, industry news, how to’s)
Be interesting: would you care to read your own blog?
Be authentic to your brand voice: don't write from a place of portraying a professional persona. Be authentic to your own voice and you will draw in the right clients that resonate with who you are
Give value without expecting a sale in return (I know, I know, this one can be hard)
Be written simply and in a way that drives traffic to your website through SEO, keywords, and website meta and H1-H6 tags
Provide a call to action and social sharing options
Tell a story that has a beginning, middle, and end, and solves a problem
Benefits of a blog:
Differentiate yourself from the thousands of other agents and brokers selling the exact same service
Provide a human experience
Be known as a leader in your industry
Be the go-to person when someone is in need of buying or selling
Drive organic leads to your site through SEO
Build rapport and trust with your existing and potential customers
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
SEO is all about getting your content found online, and ranking high in Google search through Keywords and tags inside of your content. When I first got into the world of content marketing, one of the first terms I had to befriend was SEO, and let me tell you, I was NOT having it. To me, SEO was way over my head. This was something that web programmers did, or people with like 12 degrees and a certificate from NASA. But when I got into it and decided to put my own BS aside and learn the SEO thing, I was quickly laughing at myself for how simple the concept is. Let me explain.
Search Engine Optimization is how your valuable content is found online. Let's remember that with over 3.2 billion people online and thousands of new blogs being published every second (I didn't make this up, go look for yourself!) it's critical to understand the technical side of content writing, so your content is actually found. We can “add SEO” blogs and websites in a few different ways:
Keywords are words and phrases that consumers in your market are searching for when on google. These key phrases must show up in your blog, website, property listings, in order for your content to be found on Google by your potential clients.
These keywords should be added to your products, blogs, website, where ever you see fit. Be creative with these keywords, and strategically place them throughout relative content.
Nicole Tip: Don't overdo the keywords. Most content marketers think you need to jam pack your content with keywords just like those sardines your mother used to buy for your sacked school lunch (or is that just me). A few keywords on each piece of content will get you much further than an overload of keywords in your content.
2: Hyper-Local content:
When I work with business owners and suggest Hyperlocal Content as part of their content marketing strategy, I often get the response of “Nicole, I cannot out-rank national companies in the industry when writing hyperlocal content so why even try.”
And I get it. These are national companies creating hyperlocal content. But get this, you can't outrank them, you can do much, much better.
You can create hyperlocal content from an EXPERT point of view (since this is, in fact, your city) and write it with PERSONALITY. You have the upper hand on these national companies.
Hyper-local content is content all about your nice market in your city. Are you a cupcake bakery in Kansas City? Writer about where the best markets are in town to get the best ingredients. Or perhaps you are a vegan store in Chicago? Write about upcoming vegan festivals coming to town.
3: Human Content:
Human Content is just what it sounds like (I like to think so at least). This is content that is not particularly market-focused nor directly educational, yet still relevant to the industry and consumer. This content is entertaining and written in a way that really lets your creativity and passion show through.
This can be done by showing a behind the scenes look at your business on Instagram Stories, to let the world know you are all just a bunch of humans living your passion.
Email marketing that asks questions to engage your email list and evoke a response. Ideally you’re just trying to make a connection, but much of the time this turns into new sales.
What kind of content does your company produce?