If you’re in business you have probably heard somebody say “you have to produce content”. It’s quite a buzzword at the moment but it is actually very important. I would hate to think we’re losing sight of the importance of content because it’s being lost in a buzzword.
What is Content?
Content refers to the information and images shared online. The article you’re reading is content. This is an article I am writing to explain content and it’s importance. This is part of my content which I am sharing for you to consume.
It’s that simple.
More importantly – why is content important?
Every business needs customers. To acquire customers we first need people to find us, determine whether we meet their needs, and then make a transaction with us. The challenge for many businesses is being found.
The internet is such a crowded place and there is an enormous amount of information. The number of websites online increases by more than 1 per second. As you read this article we are fast approaching 1 billion websites online. Can you believe it? From the first website being launched in 1991 to 1 billion websites in 2014.
Your business is a drop in the ocean and you need to be found to acquire customers. That’s where content comes in. Content is your opportunity to answer peoples’ questions, provide advice to solve problems and add value. For many of us, your content will likely be how you’re found – not your website homepage.
That raises the next big question – what content should I share?
A great place to start is with your frequently asked questions. What are the questions that people ask you in conversation or via email? Take those questions and reproduce the conversation you would have with the person.
Share valuable information, not just a single paragraph. Answer the question and include details, instructions, tips. Explain how you help with that problem. There is just one rule – don’t write sales pitches and call the blog posts or articles. Provide value and include a call to action but not a sales pitch.
Your call to action might be a suggestion to the reader to download a free report or checklist; or an offer of a free consultation. Ideally something that requires a transaction ie. they give you email details or contact information. Alternatively you could suggest they follow you on Twitter, like your Facebook page or connect on Linked In but be sure to give them a reason to do so. Say something like if you found this information useful be sure to connect with me because I’m always releasing high value, quality and helpful information.
Once I have content what do I do with it?
You have to share your content. Post it on your blog, an article submission site (or more than one if they don’t require original content), share it with your network, your database, on social media platforms, use social bookmarking tools. You may like to produce a presentation with it and share it on SlideShare or even make a video presentation and post on YouTube and other video hosting platforms.
I’d love to hear your feedback. What works for you and where do you share your content?
Image source: "Computer Budgie II" by Michael Fitzgerald