Online Platforms are the Domain
You may have heard the expression – “Content is King”. As a business metaphor, this means what you put on your website, on your collateral material, post on your blog and social media sites is incredibly important…arguably the most important aspect of your online presence and digital marketing campaigns. That’s not to say design, style, form, and function are insignificant. Quite the contrary. Working with quality graphic designers, such as True Creative Services, in Northern Virginia has been key for our clients to present the image they want online. The visual branding and design attracts and intrigues, but if the content isn’t there to back it up, visitors are not likely to stay and become clients.
Words, phrases, meaning, interpretation, terms, acronyms, jargon, and links, tell our audience who we are, what we do, how we do it, and more importantly, what we can do to solve their problems or enhance some aspect of their life. This content is absolutely reflective of our core purpose, which is why it is so important to get it right. There are several places online where your business content shows up. I didn’t include directories and list sources in this because though they are important avenues to be represented, they generally do not include extensive and ongoing content, but rather basic profile information.
Website – Creating the perfect content on static platforms such as websites and brochures presents a certain challenge as a single project. You need to capture your audience’s interest, provide relevant information about your company and industry, access to your products and service, and drive them to a call to action. You want window shoppers to become patrons of your business in some way. How does the content of your website achieve these objectives? Are you an objective observer of your own content? Probably not. You may want to have someone not associated with the business look at your website with a critical eye and give you feedback as “secret shopper” on your site.
Blog – For the most part, once your website is complete and material written, it won’t change very often. On the other hand, effective blogs are updated at least weekly. The benefits of writing a regular blog are multi-dimensional. Original content is big for search engines such as google. This refers to written word, images, video, and pictograms that are originated from the efforts of the business or individual posting them. . Original content doesn’t mean you have to write the content yourself, we ghostwrite a lot of blogs for our clients. Not everyone is blessed with writing abilities or time to pontificate through the written word. You can delegate or outsource blog writing to others who will do it better and more consistently than you will. Regardless of how you get your blog, this is original, relevant, industry-specific information that would be of interest to the target audience for your business.
Updating content through a weekly blog is great for your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It also give you original content to post on your social media platforms and puts you in the position as leader in your industry. Clearly, only those with the greatest mastery of their subject matter have so much valuable information to share.
Social Media Platforms – Popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, google+, are a perfect place for businesses to post content. The beautiful thing about social media is that it easily allows professionals to showcase not just their products and services, but their company culture, brand identity, connection to their community, values, and mission in the way a website just isn’t designed to do. And, it is free to use. Social media content distribution takes a commitment of time and attention, but it is worth it. If you have been working with your social media sites for a while, do a review of the posts, comments, likes, and shares over time and a community begins to emerge. You may not have a cheering section, but the connections made and reinforced with each post, are an asset to your business, not to be under-valued.
This is actually the easiest part of content delivery on digital platforms. Thanks to search engines, finding good quality content for your industry is as easy as a google search. Because inbound marketing encourages sharing content, posting articles written by others is easy to do and attributes the originator automatically, so there is no concern for plagiarism. This is how we find content to post for our clients:
1. Identify of a topic related to the industry…for example, our painting company client’s audience may be interested in something on color ideas for the bathroom
2. Google “Color ideas for the bathroom”. Choose an article or non-competitor site that talks about that topic or a website by a leading paint distributor with this subject on their site
3. Highlight the website URL, copy and paste it into the dialog box of the social media platform. This will automatically populate the article’s title, author, and link to the original source
4. Scroll down the Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed, and Linkedin groups. When relevant or interesting content posted by a connection shows up – like it, comment on it, share it, or all three
5. Don’t just post content about your business or industry…stretch a bit and share posts announcing events in the area or fundraising opportunities. highlight your referral partners too
Remember, inbound marketing is more than just promotion. Use your content to add value to other businesses, the community, and your audience. Content is King…Online Platforms are the Domain. Contact me if you would like help with your content creation or social media management.