Every business goes through stages where you feel like you’ve got nothing to give. You’ve run out of ideas, you’re pretty sure no one is interested in your “news”, what are people possibly going to be interested in about what I’ve got to say?
For some businesses, it’s easier than others to generate content and stories that grab interest. But if you’re a niche market and you’re consumer is a very small percentage of people, how do you go about hooking people with your content and, for a start, what content?? Follow these tips to help you get started in creating some sizzling content.
Talk to each other
Use those team meetings as an opportunity to really talk. Not just about what’s happening or what contract you’ve won but get underneath the skin of people. Has anyone come up with a great idea or concept? Has anyone solved a customer problem recently with a nifty solution? Is anyone doing anything for charity that the company can get involved in? News and content has to be found – by starting with questions you may well uncover a gem. The people behind your business make the content.
Take a look at your competitors
Naturally businesses look at their competitors to make sure they’re keeping up in business matters but why not look at their content? What are they doing that’s generating interest or what are they doing that’s not? Use this insight to help you develop ideas about how you can develop your own take and angle on what you’re doing. You might not even like what they are doing, and that can be enough to inspire you to say: “I can make this so much better.”
Sign-up to industry magazines and newsletters
A fantastic way of getting content ideas without having to do a lot of work. Setting up google alerts is also a good way of keeping in-touch with what’s happening in your industry. Reading is the slightly more time-consuming element but it will do wonders for your ideas and thoughts around how your business can sit within popular news pieces and angles.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers
Your customers hold the greatest insight into what they want to hear. So ask them! Don’t be afraid to get in touch with them, whether individually or by setting up a quick doodle poll, to help you understand what they need. You might be surprised at what they say and that can act as a brilliant driver to help you generate fantastic content that speaks to them. I had a remarkably friendly pop-up message in my online banking from Natwest recently, they had asked their customers about how their content was received (statements, notices etc) and they had made some improvements. Great stuff!
If you have an industry viewpoint that is very different to others, don’t be afraid to say it. Research your thoughts and opinions and back them up with solid facts and evidence. If you’ve got a great argument for an alternative point of view then don’t be afraid that it’s different – sometimes different is what makes the difference. I tweeted about this fantastic video from IKEA a while back, and it is an incredibly bold move but it clearly demonstrates what they stand for and they are proud to stand behind it. Watch the revolution of the bookbook.
Think about your reasons for creating content
Don’t just put content out willy-nilly (such a great word!) – make sure you plan your content strategy properly. What is the point of all the content you want to put out? Why will it benefit your customer? Why will it benefit you? Do you want to become an authority in your area? Maybe you want to generate discussion as you are a charity that relies on volunteers and you need their input? Make sure your content sits in-line with your business strategy and goals. Content for content’s sake is about as useful as broken hair straighteners. Totally not useful.
Ok, ok. I always advocate this. But fun is great. Even if you have a business that you think fun can’t possibly even come into, ever, you can find some fun. It doesn’t have to be hysterical fun, but some light-heartedness is a nice way to break from the norm and show your wealth. Take the recent Appliances Online TV advert. Pretty ordinary business, selling electrical items, but made a great play at their competitors by insisting that they would only deliver your new appliance when you’re at home. Yes, when you’re at home. Not when you’re out. When you’re in. You can watch the video here.