The hard work of growing your business doesn’t stop with product development and fundraising. It’s not enough to put your product out on the market and hope that customers will find you; marketing is a vital part of any public-facing company, and a big part of marketing today is content. The days when print or even digital ads were enough to bring in scores of customers are passed. To keep up with your competition you need to generate content for your target audiences to read and watch and listen to in order to build your brand and a relationship with consumers.
The most fundamental building block of content creation is a blog. Writing a blog is a relatively easy way to generate content that can be used to share and market your business and your products. But it isn’t quite as simple as sitting down at your computer and churning out thoughts and ideas as the inspiration strikes you. In order for your blog to be impactful, you need to make sure that you’re writing clearly and coherently and consistently. Sporadic, poorly written posts can give off the impression that there isn’t much planning behind the scenes, even if that is far from the truth. If you’re relying on yourself to write your blog, set a realistic target that you know you can meet, even if it isn’t as often as you’d like. If you have others to handle your content and marketing, make sure that your targets for consistency and messaging are being met.
Videos are another great tool for connecting with potential customers. Even if you’re producing great written content, videos can help you connect with different segments of your audience and allow you to expand your communications. A video demo of your product or general explainer of what your company does is ultimately a more effective means of informing and educating potential customers than any brochure or pamphlet, especially for those more visually inclined. And other informative videos from events, expos, and speaking engagements let viewers put names and faces to the company and offers a more first-hand experience with what you have to offer, albeit through a screen.
Sharing pictures allows you to enhance what you’re sharing with followers on social media. Pictures from events and trade shows or even around the office lets people keep up with what you have going on, and as with video puts faces to what might otherwise feel like a sterile business entity. Infographics can catch the eye of those scrolling through their social media feeds and provide an easier-to-digest visual representation of the information that you’re trying to communicate. In an increasingly busy and distracted world, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of being able to grab someone’s attention, and visual media can do that far more than blocks of text.
Podcasts may be another avenue for building an audience for you and your company. For those inclined to start their own podcast, the process has never been easier; a few basic tools can get you set up to start recording and posting. Ideally, you don’t want your podcast to be about your company directly, as that would get tedious for even your biggest fans. But talking about your industry, the challenges and problems that exist in it, and the latest news and developments is a great way to draw in people interested in the space. In the process, you will prompt them to learn more about you and your company. And if you’re not interested in hosting your own podcast, you can still seek out others’ productions to increase your visibility and burnish your reputation as an expert in the industry.
Building a great product is the foundation of a successful business, but that ultimate success relies upon getting attention and building a reputation for what you do. Creating content is the means by which modern businesses can establish themselves with consumers and differentiate themselves from competitors by communicating what they bring to the table. #onwards
In the next part of my series, I’ll be talking about building relationships.