We’re asking a loaded question, heavy with expectations and standards and availability and a need for creativity. And importance. And it comes down to this:
Content is king.
You’ve probably heard that for years. (It’s true, BTW.) But let’s talk about what that really means. How much content do you really need to put out to make it worth your while?
We work with multiple businesses in various indutries from food and beverage, to film production to consulting and more. The one thing these industries all have in common is that they’re highly competitive. It takes a lot to drive engagement with your consumer base and drive a sale. Some people like Grant Cardone suggest that you “be everywhere all the time”. We disagree. We find it far more effective to be where your customer is and where it makes sense for you to engage with them.
So what does this mean for YOUR content? It means you may feel the need to shout in order to be heard in your noisy field.
It also means that it’s more important now than it ever has been to be authentic. You know when you raise your voice to be heard in a crowded room and all of a sudden there’s a lull and you’re shouting through the quiet? Now imagine that while yelling something fake or false.
Also, be respectful of the time that your audience spends engaging with you. Businesses need to stop putting out shit content for the sake of publishing something and trying to grab eyeballs for 18 seconds.
How do you find the right balance for your business? It starts with knowing what you can commit to and knowing your audience.
Make a plan and commitment
If you go wild posting to your Facebook page three times a day for a week and you blow through all of your ideas for content to post, then where does that leave you? (The answer is that you’re left on repeat with some very bored followers.) Have a plan. A strategy! And think about your audience. Do your best to put yourself in their shoes and think about what they would want to hear about.
Stop thinking about “how can I sell more?” and start investing in your community. VALUE THEIR TIME. Shift your thinking to “how can I help my audience?” Make a short list of the categories of content you’re going to share with your audience to help them. Then plan that content out into manageable parts.
Here’s what that looks like for 29 Design Studio:
- Periodically: We publish recent work to our website when a project wraps up. (This is typically around once a month but could be more or less often.)
- Monthly: We create a blog post that speaks to a pain point we believe our audience may be experiencing and write something that will help them overcome it.
- Monthly: We distribute a newsletter sharing the aforementioned recent work, blog post and/or news along with several articles of interesting and inspiring information
- Weekly: Two to three times a week, we share interesting and inspiring news on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn that adds value for our community of followers.
This is a very basic framework for what your content plan might look like – we’re only covering frequency and top-level topics here. Your true content strategy should go far deeper into who is your audience and what are they looking for as well as an analysis of what kind of information your network is engaging with. Do they enjoy lighter funny content? Or more serious educational information? Don’t guess at the answer to this! Let your data tell you what’s working.
Know your audience
This is really important. Everything you do – EVERYTHING – is built around your audience. You can set goals for yourself and your business, but you can’t achieve them if you don’t know who you’re talking to. Look to your analytics for demographics, post popularity, and the queen to the king – engagement – to identify who you’re talking to.
I can also tell you that the interests of the audience for some of our clients are very different from eachother. But the concept is the same. If you’re not sure where your audience is engaging online, look at what others in your field are doing – what they’re doing well and not so much.
Seth Godin, one of our favorite marketers, hits this right on the head with this statement about knowing your audience:
“We need to find the people who share our worldviews and make something that resonates with those people.”
Many businesses find it useful to create a customer avatar or persona. This is a document that goes deep into thinking about your ideal customer and what interests them. It invites you to imagine what your ideal customer might be interested in outside of your services. This exercise helps you wrap your head around what your customer’s life.
To return to our original question, we haven’t answered it. We can’t tell you how much content your business really needs. Instead, we’ve given you the tools to determine your capability and commitment, as well as the how to determine the expectations and values of your audience.
Your content strategy must be consistent and relevant, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
For a worksheet on creating avatars/personas for your business, click here to get it emailed to you! For more advanced help applying what you learn from creating customer avatars and personas for your business, we’re here for you. Click here to contact us and let us know how we can help you!
Thanks for being here!