We all know that ‘content is king’. And there’s increasing pressure to engage with our audiences online, to produce content that will help us to reach our customers. But coming up with great ideas for content that people want to engage with, that our audiences want to know about and share, can be tricky.
- Learn from the best. Make a list of your favourite editorial websites – check them regularly and learn from them. Make it easy for yourself by using a social media dashboard to keep track of the latest updates, like TweetDeck or Hootsuite.
- Discover the questions your audience is asking – and answer them. Trawling through your social media feeds can give you a very good idea of the questions that your audience is preoccupied with. And there’s usually no shortage of people offering answers. With a bit of research and fact checking, this can yield great material for blog posts.
- Ask your own questions. Use Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, whatever, and ask questions of your target audience. Quote the best answers in a blog post or other content and then reach out to tell those responders to say that you’ve quoted them. They’ll tell others and so the social media machine keeps turning.
- Do some surveys. There’s a variety of survey services out there to help you. Google Surveys, for instance, charges from 10¢ per respondent to create surveys and statistics, delivering results in just a few days.
- Find out what content performs best for any topic or competitor. If your peers are making it work, maybe you can too. Analysis tools like BuzzSumo can show you which articles get the most shares (and therefore most interest) on any given topic.
- Identify influencers in your area. Learn from the experts – analysis tools like Social Crawlytics can show you which articles are getting most shares on rival sites.
- Ask your customers what they want. You may choose ask them direct, via email or text if you have permission, or survey them online from your website.
- Google Analytics. If you have a website, you really should use an analysis tool like Google Analytics. It’s free to use and you can request reports on unique views, bounce rates, dwell time and more, plus you can see exactly which posts are most popular and adjust your output accordingly.
- Monitor success. This is crucial – just having a ‘feel’ for what’s working is nowhere near as effective as tracking the numbers. Do it monthly at least, tracking your shares, likes and anything else that reflects how much (or how little) your audience is engaging with your content.
- Be focused, be consistent. Audiences like to know what to expect. So keep your posts regular, even if it’s only weekly or monthly. And once you’ve settled on a style, stick to it.
Enterprise Nation launched in 2005 and has since helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder Emma Jones MBE, it’s also a leading campaigning voice for small business with the Government. See more Enterprise Nation stories
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