Most small business owners have no issues talking to friends, family and potential customers about their business. But when it comes to writing and creating content about their business, it can be a challenge.
The good news is that your content doesn’t have to be perfect. Actually, imperfect content comes across more authentic because, well, it is. And your potential customers actually like that.
Relevant, informative content can help you grow your social media audience, your email list, your website traffic, and most importantly, your bottom line. Moreover, content is a key part of local search marketing or local SEO. Content that includes targeted keywords and phrases helps your business rank in the local online searches of your potential customers.
Consistent, informative content also helps to build the “know, like and trust” factor and positions your business as an authority and trusted source in your community. This, can in return, help attract the right people to your business and increase the possibility of them wanting to do business with you.
For local businesses, these are simply crucial.
If you’re reading this, you may be trying to figure out how to create great content for your business.
Deciding on what to write about and how to get started can sometimes be the most daunting and intimidating part of content creation.
Inside of this blueprint we talk about:
Good content that can drive traffic to your website, generates leads and prospects, needs to be relevant to your ideal customer.
Creating consistent, highly engaging and relevant content requires planning. You want to set aside some time every month to plan content for your business.
Keep a Content Journal either in a notebook or an online document like Google docs to jot down all of your ideas. You’re also going to want to organize your content in way that it is easy to plan and schedule your content. Using a content planner is a great way to keep you organized and consistent.
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The most difficult part for anyone creating content is coming up with good, engaging ideas and relevant topics.
In this section we share 5 content creation hacks to help you never run out of ideas and inspiration.
Hack #1: Content brainstorming
Brainstorming is a fast, unfiltered and unprocessed process to get your creative juices going and help you think of ideas. Simply write down whatever comes to your mind without thinking about it or judging it.
You can make your content brainstorming sessions a fun activity by involving your team in all of your departments. You’d be surprised how much insight and great feedback you can get on your business and customers when you do this.
When starting a brainstorming session, you want to set a timer for 15-30 minutes. Too long and you can spend your entire planning session on brainstorming alone and you’ll lose focus. Too short and you may feel like you didn’t accomplish anything significant.
Not sure how to start your brainstorming session? Try this…
When customers and potential customers call you, what questions do they ask?
What needs or pain points do they have which you can help solve?
What are their interests?
What are their hobbies?
What answers, insights or information can you provide them about your services or products that can help them move forward in their purchasing decision?
What would they ask specifically about your services or products?
Write all of these down and don’t think about what you’re going to do with them just yet.
According to internetlivestats.com “Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.”
Because of the immense amount of data and an algorithm created to help users find the most relevant search results, Google has the ability to offer highly accurate predictive features to help you in your content planning.
These features can offer valuable insight as to what people are searching for online a which can help you with your content ideas and topics.
So let’s jump in and look at how you can use predictive searches in your content planning…
Hack #2: Autocomplete searches
According to Google, “search predictions are possible search terms related to what you’re looking for and what other people have already searched for. Google makes search predictions based on factors, like popularity or similarity.” Additionally, they use your own previous search history as we well as trending searches.
You’ve probably noticed this yourself when you go online to “Google” something.
As you start to type your search, a dropdown list of suggestions appears.
Let’s do an example together…
Go to Google and search “How much does landscaping cost?”
In the drop down list you’ll see about 10 other searches generated by the Google autocomplete feature.
You want to write these down in a sheet of paper. Don’t think about them. Just jot them down.
Hack #3 Related Searches
Now, press enter or select one of the results in the drop down list. You will then see all searches that match your keyword. Scroll down to the bottom of the first page of your results.
Here you’ll see a list of related searches.
Related searches can offer you great insight on additional, related pain points users might be searching for, hence, helping you create very relatable and relevant content. Keep in mind that related searches may not always contain the original keyword searched. This is actually a great thing.
New keywords can open up your list of content ideas wide open!
Again, write these down search terms, keywords and phrases down in your Content Planning Journal.
Hack #4: Hashtag, social and awareness days
Creating content that’s relevant to time sensitive events in your community, industry or society is a great way to hack your content creation.
Because content around holidays and days of awareness is relevant to conversations taking place around your community, this kind of content can help drive a lot engagement to your business.
There is a hashtag, social and awareness day for just about anything today.
Some of these may be relevant to your business, while others may not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a creative spin to make it fit.
Stay on top of 2020 social, awareness days and traditional holidays, by adding our Google Calendar.
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Hack #5: Repurpose your existing content
Repurposing content simply means taking a piece of old content that exists in one format and/or medium and create a new content piece from it.
Let’s look a bit more into repurposing…
In order for you to repurpose content you need to have content already, so if you’re just starting out, you may not have content to repurpose just yet. As you build up your content library, repurposing will become a great hack to shorten your content creation process.
Deciding what to repurpose…
When making a decision as to what to repurpose, start by identifying pieces of content that actually generated a lot of engagement.
A good place to start is your social media content. What topic, promos, contents, or posts got the most engagement?
Some of the metrics you can look to measure engagement include:
Here are some ideas on how you can take a good piece of content and repurpose it:
1. Answers questions posted on your existing content.
Take questions and comments left on content that you’ve posted on social media or previous blog posts published on your website and create a new piece of content.
2. Reformat top performing content.
You can also take a piece of content that saw a lot of engagement, take that exact content and reformat it.
Here are a couple examples of this:
3. Repurposed content isn’t only for old videos or blog posts
If you shared an article from a news website or some other authority outlet and it got a lot of engagement in the way of questions and comments about the topic covered in the article, write a blog post or create a video where you expand on the topic or address questions and comments posted by your followers.
A very underutilized tool is the Google My Business Posts features. This feature in your free Google My Business account allows you to create posts, just like you would on any social media platform, to help you engage people searching locally. You are also able to include a call to action in your post to help drive up conversions of those local searches.
Remember that these posts are only visible for 7 days, so plan accordingly when creating posts for your Google My Business profile. These posts allow you to add a special offer and call to action to drive your prospects closer to a buying decision.
A Content Planner is a must to keep you organized and on track when planning, creating and publishing your content.
You can grab our Content Planner via Google Sheets and tweak it to fit your business.
Let’s wrap it up…
Remember that you don’t need to create content every single day.
Use our Content Planner and Content Planning Calendar to stay organized when planning your content.
Some events to consider and mark on your calendar when planning your content may include:
An upcoming holiday sale you will be running.
A new product or service you are launching.
An event your hosting virtually or in person.
Your content may be aimed to ramp your audience and followers up. You may want to run a contest. Create content that relates to products or services that you will be selling during a special holiday sale.
Dominate Local Marketing Solutions is a full service marketing agency specializing in digital marketing and automation technology to help today’s business and entrepreneur succeed.