If you’re a brand or business in 2020, you’ve probably encountered a few problems when considering creating content for your business. Maybe you’ve found yourself asking questions like, “how much should I create?” or, “what should I even talk about??” Maybe you haven’t even touched content creation because you don’t know where to start.
Those are a lo t of big questions. And let’s be honest, you probably answer those questions by giving yourself an excuse to not create content.
It’s just too much right now. I don’t have the time. I’ll figure it out next month.
I’m here to tell you that content creation doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating. It doesn’t have to come with some big strategy. The truth is, you can start small. I give you permission. All you have to do is give yourself permission, and get started. ?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about simple steps that you can take to create relationship-building content for any platform.
Why is content creation important?
Content marketing is an effective way to grow your brand online, especially when you don’t have a huge budget. Hubspot says:
Content creation is the ultimate inbound marketing practice. When you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience, attracting potential customers to your website, and retaining existing customers through quality engagement.Hubspot Blog, The Ultimate Guide to Content Creation
Content doesn’t just grow your engagement. According to Demand Metric, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates three times as many leads.
Content helps your audience feel more connected to you. Creating content that’s reliable and trustworthy lessens the perceived risk of doing business with you.
So here’s the bottom line: businesses that create content grow. Businesses that do not, don’t. It’s that simple.
You might be feeling a sense of urgency at this point. So before you get too overwhelmed with the thought of creating content, I want to identify 4 ways to create relationship-building content for any platform (social media, email marketing, blogs, and much more) so that you can grow your brand online.
Create content that showcases your brand. If you are your brand, that’s even better! Use emojis, terms, and sentence structure that’s conversational, as you would in real life. For many of my clients, this has made content creation feel more doable and realistic. They don’t have to become a different person or write beautiful and deep content every time. They do have to be themselves.
When you show up as yourself, you establish an expectation of who you are and what it’s like to work with you. There aren’t any surprises about your brand when you’re able to communicate clearly as yourself. Being yourself builds trust, demonstrates authenticity, and helps to establish yourself as a guide to help your client win.
When you’re establishing a brand voice, think about how easy it is to maintain long-term. As a business owner, it’s much easier to maintain a tone of voice that’s your own rather than attempting to be something different (and having to remember that tone each time you sit down to write).
Here are ways you can show up as yourself in content marketing:
- Utilize your personal LinkedIn profile to promote your work. Post updates and articles as you, and share them to your brand’s LinkedIn Profile.
- Share on Instagram and Facebook of a problem you solved for a client, in your own words. Ask yourself how you would talk about that problem if someone asked you about it at a cocktail party. Position it in terms of that conversation.
- Share pictures on social media and on your website of you! Especially if you’re the spokesperson/owner, make sure that people can see your face. When you show yourself in pictures, it establishes trust for your audience. It shows that you’re a real person, not just some robot behind a computer screen.
Utilize Video Content
Not only is video content proven to be more engaging, it also gets a larger reach on most social media platforms. People love video because it’s incredibly easy for the brain to process.
And, with almost everyone in the world having a smartphone, video is insanely easy to produce.
You might say you’re camera shy, but I say practice makes perfect. The first time I did an instructional video for an old job, I cringed at the result. I was awkward and stuttered … a lot.
But, if you keep putting yourself behind the camera, I promise it’ll be worth it. Here are a few ways to use video content for relationship-building:
- Send LinkedIn video messages to leads. Once you’ve got a conversation going with them in your InMail, you’ve probably found out a little bit about them. Take a minute to record a video to them directly solving a small problem they mentioned. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Doing this shows that you were thinking about their problem and how they could potentially solve it. It also shows empathy and authority in your field.
- Utilize Facebook and Instagram Stories to show behind the scenes, announcements, and updates.
- Create videos out of your blog posts. Use your blog post as a script and film it. Post it at the beginning of your blog post, on YouTube, Facebook, IGTV — anywhere that is appropriate for your brand. You’re maximizing the use of your content this way, too!
Ask and Answer Questions
When you’re first getting to know someone, you’re asking questions in order to find out more about them. What do you do, where do you work, what’s your favorite restaurant, what are you looking forward to, etc. All of these questions help you dig deeper and learn about a person. Why wouldn’t you do that anywhere else?
When you ask questions on social media, you’re not just digging deeper into a relationship with your audience. You’re also finding new opportunities for content.
When you genuinely listen to what your audience has to say, you’ll be able to create more content with that information. It’ll help you understand your audience better and equip them with valuable information they’ve already been asking for.
Questions you could ask your audience:
- What is something you could never live without?
- How has [product] changed your life?
- What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Stand in Your Authority with Empathy
You have authority in your industry. If people read your blog, subscribe to your emails, follow you on social media you have authority. I’m not saying you go around and only demonstrate your authority, because that would be annoying — especially to your audience. Instead, layer your authority with empathy. Be sure to identify with your audience by saying that you care about their frustrations. Then, follow that up with what you’ve done about it.
Here’s why: words without action are meaningless. You can tell me all day that you care about me, but until you prove it, then I don’t believe it. That’s why empathy and authority must always be paired together when you’re talking about your brand in your content.
Here’s how you can do that to create content:
- Let client testimonials do the talking. Then, in your commentary, talk about the problem you solved for them to get the testimonial you did.
- Talk about what part of your job you’re most passionate about and why. How does that piece of your job impact your client?
- Talk about mistakes you or your clients have made and how others can avoid them.
When you start thinking about content creation and building a relationship with your audience, you’ll be able to become an even more reliable and trustworthy brand. You’ll provide tons of value to your audience. You’ll establish yourself as an authority in your industry. And you’ll start getting more leads.
I can’t wait to hear about what content does for building relationships with your audience! ?