Updated 16th June 2023
Content is king! Apparently. So, SEOs, social media marketers, web designers/devs and anyone else and anyone in this industry claims. Here are the facts: Google is a search engine, but ultimately, when you get down to it – it simply publishes other people’s content. So, yes, it is (assuming the rest of your SEO set-up is squeaky clean). So, they’re all correct. Let’s get the best out of your marketing…
There is no getting around it. Coming up with great content is easy (should be!) in the beginning. With all the ideas running around your head, you can run for a day/week/month without coming up against a creative block. But when you have exhausted your initial ideas, you are left wondering where to turn next. Social media campaigns that fail, fail because they run out of content. And, most social media campaigns do fail. I know the stats. For social media, you have to be persistent, and continuous. Publishing 4 posts a day for the first week and then 2 a day, then twice a week etc. Sound familiar?
My research has proven (industry dependant but generally e-commerce) that 3 general posts, then 1 product/sale post is the general rule. So, a 3:1 ratio on product placement. Otherwise, people will just unfriend you. And that might make you feel sad 🙁
Use these sources to generate content that’s fresh, unique, and guaranteed to attract new readers, and keep old ones.
The News/Current affairs/Trade events
To make a splash in social media, your content has to be trending. Luckily, the news is always present on social media. Relate your next blog post to a major news story, as long as it is relevant. This will naturally slip into any trends on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s not evergreen content, but it is going to win you a spike in traffic.
Just make sure the connection doesn’t look forced. If you are struggling to relate your brand to a recent news story, take the safe option and don’t do it. Your industry and trade have news out there. Go find it.
SEO Competitors & Social Media Blogs
Your competitors are not brands to be ignored. They’re brands to take inspiration from. Have a look at the competitors who are above you in the search rankings and think about how you are going to overtake them. The easiest way to start is not with imitation but with variation.
What’s creating the biggest buzz for your competitors?
Drill down into this and come up with a variation on the same topic. That way, you are creating unique, fresh content people actually want to read.
Current Events in Your Company
If you cannot think of anything to say, look at yourself. Most companies will constantly look at competitors and recent news for ideas, but they are missing an important opportunity much closer to home.
Customers want to see what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s why companies have been so successful in producing Vine and Instagram videos that are only seconds long. They give people an insight into what is going on with the brand.
What Are You Selling?
Sometimes you may want to generate some excitement for a product before it is released. Instead of a simple Facebook or Twitter update, consider writing a piece on your latest product.
Here are some ideas for the angles you can take:
- A brief background to the product.
- Uses for the product.
- Your inspiration for the product. Why did you want to add this to your portfolio in the first place?
Benefits versus Features
Remember the difference between features and benefits. EVERY great salesperson in the world practices this. A feature for a kid’s toy might be “Batteries included”. The benefit is no upset, crying disappointed kids, trips to the shop on Xmas day etc. Here is a great features versus benefits explainer video:
Too many brands don’t ask customers what they think. They do not allow them any input and then struggle to meet their expectations. Get around this by asking customers what they want to know and what they want to hear about. What they want. And, ultimately, what is it about you that makes them buy from you?
For info on the age-old marketing question, go here: Why should I buy from you (opens in a new link)
You could even look into your customer service files and see which queries you receive the most. Turn this into a blog post where you answer it once and for all. Q & A – that’s why the web exists.
Ask Your Staff
You don’t have to take on the burden of coming up with ideas all by yourself. If you’ve exhausted your list, call in another pair of eyes. Another person could see a subject in an entirely different way, and that completely different pair of eyes could turn into a brand-new blog post/tweet.
To make the content unique to that person, have them write it as a guest speaker. The different styles will give readers a different flavour and keep things fresh and interesting for them.
We recommend doing this on a regular basis. Create a list and write down ideas as and when they come. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
What if You’re stuck?
Everyone has slow weeks. Sometimes you are out of ideas, there is nothing going on, and the news does not relate to your company or niche. In this case, do not post if you have nothing to say. Or, do you? What about just engaging with others? Liking, following, commenting?
Long gone are the days when you had to post once or twice per week. Silicon Valley no longer cares how often you publish content, as long as you are not entirely inactive. If you have to wait for a couple of days for an idea to leap out of the darkness, so be it. Do not force it because people will instantly notice it, and that will do more to hurt your brand than help it.
P.S. Don’t publish nonsense, the web’s full of it 😉